Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced to DOT employees this morning that he will not be staying on for a second term. The former seven-term Congressman was the lone Republican in President Obama’s first Cabinet. During his four years as DOT secretary, LaHood was Obama’s point man for increased infrastructure spending to help heal the economy. He said he will stay on until his successor is confirmed.
The 2013 NBAA Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference held last week in San Antonio, Texas, attracted more than 2,400 attendees, giving it the fourth-highest attendance count in the show’s history. This year’s event, which serves as a showcase for the FBO industry and other flight service providers, had a conference-record 425 exhibitors and 32 breakout sessions, which served to educate attendees on many aspects of flight department operations. Next year, for its 25th anniversary edition, the Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference will mark its first return to New Orleans in 20 years.
328 Group acquired an FBO and business aircraft maintenance and repair station at London Biggin Hill Airport from Jet Aviation earlier this month. The facility has been renamed Jets (Biggin Hill) Ltd. The acquisition brings new aircraft maintenance capabilities to the 328 Group, including the Dassault Falcon 900, 2000 and 7X and Cessna Citation 525, 550 and 560, in addition to its existing services for the Bombardier Challenger 300, 601, 604 and 605; Learjet 45; Dornier 328; and Hawker 700, 800, 800XP, 850XP, 900XP, 950XP and 1000.
Details from more than 3,000 pages of expenses charged to the Ontario government’s troubled air ambulance service, Ornge, by former CEO Dr. Chris Mazza have been made public. Mazza was fired last February in the wake of performance and financial irregularities at the company. Between 2005 and 2007, his expenses totaled more than $121,000, and his pace of spending increased in subsequent years.
Boeing has begun assembling 737NGs at a rate of 38 airplanes per month, the company announced Tuesday. Over the past two years, monthly production of the 737 has risen more than 20 percent, from 31.5 to 38 airplanes. Plans call for the rate to increase again to 42 airplanes a month next year.
Dassault has awarded its two training partners, CAE and FlightSafety International, certificates demonstrating full compliance with requirements of the new Falcon training policy manual. The manual is intended to ensure that Falcon operators around the world are trained to the same quality standard and benefit equally from the most up-to-date technical information on each aircraft they operate. The certificates cover training of pilots, maintenance personnel and cabin crew.
The U.S. FAA has formed an aviation rulemaking committee (ARC) to make recommendations by next summer on safely allowing the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) in flight. The committee will meet as in-flight entertainment and consumer electronics associations turn up the pressure to ease current restrictions on PEDs with new research on airline passenger demand.
ATR has confirmed that it will further boost production this year and present a business case to its shareholders for a new 90-seat model.
While addressing journalists at the company’s base in Toulouse, southern France, CEO Filippo Bagnato said that ATR had recorded a “good” level of orders in 2012 (firm orders for 74 aircraft and options on 41), worth $2.6 billion at list prices. Meanwhile, revenue increased to a record $1.44 billion, up 11 percent on 2011 and with a big jump from $500 million in 2005.
Hawker Beechcraft key creditors voted “overwhelmingly” today to approve the Wichita-based OEM’s proposed Joint Plan of Reorganization as part of its efforts to emerge from bankruptcy.
At NBAA’s Schedulers & Dispatchers annual conference this week in San Antonio, AIN caught up with Maria Sastre, the recently promoted president of Signature Flight Support.