Monte Mitchell, 83, the former president of the Aircraft Electronics Association, died last week following a brief illness. He led the organization for nearly 20 years during which time he tripled its membership, introduced new programs and greatly expanded the group’s monthly Avionics News publication. He was also a key driver in the passage of the landmark General Aviation Revitalization Act (GARA) of 1994, which reduced the liability faced by aviation manufacturers and spurred new product research and development.
Hawker Beechcraft Global Customer Support and Rockwell Collins have started flight testing on a touch-screen primary flight display upgrade for Pro Line 21-equipped King Airs. The Pro Line Fusion system with touch-screen and cursor-controlled flight displays will make its debut as an aftermarket option for these aircraft. Certification for the initial King Air application is expected by the end of 2013, with entry into service to follow in early 2014.
In looking for something to validate my feeling about what a lackluster year it has been in the preowned segment, I compared the year-ago inventory level with this year’s numbers at this time, and even though my gut feeling told me so, the results were still a bit surprising.
Last year’s inventory was 2,572, and this year’s number was exactly the same. In between there have been slight upticks and one small downtick that unexpectedly came this past summer, when inventory more often builds than diminishes.
When President Obama criticized tax breaks for owners of corporate jets during the first debate with contender Mitt Romney on October 3, the reaction from the business aviation community was swift. Obama was referring to the allowable accelerated depreciation for capital goods, which ironically is part of a bill that he signed in 2010, HR 4853, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance and Job Creation Act.
Before digging into the details of each of the light jet markets, it’s worth noting some global factors affecting the market. In 2012, the big story in the light jet market was Europe and the devaluing euro. As the light jet market typically trades in U.S. dollars, with the euro dropping nearly 20 percent in value compared to last year, European sellers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the strong dollar and liquidate at relatively lower dollar values for their assets, yielding a higher amount of euros.
In responses to an article published in the September 20 issue of AINalerts, AIN readers posted comments about user fees on AINonline.com:
•Working in the aviation industry for over 40 years, of which 25 were with the state of Michigan’s Bureau of Aeronautics, I had many occasions to deal with public and privately owned airports and corporate flight operations.
Three grassroots general aviation business owners told Congress last month that user fees in any form would be “devastating” to the general aviation community. At a hearing called by the House Small Business Committee, the trio blasted President Obama’s call for a $100 per-flight fee for turbine-powered fixed-wing aircraft.
“The costs associated with user fees far outweigh any benefit to deficit reduction,” said National Air Transportation Association (NATA) treasurer Marian Epps, whose family operates Epps Aviation in Atlanta.
The 65th Annual NBAA Meeting and Convention in Orlando, Fla., is taking place as the U.S. presidential election looms and with the state of the global economy very much on the minds of people worldwide. AIN recently took the opportunity to ask the leaders of several business aircraft manufacturers for their thoughts on the state of the economy and their forecasts for the business aviation industry.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is asking repair station operators to participate in a survey about the impact that complying with the FAA’s Part 145 repair station NPRM will have on their business.
Cessna Aircraft has signed agreements renewing Jet Aviation’s Dusseldorf, Germany, and Zurich, Switzerland, operations as Citation authorized service facilities. The extension of its relationship with Jet Aviation is the latest development in Cessna’s drive to expand its customer support network in Europe. The company recently launched new Cessna-operated Citation service centers in Doncaster, UK, and Valencia, Spain, to complement existing Citation-operated service centers in Paris, and Prague, Czech Republic.