The crash of a King Air C90 near Springdale, Ark., on Friday killed both the 72-year-old pilot and his passenger. The Part 91 flight was en route in VMC from Pine Bluff to Bentonville, Ark., when the pilot asked ATC for a closer airport because he was low on fuel. The controller advised the pilot he was four miles from Springdale (Ark.) Airport. After reporting to Springdale that he had the airport in sight and restating he was low on fuel, he was cleared to land. A few seconds later, the pilot reported he was not going to make the airport.
Sens. John Boozman (R-Ark.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) sent a letter to FAA Administrator Michael Huerta asking him to deem the FAA’s aircraft registry an essential service. The closure of this office during the government shutdown has all but halted aircraft sales transactions.
In honor of two of its most famous former residents, Little Rock, Ark., has changed the name of the state’s largest airline-served airport from Little Rock National/Adams Field to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport, after the former President and his wife, the current Secretary of State. “We are grateful for this honor and for all that the people of Arkansas have done for us,” said Bill Clinton in a statement.
Antoine Ajarrista was promoted to senior vice president and general manager of Dassault Falcon’s Little Rock completion center. Ajarrista served as senior vice president of operational control at the Little Rock facility for the past three-and-a-half years. A graduate of the Ecole Centrale de Paris, with a master’s of science degree in engineering, Ajarrista was production director at Dassault’s Bordeaux-Merignac facility before moving to Little Rock.
Dassault Falcon has promoted Antoine Ajarrista to senior vice president and general manager of its Little Rock Completion Center in Arkansas. He replaces Frederic Lherm, who was named senior vice president of industrial operations for Dassault Aviation in St. Cloud, France. As general manager, Ajarrista oversees all day-to-day operations of Dassault’s largest facility, which is responsible for the completion of nearly all Falcons. For the past three-and-a-half years he has served as senior vice president of operational control in Little Rock.
While some members of Congress have taken an antagonistic stance toward business aviation in recent times, two senators from Arkansas expressed their support for the industry at a forum held last month at Dassault Falcon’s Little Rock National Airport facility.
At the General Aviation Jobs for Arkansas Forum held last week at a hangar at Dassault Falcon’s facility at Little Rock National Airport, politicians joined officials from Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft, about 100 community leaders and more than 500 Dassault and Hawker Beechcraft employees to focus on general aviation’s contributions to the Arkansas economy.
The DOT has awarded Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines Essential Air Service subsidies for routes from Memphis to four Arkansas communities starting October 1. Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro, Ark., have gone without scheduled service since June 1 of last year, when Mesa Air Group dissolved Air Midwest, ending its Beech 1900 service to the four cities from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
Fayetteville Air Service FBO is out and the city of Fayetteville, Ark., is in as far as fueling and other transient aircraft services are concerned at Drake Field. The sudden departure of the FBO occurred just as the airport is gearing up for business traffic associated with the college football season featuring the University of Arkansas Razorbacks.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recently opened an office at Rogers Municipal Airport-Carter Field in Northwest Arkansas. The full-service CBP office is housed at Beaver Lake Aviation on the airport, which is owned by Wal-Mart Stores. Since offering this service, the airport has experienced a dramatic increase in international operations, according to NBAA. The airport is also planning to open a contract control tower in August.
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