Honda Aircraft has extended by another year its target for obtaining certification for the HondaJet, to the end of next year, according to a company spokesman. “We are targeting HondaJet certification by the end of 2014, based on the engine testing and certification schedule,” he said. The jet’s GE Honda Aero HF120 engine is now scheduled to receive certification in fourth quarter 2013. No further details were available at press time, but Honda Aircraft plans to provide more information at an EBACE press conference on May 20.
The business jet market remains highly mixed as it continues on its recovery path, according to the latest business jet monthly report from J.P.Morgan North American Equity Research. Large-cabin jets and an improving pre-owned market are helping the recovery, while light jets and lower flight activity are acting as drags.
Newly restructured Beechcraft logged 65 deliveries–including six Hawker 4000s–in the first quarter, compared with 41 deliveries a year ago. According to Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture, the upgrade programs for the Hawker 400XPR and 800XPR are also “attracting a strong positive response,” with slots in 2013 sold out for the 400XPR program as it completes its final certification phase. “Our plan throughout last year’s restructuring was to emerge as a stronger, more agile organization,” said Boisture.
Embraer Commercial Aviation CEO Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva said he sees requests for proposals coming from U.S. airlines for between 200 and 400 regional jets in the 70- to 76-seat market segment as relaxed scope clauses continue to drive demand on this side of the Atlantic while a “pause” in Europe takes hold.
Maximum Manuals of Carlsbad, Calif., has unveiled an automated online system that allows operators to create, purchase and receive minimum equipment list (MEL) and RVSM manuals in as few as two hours. Maximum Manuals has been developing the Smart Manual Process for the past two years and the system has been undergoing testing with operators that have submitted newly created manuals to FAA FSDOs for review. These manuals received positive feedback from FAA inspectors, according to the company.
Bell Helicopter held two maintainers and operators conferences in China at the end of April, in Beijing and Shanghai. The conferences helped Chinese operators learn more about Bell customer support and service enhancements and safety improvements and enabled discussion of technical issues. “We were pleased with the turnout at both locations,” said Chris Jaran, managing director, China. “It was apparent that our Chinese customers are focused on maintaining their Bell Helicopter products at the highest level.”
Regional Airline Association chairman Dan Garton today expressed relief that a bipartisan effort in the U.S. Congress was able to reverse the furloughs of air traffic controllers triggered by federal budget cuts. But he complained that America’s regional carriers had faced a disproportionate burden from the effects of sequestration on the country’s air traffic management system.
Congressional and local lawmakers have called on the FAA to use newly available funds to stave off the June 15 closure of 149 contract towers under budget sequestration. Signed into law last week, the “Reducing Flight Delays Act of 2013” allows the FAA to reallocate unassigned funds from the Airport Improvement Program to end FAA employee furloughs and keep the national airspace system functioning smoothly through the end of Fiscal Year 2013.
The Argus Prism annual audit of safety management system (SMS) implementations has been released and reveals deficiencies in areas different from those of the 2011 results.
According to Argus, “The objective of this report is to highlight those recurring problem areas found in SMS implementation and execution.”
Fledgling FBO chain Hawthorne Global Aviation Services will be adding another location to its roster as it obtained development rights for a new FBO at Chicago Executive Airport (PWK). Hawthorne acquired the rights from Sovereign Development Group and will begin construction immediately on the facility, which will be the third FBO at the airport along with Signature and Atlantic.