The thought that the market for new and used corporate aircraft as well as corporate aviation itself may very well be the innocent beneficiary of terrorism would be a tough reality to accept. Is it possible that the corporate jet, long looked at by industry detractors as a perk, or symbol of luxury, may henceforth be viewed as a necessity?
Annual special reports and features from AIN Publications, including the reports from the annual FBO and Product Support Surveys. Other topics include Completions and Refurbishment, Cabin Electronics, New Business Jets, New Regional Jets, New Rotorcraft, pilot reports of aircraft and others, as well as one-of-a-kind special reports on numerous other aviation topics.
European FBOs have once again scored highly in the annual survey of international FBOs conducted by Aviation International News (sister publication of EBACE Convention News). No fewer than eight of the Top Ten FBOs (outside the Americas) are in Europe. The Hong Kong Business Aviation Center (in second place) and Abu Dhabi-based Royal Jet (Booth No. 2225), which ranked fifth, rounded out the top 10 FBOs.
Aircraft maintenance does not exactly move forward technologically at the speed of light. Instead, it appears the industry is in a constant state of making things incrementally better. A small innovation here, some modification to an existing procedure there, a reemphasis on the importance of service, and the result is that operators get better, faster, more cost-effective maintenance.
PlaneSense, the Manchester, N.H.-based fractional ownership provider launched in 1996 by parent company Alpha Flying, continues to expand. According to Alpha Flying president George Antoniadis, PlaneSense added two more Pilatus PC-12s to its fleet in the past year and a third is scheduled to arrive this month, bringing the fleet total to 11.
PC-12 flight planning seems to work out best at 260 kt, which means a 1,200-nm trip with IFR reserves will keep you in the cabin for 4.5 hr. But passengers who have flown the airlines will find that spending a long trip time in the Pilatus is a treat because of all the extra space and the working toilet. Since the potty is up front, the crew can use the facility without disturbing passengers.
A big mission for a big company usually means a big airplane with a cavernous interior and enough fuel to carry a large load over thousands of miles. But to accomplish that there is always a cost-benefit compromise. When a big mission appears for a small company, the economics often translate into a small airplane, which means even more mission compromises.
By almost any measure NBAA’s annual convention, held September 10 to 12 in Orlando, Fla., can be considered a rousing success.
It seems that not a week goes by without an FBO company announcing either the acquisition of more FBOs or a one-FBO company buying half a dozen more FBOs to establish its own growing chain. Witness, for example, Volo Aviation’s rapid accumulation of five bases, when just last year the company had one FBO to supplement its primary charter business.
Judging by the mood at last month’s NBAA Convention in Las Vegas, the good old days are most assuredly back for the business aviation industry. A record number of companies were shoehorned into more than a million square feet of exhibition space at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and there was a seemingly endless line of aircraft at nearby Henderson Executive Airport.
Recovering traffic levels are driving desire for both expansion and consolidation in the European market for business-aircraft handling services. But at the same time bureaucratic and market-access restrictions at many of the continent’s airports continue to hamper moves to open new FBOs or take control of existing facilities.