For the first time since the end of 2006, quarterly deliveries of business jets, turboprops and piston-powered aircraft finished in the positive, according to first-quarter 2013 statistics released last month by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). “We are pleased to see a shift to the positive for GA airplanes, which extends across all airplane segments,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce.
In the space of less than 24 hours in late April, Congress passed a bill that staved off air traffic controller furloughs and produced “found” money to keep low-activity contract control towers operating. With lawmakers eying another vacation that would officially begin on April 27 and end on May 5, the Senate passed a measure on the night of April 25 that would prevent furloughs of essential FAA employees, including air traffic controllers.
Preliminary Report: Boeing Crashes Short of Runway
A legal battle is under way between the nation’s largest private aviation provider and two of the major FBO chains over whether NetJets’ aircraft charter and management arm, Executive Jet Management, can require the chains to provide fuel discounts to aircraft owners and operators whose aircraft are not part of the company’s fully managed fleet.
Just as cellphones, tablets and laptops have become ubiquitous in the cabins of passenger aircraft, so have they become more and more common in the cockpits of our aircraft.
At an unmanned vehicles forum in Bonn this week, EADS Cassidian was again promoting what it now calls a Future European Male (Female) system. But the prospects of a pan-European program to match or improve on Male (medium-altitude long-endurance) UAV offerings from Israel, the U.S. and elsewhere have receded. France has decided to buy two GA-ASI Reaper systems, and there are indications that the UK will retain its Reapers beyond 2015, rather than retire them upon leaving Afghanistan.
Everyone in general aviation (GA) seems happy that the U.S. Senate has introduced a bill to force the FAA to simplify Part 23 certification regulations, the Small Aircraft Revitalization Act of 2013 (S.1072) introduced by senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). According to NBAA, this bill and another introduced in the House of Representatives “would set a date for implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 23 Reorganization Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC) recommendations to adopt consensus-based, design-specific performance requirements to achieve FAA certification.”
Bombardier’s Flexjet subsidiary reported a strong first quarter, led by growth in new buyers as well as higher levels of activity by existing fractional-share, jet card and lease customers. In the first quarter, new business was up 83 percent, fractional share sales up 108 percent and jet card sales up 48 percent over the same period last year. “Our flying is not only up with all the new sales,” said Flexjet president Deanna White, “but also our existing customers are ramping up their flying time.
Dassault Falcon is in the process of reducing the price on more than 18,500 parts. According to the OEM, this campaign complements price reductions on more than 14,000 parts last year. A spokesman for the company said that until recently the focus has been on ensuring the ready availability and timely shipment of parts.
Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) has received Part 145 maintenance organization approval from the Russian State Centre of Aviation Flight Safety. The approval allows ACJC to perform base and line maintenance, light maintenance, heavy maintenance up to the six-year check and upgrades (Service Bulletin/EO embodiment on both airframe and systems), as well as aircraft modifications on Russian-registered A320-series aircraft. It also includes trouble-shooting worldwide.