Skybus redux: here comes jetamerica, the new low-fare carrier
A new low-cost airline will begin serving mid-sized U.S. cities that it thinks larger carriers have left behind. Clearwater, Fla.-based JetAmerica says 34 nonstop passenger flights a week will start July 13 at Toledo, OH; South Bend, IN; Melbourne, FL; Newark; Minneapolis; and Lansing, MI. Twenty-eight flights start or end at Newark Liberty Int’l Airport. The carrier will add six more flights -- from Toledo to Minneapolis -- starting Aug. 14. JetAmerica is targeting small and midsize cities like Lansing, which has seen the number of daily flights at its Capital Region Int’l Airport fall from 35 to 12 the past five years.
The Lansing, South Bend, Melbourne, and Toledo airports reportedly are subsidizing JetAmerica with $1.4 million in grants in its first year, along with about $867,000 in waived airport fees and $1.1 million in marketing and advertising assistance. The airports received their grants from the U.S. DOT’s Small Community Air Service Development Program. Newark and Minneapolis are not offering assistance. Prices will start at $9 a seat and top out at $199.
John Weikle, chief executive of JetAmerica, founded the Columbus, OH-based Skybus last year.
Babbitt confirmed as next faa administrator
In May, J. Randolph “Randy” Babbitt was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. Babbitt has been involved in aviation policymaking for several years. He began his career as a commercial airline pilot for Eastern Air Lines and is a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, and is the founder and former president of Eclat Consulting, which provides strategic, analytical, and financial consulting for regulatory, legislative, and business initiatives in aviation. Babbitt most recently was a partner in the aviation practice of the international management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. He has also served on several governmental panels studying the ways in which air safety can be advanced.
Babbitt becomes the FAA’s 16th Administrator.
Appeals court rules against Santa Monica
A federal appeals court has upheld a legal order obtained by FAA that blocks the city of Santa Monica, CA from banning certain business aircraft from its municipal airport until the FAA’s review of the restriction is complete. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals left in place a preliminary injunction sought by the FAA in U.S. District Court last year. The federal justices indicated that Santa Monica was unlikely to prevail when the FAA rules on whether to reject the city’s jet ban.
Santa Monica has sought to prohibit jets with landing speeds of 138-191 mph from using the airport, which lies amid residential and commercial areas. Santa Monica officials argued that the preliminary injunction shouldn’t have been issued by the lower court because FAA failed to grant the city a hearing and did not rule on the ban’s legality before taking steps to block it.
Lahood puts a stop to new york slot auctions
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announces that the federal government is dropping a proposal from the Bush Administration that would have redistributed takeoff and landing slots at New York LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports. DOT, in attempting to deal with congestion at those airports, proposed taking away some slots from incumbent carriers and auctioning off a lesser number of slots to other airlines.
The Air Transport Association and the airlines were able to hold up its implementation in federal court. LaHood said in a New York speech that the Obama administration was dropping the idea. “We’re still serious about tackling aviation congestion in the New York region,” comments LaHood. “I’ll be talking with airline, airport, and consumer stakeholders, as well as elected officials, over the summer about the best ways to move forward.”
In a press release DOT points out that most comments on the proposal opposed the slot auction. Notable among the opponents was the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates the facilities.
allegiant air — inaugurates non-stop service from Des Moines Int’l Airport to Los Angeles Int’l Airport, offering a special $99 one-way fare.
AOPA — Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn. president Craig Fuller, who also serves as head of the Int’l Council of Aircraft Owners & Pilot Associations (IAOPA), promotes general aviation at a Montreal meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The biggest single threat facing GA, says Fuller, “comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of general aviation, which in turn leads to inappropriate operating and equipment requirements, unreasonable fee structures, and impossible security regulations.”
asig — an aviation services provider based in Orlando, begins complete ground handling services for Allegiant Air’s new operation at Los Angeles Int’l Airport (LAX), including ramp handling, cabin cleaning, aircraft fueling, and passenger handling services to Allegiant’s 28 weekly flights.
Baa cleveland — developer of the AIRMALL® at CLE, announces the addition of a Johnston & Murphy store, which opened earlier this month near the Concourse B Security Checkpoint.
• BAA Cleveland also enters a lease agreement with Cleveland Partners, LLC, which will introduce an enhanced, brand-approved version of the Great Lakes Brewing Company restaurant and bar in the AIRMALL®, bringing more regional flavor.
Baa ltd. — which operates airports in London, U.K., confirms that Citigroup Inc.’s consortium has been eliminated from the auction for Gatwick Airport, leaving just two bidders still in the running. Citi’s infrastructure fund was bidding jointly with Vancouver Airport and John Hancock Life Insurance Co. under the name Lysander Gatwick Investment Group. BAA is owned by Spain’s Grupo Ferrovial SA (FER.MC).The two remaining bidders are Global Infrastructure Partners, which includes London City airport owners General Electric Co. and Credit Suisse Group; and a group comprising Manchester Airports Group and Borealis Infrastructure, part of pension fund Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System.
Business travel coalition — of Radnor, PA, in the aftermath of NTSB hearings examining the Colgan Air crash, transmits a letter to Congress signed by 65 corporate travel buyers, labor organizations, travel management companies, and industry organizations to call for the formulation of a national air transportation policy that appropriately articulates public policy expectations regarding optimizing safety and minimizing cost in the U.S. aviation system.
cargo airport services usa, llc — is awarded the cargo warehouse and ramp handling contract with China Airlines at Dallas/Fort Worth Int’l and George Bush Intercontinental airports. China Airlines, headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, operates a fleet of 67 aircraft that includes 47 passenger jets and 20 B747-400F freighters, serving 73 destinations in 26 countries.
cavotec msl — reports its airports market unit has won a series of orders for in-ground fueling systems from airports in Canada and the U.S., including Chicago O’Hare, Hartsfield-Jackson, and Edmonton Int’l. Cavotec MSL, based in Lugano, Switzerland, is a global engineering group supplying environmentally friendly systems to the maritime, airports, mining, and general industry sectors.
century crm — of Peachtree City, GA develops its first human factors program for Training Port, a Canadian-based company providing online training for professional pilots in Canada. Century CRM specializes in aircrew training in the field of human factors and crew resource management; www.centurycrm.com.
cessna aircraft co. — a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company based in Wichita, announces it has delivered the 200th Citation Mustang, with the aircraft going to Maritime Air Charters.
• Cessna receives FAA approval for its flight instructor safety stand down, a first for any aircraft original equipment manufacturer. The safety stand down is a training seminar designed for flight instructors, flight instructor candidates, and commercial pilots who have an interest in becoming flight instructors. The first-ever Cessna Flight Instructor Safety Stand Down is scheduled for June 13-14 in San Diego; www.cessnaElearning.com.
• Cessna also announces that its U.S. Citation Service Centers now accept Avfuel Charge Cards and Cessna Contract Fuel Cards from Avfuel Corp.
city of st. louis — awards Kwame Building Group (KWAME) a contract to provide construction management on a runway and taxiway rehabilitation and reconstruction project at Lambert-St. Louis Int’l Airport. KWAME, a St. Louis-based construction management firm, will provide construction management and quality assurance material testing on a runway and three taxiways. The project will begin May 1, 2009, and is expected to be completed November 30, 2010. KWAME previously led the SPK Team, which managed the $1 billion Lambert-St. Louis Int’l Airport expansion, completed in 2006.
d4cost — of Tampa, FL offers a Green Building Estimating Library on CD containing cost data from 59 LEED® and sustainable projects. The CD contains square-footage cost information on projects ranging from commercial, industrial, office to government and civic projects. CD is available for $49.95 at www.bookworkz.com.
dane county regional airport — at Madison, WI receives LEED® Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for its new exit plaza and parking administration building. The new, 2,000-sq. ft. exit plaza has six gates and adjoins a new, 3-story parking ramp which adds 1,200 close-in ramp parking spaces and is connected to the existing 4-story ramp. Noteworthy green practices:
• 86 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills into recycling programs;
• 43 percent of construction supplies and products were made from recycled materials;
• High-efficiency plumbing fixtures provide a 35% reduction in potable water use;
• A white roof with a high-solar reflectance was installed to reduce heat absorption;
• Native landscaping was installed that does not require permanent irrigation systems;
• The building design and use of glazing maximizes natural daylight.
dfw int’l airport — announces that Yangtze River Express will land at DFW International Airport four times weekly beginning May 22. The Shanghai-based cargo carrier is a joint-venture company of China Airlines and HNA. The new service will bring an estimated $20 million in new economic benefit to the North Texas region, and will connect to Shanghai’s Pudong Int’l Airport via LAX.
dhl — begins direct talks with Ohio and Wilmington area officials about the possibility of publicly donating, for economic redevelopment, the company’s Wilmington airport where DHL is phasing out its U.S. cargo hub operations, according to reports. DHL is moving its remaining Wilmington operations to Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport during the July-September quarter this year.
direct air — a Myrtle Beach, SC-based air service provider, resumes nonstop flights from the Rickenbacker Charter Terminal in Columbus, OH to Myrtle Beach, offering twice-weekly flights.
ebace — the ninth European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland attracts its third-largest attendance ever, with 10,917 registered delegates. EBACE is hosted by the European Business Aviation Assn. and the National Business Aviation Assn. Some 411 Exhibitors occupying approximately 1,900 booth spaces were also on hand, along with a Static Display of aircraft at nearby Geneva Int’l Airport that included 65 business aircraft, up from 60 the previous year.
edmonton int’l airport — offers a program for trades and other suppliers to learn about the airport’s $1-billion Expansion 2012 program. The Meet and Greet program provides companies with a better idea of the scope and nature of work available at EIA, both for Expansion 2012 and in the future.
export-import bank of the u.s. — authorizes a $500 million direct-loan facility to provide the funds to assist Textron Inc. in financing the exports of two of its companies, Cessna Aircraft Company and Bell Helicopter Textron. The $500 million facility will enable Textron to continue to provide financing to international customers that take delivery of new Cessna aircraft and Bell commercial helicopters by December 2010. The repayment term of the Ex-Im Bank facility is 10 years.
hudson group — of East Rutherford, NJ and its partners have been awarded an extension of their current contract at Las Vegas McCarran Int’l Airport. The Clark County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the airport staff recommendation to extend the lease to 2020. Lease includes 22 newsstands and specialty retail shops, encompassing some 20,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Hudson began operations in the airport in 2003.
iata — International Air Transport Assn. calls on governments to deliver a global and sectoral approach to reducing aviation emissions in Kyoto 2, in a statement to the World Business Summit on Climate Change in Copenhagen. IATA calls on governments to define a sectoral approach in Kyoto 2 with global accounting for aviation’s emissions through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and open access for airlines to properly regulated carbon markets. Such an approach would maintain a level playing field for all airlines and replace overlapping national and regional schemes, says IATA. It says a global approach is already underpinned with three industry targets: 1) a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency by 2020, compared to 2005; 2) to use 10 percent alternative fuels by 2017; and 3) a 50 percent absolute reduction in emissions by 2050.
jet aviation — leases a new hangar facility at Brazil’s Sorocaba Airport as part of the company’s aircraft management services expansion in the region, with the new site in close proximity to the city center of Sao Paulo. Jet Aviation will initially provide hangar space for its clients, and the location will serve as a parts storage and distribution facility for aircraft operators.
john bell williams airport — in Raymond, MS receives a grant from the MS DOT for a new business aviation 100x100-ft. storage hangar, which will be designed by Airport Development Group, Inc. of Jackson, MS. The $700,000 building will have an additional 1,000 square feet of office space.
martinair — announces it will resume operations at Orlando Int’l Airport (MCO) starting October 15th, offering three non-stop flights per week between Orlando and Amsterdam in the Netherlands with connections to Europe and the Middle East.
nbaa — National Business Aviation Assn. president and CEO Ed Bolen testifies before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security that the general aviation community remains committed to continued progress toward a Next Generation Air Traffic Control (NextGen) system.
pogo group — of Chicopee, MS reports that several former POGO Jet leaders have formed a new company to consult with companies or individuals wishing to enter or expand within the aviation marketplace. POGO Jet, Inc. was founded in 2004 with the objective of operating very light jets in a large-scale, low-cost, on-demand air taxi service. The company recently closed its doors and returned its remaining seed capital to investors. POGO Group will offer financial, strategic, and operational services to aviation interests.
rolland vincent assoc. — of Dallas is formed by Rolland ‘Rollie’ Vincent, who led the strategy team at Cessna involved in establishing the CitationShares fractional ownership program and facilitated Cessna’s integrated product planning team in the definition stages of the Citation Sovereign, XLS, CJ2/3/4, and Mustang aircraft. He also logged time with Bombardier and Flexjet. Company offers business aviation consulting services; www.rollandvincent.com.
schubach aviation — a San Diego air charter firm with operations at Palomar Airport and Lindberg Field, adds a Learjet 35 to its fleet of 20 aircraft.
standard aero — at Maryville, TN receives final certification to perform maintenance, repair, and overhaul services on Hamilton Sundstrand’s APS 2300 Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).
• StandardAero at Tempe, AZ is granted an extension of its Designated Overhaul Facility license to include the PW127M engine. Addition of the PW127M to its existing platform of Pratt & Whitney engine services expands StandardAero’s capabilities to perform MRO services on the ATR42-500, ATR72-500, ATR42-600, and ATR72-600 series turboprop aircraft; all powered by the PW127M engine.
t.f. green airport — in Warwick, RI, reports that FAA is backing a plan to extend the airport’s main runway, adding 1,600 feet to the 7,100-ft. runway, which would allow direct flights from T.F. Green to West Coast destinations.
tinicum township — and Delaware County in Pennsylvania file a lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia regarding the acquisition of land to expand Philadelphia Int’l Airport. The complaint seeks a declaratory judgment to uphold a Pennsylvania statute that would require the City of Philadelphia to seek the consent of Tinicum Township and Delaware County prior to purchasing any land located in either. The complaint arises out of the proposed Capacity Enhancement Plan (CEP) at PHL, which calls for the acquisition of land within Tinicum Township to expand airport operations. The lawsuit alleges that the proposed purchase of land would displace some 300 residents in 72 homes.
the sunborne companies —at Centennial InterPort™ in Englewood, CO announce the completion of a lease transaction with the sysRAND Corp., which will occupy approximately 2,400 sq. ft. of office space located at Centennial’s InterPort Boulevard Office/Hangar Facility. sysRAND is an aerospace/aviation company that performs research and development of specialty systems and low-energy industrial processes.
tsa — Transportation Security Administration is scrapping the ‘puffer’ bomb-detection technology, in part because of high maintenance costs for the 94 machines currently deployed at 37 U.S. airports. The agency spent some $30 million for 207 machines, which have incurred about $6 million in maintenance costs since introduced in 2004.
tucson int’l airport — debuts its Prickly Paws Pet Stop, a landscaped lounge area next to its Concourse P, for pet owners.
vivaaerobus — ceases operations at Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport effective June 1, 2009. Carrier cites a key reason for the cutback is the outbreak of the swine flu virus that caused an unprecedented rise in the level of American passenger cancellations.
Hangar 10 opens for business at mkc
The new Hangar 10 aviation services complex at the Kansas City, MO Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC) officially opened for business in mid-May. Hangar 10, which broke ground in January on a 91,000-sq. ft. unique aviation services complex, is currently operating from a temporary facility located on ten acres at the northwest end of the airfield. A new 40,000-gallon fuel farm has been installed and an extensive ramp is in place built to accommodate aircraft up to a Boeing BBJ.
When completed, the complex will feature a 28,000-sq. ft. executive terminal that is designed to be a distinct cultural departure from traditional fixed base operations. It will feature several pilot overnight rooms that double as day quarters complete with desk, entertainment center, private bath/shower, a fold-down bed, and a fitness center. The complex will also incorporate three hangar bays totaling 56,000 square feet with two of the bays capable of handling Gulfstream 650 and Global Express sized aircraft.
At long last, development at opa locka
After years of stalled development and declining aircraft operations, Miami’s Opa-locka Executive Airport (OPF) recently unveiled the first of two facilities on a 180-acre plot of land under development by investment firm AVE, LLC. AVE’s completed projects include a 478,000-square foot mail sorting facility for the U.S. Postal Service and a 151,000-square foot aircraft warehouse with space available for lease.
In February 2007, the County entered into a 55-year development lease agreement with AVE for development of a 180-acre tract that required AVE to invest $187 million of development over the next ten years. One-third of the development will consist of aeronautical-related facilities and the remaining will include industrial and retail space.
Meanwhile, J.P. Aviation Investments (JPAI) is actively constructing aviation facilities on 40 acres of land at OPF, including a five-bay, 31,500-square foot corporate hangar under a sub-lease agreement with Turnberry Aviation. Two of the five-bay corporate hangars were completed in 2007 and construction of the remaining hangars is ongoing. JPAI is also constructing a new 656,269-square foot fixed base operator facility for private jet operations.
Burbank Considers Transit Center
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, owner and operator of Bob Hope Airport, has retained Ricondo and Associates for a fee of $94,450 to undertake an initial environmental review of a proposed regional intermodal transit center that would provide access at a single point for air transport, Amtrak rail, Metrolink rail, buses, and rental cars.
“With this energy-efficient solar-powered transit center in place, public transit by rail and bus becomes an efficient, convenient means to get to and from the airport, and it will be a key step in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution on local city streets,” says authority president Bill Wiggins. “We also anticipate improved bus service to more destinations, as well as dedicated parking for rail travelers at the Airport Train Station,” Wiggins adds. The proposed transit center would be sited directly across from the Bob Hope Airport Train Station, which is served by Metrolink and Amtrak trains. An elevated and covered moving sidewalk would convey arriving and departing passengers between the airport terminal and the transit center, facilitating access without using shuttle buses.
The project includes construction of a publicly accessible compressed natural gas facility to supply CNG to airport shuttle buses and CNG-powered private automobiles.
TSA Revises GA Security Directive
On May 28, the Transportation Security Administration released Security Directive 1542-04-08G (SD), which modifies security protocols for transient and after-hours pilots flying into commercial service airports, beginning June 1, 2009.
Comments NBAA in a statement, “The agency’s willingness to address our most pressing concerns gives us optimism that, over time, TSA officials will remain ready to discuss additional, unforeseen, and unexpected effects of the program so that it does not become an impediment to operations.”
According to NATA, the effect of the S.D. on the GA pilot community depends upon the following:
1) For home-based pilots, the badging requirements apply if the person has leased space or is part of a tenant program, unless alternate measures have been approved by the airport operator. An example of an alternative measure would be an escort program.
2) For transients, they will not be required to have airport badges or background checks from any of the non-home-based airports they visit. Transient pilots are advised to remain in the footprint of their aircraft and to and from a service provider or airport exit.