The word “offshore” can conjure images of money laundering, tax dodgers and oil spills, but in today’s business aviation world, as privacy and security become ever more precious commodities, offshore registry is becoming an acceptable alternative.
Aviation in the United Kingdom
Business aircraft operators planning to fly to Britain for next summer’s Olympic Games are being encouraged to make early requests for mandatory landing and takeoff slots at airports in what will be heavily restricted airspace in the southeast of England.
Spain’s Inaer and UK-based Bond Aviation Group, two major helicopter operators in Europe, now have the same parent company–World Helicopters, a holding firm owned by Investindustrial and KKR. World Helicopters completed its acquisition of Bond this week.
The UK business aviation lobby has launched a vigorous campaign to convince the British government that its plans to extend the existing airline passenger duty (APD) to private aviation are discriminatory and disproportionate.
General aviation (GA) pilots have just 12 months to obtain new European licenses to enable them to fly European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-approved aircraft in European Union member states beginning in April next year. EASA proposals for flight-crew licences (FCLs) have completed all pre-regulatory stages and translation and were expected to go to the European Parliament by early April and become law by mid-year.
The UK government is contemplating taxing business-jet passengers in a process that would mirror the countryÕs existing airline passenger duty (APD). A decision on the proposed per-passenger tax will be made in June, and if approved could be implemented as soon as this fall.
Successful partnerships with UK government departments and national and European regulators are the fruits of several years’ investment in discussion and representation by Britain’s general aviation community, according to industry leaders. “There is an awful lot to be proud of,” said British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) chief executive Guy Lachlan, following the lobby group’s annual conference last month.
While the general aviation industry has suffered recently, demand for GA products and services will continue to grow, paced by new business jets and light sport aircraft, the FAA told attendees at its annual aerospace forecast.
"Business aviation shows signs of rebounding," said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. "And weπre projecting growth in general aviation sectors, particularly in the jet and light sport aircraft sectors."
Here in the Dubai sunshine it is easy to forget the extent to which snow and ice can delay and disrupt aircraft operations, especially in the world of business aviation where schedules can be tight yet priority at snowbound airfields is low.