If Air Transport Association (ATA) CEO James May has his way, business aviation will start paying more of what he believes is a fair share of the costs of operating the nation’s ATC system. During his presentation at the NATA strategic issues forum on the last day of the AIE show, May outlined his views, couched in an empathetic appreciation of the accomplishments of aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh.
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During a year when non-airline aviation is expected to continue growing to record levels, a number of challenges face those whose service businesses propel the general aviation segment.
A subtle change in the material used in an electrical component caused seven fires in Bombardier CRJs, according to an NTSB recommendation released on March 30. Tyco Hartman, the manufacturer of the component, changed the material and didn’t notify Bombardier that the new part was coated with a different material that turned out to be susceptible to moisture-induced arc-tracking.
Like most segments of the aviation industry, regional airlines have cast their collective eyes on topic number one of late–how to finance the FAA. Although Congress might not move forward with specific legislation related to FAA funding until next year, both the House and Senate will hold hearings on the subject throughout the year.
Although it will mark the formal market introduction of the last and largest E-Jet, the scheduled July certification of the 108-seat Embraer 195 by no means signals the end of the company’s work on the series. In a way, it represents a beginning, as Embraer can now turn its full attention to building production efficiency and, more important to its customers, adding facility and reliability to the airplanes themselves.
The time has come to forget industry recovery and talk instead of progress, said European Regions Airline Association (ERA) president Antonis Simigdalas in his opening remarks during the group’s March conference in Copenhagen. Perhaps the one area in which operators seek progress more than any other involves their reaction to high fuel costs.
There’s no denying that Bombardier’s commercial aircraft business has reached a crossroads, and that a still ailing airline industry will dictate the direction it ultimately turns.
As Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines drew the battle lines in preparation for Mesa Air Group’s planned June 9 incursion on their jealously guarded pieces of island turf, Hawaii’s most prominent RAA member, Honolulu-based Island Air, quietly hunkered down for the coming storm. Happily for CEO Mark Mauracher, the little but growing Bombardier turboprop operator can afford to assume the role of spectator.
While at first it seemed hard to reconcile the rather dark and anxious mood of last year’s RAA Convention in Cincinnati with double-digit profit margins and record revenues, by the end of the three-day event it became clear to everyone what regional airline executives had seen coming for years.