The FAA announced on Tuesday that the ADS-B network in the U.S. has been completed, with all 634 ground stations now online. “This upgrade is an important step in laying the foundation for the NextGen system, which provides air traffic controllers a much more precise view of the airspace, gives pilots much more awareness and information, and as a result strengthens the safety and efficiency of our system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This state-of-the-art satellite system is already providing controllers with visibility in places not previously covered by radar.”
Deer Jet, China’s largest fleet operator, has launched its “General Aviation Equity Fund,” with the goal of increasing investment in general aviation services, such as FBOs and MROs, in China. The fund is anticipated to generate 2 billion RMB in investment capital in the first round, towards a total of 5 billion RMB. Deer Jet announced the fund here at ABACE 2014
Lufthansa Technik will establish a new aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Puerto Rico for servicing short-haul and medium-haul aircraft. Agreements have now been signed with the government of Puerto Rico and the responsible port authority.
Lufthansa Technik plans to break ground on the new facility within the next three months.
Boca Raton, Fla.-based VAS Aero Services has named Tommy Hughes as chief commercial officer. Hughes, formerly senior vice president for sales and marketing for the company, is responsible for global assets and repair services, in addition to worldwide sales. During a 20-plus-year career in engine MRO services and sales, and before VAS, Hughes worked with Delta Air Lines tech ops, where he led engine maintenance and test cell operations for that airline and its third-party customers.
Lufthansa Technik of Hamburg, Germany (Booth H614) is showcasing two innovative products for VIP cabins here at ABACE 2014 in Shanghai: an “Aircraft Steam Generator System” for steam showers; and the “On Board Oxygen Generation System” which delivers an unlimited supply of therapeutic oxygen.
The steam generator facilitates installation of steam showers in VIP aircraft. The self-contained unit, which has an empty weight of 18 kg, does not need to be connected to the aircraft’s existing water system. Essential oils can be added to aromatize the room.
NetJets is preparing to launch its NetJets China business this summer, by which time it expects to receive Chinese government approval for an air operator certificate. It has also hired “key people” over the past few months in the run-up to the launch of NetJets’ Chinese joint-venture operation, NetJets Business Aviation, which initially will provide aircraft management services.
Piaggio Aero designated Tianjin International Airport-based Freesky Aviation as its first authorized service center in mainland China. Freesky, which also offers aircraft charter and management services, introduced the first Avanti II twin turboprop to China in 2012. According to Han Wenjun, Freesky’s vice president of maintenance, “We will provide comprehensive service to all Avanti operators and we will further expand the customer service network of Piaggio Aero.”
The piston-engine Baron twin and Bonanza single on display at the Beechcraft area of the static display did not arrive by magic or by freighter. The long trip from the factory in Wichita, Kansas, started a few weeks ago, and left the California coast on April 3.
Ferry pilots Chelsea “Abingdon” Welch and Jerry Clark took off from Tracy, California (KTCY) where oversize fuel tanks were installed. The Bonanza held a total of 268 gallons, the Baron about 400. That meant that Welch and Clark were taking off at approximately 30 percent above maximum gross weight.
China’s commercial aviation manufacturing sector is challenged to match Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier and Embraer in building large passenger jets. But it faces brighter prospects in building general aviation and business aircraft, according to a Rand study released last month.
Carey Matthews (left), general manager Shanghai Hawker Pacific Business Aviation Service Centre (SHPBASC, Booth H128) receives a plaque from Brad Thress, senior v-p Customer Service, Textron Aviation (Chalet 13), identifying SHPBASC as an authorized Cessna Service Center.
“We’re privileged to service Cessnas around China,” Matthews said.
Textron Aviation, which includes Cessna, Beechcraft, and support services for Hawker jets, no longer in production, has some 325 of its products in China, encompassing about 200 piston, 70 turboprop and 50 jet aircraft.