Industry News

Briefings
aci-na — Airports Council International– North America president Greg Principato testifies before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Aviation on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2009 and expresses the need for increases in the passenger facility charge (PFC) cap and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding, to finance essential airport construction projects. Principato says that the current maximum PFC of $4.50 is worth only $2.46 today when construction cost inflation figures are applied; ACI-NA supports an increase to at least $7.50 with indexing for construction cost inflation.

  • The American Assn. of Airport Executives also offered similar testimony to the committee, calling for at least $200 million per year in Essential Air Service program funding, $35 million per year for the Small Community Air Service Development program, and retention of the $150,000 general aviation airport entitlement. AAAE also expresses concern about a provision in the bill that could force airports to comply with “excessive” National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards related to airport rescue and firefighting that it says would dramatically increase airport infrastructure and equipment costs with little benefit in terms of enhanced safety, while also leading to the loss of commercial air service at some smaller airports.

air 10 jet center — based at Cincinnati’s Lunken Field Airport forms a sister company, Reynolds Jet Management, to take over charter and jet management operations. The formation of Reynolds Jet Management is part of a long-term business strategy of rebranding the aviation service company.

allegiant air, llc — a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Company, will begin low-fare, non-stop jet service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) beginning May 1, to 12 markets already served by the carrier.

aopa — Aircraft Owners and Pilots Assn. president Craig L. Fuller testifies before Congress to support the new Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill introduced in the House of Representatives. Fuller says AOPA members strongly endorse a four-year authorization bill that provides much needed investment in safety, ATC modernization, FAA operations, airport improvements, and aviation research. Members also support the system of passenger transportation and general aviation fuel taxes in combination with general fund revenues to support FAA and the aviation system.The new FAA funding bill – The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R.915) – is nearly identical to H.R. 2881 in 2008.

astm int’l — of West Conshohocken, PA releases an updated edition of Manual 5, Aviation Fuel Quality Control Procedures featuring common procedures used by fuel handlers to assess and protect aviation fuel quality; www.astm.org.

branson (MO) airport — the first privately developed and operated commercial service airport in the U.S., announces that AirTran Airways will offer daily non-stop flights to General Mitchell Int’l Airport in Milwaukee. This is in addition to the previously announced daily service between Branson and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport. The new airport is expected to open May 11.

Brian foley associates — a business aviation consulting firm based in Sparta, NJ, projects reduced activity for the sector through 2009, with a turnaround beginning by mid-2010. In particular, the firm says that recent air taxi, charter, and fractional start-ups are particularly vulnerable to current business conditions. Says Foley, “We’ve all been bombarded with statistics of a 30-40 percent reduction in “normal” business jet flight activity. This translates directly to the vitality of these types of businesses.” Foley sees the activity decrease as temporary until financial markets stabilize.

Burbank-glendale-pasadena airport authority — adopts a Part 161 application for a proposed curfew at Bob Hope Airport, concluding a study process that has lasted over eight years and cost in excess of $6.5 million. The study results, which present the first application to the FAA since the advent of the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990, call for an airport access restriction that would apply to Stage 3 aircraft.

cape air — based in Hyannis, MA announces new air service to Baltimore-Washington Int’l Airport with four daily round trips from Hagerstown, MD and five trips from Lancaster, PA with round-trip fares starting at $89.

cessna aircraft co. — a Textron Inc. company based in Wichita, launches the “No Worries” pre-owned Citation sales program for U.S. and international retail customers. Those who purchase an eligible pre-owned Citation from Cessna through July 2 will have an option that provides a guaranteed repurchase or trade-in price.

  • Cessna also announces the grand opening of its Mesa Citation Service Center at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. The 101,000-square foot facility includes 62,400-square feet of hangar space along with office and backshop areas.

dane county regional airport — in Madison, WI opens a new car rental kiosk area that sports 50 electricity-producing solar panels on the canopy above six enclosed kiosks. Project includes a new 2,000-square foot exit toll plaza, with six gates and parking administration office, built to LEED certification standards.

federal stimulus package — the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act passed by Congress contains $200 million for FAA facilities and equipment and $1.1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program. The bill requires that priority be given to funding FAA and airport projects that can be completed within two years. The legislation also expands the accelerated depreciation rules enacted in last year’s stimulus bill to apply accelerated depreciation to eligible property purchased in 2009 and placed in service by the end of 2010. The legislation requires any recipient of Troubled Assets Relief Program funds to have a board of directors-approved policy regarding certain expenditures, which could include the use of business aircraft.

GAMA — General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. joins with other aviation industry groups to issue a paper outlining a set of principles to address aviation and climate change. The paper, entitled “Aviation and Climate Change: The Views of Aviation Industry Stakeholders”, outlines general principles for policymakers and others to adhere to, including the importance of cost-benefit and scientific analysis, the preeminent role of the International Civil Aviation Organization, and the need for a comprehensive energy policy. Industry groups call for air traffic control modernization and operational improvements to be accelerated, and for enhanced government participation for new technologies and alternative fuels research; visit
www.gama.aero.

  • GAMA also releases its 2008 year-end numbers for aircraft manufcturing, showing that worldwide shipments of general aviation airplanes decreased for the first time in five years. The numbers show a 20.8 percent drop in piston deliveries, down to 2,119 from 2,675 the year before. Turboprop deliveries grew 16.6 percent compared to 2007, and business jets were up by 15.6 percent. Industry billings grew by 13.4 percent to $24.8 billion. The numbers reflect the fulfillment of orders placed for turboprops and business jets during 2006 and 2007, according to GAMA.

glidepath — of Dallas is awarded the contract to design, manufacture, and install a new integrated baggage handling and security screening system at Nashville Int’l Airport. The $32 million project is due for completion in 2010; Gresham, Smith and Partners, and local contractor Messer Construction Co., are also involved.

greater rockford (IL) airport authority — obtains approval to expand and reorganize its foreign trade zone. The net increase is just over 400 acres for a total approved acreage of almost 3,620.

hawker beechcraft corp. — based in Wichita, in its latest advertising campaign, reaches out to corporations who are under intense pressure to divest their business aircraft. In the first of a series of advertisements, HBC pens an open letter to Starbucks sharing support for the company’s business aircraft needs via the headline, “Dear Starbucks, You Still Need To Fly. We’re Here To Help.” HBC’s advertising campaign is appearing in national business publications including The Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Financial Times and others.

iata — International Air Transport Association based in Geneva reports December global international cargo traffic plummeted by 22.6 percent compared to December 2007. The same comparison for international passenger traffic showed a 4.6 percent drop. For the full-year 2008, international cargo traffic was down 4 percent, passenger traffic showed a modest increase of 1.6 percent.

lambert-st. louis int’l airport — announces the approval of an expanded Foreign-Trade Zone by 820 acres. The expanded FTZ includes four sites: (1) NorthPark, a 550-acre redevelopment tract located east of Lambert; (2) Hazelwood Commerce Center, a 170-acre industrial park northwest of Lambert; (3) Lindbergh Distribution Center, a 528,000-sq. foot distribution center northwest of Lambert; and (4) a 750-acre airport-owned tract adjacent to Lambert’s airfield. Lambert is part of the newly created Midwest China Hub Commission (MCHC), a group that represents St. Louis government and business interests and which is working with the Chinese to establish the St. Louis region as a multi-state commercial hub for China.

lexington (KY) blue grass airport — announces that runway 8-26, the runway that was mistakenly used by the pilot of ill-fated Comair Flight 5191 in August 2006, will be permanently closed. A new runway will be constructed in an east-west orientation (runway 9/27).

midcoast aviation — at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Illinois opens a 7,200-sq. ft. green completions delivery center and a new 18,000-sq. ft. technology center. The new technology center houses Midcoast’s engineering and certification staff of 140.

nbaa — National Business Aviation Assn. teams up with the General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. to relaunch its corporate aviation advocacy campaign, “No Plane No Gain.” The program, initially launched in 1993, will utilize a multi-faceted approach, including a new website, www.noplanenogain.org, which underscores the importance of business aviation and provides resources for the business aviation community.

  • Testifying before the House Aviation Subcommittee, NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen challenges critics who have questioned the value of business aviation. Says Bolen, “It’s dangerous because it’s costing jobs. It’s dangerous because it is threatening an entire manufacturing base. It’s dangerous because it is taking away a tool many companies absolutely rely on to remain competitive and survive.”

opa-locka executive airport — tenants petition President Obama to remove the airport from Miami-Dade County and to place it under an independent authority. Obtained in 1961 through the federal surplus properties program, it was once the busiest airport in the nation. Six tenants have filed federal discrimination complaints against the county as well as lawsuits, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has overturned in one case the FAA’s no discrimination decision by the county. Group expresses concerns of racial discrimination and retaliation by the county against minority tenants, including the pending eviction from the airport of Opa-Locka Flight Line, an African-American owned fixed base operation.

pride business development holdings, inc. — of New Orleans, a manufacturer of defense and homeland security material supplied to the U.S. government and its allies, announces the formation of US Aerospace, which will offer an improved solution for the expedited restoration of crisis impaired military and commercial runways.

san diego int’l airport — reports on the results of a blue-ribbon panel looking into the overhaul of Lindbergh Field. The Ad Hoc Airport Regional Policy Committee recommends an estimated $5 billion to $11 billion in improvements through 2030, including the relocation of most passenger services to Lindbergh’s north side. The concept now goes to the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Association of Governments for consideration.

sebring (FL) flight center — is now under the management of ABS Aviation Management Services, which took over all day-to-day activities including customer relations, training, safety, fuel quality control, ordering, and pricing.

7th national aviation system planning symposium — will be held May 3-5, 2009 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds on the California coast near Monterey. The symposium is being organized by the Transportation Research Board Committee on Aviation System Planning in cooperation with the California Dept. of Transportation, and will provide a forum for the broad range of stakeholders involved in planning the future aviation system to explore the challenges and opportunities of the next decade and beyond. For more information, visit: www.av020.cee.vt.edu/NASPS/.

teledyne continental motors — of Mobile, AL is recalling 9,600 cylinders from piston aircraft engines because the company has found a metal-casting problem that can cause the cylinder heads to crack. The company expects the recall to cost as much as $18 million, as pilots bring planes in to have cylinders replaced with new ones over the next year. The company will also destroy some unused cylinders.

tsa — Transportation Security Administration’s proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) is challenged by general aviation trade associations, including AOPA, NBAA, EAA, and GAMA, which request that the agency halt its work on a plan to impose airline-like security on general aviation, and form a rulemaking committee that would allow TSA to work directly with industry to identify effective, less burdensome security enhancements. LASP would require anyone who operates an aircraft with a maximum weight exceeding 12,500 lbs. to, among other things, perform criminal background checks on all flight crew members, vet all passengers, even family members, against terrorist watch lists, and submit to biennial audits of their security arrangements by a third-party auditor.

Focus on Service

A new book, Building A Customer Service Culture — The Seven Service Elements of Customer Success, is available from Service Elements of Scottsdale, AZ. The book is co-authored by aviation services specialist Bob Hobbi of Service Elements and Mario Martinez of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

The book is based on years of experience that the co-authors and others within their company have had with hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees on strategies and programs for improving customer service. Many of these companies are within the business and general aviation industry.
For information, visit www.serviceelements.com.

At Expo: ‘Doing Business Globally’

The 12th annual Aviation Industry Expo, scheduled for March 10-12 in Las Vegas, announces the addition of a special session, Doing Business Globally.

The special session will be presented by the director of U.S. Commercial Service’s Las Vegas/NV Export Center, Andrew Edelfsen, who acts as the U.S. Department of Commerce’s point of contact for Nevada companies with export-related and international business-related questions. Attendees of this seminar will learn what the U.S. government is currently doing to help aerospace companies grow their business internationally.

Aviation Industry Expo 2009, which focuses on ground support, aviation services, and aircraft maintenance, expects some 5,000 aviation professionals from nearly 50 countries. It is put on by Cygnus Expositions, a division of Cygnus Business Media, Inc., parent of AIRPORT BUSINESS. For information, visit www.aviationindustryexpo.com.

Recapturing History in New Orleans

New Orleans Lakefront Airport, still in the midst of reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina, has begun the restoration of its 1934 Art Deco terminal, the first combined land-sea air terminal in the United States that preceded the opening of the famous New York LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal by almost one year.

Only a handful of Art Deco air terminals from the “Golden Age of Aviation” that served the United States in the 1930s and through World War II have been preserved. The Lakefront Terminal Building and its two adjacent original hangars make up one of the oldest and most historic aviation properties in the country.

Owned by the Orleans Levee District, Non-Flood Assets under the Louisiana Division of Administration, the airport is currently undergoing a massive restoration and rebuilding including four new aircraft hangars replacing those destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The historic terminal building is being restored to its original 1934 design.

Loading