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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 27th August 2015 | Issue #333

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United States

NBAA’s State visits highlight need for aviation advocacy

At recent meetings in West Virginia, South Dakota and Oregon, Dick Doubrava’s message to business aviation stakeholders and airport officials has been clear: with a potentially onerous FAA reauthorization bill looming - including a possible proposal for the creation of a privatized ATC system funded by user fees - the stakes are high, and advocating on your own behalf is essential.

Doubrava, NBAA’s vice president of government affairs, has been crisscrossing the country during the August congressional recess, speaking at a number of aviation events and meeting with elected officials, NBAA members and others about the importance of general aviation and the potential threat of certain legislative proposals, especially to rural states with limited commercial airline service, such as West Virginia and South Dakota.

“Wherever we go, we share NBAA’s concerns and discuss NBAA’s efforts regarding the upcoming FAA reauthorization battle in Congress, and the potentially disastrous impact that user fees would have on the economy of each state because of their effect on general aviation stakeholders,” said Doubrava.

“NBAA is out front as these debates continue in Washington, DC and around the country,” continued Doubrava, “but it is critical that local aviation interests also contact their elected officials about the possibly dire consequences of privatizing the ATC system, which could leave decisions about user fees, where and when companies using business aviation can fly, and how much it will cost, up to a privatized board of directors made up of self-interested parties.”

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XOJET releases 2015 mid-year update

Growth in online traffic, up 40 percent, with web-generated sales leads up more than 99 percent in the second quarter of 2015

Leading private jet charter company, XOJET, Inc., has surpassed projections in the first half of 2015, delivering 51 percent increase in EBITDA and 20 percent increase in retail charter business.

In addition, the company added 100 new Preferred Access clients, as well as continued to grow its portfolio of enterprise clients, representing Fortune 500 companies which typically fly over 100 hours per year.

"XOJET's high-touch service and flexible product offering allows for a smarter way to fly private," said CEO Brad Stewart. "Consumer habits are continuing to shift away from fractional ownership models towards more on-demand, pay-as-you-fly experiences and we're optimistic that we will continue to see substantial growth, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles and the New York tri-state area, as more individuals and companies realize the value and benefits of XOJET versus fractional programs."

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FlightSafety and WVU Tech announce exclusive aviation management degree program

FlightSafety International and West Virginia University Institute of Technology have announced an exclusive aviation management degree program partnership.

This articulation agreement will enable students to receive college credit from West Virginia University Institute of Technology for courses completed at FlightSafety Academy. In addition, WVU Tech and FlightSafety Academy will develop an FAA approved Bachelor of Science Aviation Management Program.

Students will benefit from FlightSafety Academy’s professional flight training and the comprehensive WVU Tech curriculum that includes general education, business, management, and aviation coursework. This unique combination is designed to fully prepare graduates to operate an aircraft at the highest levels of proficiency and safety and to give them an edge in the aviation marketplace.

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European Cabin Service Conference

Strong charter sales lead to new jet and inflight menu for Kimbrell Group

Kimbrell Group, a full-service private jet company headquartered in Miami, Florida, is experiencing charter sales growth both domestically and internationally.

The company is growing its aircraft management division with its long term partner, My Corporate Jet Inc and Kimbrell Group will now have another aircraft under its air charter operator marketing fleet. Representing the second private jet under aircraft operator marketing for the company, the 9 passenger mid-size private jet Sabreliner 65 will meet the demand for mid-size private jet charters.

“Based of our successful relationship with Kimbrell Group, My Corporate Jet Inc has been able to add a second private jet to our air carrier certificate. We believe that this newest addition will strengthen our partnership and further develop our private jet charter sales throughout the USA, Caribbean Islands and South America. I look forward to the future and to continuing our thriving business relationship with Kimbrell Group “said Gustavo Lorenzo, Director of Operations at My Corporate Jet Inc. Mr. Lorenzo added that there are plans for the purchase of 2 additional private jets based on private jet charter sales forecast.

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One month out, WAI readies for first global Girls in Aviation Day

WAI chapters around the world will present fun and interactive programs on September 26.

With just one month to go, excitement is building for WAI’s global outreach to girls ages 8 to 16 with the first international Girls in Aviation Day on September 26, 2015.

Approximately half of WAI’s chapters have unique, local events planned designed to attract girls to the aviation lifestyle and inform them as to the diverse career opportunities available to them in the aviation community.

“This is the largest outreach WAI has ever attempted,” said WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian. “Chapter participation and partnerships with related organizations have put us on the path for a very successful day.”

Proclamations from 50 United States governors have been requested to declare September 26, 2015, as Girls in Aviation Day in their states. So far, with many requests pending, the following states have issued such a proclamation: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Vermont.

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U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices

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Western Aircraft


Austin Shontz

Greenwich AeroGroup has named Austin Shontz as Vice President and General Manager of Western Aircraft, effective September 1st.

Located in Boise, Idaho, Western Aircraft was acquired by Greenwich AeroGroup in 2007 and is one of the company’s two Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facilities.

Mr. Shontz kicked off his career in 1986 as an industrial engineer for McDonnell Douglas. From there, he spent the majority of his career with Gulfstream Aerospace where he quickly rose in rank and responsibilities, leaving the company in 2013 after serving six years as its Vice President of Manufacturing Operations, Final Phase Engineering and Supply Chain. He most recently served as a Senior Strategic Advisor for Embraer Aerospace.

Mr. Shontz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.



Chris Battaglia

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, NJ, has named Chris Battaglia as Director of Charter Sales.

Mr. Battaglia is a seasoned business aviation veteran with thirteen years of charter sales experience, six years of financial management experience, and is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He will be responsible for executing the long-term sales strategy of Meridian Air Charter, managing the daily operations of charter sales, and developing the West Coast charter business, which will be based at Hayward Executive Airport (HWD) in Hayward, CA, once the FBO and hangar facilities are completed in 2016.

Chris began his aviation career in 2002 with TAG Aviation starting as a Charter Services Representative. Over the years, he was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility, until he left the company as Director of Charter Services. In 2009, he continued his aviation career at TWC Aviation, where he was eventually promoted to VP of Charter Sales.

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United States

XTI Aircraft Company launches equity crowdfunding campaign to develop vertical takeoff bizjet

Starting today, aviation enthusiasts and crowdfunders nationwide are actively participating in the launch of XTI Aircraft Company's equity crowdfunding campaign, the first fundraising effort of its kind in aviation history - to develop the TriFan 600 - a six-seat fixed-wing airplane designed to fly as fast, as high, and as far as other business jets, but with the ability to takeoff and land vertically.

"We view equity crowdfunding as a creative way to involve everyone as true stakeholders working together to pioneer this all new way to fly," said David Brody, founder and chairman of XTI. "It's a way to turn all of our supporters into potential stockholders by providing the public a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in early on something truly revolutionary." read more

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Dr. Adnan Branbo, CEO of iJET, a flight support service provider based in Malta and Dubai, continues his series of insights into International trip planning. This week . . .

Operating your business flight to Jordan

nlike other countries in the Middle East that have rich natural resources, Jordan has no oil of its own. This makes the country’s economy reliant on trade, services and tourism,
which requires a strong aviation industry.

Aviation has played a key role in Jordan’s economic development for many years. It is one of the few countries in the Middle East that has a successful, profitable growing airline, privately managed international airport, and a secondary airport that is nearer to the city and dedicated for private and charter operation.

Furthermore, Jordan was the first country in the Middle East to introduce business aviation in the 1970s. The current support network for business aviation operators in Jordan is among the best in the whole region, with many Aircraft Operators, Fixed Based Operators, Maintenance Facilities, and Aviation Training Schools.

In this article, I am going to clarify the important operational and ground support service aspects that must be taken into consideration when planning a business aviation flight to Jordan.

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Comlux America completes 9th VIP interior

Comlux America, the Completion and Services center of the Comlux Group based in Indianapolis IN, has just completed their 9th VIP interior completion on an Airbus ACJ320 aircraft.

The Airbus Corporate Jet was completed for a private customer. This is Comlux America’s 4th ACJ interior completion overall since becoming an authorized service center for Airbus in 2010.

The VIP interior of the ACJ320 features a modern interior balanced with a classic European flare. read more

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Patrick Margetson-Rushmore, LEA’s chief executive, introduces BlueSky to his chief financial officer . . . 

A day in the life of LEA’s chief financial officer, Tony Medlock

ony has worked at LEA for around four-and-a-half years, rising from financial controller to become CFO in 2014. No day is ‘typical’ for Tony but he tells BlueSky . . .

I arrive at our head office at Stapleford Airport in Essex, on the edge of London, between 08:30 and 09.00. My first task is to check through my e-mails for any urgent matters and to review the status of our banking, payments and financial requirements for the coming day.

As an international business, we are effectively working somewhere in the world 24-7 and so I need to make sure I’m aware of any overnight developments that might affect our financial affairs.

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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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Each month, Derek Freeman, owner and founder of the award winning UK private jet fine dining company, Bon Soirée, brings you seasonal recipes from the company's new menu for you to try at home. This week . . .

Seared Salmon and Thai Salmon Cakes
Coconut and Coriander Broth

click here for the recipe

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IV Baltic Business Aviation Forum hailed as a great success

The 4th Baltic Business Aviation Forum took place on August 6th, in Latvia, with Riga International Airport VIP Center forming the centerpiece of the event.

The Forum, organized by RUBAA - the Russian United Business Aviation Association - attracted over 60 delegates from Russia and Europe. Delegates agreed that the 4th Forum was the best yet and delivered an insightful and well organized series of presentations and networking events. read more

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United Kingdom

Gama hosts inaugural ‘Cirrus Friday’ at Fairoaks Airport

Gama Aviation will be holding the inaugural Cirrus Friday event tomorrow, Friday 28th August, at Fairoaks Airport, Surrey.

Gama has a base at Fairoaks and services more than 20 Cirrus aircraft from the facility every year. The event, which runs between 10am and 4pm, will include a chance to get up close to the generation 5 SR22 from Cirrus and talks on issues including engine maintenance and avionics upgrades. read more

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First students successfully complete Heli Air ATPL (H) ground school training course

Heli Air, the UK's largest light helicopter company, has seen the first set of students graduate from its ATPL (H) / IR ground school training at Wycombe Air Park, Buckinghamshire.

Having sat their final examinations earlier this month, the successful students now qualify for their Air Transport Pilot's Licence (Helicopter). read more

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United Kingdom

Air Partner acquires Baines Simmons Limited

Extends capabilities and services into Aviation Safety Consulting

Air Partner has announced its acquisition of Baines Simmons Limited, a world leading Aviation Safety Consultant for a total net cash consideration of up to £6m.

The acquisition is expected to be earnings enhancing in its first full year of ownership.

The reputation of the Baines Simmons brand and the expertise of its employees within the aviation sector are key elements which should enable the business to help shape the evolving safety requirements in the industry and in particular, the sub-sectors of aviation regulation, compliance and safety management performance.

Baines Simmons will provide Air Partner with the opportunity to extend the Group’s service and product capabilities which will complement and enhance its existing broking business.

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Eurowings pilot positions now open to external applicants

High number of applicants from Lufthansa Group airlines responding to internal advertisements

Eurowings Europe is opening up its positions for new cockpit staff to external applicants as of today. 

The openings have been advertised within Lufthansa Group since 11 August - and there is an abundant number of applicants. Numerous internal applications have been received from pilots working for airlines within the Lufthansa Group as well pilots undergoing training at Lufthansa’s flight school in Bremen. 

The number of internal applications for first officers has already met existing needs for the first year while demand for additional staff at different starting dates remains strong.

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FAI continues to strengthen air ambulance offering with first civilian Global Express medevac conversion

Ninth Learjet 60 joins the fleet

Germany-based general aviation and air ambulance specialist operator FAI rent-a-jet Aktiengesellschaft (Flight Ambulance Intl.) is continuing to strengthen its medical evacuation capabilities as it undertakes the first ever conversion of a civilian Global Express aircraft into a medevac configuration.

FAI has contracted Spectrum Aeromed Inc., the US company dedicated to designing and manufacturing customised medical and air ambulance equipment for fixed and rotor wing aircraft, to develop and build a bespoke Intensive Care Unit (ICU). When completed it will be installed on the Global Express by FAI’s MRO subsidiary FAI Technik GmbH in Nuremberg.

The newly equipped aircraft, which is currently undergoing a twelve month C-Check, installation of a new XRS-cabin, and other additional upgrades will be based at the FAI facility at Albrecht Dürer International. Airport, Nuremberg and is expected to enter service in its new configuration before the end of 2015.

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Paula returns next week.

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On Air Dining strengthens support for European Cabin Service Conference in Brussels

Following the success of the 2014 European Corporate Flight Attendants Conference (ECFAC), momentum is building for the third event which will be held in Brussels, Belgium on the 11 September 2015.

The conference, which is this year called the European Cabin Service Conference, is organised by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), and is being led by a European steering committee of which Daniel Hulme, CEO of inflight dining experience provider, On Air Dining, is Vice Chair.

Hulme, who was a co-founder of the first event in 2012 will be supporting this year’s event by sponsoring the meeting and supporting the presentation by Richard Hardwick of UK-based Bespoke Beverages, purveyors of Kopi Luwak, a rare Indonesian coffee, and a key supplier to On Air Dining.

“Cabin Crew often work in isolation and are heavily relied on during flight to ensure all elements of the trip run smoothly. This conference is designed to allow them to share their knowledge, provide them with useful, new skills and aims to encourage them to discuss day to day topics with fellow professionals,” says Hulme about why On Air Dining continues to be involved.

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United Kingdom

North Sea pilots show strong support for strike action and highlight safety concerns

North Sea Helicopter Pilots have indicated strong support for strike action if helicopter companies do not make serious improvements in the way they deal with job losses.

They have also highlighted the serious impact on safety the threat of redundancy is having.

In the survey conducted by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), pilots accepted the downturn in the industry meant jobs would go, but were frustrated at the way management are going about it.

Pilots want the helicopter companies to improve voluntary redundancy arrangements to try and prevent as many compulsory job losses as possible. And they believe the companies are not valuing the experience of senior pilots highly enough in deciding who may need to be made redundant. read more

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Czech Republic

ABS Jets achieves IS-BAO audit Stage II

Prague based ABS Jets has successfully accomplished an IS-BAO audit Stage II.

The IS-BAO audit was carried out from 22th to 25th June 2015 resulting in zero major findings, a great accolade for ABS Jets. After a series of thorough audit report quality checks, performed by several organizations (including the International Business Aviation Council in Montreal), the Stage II registration was announced on the 29 July 2015.

ABS Jets achieved its first IS-BAO Stage I registration on 1 August 2013. The decision to become an IS-BAO certified operator was made by ABS Jets senior management. They took this decision for a number for reasons. It meant that the internal management processes were strengthened leading to a swift implementation of ABS Jets’ integrated management system. It also clearly demonstrated to the entire team at ABS Jets the proven adequacy and correctness of Compliance Monitoring and SMS processes implemented by the company.

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EVS Aviation launches 'Crew Concierge' service at Cork

EVS Aviation in conjunction with its sister company Emerald VIP Services has launched its innovative 'Crew Concierge' service for the benefit of its growing customer base at Cork Airport in Ireland.

“Crew Concierge came about in part due to demand from some of our visiting crews who wanted to take time to explore Ireland's multiple cultural offerings when they had sufficient time on the ground,” says Mike Ryan, Director of FBO Services for EVS Aviation.

“However they wanted to have something organised before they landed as well as specifically tailored to their own schedule and budget allowing them to maximise their time on the ground and avoid the standard tour offerings available to the general public.

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Operating your business flight to Nigeria. Dr. Adnan Branbo, CEO of iJET. read

Avjet Routing partners with UAERO China for a history-making project read

Make your marketing more entrepreneurial. Deanna Harms, executive vice president at Greteman Group. read

A Watermelon Smile. Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering. read

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

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Chapman Freeborn deliver 19 Rallycross supercars to Norway in world first

Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, along with logistics partner GAC, have successfully transported 19 Rallycross cars to Trondheim Airport, Norway (TRD) on board a chartered Kalitta Air B747-200F.
The operation, which supports the FIA World Rallycross Championship as it moves into its 8th round, departed from Montréal–Mirabel Airport in Canada (YMX), marking the first time supercars competing in the competition have been transported by air.

The landmark occasion was attended by Norwegian rally drivers Petter Solberg and Andreas Bakkerud, currently first and second in the championships overall table, along with the mayor of Stjørdal.

The supercars, each capable of 0-60mph in 1.9 seconds, will compete in a race in Hell, Norway as part of the ongoing global competition, which puts drivers from around the world head to head as they compete for the coveted World Championship title.

Sam Macadam, Cargo Charter Broker at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering comments: “We are delighted to have coordinated this operation along with GAC for the World Rallycross Championship. Transporting 19 supercars along with over 30 tons of loose spares and support equipment did not come without its complications, but our experience transporting unique and outsize cargo allowed us to take a thorough approach to this operation. With meticulous planning, we were able to smoothly deliver the first ever World Rallycross charter, securing air charter a place as a viable transport option for the Championships in the future.”

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