Bell Helicopter announced last month that it has reached a deal with Air Medical Group Holdings, the parent of helicopter EMS company Air Evac EMS, for 20 new Bell 206L-4 singles to be delivered between this year and 2017. The helicopters will be used to refresh and expand the fleet, according to Air Evac president Seth Myers. Air Evac’s Lifeteam currently operates more than 130 Bell 206 LongRangers and is the second-largest helicopter EMS provider in the U.S., behind Air Methods, with 115 bases in 15 states.
Lufthansa Technik subsidiary Bizjet International is expanding its FBO services at Tulsa International Airport with the refurbishment of one of its hangars into a new terminal. Expected to open this month, the relocated FBO in Hangar 29 on the north side of the airport will have more than 33,000 sq ft of heated aircraft storage space along with a 2,500-sq-ft terminal that will include a passenger lounge, onsite car rental, pilot lounge, kitchen, a large A/V-equipped conference room, snooze rooms, showers and crew courtesy cars.
In response to what it called urgent community and state members’ appeals, Southeast Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) announced in late December that it had begun preparations to place several of the routes once flown by the now defunct Brindabella Airlines onto its air operator certificate (AOC). Rex general manager of network strategy and sales Warrick Lodge said that routes not already on Rex’s AOC required approval from the country’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) before Rex could mount regular public transport air services to them.
Billed as the most advanced aircraft yet built by the UK aerospace industry, the BAE Systems Taranis UCAS demonstrator has also been one of the most elusive. Security surrounding the stealthy, unmanned combat air vehicle technology demonstrator has been extremely tight, with access strictly controlled. However, the UK government finally cleared BAE to release some details of the project this week, following the announcement on January 31 by the UK and France that cooperation on the next stage of a Future Combat Air System (FCAS) has been agreed.
Gulfstream Aerospace has enhanced its support for operators attending major U.S.-based events with the addition of its biggest and most capable Field and Airborne Support Teams (Fast) vehicle to date. The specially equipped 74-foot tractor trailer can support line-service repairs, engine exchanges, post-flight and storage inspections, unscheduled inspections and cabin interior repairs.
Daher-Socata appointed Okayama Air Service (OAS) a TBM service center in Japan. OAS was founded in 1988 for the maintenance of business aircraft in Japan. Today, the company offers charters, maintenance, hangar storage, fleet management and interior completion at Chuba, Haneda, Kohnan and Okayama airports.
The operator of Cambodia’s three international airports recently received more than $100 million for upgrades in an effort to accommodate strong passenger growth driven by the country’s nascent tourism industry.
Algerian flag carrier Air Algerie signed a purchase agreement last month covering three new ATR 72-600s. Valued at $74.1 million at current list prices, the contract calls for a cabin configuration featuring 68 passenger seats and first delivery during this year’s fourth quarter. The airline plans to start service with the first airplane by the end of the year and induct the others “through 2015.” Now flying 12 ATR 72-500s primarily on domestic and short regional routes, Air Algerie already ranks as the largest ATR operator in Africa.
Anchorage-based regional airline group Era Alaska officially renamed itself Ravn Alaska last month as part of a wider rebranding exercise accomplished over the past half-year. The three airlines that operate under the Era Alaska banner have also undergone a rebranding: ERA Aviation becomes Corvus Airlines, while Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service now fly under the name Ravn Connect.
The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) has partnered with the NextGen GA Fund to provide loans to general aviation aircraft owners and operators to help finance installation of NextGen equipment. The fund is managed by Nexa General Partnership, and the agreement will allow AEA member companies to offer access to loans when selling NextGen installations to customers.