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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 16th February 2017 | Issue #404

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United States

NBAA applauds introduction of legislation to resolve excise tax dispute for management companies

The National Business Aviation Association has welcomed the introduction of bipartisan congressional legislation that would put an end to the improper application of commercial airline ticket taxes to aircraft management companies.

The legislation makes clear that management services provided to assist a business aircraft owner in the operation of its aircraft are non-commercial aviation in nature and are subject to the aviation fuel tax.

Introduced by Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-12-OH) and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), H.R. 896 and S. 321 clearly state that amounts paid by the aircraft owner for maintenance and support of their aircraft by a management services company - such as for crew scheduling and dispatch, flight planning services, insurance and aircraft maintenance - are not subject to the ticket tax.

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2016 Business Aviation Review

ARGUS has released its 2016 Business Aviation Review.

This year end review looks at flight activity for the overall industry, the individual industry segments & aircraft categories, and it reviews top operators & other key metrics.

2016 proved to be another banner year for business aviation. TRAQPak recorded rises in flight activity for 11 of the 12 calendar months; April recorded a slight year over year decline of 0.6%.

Flight activity for 2016 was up 3.2% when compared to 2015. It was up 5.3% when compared to 2014 and 7.5% when compared to 2013.

Download the full Report here

Silver Air launches PURE Jet Management

Silver Air, the private jet management and charter operator based in Southern California, has launched PURE Jet Management illustrating the company’s vision to be the most innovative and transparent aircraft management solution.

PURE Jet Management fundamentals focus on the company’s owner-advocate approach that ensures jet owners’ interests are put ahead of all others, a proprietary process that builds strategic plans for each aircraft based on the owner’s goals, and an expert team that is professional, accessible, and transparent.

“PURE Jet Management differentiates Silver Air from traditional management companies that have developed a network of multiple profit centers motivated by upselling fuel, maintenance, hanger rent, and fixed costs,” said Silver Air co-founder and president Jason Middleton. “Since day one, Silver Air has vowed to advocate for our owner clients, and avoid the conflicts of interest that come from the traditional model."

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Because Content Rules, CMS Rocks

Heather New, digital developer at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, KS, the Air Capital.

eople come to your website to learn something.

About your services. Your pricing. Your people. You name it.

That’s why it’s such a good idea to have a website based on a content management system. A CMS puts content under your control. That is a very good thing.

Before we talk more about why you want to wrangle updates yourself, let’s talk a bit more about what a CMS is. What does CMS even mean? It’s jargon to most people. When talking to friends about the website I just developed and how excited I was because I coded the CMS “so easy to use, even an admin can make content changes” - I get blank stares.

In my attempt to explain CMS, I will say something like, “You know . . . it’s when I do all the coding and hide it to make it super easy for non-tech types to make updates to their website without knowing or having to see any of the difficult coding and backend stuff.” The response is usually, “Oh, okay . . . ” But they still have no idea what I’m talking about.

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NBAA calls for modernized ATC that serves all Americans

National Business Aviation Association President and CEO Ed Bolen has issued a statement, regarding comments made in conjunction with a meeting between President Donald Trump and several airline CEOs, which included discussion of creating a privatized Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, funded by user fees - a concept long pushed by the airlines.

“We’re delighted that, in today’s meeting, the president made clear that aviation modernization is important - that’s a goal with which we agree, and the business aviation community will continue to be at the forefront of aviation-modernization efforts,” Bolen said.

“We very much welcome the opportunity to work with the new president and the Congress to advance this goal in a way that serves all Americans, not just those in the country’s largest cities with commercial airline hubs.

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MedAire publishes 2017 Travel Risk Map & Research

80% of organisations modified travel itineraries due to health or security concerns in the past year.

MedAire, an International SOS company, has published its Travel Risk Map for 2017.

Created by the world's leading medical and travel security specialists, the map provides a comprehensive overview of risks by destination and helps organisations and their flight departments in mitigating travel risks.

The map is a valuable resource to flight departments as security issues remain top of mind for the global business traveller. In a survey about business travel and risks, 80% of the respondents reported they modified travel itineraries due to health or security concerns over the past year.

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Bombardier Globals surpass 2,500 takeoffs and landings in Aspen

Bombardier Business Aircraft have announced that, since 2000, Global aircraft have achieved more than 2,500 takeoffs and landings at Aspen's challenging airport.

With their high-performance, ultra-luxurious interior, and exceptionally smooth ride, Bombardier's Global aircraft are ideally suited to operate in and out of the rugged terrain surrounding Aspen/Snowmass, a popular winter destination offering some of the world's premier downhill skiing.

Delivering a steep approach capability like no other aircraft in their class, Global business jets demonstrate renowned agility and deft landing capabilities at Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which is nestled among Rocky Mountain peaks at approximately 7,820 feet (2,384 m) above sea level. read more

U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices


Jet Aviation St. Louis


Pat Fenwick

Jet Aviation at St. Louis has named aviation veteran Pat Fenwick to the new position of MRO manager that was created in the continuous effort to improve customer service in MRO maintenance projects.

Fenwick is a 44-year aviation veteran - 25 of those years at Jet Aviation at St. Louis. He has deep experience across MRO, including paint, avionics, engineering flight testing, inspection, quality and warranty.

Fenwick has specialized in aircraft restoration professionally and as an avocation. He restores and maintains World War II-era "warbirds," including a B-25 bomber that he and others bought and later donated to the Commemorative Air Force.

United Kingdom

Iconic Biggin Hill celebrates 100th anniversary

A unique gathering of people and aircraft have witnessed the launch of ‘Biggin100’ - a programme of celebrations and special events to mark the centenary of London Biggin Hill Airport.

Three very special 100 year old guests took to the air on Tuesday (February 14th) and flew over Biggin in a Spitfire and a Learjet 75 corporate jet.

Ray Roberts, a WW2 pilot had the honour of flying in the Spitfire, whilst local resident Lily Osborne, ex Bletchley Park Signals Intelligence Officer and Trudi Baxter flew in one of the most modern corporate jets, a Learjet 75 provided by bespoke charter airline, Zenith Aviation.

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United States

Air Elite Network spans the Hemispheres

World Fuel Services' Air Elite Network has welcomed nine new FBOs to its global network of Diamond Service Locations in recent months.

Ross Aviation’s FBO at Long Beach, CA., joins the Air Elite Network.

The network now covers both hemispheres and covers six continents, with a widening footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

full story

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United States

Air Plains Services marks 40 years as extreme performance leader

Wellington, Kansas - just south of Wichita - calls itself the Wheat Capital of the World, but there is a global audience that also knows it as the home of Air Plains Services, this year marking 40 years as a leader in creating extreme performance upgrades for thousands of Cessna piston aircraft around the globe.

“I started Air Plains 40 years ago out of my passion for making airplanes fly better, faster and more agile, and cheaper to operate, and it’s grown into a company recognized around the world for our XP extreme performance kits for Cessna piston singles, as well as for our high- quality airframe modifications and maintenance for a variety of aircraft models,” said Mike Kelley, owner of Air Plains. “Our team supports not only our many individual owners for XP installations and kits, aircraft maintenance and modifications, but we’re frequently called on by OEMs for our reliable expertise in getting the best performance out of a variety of aircraft models.”

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United States

Baer Air rebrands as Apex Executive Jet Center

Baer Air (KMLB) announces its official name change to Apex Executive Jet Center (AEJC) as it expands and upgrades its facilities and services.

AEJC will continue its partnership with Avfuel as a branded FBO and will expand its storage and deliverable capabilities over the next year.

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AfBAA and NBAC to co-host West African Business Aviation Symposium

The African Business Aviation Association (AfBAA) has teamed up with EAN Aviation, organisers of the annual Nigerian Business Aviation Conference, NBAC, to merge the two respected meetings into one powerful event.

In a value-add for delegates the two meetings will come together to spearhead discussions about the value of creative business thinking, and how it can stimulate new ideas to help navigate the increasingly challenging world of business aviation in the region.

The organisers have designed the programme with the aim of providing a set of pragmatic tools that will support the region’s stakeholders’ future planning and development.

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United States

NBAA requests Appeals Court review of Santa Monica Airport settlement agreement

The National Business Aviation Association has joined with five additional airport stakeholders to petition the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to review the recent decision by the FAA that negatively affects the future of California’s Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).

Last month, the FAA announced it had reached a settlement with the city of Santa Monica, which, in addition to permitting closure of the historic airfield at the end of 2028, would also allow the city to immediately begin the process of reducing the length of the SMO's sole runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen termed the FAA’s seeming acquiescence to a vocal minority of Santa Monica residents, "a one-of-a-kind development" that would severely restrict aviation access throughout Southern California and across the U.S.

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Inmarsat completes testing of key satellite infrastructure for European Aviation Network

Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS).

As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers travelling throughout Europe.

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United States

Avfuel brands Castle & Cooke Aviation, adding three leading Pacific FBOs to Network

Castle & Cooke Aviation’s three FBOs in Van Nuys, California (KVNY); Honolulu, Hawaii (PHNL); and Everett, Washington (KPAE) have become new significant locations in the Avfuel Network of 650+ branded FBOs.

With a reputation for elegant facilities coupled with personalized support, Castle & Cooke Aviation has led the industry with premier services to Fortune 500 aviation customers since 1980.

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Honeywell joins Clean Sky Joint Undertaking to advance green aviation technology across Europe

Honeywell has joined the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, the largest European research program developing innovative technologies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions and noise levels produced by aircraft.

As a core partner of Clean Sky, Honeywell received funding worth 35m Euros to back the development of aerospace technologies in support of the initiative. The funding will further strengthen Honeywell’s commitment to its European engineering centers, particularly in the Czech Republic, France and the United Kingdom.

As part of its membership, Honeywell will undertake projects to develop priority technologies from cockpit solutions to health monitoring. It will also use the funding to advance its electromechanical actuators, which help improve aircraft performance and encourage lower operating costs.

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ASL's Legacy 450 approved to operate into London City airport

ASL has received the approval from the London Airport Authorities to perform commercial charter flights in and out of the famous airport of London City (LCY) with its Embraer Legacy 450, thereby becoming the first Legacy 450 (operator) in the world to obtain this approval (the stretched model Legacy 500 being already approved).

The aircraft, serial number 55010003, was delivered to ASL and its partner company Smartair in January 2016 and was the first Legacy 450 registered in Europe, also the first Legacy 450 to be offered on the charter market worldwide.

In spring 2016, the company announced that it had received approval to operate charter flights in and out of the challenging airport of St. Tropez (La Mole) on the French Riviera, where the aircraft was based during the entire summer season of 2016. The aircraft was recently retrofitted by Embraer with the new "Steep Approach Mode", allowing the aircraft to perform stabilized approaches with up to 6°steep angles (London City's final approach glide-path is 5.5°).

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ATR and Sweden’s BRA perform first ATR biofuel flight

An ATR 72-600 of the Swedish carrier BRA (former Braathens Regional) has flown from Stockholm-Bromma to Umeå, fueled at 45% with fossil-free used cooking oil, marking the first biofuel-powered flight of an ATR aircraft.

BRA provides an essential air service to link their main hub of Stockholm-Bromma to twelve Swedish regions. The ATRs of BRA provide an unrivaled performance advantage in months with adverse weather conditions. The airline is particularly committed to environmental preservation and has already started replacing their Saab 2000s with modern ATR 72-600s, recognized as the most fuel-efficient aircraft on the regional market.

Several research and development initiatives are currently underway in Sweden to produce biofuels from different types of wood. In Sweden, forests cover more than 50% of the country, and grow at a rate of 120 million cubic meters annually. Making domestic air traffic in Sweden completely fossil-free would require less than 2% of the total annual forest growth.

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TAG Aviation to undertake fourth Falcon 7X C-check

TAG Aviation will soon commence its fourth scheduled C-check inspection on a Falcon 7X aircraft.

C-checks are the most comprehensive maintenance overhaul for the Dassault Falcon 7X and are due every eight years or every 4,000 cycles, whichever comes first.

All the expertise needed for C-checks necessitates extensive production coordination between TAG’s maintenance, engineering, customer support, spare parts and cabin refurbishment departments. Special planning is put in place to enable the quick reactivity which operators demand during this major overhaul process.

TAG’s first C-check project on this aircraft type was completed during last summer and was undertaken in conjunction with a major cabin and cockpit refurbishment and also included a brand new veneer.

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

Lowering the Heartburn Risk

e have all suffered from heartburn or acid reflux at one time or another.

Did you know that over 20% of the population suffers from acid reflux or heartburn at least once a week?

That means we have all probably had to plan meals for a passenger or flight crew suffering with this ailment . . . possibly without even knowing it. Knowing this high number of occurrences, it might be wise for catering sources to plan an assortment of meals and label them as low risk meals for heartburn.

The symptoms of heartburn are generally the same with varying degrees. A tight, fiery painful sensation through your chest and throat is primary. This is most often followed by a sour or bitter taste in your throat and mouth that can last for minutes or even hours.

Heartburn is caused by acid reflux, which happens when stomach acid is released into the oesophagus because of either acid damage in the oesophagus or a weakened sphincter muscle. This occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle (LES) becomes relaxed and stomach acid splashes up into the oesophagus and throat.

Foods to Avoid when planning for a passenger or flight crew with heartburn or acid reflux.

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Airbus Helicopters products gain market share in North America despite slow market conditions in 2016

Airbus Helicopters Inc. and Airbus Helicopters Canada Ltd. solidified their position as the North American market leader in civil and parapublic helicopters in 2016 despite a difficult market environment that saw a dramatic decline in total industry orders.

The companies delivered a combined 60 new helicopters to the civil and parapublic market in 2016, 50 percent of the total deliveries in North America. The two companies booked a total of 64 orders for new aircraft, or an estimated 73 percent of all new helicopter bookings in North America.

In both deliveries and bookings, the companies increased their share of the North America helicopter market.

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Luxaviation Helicopters launches as first global VIP helicopter management company

Luxaviation Helicopters, part of the Luxaviation Group, launches as the first VIP helicopter management company with a truly global reach.

Present in key locations spanning the Group’s worldwide operations in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East, Luxaviation Helicopters will manage VIP and VVIP helicopters for private and business clients.

Luxaviation Helicopters will specialise in helicopter management, delivering services to helicopter owners including crew provision, training, maintenance coordination, charter services, sales and acquisitions.

From Spring 2017, Luxaviation Helicopters will become one of the first VIP helicopter operators in Europe holding EASA approval, allowing the company to operate charter flights to offshore yachts and cruise liners.

read more

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Strong start to 2017, especially business jet charter. The WINGX Report. read

Pre-owned bizjet full retail sale transactions end six consecutive years of increases in 2016 full report

Spotlight on London Biggin Hill based Zenith Aviation. read

Inmarsat completes testing of key satellite infrastructure for European Aviation Network more, plus video

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

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Air BP official sponsor of 2017 Red Bull Air Race

Air BP has announced it is an official sponsor of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship, serving as both the fuel supplier and carbon reduction partner for the 2017 season.

The announcement comes as the first race of the season reached an exciting conclusion on Corniche Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE this weekend, marking the World Championship’s 75th race. The Edge and MXS race planes which were fuelled at Al Bateen Executive Airport (where Air BP holds a Technical Services Agreement with ADNOC), performed an amazing display of high-speed, low altitude racing to the delight of the crowd.

As part of the sponsorship deal, Air BP will work with Red Bull Air Race to offset the carbon emissions associated with aviation fuel during the 2017 race season. This is achieved via an offsetting programme managed by BP Target Neutral which supports targeted environmental projects around the world that have reduced emissions by an equivalent amount. This gives Red Bull Air Race a carbon neutral fuel footprint for the 2017 season. Environmental issues remain a growing and important feature on Air BP’s agenda and through its Environmental Solutions Offer, the company provides a number of services to help customers work towards a lower carbon future.

Air BP and Red Bull Air Race share a passion for aviation and both brands share knowledge and expertise in technical delivery, safety and quality making them ideally suited to the tenth season.

Commenting on the announcement, Jon Platt, CEO of Air BP, said: “Through our new relationship with the Red Bull Air Race World Championship, Air BP is proud to be involved with one of most exciting sports in existence, one that is in perfect alignment with our core values of safety, excellence and teamwork, and our ambition to be a leader in driving down carbon emissions across the aviation industry.”


Martin Sonka of the Czech Republic dazzled the fans at the diamond 75th Red Bull Air Race in the history of the World Championship, earning the first race win of his career. Second place Juan Velarde (ESP) and third place Pete McLeod (CAN).


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