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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 8th October 2015 | Issue #339
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United States

Global Jet Capital to acquire corporate aircraft portfolio from GE Capital

Global Jet Capital, a provider of financing solutions for large-cabin, long-range private jets, has agreed to purchase the aircraft lease and loan portfolio of GE Capital Corporate Aircraft in the Americas representing approximately $2.5bn of net assets.

Shawn Vick, Executive Director of Global Jet Capital said, “We are investing heavily in growing the business both organically and through strategic acquisitions such as this one with GE. This is a prime example of our industry expertise and investment capital coming together to evaluate and identify an opportunity to expand the business in a disciplined, carefully measured way.”

He added, “This is a remarkable portfolio of corporate aviation assets, and this investment underlines our confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the large cabin, long range private jet market." read more

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FAA proposes $1.9m civil penalty against UAS operator

The Federal Aviation Administration has announced the largest civil penalty ever proposed against a UAS operator for endangering the safety of U.S. airspace.

The FAA proposes a $1.9 million civil penalty against SkyPan International, Inc. of Chicago. Between March 21, 2012, and Dec. 15, 2014, SkyPan conducted 65 unauthorized operations in some of the country's most congested airspace and heavily populated cities, violating airspace regulations and various operating rules, the FAA alleges. These operations were illegal and not without risk.

The FAA alleges that the company conducted 65 unauthorized commercial UAS flights over various locations in New York City and Chicago between March 21, 2012 and Dec. 15, 2014. The flights involved aerial photography. Of those, 43 flew in the highly restricted New York Class B airspace.

read more, Plus:

NBAA: House hearing highlights need for action on UAS regulations

A hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure's aviation subcommittee regarding the safe utilization of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) highlights the urgent need for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to issue federal regulations for the burgeoning industry, said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

"It is clear that lawmakers share our concerns about the widespread proliferation of UAS without clear guidance, or definitive regulation of the industry," Bolen said immediately following the hearing. "It is now more apparent than it's ever been that we urgently need guidance, through the established rulemaking process, which produces a national regulatory framework that enhances safety and creates a reliable set of operating procedures for UAS operators and the broader public alike." read more

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Comlux America gets BBJ warranty repair facility and service center approval

Comlux the Aviation Group has announced that Boeing Business Jets has signed an agreement with its completion center, Comlux America LLC, which designates the company as an authorized warranty repair facility and service center.

The contract allows Comlux America to perform warranty work on BBJ aircraft on behalf of Boeing, providing BBJ operators another service option in the USA. Additionally, the Indianapolis -based company will provide other maintenance, repair and overhaul services as required.

Since its creation in 2008, Comlux America has accumulated a wide-range of experience on completing and maintaining Boeing BBJ aircraft for operators worldwide. The company has installed interiors on 5 BBJs, including one BBJ3. Comlux America is currently expanding its 129,000 square-foot (12,000- square-meter) facility to a Wide body hangar able to accommodate large VIP aircraft up to Boeing 747BBJ aircraft.

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$27m FAA grant for replacement airport in North Dakota

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration has announced a $27m Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant to the City of Williston, N.D. to purchase land to build a new airport and meet growing aviation demand by replacing Sloulin Field International Airport.

“This grant reflects our commitment to meet the changing aviation needs of airports around the country,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As economic and demographic changes occur, the U.S. Department of Transportation remains committed to helping state and local governments provide the necessary infrastructure to meet transportation demands.”

North Dakota is the second largest oil-producing state in the United States. Oil drilling operations have increased Williston’s population and increased passenger traffic, corporate aviation activity, and cargo operations at Sloulin Field. From 2008 to 2014, passenger enplanements increased from 10,894 to 114,281, with more growth expected. The FAA has been working with the North Dakota Aeronautics Commission and the City of Williston to address the region’s aviation needs.

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U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices


Stuart Jet Center (KSUA) breaks ground on state-of-the-art hangar

Avfuel-branded FBO Stuart Jet Center at Witham Field - recently named Florida’s General Aviation Airport of the Year by the Florida Department of Transportation - broke ground for its new, state-of-the art hangar this week.

To be completed in early 2016, the new hangar will add the much-needed space Stuart Jet Center requires as it continues to grow. The 24,000 square foot hangar facility will complement the 250,000 square footage of existing hangar space, along with more than 15 acres of lighted and secure ramp space.

The new hangar is sized to accommodate aircraft up to Global Express and G650, and will be wind-coded to Miami-Dade specifications for optimum safety.

read more

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Gordon Potter

Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has announced that it is starting up an Aircraft Sales division and is bringing in the experienced Gordon Potter as Director.

Justin Bowman, CEO of ACS, explains: “Our diversification strategy has led us to open this new division and we are delighted to welcome Gordon Potter who brings with him extensive experience in trading in aircraft sales and acquisitions. He has been buying and selling helicopters and fixed wing aircraft in all business jet categories for many years.

“With our global network of offices and the existing infrastructure of the company, we have the perfect base from which to market this new service to owners and potential buyers. Many of our clients own aircraft, or are looking to buy one – the same applies to operators that we deal with. Before now we have missed out on this potential, but Gordon can now add this new string to our bow.

“This is a very exciting new development for ACS and we are delighted that Gordon will be working with us to establish and grow it.”

Women in Aviation

Cassandra Bosco

Cassandra Bosco has joined the Women in Aviation International staff as Education and Industry Relations Director. The position was created as part of the organization’s strategic plan to grow WAI’s education offerings and outreach to youth and college and university students.

A founding board member of WAI and WAI member #3, Cassandra’s background includes serving as Interim Executive Director of the University Aviation Association (UAA), leading implementation of aviation programs at NBAA including initial development of the professional development program and creating NBAA’s Aviation for Kids program as well as co-creating NBAA’s No Plane, No Gain advocacy initiative.

In her role at WAI, Cassandra will coordinate with schools and other associations and organizations looking to include girls in their aviation education and outreach programs, develop an online resource guide for WAI members seeking information on higher education programs, create a toolkit for WAI chapters to aid in their education outreach efforts, represent WAI in connection with workforce issues in the aviation industry, and assist in coordinating the annual Girls in Aviation Day events.

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Activity on the slide - especially the UK

There were 72,640 business aviation flight departures in Europe in September 2015 according to WINGX`s monthly Business Aviation Monitor published today.

Whilst this is a slight improvement on August, the year on year figure is down -4%, taking the YTD trend for 2015 to -1.4%.

The UK was the weakest market this month, - 8% YOY, almost 800 fewer flights. Other major markets with similarly large declines this month included Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. Most secondary markets were also well back this month, Russia at a rate of 20% YOY, Turkey back by 11% YOY. full report

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Jet Aviation Basel delivers new A340-600 with VIP cabin interior

Jet Aviation Basel has delivered a brand new ACJ A340-600 outfitted with a VIP cabin interior for an undisclosed client in Europe - the 18th Airbus delivery from the Basel Completions Center since 1999.

Equipped to carry up to 121 passengers in comfort and style, the ACJ A340-600 features a forward galley, dining and lounge areas, a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom with shower, a second bedroom with its own bathroom, an office, first class seating and dining areas, a mid-galley complex, a staff seating area and an aft galley. read more

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FEC Heliports announces two new major projects

FEC Heliports has announced two further major helipad projects, one in Africa and one in the Middle East.

FEC Helicopters - library photo

The first of these is in Ghana for the design, manufacture and supply of a 21.0m x 18.3m aluminium rooftop elevated helipad for the newly constructed UNICON Hospital in Takoradi. This will be the first aluminium roof-top helipad in Ghana and is being installed to serve the burgeoning Ghanaian oil and mining industries.

read more

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RUAG becomes Hartzell's Recommended Service Facility in Central Europe

Hartzell Propeller Inc. has appointed RUAG Aviation in Lodrino, Switzerland as a Recommended Service Facility. The MRO facility covers a wide area of central Europe.

RUAG Aviation maintenance technician works on Piaggio P-180.

RUAG Aviation's Lodrino facility is an EASA and FAA approved repair station. It is a service center for a number of aircraft manufacturers, including Cirrus, Mooney, Piper and Textron Aviation, which manufacture aircraft with state of the art props provided by Hartzell Propeller. read more

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Top 25 European Departure Airports

BlueSky's '25 Most Popular Business Aviation Departure Airports in Europe' in association with Avinode

This monthly popularity ranking is based on the number of unique flight requests with their first passenger leg departing out of IACO codes starting with E, L, and U, transmitted through the Avinode Marketplace over the last 30 days.

For the full list click here



















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Next generation of controllers from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia graduate from Entry Point North

On 1st October students of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia graduated from a two-year’s intensive training programme to become next generation of air traffic controllers.

The training programme was performed under the agreement between Entry Point North and the Ministry of Higher Education meeting their special requirements. read more

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United Kingdom

Jota Aviation marks successful first year in the jet set

Its BAe 146-200 clocks up 800 hours of charter and ACMI flying

Jota Aviation, the specialist UK air charter firm based at London Southend Airport, is marking its first year of operations with its BAe 146-200 regional jet as its senior management attends the European Regions Airline Association’s annual general meeting in Berlin later this month.

In its first year the aircraft will have flown near to 800 hours, flying as far afield as Marrakech and supported a number of airlines on ACMI sub charter contracts. During the peak summer period Jota flew a total of 500 hours. read more

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Flexjet takes delivery of its first Embraer Legacy 500

Dallas-based fractional jet ownership services provider, Flexjet, has received its first Legacy 500 business jet from Embraer.

“It’s a great privilege to have been selected by Flexjet for the expansion of its world-class fleet,” said Marco Tulio Pellegrini, President & CEO, Embraer Executive Jets. “The Legacy 500, and soon the Legacy 450, will deliver true innovation to Flexjet customers, and we are committed to providing the highest level of customer support and service.”

Flexjet Chief Executive Officer Michael Silvestro said, “We know that current and prospective Owners are seeking cabins that are larger and more luxurious than those typically found in this category, complemented by the newest technology and optimized performance. We are thrilled to bring the innovative Legacy midsized cabin solution to the market starting this month.”

Flexjet’s fractional program already features the Embraer Phenom 300 light jet.

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'Miracle on the Hudson' Capt. Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger to address NBAA2015

Hailed as a hero after successfully landing his crippled Airbus in New York's Hudson River and saving all passengers on board, retired US Airways Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III will be a featured speaker during the second-day Opening General Session at NBAA's Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA2015), taking place Nov. 17 to 19 in Las Vegas, NV.

Sullenberger, along with his first officer, Jeffrey Skiles, effected a remarkable engine-out water landing in the river on Jan. 15, 2009, after the Airbus 320-200 suffered multiple bird strikes that disabled both power plants. They engineered the water landing so perfectly that all of the 155 passengers and crew survived, and the incident became known as the 

"Miracle on the Hudson." The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators awarded the Master's Medal to Sullenberger, Skiles and the rest of the Flight 1549 crew for their efforts. read more

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Pilots commit to open aviation safety reporting

European pilots have joined aviation stakeholders in signing the ‘European Corporate Just Culture Declaration’ at a High-Level Conference on ‘Saving lives with safety information’, in Brussels.

The Declaration is a commitment from wide parts of the sector to cooperate at company level to encourage pilots and other safety professionals to report safety occurrences without fear of reprisals. The Declaration comes in the context of the new EU Occurrence Reporting Regulation (ORR 376-2014), which will apply across Europe on 15 Nov., marking an important milestone for Europe’s aviation safety system.

Speaking at the official signing ceremony, ECA President Capt. Dirk Polloczek said: “Behind this signature stands the European pilots’ firm commitment to work with other stakeholder to improve the reporting of occurrences at company level. Such reporting, however, will only be encouraged if it takes place in a Just Culture environment, based on mutual trust."

read more

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QuAero spearheads success for Total AOC's Centrik in Malta

Aviation services specialist QuAero has been appointed by Total AOC to distribute its powerful operational management tool Centrik within Malta, opening up a new market which is rapidly growing.

Thanks to the appointment, Centrik has already been deployed within a number of Maltese operators and is now used by the country’s aviation regulatory authority, Transport Malta.

Centrik provides a complete EASA-compliant management system, with modules for compliance, safety, risk, meetings, training, EFBs, workflows and documents. Operators can also choose to give regulators remote access to the management system, allowing them to easily prepare audits, reducing the impact of onerous oversight requirements on a business.

Capt. Karl Falzon, Director, QuAero, says: “We had looked at developing our own electronic management system but when we saw Centrik, we realised this was exactly the product the market needs. It’s intuitive, powerful and user-friendly and so we’re delighted we can now offer Centrik direct to the booming Maltese aviation sector.”

read more

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ADB’s new APS maximizes efficiency of LED airfield lighting and simplifies upgrades to LED AGL

Unique power architecture’s innovative features enhance interactivity, safety and ease of use

ADB’s new APS is the next generation of the company’s Advanced Power Supply, a dedicated power architecture specifically designed for LED airfield lighting circuits.

The product greatly reduces complexity in LED AGL, directly delivering a specialized Direct Current (DC) waveform that not only powers the LEDs in the lighting fixtures but also ensures it is at the desired level of intensity. APS significantly reduces energy costs, increases LED AGL efficiency and lifetime. Moreover, it does not consumer power when not in use, and is therefore one of the most energy-friendly power solutions.

Airports currently relying on 6.6 Amps LED airfield lighting circuits can reduce energy costs by more than 70% by moving to APS, while airports that switch from non-LED AGL to LED and deploy APS can enjoy more than 90% savings.

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Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Gluten Free catering can be life and death

s the increase in Gluten Free meal requests by choice or by necessity, or is Gluten just the 
enemy right now?

If my kitchen is like that of others around the globe, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of orders requesting gluten free. Gluten free sales of prepared products has grown 34% annually in the last 3 years leading up to 2014 and will continue to grow about 19% per year until 2020.

Something is occurring. Huge advances have been made in the flavor, texture and taste of gluten free products over the last few years. Do we see more of it in the stores and in advertising - which accounts for the increase - or is there really a need for so much growth? If you were asked what exactly is gluten, could you answer?

I remember an experiment I did during graduate school when we created gluten in the lab. We combined flour and water and stirred and stirred until we had a thick gooey paste. Then we washed the glob of goo over and over until we were left with thin strings and threads that looked like a ball of unrolled yarn. Those threads were gluten, so I had a visual. 

But still, what was gluten . . . really? read more

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MHS Aviation becomes first German G650 operator

Munich based operator, MHS Aviation has taken delivery of it's first Gulfstream G650, this also marks the debut of the aircraft in Germany.

The G650 is the ultimate long-range business jet and flies up to 7,000 nm (12960 km) nonstop with 8 passengers. The aircraft gives MHS Aviation the capacity to conduct nonstop, fast flights for city pairings such as London-Los Angeles or Munich-Tokyo.

Andreas Otto, CEO of MHS Aviation comments "We are proud to be the first operator in Germany to operate a new Gulfstream 650, an excellent aircraft with an outstanding performance and cutting edge technology. Our aircraft management programs attract more and more high end customers and the G650 enables us to meet their requirements with business jets like the Gulfstream G650 and Challenger."

MHS Aviation currently operates three Gulfstream aircraft and has a total of 17 aircraft.

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United Kingdom

CAAi unveils new online licensing system for aviation authorities

A new electronic licensing system for National Aviation Authorities (NAAs) that allows aviation professionals to apply, renew and manage licences online has been launched by CAA International (CAAi) and New Zealand-based technology partner, Aspeq Ltd.

Developed using the latest HTML5 and Microsoft.Net technology, the new e-Licensing System is fully compatible with CAAi’s existing e-Examination System, that has already been implemented by numerous Aviation Authorities, including the UK CAA, worldwide.

Using pre-set workflows tailored to NAA regulatory requirements, the e-Licensing system can immediately determine an applicant’s licence eligibility through a unique “Am I Ready” validation. When candidates do not meet the prerequisites, the system highlights areas of deficiency and guides candidates through a step-by-step process to submission, without NAA staff intervention. Candidates can track the status of an application online, and Approved Training Organisation can easily manage mass applications for trainees or existing licence holders applying for ratings or extensions.

read more

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United Arab Emirates

ExecuJet grows managed fleet by over 20% in the Middle East

ExecuJet is expanding its managed fleet in the Middle East with the addition of three large-cabin business jets over the past three months, with a further two scheduled through to the end of the December, growth of over 20%.

New additions include a Bombardier Global 5000, a Dassault Falcon 2000, a Gulfstream G450 and two Bombardier Global 5000 Vision aircraft.

Mike Berry, ExecuJet’s Vice President Middle East, says: “As we continue to receive positive feedback and referrals from our customers globally, we are experiencing very high interest in ExecuJet’s aircraft management offering in the Middle East. Adding these state-of-the-art aircraft to our managed fleet follows the general trend in the region towards ultra-long-range Global and Gulfstream aircraft and we are delighted to be expanding at such a pace." read more


Operating your business flight to Sri Lanka. Adnan Branbo, CEO of iJET,  continues his series of insights into International trip planning. read

NBAA welcomes legislation resolving federal excise tax issues for management companies read

BBGA talks up bizav at BGAD 2015 read

Size Matters. Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering. read

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

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Air Partner delivers 90 tonnes of food to Central African Republic for UN MINUSCA Project
Air Partner, the global aviation services group, recently carried out an urgent lift of nearly 90 tonnes of food items to the Central African Republic on behalf of Ecolog International, a leading integrated service solutions company.

The aid was being delivered in support of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) Project, which is concerned with the security, humanitarian, human rights and political crisis in the region.

Air Partner arranged the charter of a Boeing 747 freight aircraft direct from Liege in Belgium to Bangui M’Poko International Airport, ensuring that the vital food supplies arrived as quickly as possible. Bangui is an extremely challenging airport to access as it is severely underserved by scheduled air services and suffers from a lack of fuel. However, in

consultation with the carrier, Air Partner was able to overcome the logistical challenges and ensure a maximum uplift of nearly 90 tonnes of payload. read more

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