At NBAA, Business is Good

Orders strong, activity high — and the changing FBO sector remains a hot topic.

Van Allen continues to talk of the potential for a ‘Signature lite’ FBO model, which could include the FBO chain merely contracting to provide management services for another owner. That is a model which the Million Air chain of franchise FBOs has been exploring in recent years, and now has a track record with at Albany (NY) International. Comments Million Air president/CEO Roger Woolsey, “Albany is going very well. It’s a different model for us.” He says that the company expects to announce another three such management deals within the next six months.

Woolsey says Million Air, which has lately been placing an emphasis on new franchises, is in the process of creating a new partnership with an investor that could bring it more actively into the FBO acquisition arena.

NBAA Briefings ...

ADAM AIRCRAFT—unveils its new A700 interior, offering the largest cabin in its class with six- to seven-seat configurations. The interior also features seats that fold completely back, recline up to 20 percent, and come equipped with individual tables. A lavatory seat with private partition is also included.

ATLANTIC AVIATION—is now the largest network of FBOs with the completed acquisition of 24 Mercury Air Center locations and two facilities which had operated as the San Jose Jet Center. Atlantic Aviation now has 61 branded domestic sites.

AIR TAXI ASSOCIATION—is partnering with Virginia SATSLab, Inc., to promote its next generation air taxi focus in Virginia. Twelve target community airports will be able to use the Air Taxi Association’s Connect-IT system, designed to allow customers to find air taxis by destination.

BFB AERO SERVICES, LLC.—launches as a full-service staffing agency for aviation and aerospace sectors. The company will provide staff augmentation, contract-to-hire, and direct-hire opportunities.

BOMBARDIER AEROSPACE—announces firm orders by Aero Toy Store for two Learjet 60 XR aircraft and a Global Express XRS with the Global Vision flight deck.

CHARTERMATRIX.COM—launches its updated website to allow charter operators to post empty-leg travel in conjunction with booked flights on

ELLIOTT AVIATION—of Moline, IL introduces its new president/COO, Mick Harrison, a Bombardier ex, and profiles its new aircraft interior design center. Elliott also enters an agreement to retail AirBP fuels at its four Midwest FBOs.

EMBRAER—opens its first U.S. executive jet service centers for its Phenom and Legacy aircraft at Mesa, AZ and Hartford, CT.

EXCELAIRE—adds three new Gulfstream aircraft to its charter fleet, including the G-III, G450, and G-V. The FBO is also expanding into an additional 110,000-sq. ft. facility at MacArthur airport, creating the largest private jet facility on Long Island.

FBOOPS.COM—launches a free online aviation reservation system to help connect pilots, flight departments, and FBOs. The site database lists airports by destination, and FBOs by airport. FBOs that sign up to take reservations from the site are automatically listed on as well.

FLYCONTRACT.COM—adds contract mechanics available for contract employment to its directory.

HONDAJET—introduces a new interior concept emphasizing ergonomics and safety, as well as new exterior colors including silver, red, green, and yellow. Also introduced was the HondaJet sales and service dealer facilities, which will feature large hangars for service operations. HondaJet anticipates a first flight test of a conforming model in early 2009, with a type certification in 2010.

JETCRAFT CORP.—of Augusta, GA is named a distributor of Kollsman EVS-11 and AT-HUD systems via its Jetcraft Avionics division.

MEGADATA CORPORATION—launches Passur Fuel Portal™, an enhancement to Passur FBO™. The portal automatically calculates fuel uplift required per flight, along with aircraft and fleet activity history, for a guide to maximum volume and pricing at the point of sale. Amstat has also entered into a marketing agreement with Megadata, with Amstat owner/operator information being incorporated into some Passur products.

PIPER AIRCRAFT, INC.—selects Garmin Int’l to provide the avionics suite for its PiperJet now in design.

SATSAIR—surpasses the five million mile mark in ‘air cab’ passenger services

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