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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 23rd March 2023 | Issue #694

Features Rena Davenport Wingx Recruitment
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Your weekly digest of International Business and Private Aviation Industry news

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Washington, DC:

FAA Summit: Industry collaboration key to America’s continued safety leadership says Bolen

At a rare Safety Summit convened by the FAA in Washington, DC on March 15th, NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen emphasized the importance of collaboration, communication and engagement among all stakeholders in ensuring that America continues to set the standard for aviation safety around the world.

FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen called the summit following a spate of technical failures, runway incursions and other recent safety incidents that garnered headlines and highlighted the urgency of the agency’s mission to adapt to an ever-evolving national airspace system.

The event began with remarks from Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chair Jennifer Homendy, who then turned to Nolen for his perspectives.

“These events are concerning [and] not what we’ve come to expect during a time of unprecedented safety in the US air transportation system,” Nolen stated. “One of the hallmarks of aviation and the people who pursue a life in this industry is the willingness to question conventional wisdom and to always be looking to advance safety.”

Following his opening remarks, Nolen joined former NTSB Chair Robert Sumwalt in leading a panel discussion with Bolen and other industry leaders.

“Complacency is our enemy and vigilance is our responsibility,” Bolen said. “We have lots of layers of safety and redundancy, and sometimes [they] allow someone to say, ‘I can relax.’ But that’s not who we are.”

more, plus video

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San Luis Obispo, California:

ACI Jet MRO completes first of trio of Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion installs on Challenger 604

California-based MRO provider and Bombardier Authorized Service Facility (ASF), ACI Jet, announced the completion of the first of three scheduled Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion flight deck installations on Challenger 604 aircraft.

The new flight deck, which features many of the same capabilities and technological improvements as Bombardier’s later model Challenger aircraft, was upgraded concurrently with a planned 192-month inspection. After completion of the installation, the aircraft emerged “squawk free.”

ACI Jet MRO completes first of trio of Collins Aerospace Pro Line Fusion installs on Challenger 604

The installation of this cutting-edge technology signals ACI Jet’s commitment to providing the latest and most advanced avionics solutions to its customers.

While this installation was not a first, ACI Jet joins the ranks of only a few MROs outside Bombardier’s owned network of facilities that have completed a Pro Line Fusion installation on a Challenger 604 aircraft.


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Should shorter flights concern the private jet industry?

Rena Davenport

Founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Exquisite Air Charter, Rena Davenport, shares her thoughts on how private jet providers can weather a trend that has the entire industry in the public eye - short flights amidst a heated sustainability debate.

The essence of private aviation is allowing the passenger to control the travel experience.

That flexibility has allowed customers for decades to decide how to fly. Whether it’s a short flight connecting locations without commercial airline itineraries or a long-haul flight to a remote destination, the industry adapts to consumer needs - that’s its unrivaled competitive advantage that comes with a price tag.

Yet the public eye has other plans; to flight shame those flying private, especially on shorter flights. WingX recently reported that 53% of business jet flights last month were only 1.5 hours long or less, which is a defining fact that opens the door for more scrutiny, while also imposing the need from our industry to control the narrative behind that reality. Like, did you know that private aviation accounts for only 0.04 percent of global carbon emissions?

The pandemic changed how private aviation is perceived worldwide while also educating travelers about how the industry operates far beyond millionaires and celebrities. During the outbreak, private aviation wasn’t grounded and enabled repatriation flights and humanitarian missions at a global scale.

Also, do you think the 53% stat accounts for how many flights allowed a small business to deliver a service in a remote location without a commercial itinerary? Not likely.


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Fort Lauderdale & Nashville:

Major improvements at Atlantic's Fort Lauderdale and Nashville locations

Atlantic Aviation’s ongoing commitment to significant enhancements to aviation infrastructure coast to coast is moving forward at record pace.

Major construction projects are now complete or are well underway at several of the company’s locations, including Atlantic’s facilities at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport (FXE) and Nashville International Airport (BNA).

In Florida, Atlantic Aviation Fort Lauderdale just opened their newly constructed state-of-the-art facility on the field. This 7,000 square-foot executive terminal is located just off the west end of the airport’s longest runway and will offer visiting aircraft and based customers not only the very best in comfort and convenience - but also more than four acres of ramp space and bright, expansive views from the terminal lobby.

Atlantic FXE

“From absolute first-class décor to high tech conference rooms and compelling crew services, no detail has been overlooked,” said Kurt Schmidt, Senior Vice President of Operations - Southeast Region. “We’re excited to welcome customers to our new facility, and I feel certain they’ll be amazed at all that has been done.” The newly constructed FBO at FXE replaces Atlantic’s older terminal and hangars across the field - which will now provide additional capacity for the company’s based customers.


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Polaris Aero

Kellie Roby

Kellie Roby

Polaris Aero, a leading aviation safety software company headquartred in Scottsdale, AZ., has announced the appointment of Kellie Roby as Vice President of its newly created Safety Services division.

Kellie joined the company in 2021 as Midwest Sales Executive and was promoted to Vice President in January 2023. As a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) and former safety manager, she understands clients’ needs and the dynamic nature of aviation.

Kellie has worked in Part 91 and Part 135 operations, in roles ranging from FBO operations to business management. She’s also active in the safety industry as part of the NBAA Professional Development Program Committee, the NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) Council, the Bombardier Safety Standdown Advisory Council, and the Tennessee Business Aviation Association.

“At Polaris Aero, we pride ourselves on customer service,” said Chris Connor, Co-founder and CEO. “By providing these new Safety Services, we’re expanding our already exceptional customer support. Given Kellie’s background and experience, she is the ideal choice to spearhead our new division.”

Bernard Marquez

Bernard Marquez


Bernard Marquez has been appointed Head of Quality at ATR, effective 1 March 2023.

By joining the company, Bernard takes the lead of an integrated and independent Quality function, reporting directly to ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, Nathalie Tarnaud Laude.

Bernard brings a breadth of experience to the role after 25 years building a sound expertise in quality and engineering. During almost a decade, he drove quality improvement plans mainly for the Airbus Single-Aisle Programme and its various production sites.

Most recently, he held the position of Head of A320 Family Quality Value Stream Management Performance, fostering direct or indirect teams on high performance, offering pragmatic solutions whilst always maintaining the highest levels of safety and quality.

Bernard graduated from the National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (INPT).

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WINGX Global Market Tracker:

Decline in year-on-year bizjet activity widens for 7th consecutive week

  WINGX Global Market Tracker

Worldwide business jet sectors in Week 11 of 2023, March 13th through 19th, amounted to 70,444 sectors, a 1% decrease compared to week 10 2023, a 7% decrease compared with the same dates in 2022.

According to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker published today, the global trend for the last 4 weeks is 8% behind the same dates in 2022. Global Part135 and Part91K bizjet activity in week 11 was 14% below the same dates last year. For the year-to-date, January through March 19th 2023, business jet and turboprop activity is 2% behind last year, 12% ahead of 2019.

North America

In Week 11, 54,888 bizjet sectors departed North American airports, 3% less than Week 10, 10% fewer than the same dates last year.

In the last four weeks activity is 9% behind last year. Part135 and Part 91K activity during week 11 was on par with week 10, 16% below the activity during the same dates in 2022. So far this month 88% of bizjet activity is domestic flights. Domestic flights are down 11% compared to the same 20 days in March 2022, 14% ahead of 2019. International sectors are down 4% compared to last year, 10% ahead of 2019.

full report

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Payerne, Switzerland:

Jekta signs LoI with Gayo Aviation for ten PHA-ZE 100 amphibious aircraft

Signing represents first deal for Switzerland-based electric airframe manufacturer.

Jekta, the Switzerland-based manufacturer of the electrically powered Passenger Hydro Aircraft Zero Emission 100 (PHA-ZE 100) flying boat and Gayo Aviation have announced the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the acquisition by Gayo for ten electrically powered amphibious aircraft.

With main offices in Sweden and Dubai, Gayo Aviation is a global provider of private and specialist aviation services and will optimize the aircraft to support existing and new market opportunities.

The Jekta PHA-ZE 100 electrically powered amphibious aircraft on water.

The airframe will be delivered in a baseline configuration for 19 passengers, with the deal including ground support equipment for charging and replacing the PHA-ZE 100’s batteries; tools and component support for the first year of operation; training for two pilots and two technicians; and a three-year airframe warranty.

Gayo Aviation plans to make the aircraft available for environmental and experiential tourism and charter operators wishing to bolster their sustainable transport options.


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ExecuJet MRO Services gains European approval to provide line maintenance throughout Europe

European regulators have approved ExecuJet MRO Services Belgium to provide line maintenance in other European countries.

“Following strong demand from customers, there was a need for us to offer line maintenance at locations away from our home base,” says Regional Vice President of Europe at ExecuJet MRO Services, Christophe de Coppel.

ExecuJet MRO Services gains European approval to provide line maintenance throughout Europe

ExecuJet MRO Services’ main base for line maintenance in Belgium is Brussels Airport and it has another MRO facility at Flanders International Airport, near the west Belgium city of Kortrijk, that does mainly heavy maintenance.


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Guest Article

A day in the life of luggage: how hold bags arrive at the correct airport

Artemis Aerospace

A day in the life of luggage  

When you check in, your luggage embarks on its own journey to your final destination. While there’s possibly some anxiety around whether your bags will make it to the same airport as you, the logistics of luggage handling has become a well-oiled machine that has been refined over decades.

Here, Artemis Aerospace takes us through the carefully synchronised stages which ensure you are safely reunited with your belongings at the other end.

You’ve arrived at the airport, checked in your hold baggage and it has disappeared down the conveyor belt; you can now head for the café, indulge in some retail therapy or open your laptop and get on with your work.

But as you order your flat white, your suitcase is setting off on a complex but tightly choreographed progression which will end in your reunion at the baggage reclaim belt.

Once your case has vanished from view, it enters the fully-automated handling system and passes through the baggage security screening machine, which is about twice the size of the hand luggage scanner, and a vital cog in the process of keeping everyone on board safe.


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Bizav Newsreel

Follow this flight path to success!

Watch these young people, who are training for aviation jobs outside of the pilot seat.

In response to a shortage of young talent, GearUp.TV created this sponsored content for anyone in the industry to use in your own social media, recruitment and schools visits.

watch the video

Get your content from gearup.tv/Spark, where you'll also find links to resources to learn more. And watch this space for details on how to get involved with our next video, which focuses on sustainability and young people.

watch the video watch the video

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Fort Lauderdale:

VIP Completions unveils fully refurbished Global Express

Highly personalized décor characterizes owner’s unique style.

Completions and refurbishment specialist, VIP Completions, has unveiled a spectacular Bombardier Global Express that it recently delivered to an unnamed client.

The Global Express is a long range business aircraft with a 6,000-nautical-mile range. Typically configured for 12 to 16 passengers, more than 800 Global Express models were built between 1999 and 2005. Performance and comfort define the Global Express and make it very popular among discerning aircraft buyers.

VIP Completions unveils fully refurbished Global Express

“We are very proud of this project,” says Ben Shirazi, President, VIP Completions. “This aircraft is truly a work of art. The style is clean, bright and characterized by a minimalist color palette. It features many unique design elements."

more, plus take a virtual tour

Take the Tour


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Accessing Business Aviation

Top trends in fractional jet ownership for 2023

  Nick Copley

Nick Copley, president of SherpaReport, does the heavy lifting when it comes to defining what you need to know about access to business aviation, whether full ownership, fractional, jet cards or charters.

This week he predicts that the next 12 months will continue to be very busy for the fractional market.

Fractional aircraft flights reached a new record level in 2022, with hours flown growing even more than charter flights or wholly owned flights, according to data from ARGUS TRAQPak.

These figures confirm the trend of significant growth across the whole of private aviation in the last two years. The next 12 months will continue to be very busy for the fractional market.

The reasons are multifaceted, but key trends for increased activity relate to a wider variety of aircraft, shorter wait times to gain access to fractional ownership, a more favorable buyer’s market, flexible structures, and an increased focus on sustainability.


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United Kingdom:

Flying into a new era: Highlights from BBGA’s annual conference 2023

Future workforce, industry perception, how AI is advancing the industry, protecting small airfields and the wish to keep close to Europe (and EASA) packed a full agenda at BBGA’s annual conference on March 2nd.

This year’s move to a London venue - Royal Leonardo Hotel St Paul’s - drew a record 150 delegates, with more business aviation operators attending than ever before, including SETOps ambassadors RavenAir and Jetfly. Engineering apprentices from new BBGA member Marshall Skills Academy attended with partner Bombardier, joining peers from London Stansted College.

A popular choice, Textron Aviation’s super salesman Tom Perry, affectionally known as Mr Cessna in Europe, was announced as the 2023 winner of the Michael Wheatley outstanding achievement to industry award.

Keynote speaker Rana Walker, co-founder and principal consultant for business development and crisis management firm GR&AT, wanted everyone in the room to get on the front foot.

“Shout out and be proud of all the great work that business aviation enables,” she said. It’s much more likely to be medical, cargo, humanitarian, and business-related missions (versus celebrity flying.) We live in a world of misinformation - exacerbated by clever, disruptive AI tools like Chat GPT, so it’s your job to tell your own story, urged Rana. Be visible, locally and regionally, engage, collaborate and use social media platforms Instagram, TikTok and Twitter to combat misinformation from business aviation opponents.

Work with a futurist and add a science-based activist to your Board to enhance awareness, she suggested.

During a lunchtime media briefing, sponsored by Hunt & Palmer, Pula Aviation’s Centreline shared they were the first in the UK to offer SAF from their Bristol Airport FBO. Pilots just turn up and opt to take SAF. They rarely do, however, said COO Gus Paterson, underlining that even when it’s readily available, the cost needs to come down for widespread use.


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United Kingdom:

Disrupting the next gen

LYTE Aviation’s founder to present her vision for a next-gen 40-seat eVTOL urban regional aircraft.

The future face of regional aviation doesn’t have to be complex, futuristic looking, asserts Freshta Farzam, Founder and CEO of aviation disruptor LYTE Aviation.

With 10 years’ experience in the green hydrogen and aviation sectors, Freshta’s new company, registered in the UK, fronts a distinctively conventional airframe design for 40 passengers, that will take off and land vertically like a helicopter.

Freshta Farzam

Freshta Farzam

But, unlike other next gen designs involving electric propulsion and heavy batteries, her project will be a tandem tiltwing design, with gearing allowing for forward flight and hover. This simplification means that, subject to funding, a full-scale prototype could be ready within two years.

Freshta, a graduate of the University of Applied Sciences in Hamburg, has been quietly working on her design for the past three years with an expert aerospace team who collectively have 200 years of aviation experience.


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Spanish Air Force buys another 16 PC-21s and associated simulators

Following its purchase of 24 PC-21s in early 2020 and delivery of the final aircraft of that order in mid-2022, the Spanish Air Force, Ejército del Aire, has now decided to buy another 16, becoming the largest PC-21 operator in Europe.

Reinforcing pilot training with additional Pilatus trainer aircraft, the training bandwidth of the PC-21 will also be enlarged and will also be used for elementary training in addition to basic training.

14 PC-21s will be delivered to the Academia General del Aire (AGA) in San Javier. An additional two PC-21s will also be delivered to the Centro Logístico de Armamento y Experimentación (CLAEX).

These two PC-21s will be used for experimental, flight test training and research and development activities.


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Turkey and Syria:

ACS arranges over 40 charter flights to Turkey and Syria in month since earthquakes

Air Charter Service’s passenger and cargo teams have arranged more than 40 charter flights to Turkey and Syria since the devastating earthquakes in Turkey on 6th February.

The team have been working non-stop initially flying in search and rescue teams, the day after they struck, and since transporting more than 2,000 tonnes of humanitarian cargo on behalf of governments and humanitarian organisations (NGOs).

Ben Dinsdale, Director of Government and Humanitarian Services, commented: “We started receiving calls for help early on the Monday, before the second earthquake had struck. Most importantly for the search and rescue personnel ready to go, Gaziantep Airport - nearest the epicentre - was still fully operational. By the following day we had flown German and British teams there, as well as someone from our Frankfurt office to oversee the smooth operation of the following charters.

ACS arranges over 40 charter flights to Turkey and Syria in month since earthquakes

“Later in the week we started flying in relief cargo, with our first flight being an entire field hospital on a Boeing 747 from Spain. We have now transported more than 2,000 tonnes of relief cargo on a wide variety of aircraft, including Boeing 737s, 747s, 757s and 777s, Airbus A300s and A330s, and Ilyushin 76s. The cargo has included shelters, tents, blankets, food and drink supplies, as well as the field hospital.


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Propeller advance paves way for quiet, efficient electric aviation

Electrification is seen as having an important role to play in the fossil-free aviation of tomorrow. But electric aviation is battling a dilemma: the more energy-efficient an electric aircraft is, the noisier it gets.

Now, researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a propeller design optimisation method that paves the way for quiet, efficient electric aviation.

Propeller advance paves way for quiet, efficient electric aviation

In recent years, electrification has been described as having an important role in reducing emissions from future aviation. Due to the challenges posed by longer ranges, interest is chiefly focused on electric propeller planes covering shorter distances. Propellers connected to electric motors are considered the most efficient propulsion system for regional and domestic flights.

But while the airplanes are electric, propellers cause another kind of emission - noise. The noise from the propeller blades wouldn’t just disturb air passengers. Future electric aircraft will need to fly at relatively low altitudes, with noise disturbance reaching residential areas and animal life.

Battling a trade-off dilemma


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Miami, Florida:

NATA participates in upcoming X-1 Approach FBO & User Conference in Miami

April 10th-13th, Miami, Florida.

The inaugural X-1 Approach FBO & User Conference is shaping up to be a truly unique and outstanding event, presenting some of business aviation’s most forward thinkers.

The agenda will include panel discussions on exciting technological advances that are revolutionizing the business aviation industry, best practices in operations, safety, training as well as marketing. The intention is to cover everyday topics impacting the bottom line across our industry.

Latest guest speakers to be announced are Steve Berry, Managing Director of Safety & Training at the National Air Transportation Association (NATA) and Joe McDermott, Senior Consultant at Global FBO Consult, both of whom will join the “State of Safety” session.


Stories you might have missed.

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And Finally

Tecnam commemorates seventy-five years

Pascale Brother's innovation and passion produce a legacy of aircraft.

Tecnam Aircraft is marking seventy-five years of its founding in 1948 with a celebration of its first aircraft, the Astore P-48.

Italian brothers Luigi and Giovanni Pascale started their legacy by gathering four non-working aircraft engines in a flea market - full of post-war machines - from which they assembled a working engine for their first legendary aircraft, the P48 Astore. The P48 first flew in 1951.

In 1957 Partenavia was founded to produce single-engine high and low-wing aircraft for the Italian market, flight schools, and flying clubs. International recognition came with the P68, a six-seater twin-engine aircraft with increased sales in the US and Australia. In 1986 the company pivoted, establishing Tecnam Aircraft to produce parts for other manufacturers such as Boeing, ATR, and Agusta-Westland.

Luigi and Giovanni Pascale

Luigi and Giovanni Pascale.

In 1990, Paolo Pascale, the current CEO, championed the design of the P92. This ultralight aircraft elevated the Tecnam brand, with over 2,600 aircraft produced. Over the next two decades Tecnam would design, manufacture, and deliver the Seasky, a Twin-Engine P2006T, the first composite P2008, the P2010, and most recently the P2012 Twin Engine to meet the needs of cargo, regional airline carriers, and air medical.

Tecnam has three production facilities in Italy and subsidiaries in Sebring, FL, and Brisbane, Australia. The company produces over 85% of the aircraft in its own facilities, increasing quality and on-time deliveries. "Tecnam operates in more than 65 countries and has over 175 dealers and service centers to meet our customer needs," said Tecnam CEO, Paolo Pascale. "Our goal is to expand our global presence and enter new markets in the very short term."   Tecnam

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