Industry News

Sept. 29, 2010

President Obama announces robust and reformed transportation infrastructure plan

President Barack Obama on Sept. 6 unveiled a massive new infrastructure spending proposal that will encompass airports and air-traffic control modernization. Greg Principato, president of Airports Council International-North America, comments in AIRPORT BUSINESS’ weekly blog, “It’s not three cheers — it’s sort of one and a half or two cheers. Infrastructure was deemed as important, and airports were seen as part of that; I will hold the third cheer until we see the details.”

FAA proposed policy on Through-The-FEnce access

The proposed policy will affect the way the FAA deals with airport sponsors that have allowed or are planning to allow for residential through-the-fence (RTTF) access to the airfield, says NATA. The association’s position is that RTTF agreements limit the flexibility of airport sponsors to meet future needs, and that FAA has made an overwhelming case for prohibiting new RTTF agreements and supports the proposal.

Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports, comments, “AOPA has always advocated for a flexible approach to determining future access. Through-the-fence operations can play a vital role in helping airports thrive.”

United wins antitrust approval to buy Continental

The approval from the U.S. Justice Department paves the way for United and Continental to merge, creating the world’s largest airline. In May, United parent UAL Corp. said it would buy Continental for $3.17 billion in an all-stock deal. The combined carrier would be known as United Airlines and be based in Chicago. Continental CEO Jeff Smisek is set to be head of the combined carrier.

Briefings ...

ACSF — Million Air-Salt Lake City is added to the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard Registry. The ACSF is scheduled to conduct 30 audits of Part 135 operators this year using the Industry Audit Standard.

Aircell — announces it has installed Gogo Inflight Internet on its 1,000th aircraft. Gogo Inflight Internet is now available on more than 3,800 flights daily, up from 2,100 last year. Roughly one-third of all mainline domestic aircraft now offer Gogo’s Inflight Internet service.

Air Partner — will manage CitationAir’s Jet Card customers flying privately in Europe. CitationAir clients can access Air Partner’s JetCard service for flights within Europe at a fixed, all-inclusive price with guaranteed aircraft availability on a trip-by-trip basis.

Allegiant Air — service from Fort Collins-Loveland Airport to the Phoenix area will be subsidized by the Colorado airport. The airline will be reimbursed up to $30,000 in marketing expenses under an agreement approved by Fort Collins and Loveland.

American Airlines — vows to fight a proposed $24.2 million federal penalty alleging intentional maintenance violations on some 280 jetliners, arguing the work was done appropriately and never posed any safety risks.

• American inaugurates a new, satellite-guided approach at Connecticut’s Bradley International Airport, the first such approach designed by a private company.

• American reveals plans to relocate its San Francisco operations to the airport’s new Terminal 2, highlighted by a new, environmentally-friendly Admirals Club lounge.

American eagle — celebrates the opening of the Miami Int’l Airport North Terminal’s Regional Commuter Facility, a 50,000-sq. ft. extension that includes two new terminal gates, a new passenger waiting area, and future outdoor walkways to 12 loading areas for American Eagle’s operations.

Argus TRAQPak — finds Part 91 operations declined in July, but increases in fractional and charter activity operators led to a 0.6 percent increase in business aircraft flights overall, when compared with June.

Atlanta Regional Airport — Peachtree City Falcon Field will now be referred to as Atlanta Regional Airport; it’s identifier will remain FFC. Change was initiated to improve marketing to corporate pilots and to avoid confusion with Peachtree DeKalb Airport.

Atlantic Aero — expands its Falcon Jet Services to include F900 and F2000 business aircraft. The expansion into the F900/F2000 fleet includes the addition of a 23,660-sq. ft. hangar to Atlantic Aero’s aircraft maintenance campus capable of housing ultra long range business jets.

Boeing — blames Rolls-Royce for the latest in a series of delays that now has the company estimating first delivery of its 787 Dreamliner sometime in the first part of 2011. Boeing needs Rolls-Royce’s Trent 1000 engines, an engine option for the 787, for the final phase of flight testing this fall.

• Boeing releases a commercial airplanes market forecast predicting air carriers in North America will take delivery of around 7,200 new airplanes over the next 20 years, worth roughly $700 billion. The manufacturer said new airplane deliveries in Canada and the U.S. will be mostly driven by carriers retiring old, less fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes and regional jets.

Bombardier — says an overwhelming majority of its are orders coming from outside the U.S.; in the most recent quarter, only 10 percent of new orders came from the U.S.

• Bombardier Aerospace’s fiscal second quarter revenues of $2 billion matched those of the first quarter, but represented an 18 percent decrease from the second quarter a year earlier.

California Legislature — passes Assembly Bill 1889, which offers a delay in compliance from the rules issued by the CA Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) for facilities “certified” by the FAA to perform flight training. NATA has begun the process of attempting to get a delay for flight training passed by the legislature during its upcoming special session, in a form that would garner a signature from the Governor.

Cessna — issues layoff notices to 75 workers on the Citation Mustang line. The affected employees were given 60-day notices, and the layoffs take effect in late October.

Consumer Travel Alliance — along with Business Travel Coalition (BTC) and American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) releases the results of an online survey of 1,396 travelers showing widespread surprise and anger over hidden airline fees for services such as checked baggage, advance seating, and priority boarding.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley — announces the formation of a new O’Hare Express Blue Ribbon Committee to undertake a comprehensive study for express train service between O’Hare Int’l Airport and downtown Chicago.

Delta Airlines — plans to park half of the regional jets in the fleet of its Comair subsidiary over the next two years and cut its number of employees at its Cincinnati hub.

• Delta Air is eliminating flights between Lexington and Cincinnati beginning Nov. 1.

Eclipse Aerospace — receives FAA Level D approval of EA500 full-motion simulators based at SimCom Training Centers in Orlando, Fla. Eclipse announced its partnership with SimCom earlier this year to provide pilot training for the EA500, including plans to relocate two simulators to SimCom’s Orlando facility.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University — and U.S. Rep. John Mica unveil the first demonstration of Next Generation Aviation and Air Traffic Control Technologies at the Daytona Beach test hub.

Emerald Jet Charter — has added helicopter service to its travel portfolio, arranging trips from the three heliports in Manhattan.

Executive Charter Services — is offering clients carbon offsets through carbon retailer TerraPass. TerraPass supports domestic wind farms, “cow-power” projects, and energy efficiency projects. ECS estimates it initially will offset some 500 hours of private jet travel, equaling an estimated 1.7 million lbs. of carbon emissions.

FAA — revokes the air agency certificate of Phoenix Heliparts, Inc.(PHI) of Mesa, AZ for allegedly performing improper repairs and deliberately falsifying maintenance records.

• FAA is requiring Cirrus to complete function and reliability (F&R) tests on its new Model SF50 Vision single-engine personal jet as part of special conditions for completing the certification process.

• FAA wants to fine Oregon-based Hillsboro Aviation $580,000 for three separate alleged safety and operational lapses, one of which it says involved a Bell 206 JetRanger that flew for several months after it was serviced with improper parts by an unqualified employee.

Frontier Airlines — decides to move to Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport(HOU) beginning November 18, 2010. In addition to the three daily, non-stop flights that Frontier will provide to Denver at HOU, it will add three connections from Denver currently not served by nonstop service from Houston.

Frost & Sullivan — analysis finds that the helicopter market is expected to grow from 24,625 helicopters in 2009 to 36,946 helicopters in 2015.

Gulfstream Aerospace — receives type certificate validation from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand for the Gulfstream G550 and G500 bizjets.

Hawker Beechcraft — begins official negotiations with the Int’l Association of Machinists on a new contract a year before the existing contract was set to expire. The company had been pushing the union to make an early return to the bargaining table citing a challenging economic environment and the possible need to move most work out of Wichita to save costs.

Honeywell — HTF7500E engine continues toward a 2011 certification, completing the “First Engine To Test” and achieving full-rated thrust in static and flight testing. Based on the HTF7000 that powers the Bombardier Challenger 300, the HTF7500E is under development for Embraer’s Legacy 450 and 500.

• Honeywell unveils its latest moving map upgrade, JetMap III, which provides enhanced graphics and three-dimensional perspective views of terrain, ocean topography and polar ice.

Honolulu Airport — is getting a $61 million makeover including explosives dection/ baggage handling. The project is part of the statewide $2.3 billion airports modernization plan.

IATA — CEO Giovanni Bisignani calls for limits on foreign ownership of airlines to be lifted, stressing that international consolidation is essential for the industry.

Jacksonville Aviation Authority — approves an option to lease a hangar at Jacksonville Int’l Airport (JAX) and a lease for a recently built spec hangar at Cecil Field. JAA board members unanimously approve to give Brazilian airplane manufacturer Embraer an option to lease a 40,000-sq. ft. hangar at JAX.

JDA Aviation Technology Solutions — provides its 135 Pro certification service for Houston-based on-demand carrier Freedom Air Charter.

• JDA announces that Biotech Aviation LLC, an Albuquerque, New Mexico-based startup air taxi operator, obtains its Part 135 Certificate.

Kansas airports — support more than 47,000 jobs, generate $2.3 billion in payroll, and produce $10.4 billion in economic activity, according to a new report from the state DOT. The Kansas Aviation Economic Impact Study, funded by an FAA grant, looked at the impact of the state’s eight commercial and 132 general aviation airports.

McGill Aviation — The city of Fernandina Beach, or its insurer, will pay damages, attorney’s fees, and other costs perhaps totaling more than $2 million in its losing lawsuit against McGill Aviation.

Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority — successfully refunds $86 million in bonds to achieve more than $8 million in debt service cost savings.

NATA — in partnership with AIC Title Service, LLC, is developing a program that allows for re-registrations to be professionally processed and tracked using a straightforward Web interface. The new program is in response to a recently published FAA final rule that will require all currently registered aircraft to complete an aircraft re-registration according to a specific schedule over the next three years.

NBAA — NBAA’s 63rd Annual Meeting and Convention, to be held Oct. 19-21 in Atlanta, has been tracking closely to last year’s event in terms of exhibitors and attendance. The 2009 event, held in Orlando, FL, marked the second-lowest level attendance in 15 years and some key exhibitors missing on the convention floor, notably Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft. The event drew 23,000 attendees, 1,075 exhibitors and some 100 aircraft on static display. This year, NBAA still has unsold exhibit space, but all of the major airframers are returning to the convention floor.

• NBAA and other general aviation associations submit joint comments to EPA about the search for an unleaded replacement for 100LL fuel. An EPA-proposed rulemaking brought NBAA together with AOPA, EAA, GAMA, NATA, American Petroleum Institute, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Assn. Comments note that insufficient data and modeling exist to indicate that lead emissions from GA cause or contribute to any violation of national air quality standards.

• NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen respond to a reported gunpoint detainment of two industry figures by calling for a review of the government’s process for obtaining, using, and sharing aircraft registration information. King School founders John and Martha King were reportedly detained by the Santa Barbara police based on faulty aircraft information.

Neff Capital Management LLC — announces that it has acquired Complete Turbine Services, LLC, a provider of low-cost engine performance restoration services to airlines and operating lessors worldwide.

Nextant Aerospace — delays the first flight of its remanufactured Beechjet 400 due to runway construction at Cuyahoga County Airport (CGF). The company anticipates certification of the 400XT during the first quarter of 2011.

NTSB — is calling for increased restraint protection and child restraints on Part 91 aircraft. The safety board has asked FAA to amend Part 91 to “require separate seats and restraints for every occupant” and to “require each person who is less than two years of age to be restrained in a separate seat position by an appropriate child-restraint system during takeoff, landing and turbulence.”

Port Columbus (OH) — Airlines continue to increase flight options and destinations from Port Columbus. Midwest/Frontier offers non-stop flights to Kansas City; Delta offers non-stop service to Los Angeles; AirTran increases frequency to Fort Myers; American is adding two additional flights to Miami; Southwest will resume offering three daily flights to Orlando; and US Airways will increase New York-LaGuardia service to provide five daily flights.

Redbird Flight Simulations — of Austin, TX announces the upcoming delivery of its 100th Advanced Aviation Training Device (AATD) to Full Motion Flight Training, LLC.

San Diego County Regional Airport Authority — hosts a series of open houses about the Regional Aviation Strategic Plan (RASP). The goal of the RASP is to identify potential opportunities to improve the performance of the regional airport system in San Diego County.

• The authority approves the issuance of approximately $430 million of Subordinate Lien General Airport Revenue Bonds with the ability to upsize to $600 million upon favorable market conditions.

Sacramento County Airport System — closes the sale of $128.3 million in tax-exempt Series 2010 Senior Revenue Bonds. The sale secures the final portion of debt financing anticipated to be needed to complete the Big Build at Sacramento Int’l Airport.

Signature Flight Support — expands handling services throughout Germany. Through agreements with FBOs and airport authorities at 12 airports across Germany, Signature’s Munich location can schedule flight support services, arrange credit, and offer a single invoice for customers’ flights in Germany.

Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association — meets with the company regarding their intent to convert current Boeing 737-700 aircraft orders to the larger 737-800s.

TSA — estimates that a new streamlined process for prescreening passengers and crews of international flights will eliminate some 60 percent of its workload. A Notice To Airmen has been released explaining the new process that uses the U.S. CBP electronic Advance Passenger Information System; the process is slated to take effect Sept. 1.

• TSA seeks to visit some 30 percent of general aviation airfields this year in an outreach mission to share best practices. TSA recently surveyed GA airports on their use of security measures such as fencing, cameras, biometrics, and lighting.

XOJet — plans to expand operations in N.Y. and L.A., citing steady growth and increased demand for its services.

Yingling Aviation — obtains FAA organization designation authorization for the Cessna 162 Skycatcher light-sport aircraft, clearing the aviation services firm to maintain, inspect, and alter the aircraft.

U.S. DOT — grants commuter status to Gulf Coast Airways, operates charter service from the Naples airport. The carrier has submitted an application to the FAA for final approval. Gulf Coast would be the only scheduled commuter airline flying out of Naples.


Hangars open at Georgetown (TX) Municipal

Aero Centex is a unique mixed-use aviation services complex featuring 25,000 sq. ft. of aircraft hangar and terminal space as well as 70,000 sq. ft. of reinforced ramp space. The hangar complex includes a community hangar and private hangars available for short- or long-term lease.

Atlantic Aviation Breaks Ground at will rogers

Atlantic Aviation announces that it has broken ground on a 28,000-sq. ft. corporate hangar and a 12,000-sq. ft. terminal building at Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City. The facility will complement Atlantic’s existing Wiley Post FBO and expects completion in Spring 2011.
The new facility includes first-class executive passenger amenities, a large pilot lounge, and multiple conference rooms. Atlantic has entered into a 30-year lease for 15 acres with The Oklahoma City Airport Trust.

Sonoma Jet Center, LLC Assets AcQuired

Joshua and Julia Hochberg, who head aviation management firm South River Aviation LLC, acquires the assets of the former Sonoma Jet Center, LLC. The new enterprise will be operated by New Sonoma FBO, Inc. and will do business as Sonoma Jet Center (SJC). Sonoma Jet Center is one of two full service fixed base operators at the Charles M. Schulz - Sonoma County Airport.

Calender of Events


26-29 ACI-NA 19th Annual Conference and Exhibition; Pittsburgh, PA;


3-5 The Role of NextGen at Airports; Denver, CO;

3-5 Airport Noise Mitigation Symposium; San Franciso, CA;

4-7 2010 ACI-NA Fall Public Safety & Security Conference; Alexandria, VA;

11-14 National Parking Association’s 59th Annual Convention and Exposition; Boston, MA;

17-19 11th Annual AAAE Airport Customer Service/Volunteer Ambassador Conference; Denver, CO;

18-20 2010 ACI-NA/ACC/FAA Airport Planning Redefined Course & NEPA Workshop; Long Beach, CA;

18-20 Cargo Facts Aircraft Symposium; Miami, FL;

19-21 NBAA 63rd Annual Meeting & Convention; Atlanta, GA;

22-24 1st Latin American ARFF Seminar; Cartagena, Columbia

24-26 15th Annual International Aviation Forecast Summit; New Orleans, LA;

25-27 16th Annual Central Europe/North America Airport Issues Conference; Prague, Czech Republic;

31-2 AAAE Airport and the Rental Car Industry Workshop; San Jose, CA;

30-1 Doha Aviation Summit; Doha, Qatar;


2-3 AAAE Parking and Landside Management Workshop; San Jose, CA;

3-5 AVSEC World 2010; Frankfurt, Germany;

8-11 ACI-NA Airport Concessions Conference; Phoenix, AZ;

9-11 Airport Pavement Workshop; Boston, MA;

15-17 Airports Going Green Conference; Chicago, IL;