The FAA continues to investigate why the main entry door separated and fell from a Challenger 601-3R–registered as N207JB and owned by Medcp [sic] Aviation–as it was climbing through 3,000 feet after taking off from Opa-locka (Fla.) Airport on Wednesday afternoon.
South Florida metropolitan area
Cessna Aircraft is fielding its fifth Citation mobile service unit (MSU) and locating it to handle Citation maintenance at South Florida airports. The unit, part of Cessna’s ServiceDirect maintenance delivery group, is based at SheltAir Aviation at Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale International Airport.
Occupancy of a new, expanded terminal and office complex by Galaxy Aviation of Palm Beach, Fla., certainly seemed cause for a fifth anniversary celebration by the growing FBO group that now includes Boca Raton (Boca Aviation), Stuart and Orlando, Fla. The facility includes a new 11,000-sq-ft terminal and expanded office complex, as well as 95,000 sq ft of additional hangar and office space, plus 350,000 sq ft of additional aircraft parking.
The opening of a public-use heliport isn’t as rare as, say, the passage of a really visible comet, or a Mets victory in a World Series. But only just. That’s why the recent opening of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.’s new downtown heliport was so remarkable. Before the June 5 opening of the new facility, there were 265 authorized private helipads in the state of Florida and just two public-use heliports, only one of which was in a downtown area.
Federal agents last month arrested six Venezuelan pilots and two ramp workers accused of using false immigration papers to obtain employment in the U.S. Two of the pilots, Pedro Agusti and Luis Garmendia, flew for American Airlines regional subsidiary American Eagle. Another pilot, Pedro Bottome, flew as a Citation X captain for Executive Jet Aviation.
Hamid Hashemi’s LAH Aviation Holdings purchased Avitat Boca Raton from Muvico Theaters on October 30. Avitat Boca Raton isn’t planning any short-term changes to its 17,000-sq-ft terminal and 75,000 sq ft of hangar space, but Hashemi is planning to build an on-premises high-end restaurant and an office building, according to an LAH spokesman.
Facing a serious financial crisis that threatens to force the company into bankruptcy, Safire Aircraft was evicted from its offices at Opa-Locka Airport in South Florida last month for failing to pay the rent after the would-be very-light-jet manufacturer fell three months behind in payments.
Florida FBO focuses
Plenty of FBOs at popular destinations offer movie rooms with giant projector screens, comfortable seating and popcorn machines, but Avitat Boca Raton at South Florida’s Boca Raton Airport might be the only FBO with its own movie theater. The FBO is located next door to the Muvico Palace 20, a movie theater famous for its stadium seating, full bar and dinner-plus-movie balcony auditoriums.
Bob Walesch since 1984 has held senior positions with four major FBOs and spearheaded the launches of two of them that are located on medium-size business-aviation airports near warm oceans. He’s now the v-p and general manager of the brand-new Avitat Boca Raton (Fla.), which opened late last year.