Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has asked governors, local officials–such as airport directors and metropolitan planning organizations–and other transportation leaders to nominate high-priority projects that the Transportation Department can give expedited agency reviews for permits.
Aviation International News » December 2002
A $504 million increase in Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant funds for new security projects in fiscal year 2002 has affected the amount of funds available for some airport development projects compared with the money awarded in FY 2001, according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report prepared for Congress.
While promising to be “balanced and reasonable,” FAA Administrator Marion Blakey told those attending the recent AOPA Expo that the nation and her agency are caught between two imperatives–national security and preventing terrorists from using aviation for mass murder.
UK rotorcraft charter operator PDG Helicopters is poised to expand through acquisition after sealing a new £7.5 million ($12 million) funding package. As part of the deal, Scottish group Aberdeen Murray Johnstone Private Equity paid £2.8 million ($4.3 million) to increase its stake in PDG from 20 percent to 47 percent.
Low demand for corporate aircraft and small airliners has led New York-based financial advisor Moody’s Investors Service to review, and possibly downgrade in
the next two months, certain Bombardier debt ratings. Bombardier Aerospace’s intermediate-term earnings and cash flow could be constrained by any adverse market effects, according to Moody’s corporate finance group senior vice president Tassos Philippakos.
Polly Vacher is preparing for a May bid to become the first pilot to fly solo around the world via both the North and South Poles. She plans to depart from the UK’s Birmingham International Airport in her Piper Dakota piston single. The “Wings Around the World” flight will raise funds for the Flying Scholarships for the Disabled charity. Would-be sponsors can find more information at www.worldwings.org.
The UK’s London Executive Aviation (LEA) has placed a $12 million order for five Citation Mustang very light business jets. The company has long been a Citation operator and currently has a fleet of Citation IIs, Bravos and Excels spread among London Stansted, City and Biggin Hill Airports, as well as at Leeds-Bradford Airport in northern England.
Ireland-based Aircraft Management Technologies (AMT) launched a new electronic flight book system called Flightman. It is claimed to be the first to allow secure, wireless transmission of aircraft and operations data from a portable computing device to an operator’s server.
Two UK corporate flight departments have been quietly closed, and both companies appear to have been having a hard time finding buyers for their middle-aged, midsize business jets. The DeBeers diamond mining group is shutting down its Dravidian Air Services operation at London Heathrow Airport, and it is trying to sell its pair of 19-year-old Hawker 700Bs.
In a world in which one can, by means of a relatively inexpensive handheld GPS, determine one’s position within two feet, there just aren’t a lot of exploration challenges left. And now, thanks to a pair of intrepid Robinson R44 pilots, there’s one less.