Authorities at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority in Ohio have voted to take over the aircraft service and maintenance operations at Rickenbacker International Airport after Lane Aviation allowed its lease to expire, citing lack of traffic at the airport. Lane Aviation had served the airport since 1995. The authority, which operates the former military base, had received approximately $150,000 a year from the lease and intended to increase the rent on the facility when Lane declined to renew.
Washington, D.C., area aircraft charter and management provider Projet Aviation is now the sole FBO operator at Leesburg Executive Airport following its purchase of the Landmark Aviation facility, which had served the airport since 2005. Projet, which operated a rival FBO on the north side of the airport since 2010, has moved its main operations to the former Landmark terminal. With the purchase, the company has tripled its hangar and office space at the airport to 75,000 sq ft.
The ASA Group has opened its first office in China. The international aviation services company obtains landing and over-flight permits provides flight supervision and coordination, travel safety consulting, ground transport and hotel bookings and arranges catering. ASA has several offices throughout Asia, as well as in London and the U.S. Its newest office will serve clients traveling to Shanghai through both Pudong and Hongqiao International Airports.
International FBO operator ExecuJet has expanded its operations at Dubai International Airport to include the former Executive Flight Service terminal, and in the process created the Middle East’s largest FBO facility. The additional 12,300 sq ft will consist of eight lounges, a spacious arrival zone and expanded customs and immigration services, including e-gate service and duty-free shopping. ExecuJet will also manage all ground handling for aircraft using the company’s FBO facilities in Dubai.
The Single European Sky ATM research program (SESAR), developed to unite all European Union air traffic controllers under one operating system, has announced another move toward implementation, with the recent update of the region’s ATM strategic plan. Updates to the original 2009 plan are designed to deploy necessary ATM technologies and procedures through 2030.
Adverse oil prices and cut-throat rivalry have left airlines scrambling to limit losses with the increasingly attractive option of jet-fuel hedging. Although a complex exercise, hedging essentially involves locking in a forward fixed price, allowing an increasing number of airlines to avoid surprises from unforeseen cost fluctuations. Today, jet-fuel hedgers trade contracts in Singapore, Rotterdam, the U.S. Gulf Coast or New York, as well as crude and heating oil or gas oil in London and New York, the two most liquid swaps and options markets.
Dubai’s importance as a hub for carrier Emirates Airline continues to increase, along with its proportion of connections to total traffic. Connecting passengers now account for 70 percent of all traffic into and out of Dubai, Emirates reported last month. For example, on September 5, the airline’s Dubai-Glasgow flight, EK27, attracted passengers from 39 points on the globe, from Accra and Cape Town in Africa, Christchurch in New Zealand, and Tokyo and Seoul in Asia.
Aircraft Belts, of Creedmoor, N.C., announced a joint venture with automotive restraint specialist Key Safety Systems of Sterling Heights, Mich., to focus on inflatable restraint systems for aircraft.
The new venture, Aviation Occupant Safety (AOS), is the result of the company’s aim “to be the nose-to-tail solution provider with a full range of products that will enhance cabin safety and [that will meet] emerging FAA regulations,” said ABI president and CEO David Devine.
Russian Helicopters is introducing an “advanced after-sales service system” through subsidiary Helicopter Service Company. The “new approach” is built on “integrated logistic support” and uses new procedures to certify service centers. Russian Helicopters pledges maintenance will be easier thanks to the widespread introduction of information technology. Parts will be available for order online and aircraft documentation will become electronic.
Sikorsky delivered two baseline S-92s to Bond Aviation Group, the first of 16 medium twins to be delivered under “the largest one-time acquisition of S-92s,” the manufacturer said. Sikorsky will now customize the helicopters for offshore oil operations. They will be operated by Norsk Helikopter Service in Norway. Sikorsky says the S-92’s backlog extends “well into 2016” and that the fleet will reach 500,000 hours early next year.