Swiss citizens have rejected their government’s plan to buy 22 Saab Gripen E combat aircraft in a referendum. The verdict was not unexpected, since recent opinion polls had shown a majority against the plan, despite its previous approval by the Swiss parliament. However, the “no” vote majority was only 53.4 percent. Under Switzerland’s unique version of democracy, many significant and/or controversial matters of public policy are decided in this way.
Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group is one of the oldest and most respected names in aerospace through its long history, consisting primarily of military work. While it has been involved in business aviation for many years, and has 40 years’ experience in performing MRO work on Cessna Citations, the group is now dramatically expanding its footprint in the sector.
Business aviation services group Comlux has strengthened its management team as it seeks to further differentiate itself from competitors in both the completions and refurbishment and aircraft management sectors. In an interview ahead of this week’s EBACE show, the Zurich, Switzerland-based group’s president and CEO Richard Gaona told AIN that Comlux will not be following the cost-cutting approach apparently favored by some competitors.
Comlux has increased its managed fleet to 19 jets with the addition of an Airbus ACJ318. The aircraft is based in the Middle East and will be operated by a European crew entirely for the private use of its undisclosed owner.
According to the group’s president and CEO, Richard Gaona, Comlux’s approval to operate under ETOPS 180 extended-range-over-water rules and conduct Cat IIIB approaches has been a key differentiator from rival management companies. For Airbus aircraft alone, the company has logged more than 12,000 flight hours over the past six years.
The Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has a new president and CEO, Jon Beatty, who until recently held the same positions with International Aero Engines. He comes to the aviation safety advocate with solid manufacturing industry experience, having begun his career as a quality engineer with Sikorsky. He was confirmed in his post in April and is now heading up FSF’s efforts to promote further advances in flight safety.
The Single European Sky ATM Research (Sesar) effort, the “technological pillar” of the future Single European Sky (SES) vision, has a new lease on life. In April, the European Parliament voted to extend the mission of the entity managing the research and development program, known as the Sesar Joint Undertaking (SJU), by eight years until 2024. The SJU expects the European Union Council of Ministers will approve the extension this summer.
A combination of growth from new business aviation markets such as the Middle East and Asia and recovery in the more mature markets of Europe and North America has inspired flight-training provider CAE to triple investments in facilities. Half of all investment is going into new simulators. The group has been adding these at a rate of two to four each year and expects to install another 25 new units at its worldwide locations over the next five years.
Alpha Star Aviation Services, the newest player in the Saudi private aviation market, provides flight operations, technical support, VIP flight-support services and administration, with a focus on air ambulance flights after being set up in 2010.
The problem with most aircraft towbars and tugs is that the operator can’t see what’s happening with the wingtips and tail, so extra personnel are always needed when moving an aircraft into a tight spot. Krefeld, Germany-based Mototok International (Booth 5539) has solved this by using a wireless remote-controlled tug system for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, which can be operated by one person standing at any spot while moving the aircraft.
The European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) provides clear benefits to the business aviation sector. With many business aircraft not specifically catered to by current air traffic management systems, more often than not they find themselves shut out of many key airports.
This is particularly true as Europe’s skies continue to become more and more crowded. As air traffic continues to grow, smaller airports must make themselves accessible at all times–something that cannot be done when relying solely on nonprecision approaches.