Industry News

May 22, 2009

U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), with support from the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and the Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), launched the Airport Environmental Partnership (AEP) during the recent 2009 U.S.-China Aviation Symposium in Beijing. The AEP seeks to exchange best practices and common approaches to mitigating environmental impacts of airport development and management. U.S. airports involved in the initiative include the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport, Chicago O’Hare Int’l Airport, San Francisco Int’l Airport, Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Under its National Civil Airport Development Plan, China has announced plans to build 40 new airports by 2010 and 57 more by 2020. FAA plans to provide policy guidance throughout the course of the partnership, and CAAC and the U.S.-China Aviation Cooperation Program (ACP) intend to help identify priority environmental issues for joint cooperation, provide necessary personnel, and help design a U.S. study tour. For more information, visit

The National Air Transportation Association has reformulated its top management forums and will host the Air Charter Summit June 8-10 and the FBO Leadership Conference June 9-11 concurrently in Chantilly, VA near Dulles Int’l Airport.

Chief pilots, directors, and company executives of Part 135 operations are expected to meet with FAA regulatory officials and learn about key market drivers affecting their economic future at the Air Charter Summit. The FBO Leadership Conference will feature sessions on the future of aviation manufacturing, rebutting the media attack on business aviation, marketing to the Ritz Carlton standard and clientele, airport security/environmental concerns/AIP Funding/economic stimulus package, and NFPA 409: Standard on Aircraft Hangars; visit

Briefings ...

aircraft and turbine support, inc. — at Tulsa Int’l Airport completes the bulk of a multi-million dollar expansion project that includes a 22,000-sq. ft. storage hangar. Company specializes in “away from base” maintenance for Challenger, Falcon, Lear, Hawker, and Westwind aircraft.

air trek — of Punta Gorda, FL sees FAA lose its appeal of an administrative law judge’s (ALJ) ruling in the case surrounding the FAA’s revocation of Air Trek’s air carrier certificate. The ALJ had previously ruled that the FAA had failed to show sufficiently that the few violations it was able to prove against the air carrier were severe enough to warrant a revocation. The ALJ reduced the penalty from revocation to suspension. The FAA appealed that ruling to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). In its decision, the NTSB denied the FAA’s appeal and upheld all of the ALJ’s decisions. According to NATA, Air Trek’s certificate remains under suspension until FAA is satisfied the operator has resolved the regulatory violations.

allegiant air — will offer service between Oakland Int’l Airport and Eugene (OR) Airport beginning June 8, marking the first-ever nonstop flights between OAK and Eugene.

american airlines — adds two new Boeing 737-800 aircraft into its fleet, beginning the process of replacing its MD-80 fleet. The new airplanes, which went into service April 14, are the first of 76 737-800s that will arrive through the first quarter of 2011.

ascent aviation — of Parish, NY extends its marketing agreement to represent the Phillips 66 Aviation brand in 27 states, from Maine to Florida to California. 

aspen avionics — is named the Associate Member of the Year for 2009 by the Aircraft Electronics Association at its annual convention in Dallas. 

avfuel corp. — and three of its branded FBO dealers — Banyan Air Service, Duncan Aviation, and Fargo Jet Center — co-exhibit at the 2009 European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, May 12 to 14.

boeing — reports that it will adjust its twin-aisle airplane production plans for 2010, due to significant deterioration in the business environment for airlines and cargo operators driven by unprecedented global economic conditions. Monthly production of the 777 will decline from seven to five airplanes per month, beginning in June 2010. Boeing will delay plans to modestly increase 747-8 and 767 production. No change is being made to the 737 production rate.

century crm — of Peachtree City, GA announces that it has developed a licensing program for its Crew Resource Management (CRM) courses for business aviation. Flight departments can have an instructor trained by Century CRM to provide FAA-approved training to their pilots. Century CRM maintains on-line recordkeeping and testing;

chicago — selects thee companies to design the remaining runways for an expanded O’Hare Int’l Airport and conduct a study for a proposed western terminal complex. A team headed by HNTB was picked to design a new runway that can handle the largest commercial airplanes; Chicago Aviation Runway Designers, a joint-venture partnership, was selected to design an extension to an existing runway; and O’Hare Runway Designers LLC was selected to design a new runway south of the terminal core.

Landrum & Brown was named to conduct the planning study for the new western terminal complex, during the next 12 months.

cityservice valcon llc — of Houston extends its marketing agreement to represent the Phillips 66 Aviation brand in 12 states, including Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas. 

dwf int’l airport — receives a second grant from the federal stimulus program totaling $8.8 million to be used for the renovation of Runway 13L/31R, including lighting and surface repairs.

eaa — Experimental Aircraft Assn. and Sporty’s Pilot Shop announce a partnership to enhance the EAA Young Eagles Program, a nationwide initiative that has used general aviation to touch the lives of more than 1.4 million youths since its inception in 1992. Through this partnership, kids who receive a flight via the EAA Young Eagles Program will also receive from Sporty’s a logbook for recording this and subsequent aviation experiences. The youth, dubbed a “Young Eagle,” will also receive an access code to the Sporty’s Online Complete Pilot Training Course. Both the logbook and the entire flight training course will be free of charge.

eclipse jet lp — of Chesterfield, MO enters into an agreement with Eclipse Service Network, LLC (ESN), a logistics and management organization, to form a network of third-party service centers across the U.S. Eclipse Jet is also in discussions with third-party service providers in Europe to start an ESN-Europe.

• Brigadoon Aircraft Maintenance, LLC, based in Chicago, is the first Platinum Level Service Center under the Eclipse Service Network.

epa — Environmental Protection Agency delays for the second time the effective date of the final rule that amends the Spill Prevention, Control, and Countermeasure (SPCC) regulations published in the Federal Register on December 5, 2008.  The amendments will now become effective on January 14, 2010. 

faa — is currently undertaking an internal and external initiative to implement safety management systems (SMS) to comply with Int’l Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements. This implementation is sure to have significant impacts on airports and consultants, reports the Airport Consultants Council. In response, ACC forms a new Safety Management Systems Subcommittee under the ACC Safety & Security Committee to help increase awareness of SMS among the membership and aviation industry, and to provide education/training opportunities.

ft. lauderdale/hollywood int’l airport — is now operating with Sensis Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X), a runway incursion detection and alerting system.  Fifteen of the 35 airports to receive the technology through the FAA’s ASDE-X program are now operational.

hawker beechcraft corp. — of Wichita, KS delivers the first special mission extended-range (ER) King Air 350 to the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force awarded the contract for 23 King Air 350ER turboprops, designated by the military as the MC-12W, to HBC last November. The project has an estimated value of $171 million.
• HBAC reports net sales for the three months ending March 29, 2009, of $537.6 million, a decrease of $38.9 million compared to the same period in 2008. Business and general aviation aircraft deliveries totaled 57 for the quarter, compared to 72 for the first quarter of 2008.

honda aircraft co. — of Greensboro, NC is on track to begin building the assembly plant for its HondaJet plane this summer at Piedmont Triad Int’l Airport. Honda plans to deliver its first $3.9 million HondaJet in late 2010, with a production range of 80 to 100 jets a year.

imaginaire private jet charter — an aircraft management and jet charter company based at Addison, TX, names Bill Koch, the former head of Seven Bar Enterprises and AMR Combs, as its new CEO.

jet aviation — based in Zurich, Switzerland, reports that Kurt Sutterer, president of Midcoast Aviation and head of Jet Aviation’s MRO & completions lines of business in North America, will retire in May 2009 after 29 years of service. Sutterer will be succeeded by Don Petersen, a 31-year veteran of the aviation industry, who will be based at Midcoast Aviation in St. Louis.
• Jet Aviation’s U.S. and EMEA & Asia aircraft management divisions increase their managed fleet by more than 20 aircraft in 2009. Aircraft types include Falcon 50 and 900; Gulfstream GIII, GIV, GV, G550; and Bombardier Global Express, Challenger and Learjet.

jet source — of Carlsbad, CA adds an Embraer Legacy 600 to its charter fleet.

landmark aviation — and the Asheville (NC) Regional Airport Authority announce a new 5,000-sq. ft. FBO terminal, completing a $4.6 million project that includes a 23,000-sq. ft. hangar. This addition brings Landmark’s network to 41 FBOs, including locations in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.

massachusetts port authority — approves $30 million to construct a centralized security checkpoint at Boston Logan’s Terminal C.

massage bar — which offers a variety of massage options and wellness products at Sacramento Int’l Airport, opens two new locations in Terminal A and Terminal B.

meridian air charter — based at Teterboro, NJ, adds a Falcon 900B to its fleet of charter aircraft, and will base it at White Plains, NY.

midcoast aviation — of St. Louis has its Dassault Falcon Jet authorized service center status renewed.

nata — National Air Transportation Assn. president James K. Coyne appears before the National Fire Protection Assn.’s Technical Committee on Airport Facilities to discuss the impact that changes to NFPA 409, Standard on Aircraft Hangars, could have on the general aviation industry. The committee is considering changes to NFPA 409 that would require the installation of automatic sprinkler systems in all new hangars of less than 12,000 square feet. In a recent NATA survey, over 77 percent of responding members stated that the costs associated with implementation of the changes would hinder construction of new hangars.

nbaa — Regional Forum, hosted by Business Jet Center at Dallas Love Field, draws a crowd of more than 940 attendees and 54 exhibitors, with 24 aircraft on static display.

north carolina — receives $12 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for projects at Asheville Regional Airport ($7.5 million to improve the terminal) and Raleigh-Durham Int’l ($4.5 million to rehabilitate runway lighting on 05L/23R).

north texas regional airport — in Denison will receive $6.8 million from the Texas DOT Aviation Division in federal stimulus funds to refurbish and improve one of its runways (17L/35R). The airport will also receive a $4 million grant from the TXDOT to refurbish taxiways and install taxiway signage.  Work on both projects is expected to begin this summer.

ntsb — National Transportation Safety Board issues an urgent safety recommendation to FAA in which it asks the agency to prohibit further flight of a type of a small airplane that has been involved in six in-flight structural breakups since 2006. The recommendations apply to the Zodiac CH-601XL, a low-wing, fixed-gear, single-engine, two-seat general aviation airplane designed by Zenair, Inc. The CH-601XL was certified as a Special Light Sport Aircraft by FAA in 2005.

paine field — north of Seattle seeks to be classified as an airport of “special national significance” that would allow the airport to collect federal aviation improvement funding while controlling the types of service at the airport. The recommendation is modeled after the 2003 Centennial Rule named after Centennial Airport in Arapahoe County, CO, which succeeded in banning commercial flights while still collecting federal aviation funding.

spirit airlines — offers daily service to Boston’s newest destination Atlantic City, starting May 1. Massport also welcomes Sun Country Airlines to Logan Airport, offering nonstop service from MSP beginning May 1.

teledyne continental motors — Swift Enterprises, and Hawker Beechcraft Corporation announce the successful test flights of a certificated Beechcraft Bonanza G36 on unleaded aviation fuel and Swift Sustainable Fuel. HBC is the first major aircraft manufacturer to accomplish this using Swift Fuel. It is seen as the first step toward the future of unleaded gas. The collaborative work with TCM and Swift Enterprises began in 2008 to develop engine technology and test unleaded and sustainable fuels for use in piston aircraft.

the hiller group — will brand its existing FBOs in 12 Mid-Continent states to the Phillips 66 Aviation brand as part of an agreement between ConocoPhillips and The Hiller Group.The company will represent the Phillips 66 Aviation brand in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

vista aviation — relocates to a new 12,000-sq. ft. FBO facility after 27 years at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, CA. Now on the east side of the airfield, Vista has 36 hangars to rent and has expanded its parts and pilot supply shop, and added an avionics demonstration area. Its flight training affiliate, Vista Air, will also expand operations.
west star aviation, inc. — of East Alton, IL is awarded by FAA two separate STC approvals for WAAS/LPV installations for the Citation 550

Bravo and the Citation V 560 Series. West Star will offer the installations at its East Alson, Grand Junction, and Dallas facilities.

Edmonton Continues $1 Billion Expansion
Edmonton Int’l Airport (EIA), Canada’s fastest-growing major airport for three years in a row, is continuing its $1-billion expansion to ensure the airport can keep pace with Edmonton and Northwestern Canada’s economic development. The project is funded by the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF), which on September 1, 2009 will increase by five dollars to $20 per ticket. The airport, which was substantially renovated in 2000, is presently operating 20 percent above capacity.  The terminal was built to accommodate up to 5.5 million passengers a year.  In 2008, EIA saw nearly 6.5 million passengers.

AOPA Campaign: GA Serves America
The Aircraft Owners & Pilots Assn., in an effort to relay to the general public that general aviation pumps some $150 billion into the U.S. economy each year, launches a new public relations campaign: General Aviation Serves America. The program includes actor/pilot Harrison Ford as a spokesperson. According to AOPA, joining Ford, a long-time AOPA member, will be real people telling real stories about what general aviation means to their communities and to their businesses.

AOPA has committed an initial $1.5 million to the campaign, with plans to spend several million dollars more in the next few years. To inform the public of GA’s crucial role, the campaign will employ digital advertising, web and viral resources, and electronic grassroots outreach. In addition, AOPA is planning extensive paid radio, television, and print advertising, both nationally and in targeted states.