Aviation alphabet groups slammed USA Today’s “sensationalistic” story published yesterday about general aviation safety. The story, “Unfit for Flight,” “fails to acknowledge the significant progress general aviation manufacturers have made to improve safety,” noted GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce. “The reality is that the number of fatal accidents in general aviation aircraft has declined substantially in recent years. In fact, the goal of one fatal accident per 100,000 hours flown by 2018 now appears increasingly likely.”
NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen praised the leaders of the House General Aviation Caucus on Tuesday for their continued support of “one of America’s greatest industries,” and repeated opposition to proposals that would be harmful to general aviation. “General aviation provides more than 1.2 million jobs–good manufacturing and service jobs–and also supports tens of thousands of American businesses,” he explained to a capacity crowd in a Capitol Hill hearing room.
Despite the fact that there were no fatal accidents last year involving commercial air transport fixed-wing aircraft flown by operators based in the member states of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the authority’s executive director, Patrick Ky, has warned against complacency.
The FAA has launched an Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing (ASIAS) program for the general aviation community, bringing to the sector a system many operators–from Parts 121 and 135 to GA pilots–are already using. The agency announced the one-year demonstration project on March 28.
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).
At 0300 UTC tomorrow, Brazil is opening registration for business aviation slots during the 2014 World Cup, which will take place from June 12 through July 13 at 12 cities across the country. Civil aviation administration agency ANAC also announced fines of up to $40,000 and even suspension of pilot certificates if commercial and general aviation flights don’t comply with the slot restrictions.
According to data released today by business aviation research and consulting firm WingX Advance, there were 52,931 business aviation flights in Europe in March, a 22-percent month-over-month increase and and 2.1-percent year-over-year rise. After three consecutive monthly increases, business aviation flight activity in Europe was up by 1.6 percent from the same period last year.
BBA Aviation’s flight support division, which includes Signature Flight Support and airline refueler Asig, saw an 8-percent increase in revenue. “The signs of recovery in business and general aviation in North America continued, with movements up 4 percent in the first quarter,” the company noted. “Weakness continued in our other major markets, with European business and general aviation movements flat and commercial movements down 2 percent in North America and Europe.”
Between 2010 and 2012 the number of active GA aircraft declined by 6.4 percent, to 209,034 from 223,370, according to the 2012 General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey). But the FAA said that the 2012 GA Survey recorded the partial effect of the 2010 Rule for Re-Registration and Renewal of Aircraft Registration. According to the agency, the complete effect of this rule, which requires all aircraft registered in the U.S. to re-register within the three-year period from 2011 to 2013, will be noted after the 2013 survey.
While the North American business aviation market has shown signs of recovery of late, for many other parts of the world fortunes have continued to fluctuate, making for a mixed outlook for the global FBO industry. Emerging bizav markets across regions such as Asia and Africa have seen encouraging traffic growth, even if opportunities to expand FBO services in these places have been somewhat limited. Meanwhile, service providers in Europe’s more mature market have yet to see sustained recovery from flight activity dips in recent years, but there are some notable exceptions.
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