As expected, President Obama’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014, released yesterday, includes a proposed aviation user fee–just as previous budgets have since 2007 when the Bush Administration first floated the idea.
The FAA is continuing to refine its categorization of the nearly 3,000 GA airports around the country, picking up where it left off in last spring’s General Aviation Airports: A National Asset. That study identified the many functions airports provide, among them medical transport, search-and-rescue, disaster relief, aerial firefighting, law enforcement, remote community access, flight training and air cargo. Considered a tool to assist the agency and state aviation authorities in planning decisions, the study reflected current aviation activity at the airports.
“An organized attack by the administration on business aviation,” was among the topics under discussion at the General Aviation Association CEO Town Hall moderated by HAI president Matt Zuccaro yesterday. Panelists–the leaders of AOPA, GAMA, NBAA, NASAO and NATA–also discussed topics ranging from the effects of sequestration to efforts to revisit aircraft certification standards.
China-based Citic Offshore Helicopter, which operates mainly medium twins for offshore passenger transportation, plans to divest its 94-percent stake in Citic General Aviation, for at least $13 million, according to Chinadaily.com. Citic General Aviation has a fleet of 18 helicopters and three business jets. As Citic General Aviation could not “perform in a large scale due to the limited number of jets it owns,” it posted “low revenue” in the last few years. It was profitable but all the profits were made by the helicopter business, while the business jet sector posted losses.
While millions watched the Baltimore Ravens defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL Super Bowl in New Orleans on Sunday evening, the local FBOs at the Big Easy’s airports were gearing up for their own second half as many of the more than 800 private aircraft that flocked there would seek to depart soon after the game ended.
“The government treats business aviation like a rich man’s toy,” said an Indian business jet operator speaking to AIN on condition of anonymity. The comment neatly summarizes the context for the continuing obstacles to business aviation growth in a country where largely positive economic conditions should be driving a major uptick in expansion of the industry.
The Gulf region is in need of a sound regional business aviation policy and is suffering from lack of a dedicated regulatory environment, said London-based lawyer Aoife O’Sullivan during a break yesterday from overseeing several business aircraft transaction on the fringes of MEBA 2012 in Dubai.
“I wish I could tell you the war [of battling business aviation foes in Washington] is over, but all I can tell you is there’s a slight ceasefire,” said representative John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation Committee and prime architect of this year’s passage of the long-delayed FAA Reauthorization legislation, at the NBAA’12 opening session. “Some people just don’t get it that business aviation is one of the great economic engines of our economy and of a free-enterprise system.”
Nearly 10,000 new business jets worth about $250 billion are predicted to be delivered between 2012 and 2022, according to Honeywell’s 21st annual business aviation outlook, released yesterday. The forecast reflects an approximate 9-percent increase in projected delivery value over last year’s 10-year prognostication, driven by pricing increases and a continued trend toward more demand for higher-priced larger business jets.
The National Business Aviation Association presents the Commercial Business Flying Safety Awards each year to member company pilots who have exemplary safety records in nonscheduled, revenue-producing flight operations. AIN caught up with some of the top award recipients for 2011.
Ron Ludema, director of operations
Tulip City Air Service
43 years, 30,943 hours