The FAA has given the green light to AAR for its new aircraft maintenance facility in Duluth, Minn. The addition of the Duluth facility increases AAR’s worldwide aircraft maintenance capacity by approximately 10 percent. Duluth joins AAR facilities in Indianapolis; Oklahoma City; Miami; and Hot Springs, Ark., as part of the company’s nationwide “1MRO” network.
Geography of the United States
A 12-day visit to China by a trade delegation from Wichita got off to a somewhat rocky start on Sunday when a scheduled meeting with Hawker Beechcraft suitor Superior Aviation Beijing was cancelled abruptly due to “sensitivity of the ongoing negotiations.” Superior Aviation submitted a bid in July to purchase bankrupt Hawker Beechcraft for $1.79 billion but an exclusivity period for negotiations granted by the court expired on September 1.
In another example of the government’s pushback against laser threats to aviation, a federal grand jury in Jacksonville, Fla., indicted John Tyler Pennywitt on October 5. He was accused of shining a handheld laser pointer at a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office helicopter on the night of June 3, 2012. Pennywitt was indicted under a section of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 that makes it a federal crime to aim a laser at an aircraft, or even into the path of an aircraft.
A business delegation from Wichita, headed by Mayor Carl Brewer, plans an extensive trip to the People’s Republic of China, and the possible sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing is likely to be a subject of discussions there. While examining business relationships and renewal of the sister-city relationship with Kaifeng, Brewer said he expects to meet with Superior Aviation chairman Cheng Shenzong on Sunday.
Bombardier Learjet workers in Wichita represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) went on strike early yesterday morning, following a vote on Saturday to reject a proposed labor agreement. Members of IAM Local 639 overwhelmingly rejected Bombardier’s proposal, with 79 percent opposed to the five-year offer. An equal number of union members authorized a strike, setting the stage for the walkout yesterday.
For U.S. Gulf Coast residents history repeated itself at the end of August when Hurricane Isaac struck, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore and nearly drowned New Orleans. The storm caused the temporary closure of several area airports and forced others to declare “ATC-zero” status due to tower shutdowns or other lapses in contact with ATC.
As progress continues on the construction of the first flight-test Bombardier Learjet 85, the airframer said this week that it sees a niche for a smaller follow-on model of the all-composite midsize jet. “I think there is an opportunity between the 75 and the 85,” Learjet vice president and general manager Ralph Acs told journalists this week during a media event. “Our entire notion all along has been that you can come up with a platform and then you spin that to other things.”
Signature Flight Support and NetJets broke ground today on a 10,000-sq-ft dedicated passenger terminal solely for NetJets customers at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida. The $13 million facility, which will open in the second half of next year, is being developed under a partnership between the FBO chain and fractional provider. Attending the event were Signature and NetJets executives, local elected officials and a half dozen students enrolled in the aviation program at the nearby Boynton Beach Community High School.
Cadorath Group and Meridian Aviation Consulting have joined forces to establish Meridian Helicopters. The company will focus on providing reworked parts distribution support as well as consulting, brokering and technical support for the global Bell Helicopter network.
In response to a request by Hawker Beechcraft seeking a 120-day extension of the exclusive period during which only the company can file a reorganization plan, a judge in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York today agreed to maintain exclusivity through the end of February.