AOPA told the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that “general aviation pilots and their aircraft continue to be subjected to what appear to be random searches, while federal officials have failed to respond to a four-month-old AOPA public records request for information about the searches.”
VistaJet, a global aircraft charter operator that flies only Bombardier business jets, opened its new Malta operations center late last week. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and other top-ranking Maltese officials joined VistaJet founder and chairman Thomas Flohr to mark the occasion.
International business travelers seeking simplified entry into the U.S. via the “Global Entry” program will have the opportunity to meet in person with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents at this year’s NBAA Convention, which will be held October 22 to 24 in Las Vegas. Global Entry allows expedited clearance processing into the U.S. for pre-approved, low-risk travelers using automated kiosks available at 34 U.S. airports, eight pre-clearance airports in Canada and two pre-clearance sites in Ireland.
Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN, Booth 2135) announced here at EBACE that it has signed a representation agreement with Gulfstream Aerospace. This announcement comes just a week and a half after the closing of a successful Nigerian business aviation conference, the country’s first, hosted by EAN. The company is the first fully integrated FBO, maintenance and hangar facility for business jets to open at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos.
Just prior to EBACE, Hangar8 received the documents that secured a landmark dispensation from the Cayman Islands aircraft registry, allowing Hangar8 to operate Cayman-registered aircraft under its UK AOC, as long as the aircraft type itself is already covered by the AOC. This allows Caymans aircraft to be chartered out, and also to be operated under public transport regulations, which are exempt from VAT and minerals tax.
The first Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, hosted last week by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) in Lagos, was deemed a “resounding success” by the organizers, delegates and speakers. More than 100 delegates attended the event, which was intended to raise awareness of the growing business aviation industry in Nigeria.
Russian Helicopters reported an increase in revenues, to RUB125.7 billion ($4 billion), for last year on the strength of a 10.7-percent increase in deliveries. “Last year we delivered 290 helicopters of nine different types to our clients from 19 countries,” said CEO Dmitry Petrov. The backlog stood at 817 helicopters, worth RUB350 billion ($11 billion) as of December 31.
At press time a French-operated Falcon 50 was grounded in the Dominican Republic, according to a TV report by France’s TF1, after it was involved in a major drug bust in Punta Cana in March. The Dominican counter-drug police discovered about 1,500 pounds of cocaine (with a street value of approximately $26 million) packed in 26 suitcases placed in the hold and the cabin. The three French pilots and one French passenger were arrested just before takeoff, with the engines already running for a departure to Saint-Tropez Airport, France, according to TF1. All four people were jailed.
Aviation industry groups in the U.S. and Europe oppose a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plan to establish a customs pre-clearance facility at Abu Dhabi International Airport that would spare passengers the inconvenience of waiting at a customs checkpoint upon arrival in the U.S. A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers also questions the plan and has requested more information from the DHS.
A Beechcraft 1900 on an April 7 ferry flight from Namibia is missing and assumed lost in the South Atlantic Ocean near Sao Tome off the southwest corner of Africa. Neither the pilot, the sole occupant of the aircraft, nor any portions of the airframe have been recovered. Weather at the time of the accident was reported as heavy rain, with lightning and high winds.