Huge opportunities in the East offset by tough market conditions in the West is a simplistic but not inaccurate way to summarize the current state of the international FBO business these days. Business aviation traffic has recovered to some extent in Europe, but trading conditions there are still made hard by a combination of economic woes and rising costs.
Aviation International News » May 2012
For U.S. airplane owners and operators the simple four-letter acronym RVSM (for reduced vertical separation minimums, the process for reducing to 1,000 feet the separation between airplanes flying above 29,000 feet) signals the beginning of an onerous process to get formal permission from the FAA to fly in what has become an ordinary fashion.
In the mid- to late 1970s general aviation was experiencing its peak, a period in which aircraft were selling as fast as the manufacturers could produce them and ex-GIs were cashing in on veteran’s benefits to learn to fly. It was clear to Bill Giannetti, president of Flightstar, and partner Chip Hussey that general aviation, and particularly business aviation, was growing at a fast pace.
Just because there’s no FAA regulation requiring Part 91 operators to complete an official international training program before they blast off to other parts of the planet doesn’t mean skipping such a program is a good idea, even if it is legal.
Eurocopter is promoting a new performance class, “PC2 defined limited exposure” (PC2 DLE), for twin-engine helicopter takeoffs and landings at oil platforms and other elevated helipads, to minimize the risk in case of failure of one engine while overcoming the drawbacks of existing performance classes.
Dassault Aviation received net orders for 36 Falcons last year, CEO Charles Edelstenne said in March during the company’s annual presentation in Paris, noting a major improvement over 2010, when cancellations took the net total to minus nine. The 2011 orders represented a value of €1.93 billion ($2.5 billion), and the Falcon backlog now stands at €4.2 billion ($5.5 billion).
Notwithstanding consistent losses through which the regional airline industry’s publicly traded carriers have suffered lately, the last three years have proved a period of considerable progress on several fronts. Perhaps most notably, the industry has not registered a fatal accident since the Feb. 12, 2009 crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407, in which 50 people died primarily due to pilot error.
RAA vice president Scott Foose knows the “granularities” of the various issues with which the association grapples every day as well as anyone in the industry. A 9,100-hour, ATP-rated pilot and a former senior manager in Allegheny Airlines’ flight operations and safety department, the RAA veteran also brings as balanced a perspective as one could find on the merits and shortcomings of some of the rulemaking stemming from H.R. 5900, the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration Extension Act of 2010.
Jonathan Ornstein began his career in 1987, working at Los Angeles-based Air LA, a small commuter carrier where he did everything from finance to aircraft cleaning. He moved over to Mesa Air in 1989, where he served as assistant to founder, president and CEO Larry Risley. He worked his way up to executive vice president, and then became president and CEO of Continental Express and senior vice president of airport operations for Continental. He then moved to Brussels, Belgium, to work with Sir Richard Branson to create Virgin Express.