A diverse panel of four aviation stakeholders kicked off the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual aviation summit this spring in Washington, D.C., with a lively discussion of NextGen that seemed to indicate that all sides are moving closer to consensus on how the system should be built and funded.
April was a banner month for Landmark Aviation, beginning with the Carlyle Group subsidiary announcing it had entered the UK FBO market in a big way by buying the three former RSS Jet Centre locations at London Luton Airport, Manchester Airport and Glasgow Prestwick Airport.
Until recently, the sharing economy enabled by modern technology has been limited to industries less regulated than aviation such as taxicabs (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar), hotels (Airbnb) and cars (RelayRides). But now the sharing economy is coming to general aviation, in the form of new ways to rent airplanes (OpenAirplane) and systems for sharing expenses and empty seats in Part 91 non-commercial aircraft (AirPooler and Flytenow).
As of the middle of May, the FAA had yet to determine if it will renew its mandatory VFR helicopter route along the north shore of New York’s Long Island. The controversial North Shore Route was established for voluntary compliance in 2008 as a response to residential noise complaints and political prodding from elected officials, including U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y), who pressed then Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the FAA to make it mandatory.
Many of us in aviation in the U.S. haven’t been paying much attention to our neighbor to the north. Canadians are known for being somewhat quiet and unassuming. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that quiet and unassuming doesn’t mean they’re not busily working on practical solutions to important issues. In fact, there’s a lot going on in Canada that we in the U.S. could learn from in the aviation arena.
Avfuel and Rizon Jet UK at London Biggin Hill Airport announced a partnership that allows the FBO to offer Avfuel contract fuel and Avtrip rewards points. “We are delighted to join the Avfuel network of international FBOs. The range of products Avfuel can provide will only strengthen our services,” said Rizon Jet UK CEO Allan McGreal. “Avfuel’s global presence adds a depth and quality of service few can match.”
Massachusetts recently announced plans to build or renovate general aviation airport administrative facilities in 15 communities over the next five years. The first four projects currently in design are for the airports in Beverly, Fitchburg, Mansfield and Southbridge. Each project is funded by the state and a required 5-percent local match. Construction is expected to take approximately nine months. Another 11 airports are scheduled for construction or renovation from 2016 through 2019.
Hubstart Paris Region (Booth 5525), an alliance of organizations with the goal of promoting economic development of the Greater Roissy area encompassing the Paris-Le Bourget and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airports, is promoting the advantages of Le Bourget, in particular, as “Europe’s leading business-aviation hub.” The group is also emphasizing two lesser-known Paris airports, namely Pontoise-Cormeilles-en-Vexin and Melun-Villaroche, which it considers “key sites in Europe for business growth and economic development.”
Aeroports de la Côte D’Azur (Booth 5234)–representing Nice, Cannes and Saint-Tropez–announced at EBACE 2014 the establishment of a sister airport relationship with Morristown Airport near New York City, as well as the launch of the French Riviera’s business aviation brand.