THE BBJ'S IMPACT
Executive Jet heads up effort to establish service guidelines for large corporate aircraft
By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director
COLUMBUS, OH — In March, Executive Jet (EJ) held a meeting with several leading fixed base operators, Boeing, and others interested in the impact that new, larger corporate aircraft will have on FBO line operations. EJ soon will begin taking delivery of Boeing Business Jets (BBJ) in its fractional fleet and needs to address concerns specific to their handling at its home base and at other airfields.
The goal, says Steven Galett, BBJ chief pilot for EJ, was to gain and share an understanding of the impact of large aircraft — not just the BBJ — on facilities and services, and then look to develop related industry standards.
"We're on the leading edge of a wave of large aircraft," he says.
The new, larger corporate aircraft bring with them equipment needs and procedures that may exceed what many FBOs currently have in place. Also, a concern at many airports is whether or not the surface areas can handle such large aircraft, says Galett. Because of that, EJ has solicited and continues to ask for assistance from airport directors, particularly at smaller commercial and general aviation airports.
Explains Galett, "Our intent here is to establish a database, much like the airlines do, on airports. We're going to push for actual engineering data on airports, especially regarding ramps, because often they aren't the same capacity as runways."
Many airports will need to be assessed on a case by case basis, says Galett, because frequently the necessary engineering documentation isn't available. EJ is finding that may be true even if the airport is currently serving commercial traffic.
EJ officials will be seeking input from operators at the upcoming NATA/AS3 convention in Tampa in May. Galett says interested FBOs, airport managers, and others should contact Alan Ball, EJ's manager, fleet support, at (614) 239-4873.