September’s JetExpo show at Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport once again provided a fascinating snapshot of how Russia’s business aviation market is continuing to develop. The overall impression from this eighth annual event is that, after a powerful growth surge, the market may be leveling off somewhat, but with every prospect of further expansion.
Business aviation continues to grow in Russia but it is no longer expanding at the rates observed few years ago, according to Eugeny Bakhtin, vice president of the Russian United Business Aviation Association (RUBAA).
“We used to have annual increases of 40 to 50 percent,” he said. “Today our development continues at the rate of 10 to 12 percent year on year. [However], despite the notable slowdown in the rates, we still enjoy a steady increase.” He explained that the slowdown is due to the growing maturity of the local market.
Since transitioning to a civil facility in April 2011, Brunswick Executive Airport (BXM) in Maine has seen steady growth in general and business aviation activities. Nowhere is that better illustrated than by its FBO, FlightLevel Aviation. The FBO, which has occupied a portion of a pre-existing building from the start of the airport’s civil operations, plans to move into a new purpose-built site by late spring.
According to aviation data research firm WingX Advance, there have been 139,966 business aviation movements at the top 22 airports in the Middle East so far this year, a 3-percent rise from the same period a year ago. WingX said the majority of departures from the region are headed to Europe.
King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah is the busiest of the 22 Middle Eastern airports, with 909 departures year-to-date, 62 percent of which are private flights, it said. Activity at Kuwait, which is one of the busiest charter departure points, is up 7 percent year-over-year.
NBAA announced that its director of legislative affairs, Dick Doubrava, and FAA associate administrator for airports Christa Fornarotto have been appointed to vice president positions with government-relations responsibilities for the association. Doubrava came to NBAA in 2004 from the Carmen Group, a Washington-based government relations firm.
The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board of Norway issued its final report explaining how confusion between two aircraft with similar call signs resulted in a near-collision at Oslo Airport in October last year. The incident occurred as a Norwegian Air Shuttle Boeing 737-800 (NAX 741) executed a missed approach as another of the company’s aircraft (NAX 740) was taking off.
The adoption of Honeywell’s SmartPath precision landing system by Middle East airports is expected to gain momentum over the next few years, in response to the “phenomenal growth” of aviation in the area, according to SmartPath senior product manager Pat Reines–although the company is still waiting its first order from the region.
The Middle East needs to prepare to handle increased air traffic congestion over the next few years, especially in the Gulf region; however, forming a central body to coordinate the necessary changes and harmonization is proving difficult.
Nick Fadugba’s prognosis is all the more telling given the scathing assessment of Africa’s airport infrastructure and management made by Dr. Titus Naikuni, group managing director and chief executive officer, Kenya Airways, at the Routes Africa 2013 Summit in Uganda in July. He told them to pull their socks up.