The crash of Comair Flight 5191 in the early morning darkness of August 27 has given pause to the entire aviation community. As investigators grapple with the question of how an experienced CRJ100 crew could blast down an unlit, 3,500-foot runway without looking at so much as their heading, safety experts are becoming convinced that technology might have broken the chain of events that led to the crash.
London Biggin Hill Airport (Booth No. 4292) is making substantial investments to bolster its standing as one of the UK capital’s leading business aviation gateways. Next week the privately owned facility begins a $1 million construction project to increase its ramp space by 60 percent to provide greater room and flexibility for parking aircraft.
Harrods Aviation at London Luton Airport is preparing to relocate to much larger premises by next summer. The British FBO will move to Hangar 129, which is adjacent to the airport’s existing cargo area and offers its own security entrance from a road that avoids traffic heading for the main passenger terminal.
A Cessna Citation VI owned by a prominent Irish businessman was caught up in a major drug bust on September 26, when Belgian police impounded the aircraft at Kortrijk-Wevelgem Airport and arrested its crew. More than 110 pounds of heroin (valued at $13 million) was seized as an undisclosed passenger tried to board the jet at Kortrijk, which is close to the border with France.
The dark clouds that have hung over Teterboro Airport for many months about issues of noise, safety and security evaporated at a press conference last month. For the first time, representatives of neighbors and airport users appeared to be on the same frequency and expressed satisfaction about the apparent meeting of minds.
Million Air at press time was set to open its first FBO in Europe through a joint venture with the Flying Group of Belgium. The U.S. network will operate Flying Group’s new facility at Paris Le Bourget Airport in France. It will likely be known as Million Air Paris. The arrangement with Million Air does not relate to any of Flying Group’s other activities, namely executive aircraft charter, fractional ownership and management.
The FAA issued a new Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO 06014) that seeks to clarify the conditions under which pilots can take off with frost adhering to airframes. At the same time, the SAFO might complicate the pre-takeoff decision-making process because it reminds pilots that takeoff with frost adhering to lifting surfaces and flight controls is legal.
At press time, London City Airport was expecting to have received a total of 7,000 business aviation movements last year–a level of traffic it had not been projected to reach until 2007. Business aircraft, which are handled through the Jet Centre FBO, now account for 10 percent of all traffic at London City.
Politicians and the general public are often quick to discount the value of business aviation to the nation’s economy. They take for granted that company personnel can easily meet customers, explore new markets and develop successful businesses.
Unless you enjoy a long, hot wait to ride the ferry, an airplane is the best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. The resort island 22 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Mass., has long been known as a summertime haven for the rich, famous and powerful, with more than its share of visitors arriving in business jets.