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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 6th May 2021 | Issue #604

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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

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Flexjet and Sentient Jet parent acquires UK helicopter provider, Halo Aviation

Positions companies to become a global leaders in vertical flight.

Fractional jet provider Flexjet and jet card pioneer Sentient Jet have a new sister company - Halo Aviation Ltd - a leading provider of helicopter transportation services in the United Kingdom.

The transaction follows the acquisition earlier this year of Associated Aircraft Group (AAG), the premier provider of executive Sikorsky helicopter service in the North-eastern United States.

These moves position Flexjet, Sentient Jet and their sister companies, FXAIR and PrivateFly, on-demand jet charter providers in both the US and Europe, to become leaders in vertical flight, further expanding their offerings and global operations.

Halo Aviation

Halo and AAG, both manage fleets of some of the finest helicopters in the world and are leading providers of vertical lift and urban mobility services in their respective nations.

The move will inject a new group of customers from Flexjet, the second largest fractional jet provider in the world, and Sentient Jet, which has 8,000 active jet card holders, and will pave the way for a unique end-to-end travel solution not offered by any other provider.


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Grand Forks, North Dakota:

Vantis, North Dakota's statewide UAS network, entering testing stages in collaboration with FAA

As remote surveillance and communications infrastructure installation is coming to completion at key sites in McKenzie and Williams counties, Vantis, North Dakota’s statewide UAS network, is gearing up for testing and validation of the network in line with the rigorous safety measures the aviation industry is known for.

The Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS), which administers Vantis, has worked closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to plan testing procedures that are safe, do not interfere with existing manned aviation in the region, and which will prove the safety and reliability of Vantis moving forward.

“Safety is always our number one priority,” said Trevor Woods, director of safety for NPUASTS and Vantis. “Vantis is blazing a new trail in UAS operations, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

Vantis, North Dakota's statewide UAS network, entering testing stages in collaboration with FAA

Installation of Vantis infrastructure includes radars, ADS-B receivers, and command and control radios; all of which will allow an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or drone, pilot to electronically “see” from the perspective of the UAS, as good or better than a pilot in a manned aircraft using their eyes. This will allow UAS to fly safely beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the pilot.


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Lincoln, Nebraska:

Ross Aviation acquires Silverhawk Aviation FBO and MRO in Lincoln

Ross Aviation has added a key midwestern location to their FBO network with the acquisition of the FBO and MRO businesses of Silverhawk Aviation in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Located at Lincoln Airport (LNK), Silverhawk Aviation has been consistently ranked as one of the top FBOs in the Midwest and is highly regarded in the region for their expansive flight maintenance capabilities. Ross Aviation did not acquire the fractional, charter, or aircraft management services business, which owners Mike Gerdes and John Geary will continue to operate as Silverhawk Aviation.

“This is an important addition for us” said Brian Corbett, Chief Executive Officer of Ross Aviation. “Not only from a geographic perspective - but from an operational one as well. Silverhawk’s outstanding reputation for unbeatable quick turns and guest services fits perfectly with our flight hospitality culture,” he continued, “and their MRO capabilities dovetail nicely with those of our other repair stations in Westfield, Massachusetts and Sarasota, Florida.”

Silverhawk will continue operating their charter fleet and will be a key client for Ross Aviation’s FBO and flight maintenance services.


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Columbus, Ohio:

FlightSafety partners with Flight Research for in-aircraft upset recovery training

FlightSafety International and Flight Research, an industry leader in advanced pilot training and human spaceflight training, have announced the launch of their joint Upset Recovery Training.

This offering aims to reduce loss of control in flight accidents by fusing FlightSafety International’s unmatched type-specific simulator training with Flight Research’s in-aircraft instruction.

FlightSafety partners with Flight Research for in-aircraft upset recovery training

This Upset Recovery Training will give pilots the opportunity to experience inflight upset with real gravitational forces, vestibular excitation and mental stress that can only be delivered in a plane; further building upon FlightSafety’s simulation programs that replicate scenarios which cannot be safely accomplished in an aircraft, such as very low-level stall events.

Using technology and the aircraft provides the most thorough training possible against loss of in-flight control, the single greatest cause of fatal aviation accidents for more than a decade.


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Fort Worth, Texas

Baker Aviation positioned for growth with new facility

Harry Mitchel appointed Vice President.

Baker Aviation, a full-service aircraft maintenance, management and charter company is now located in a new 66,000+ square foot facility at Fort Worth, Meacham International Airport (KFTW).

The Baker business moved into the spacious two-hangar facility last year as they outgrew the previous Fort Worth location. In addition, Harry Mitchel has been named Vice President of Operations to facilitate future plans for growth and success of the company.

“We are optimistic about the industry, especially here in North Texas and took advantage of the opportunity to expand and began building this facility in 2019,” said Stan Baker, III, President of Baker Aviation.

“Of course, no one saw the pandemic coming last year so we adjusted to keep our business flying."


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Washington, DC:

New NBAA accreditation certifies leadership in sustainable flight operations

The National Business Aviation Association has unveiled a new accreditation program that will serve as an industry standard for validating leadership in sustainable flight operations across a host of key domains.

As companies increasingly emphasize sustainability as an overall objective, the NBAA Sustainable Flight Department Accreditation Program offers a tangible way for flight departments and others to demonstrate leadership in sustainability.

“NBAA has always been the authoritative source for business aviation, including when it comes to the sustainability of flight operations,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen.

“We want to underscore our commitment to this priority with our groundbreaking new tool, which provides a strategic framework for integrating all aspects of operational sustainability into an organization’s planning and culture.

We look forward to working with our members in introducing this important program and supporting their sustainability goals in the years to come.”


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Pentastar Aviation

Kevin Housner

Kevin Housner

Pentastar Aviation announced that Kevin Housner has joined the company as Director of Health, Safety & Environmental (HS&E).

In this role, Housner is responsible for HS&E compliance. The position is accountable for employee indoctrination, training programs, development and maintenance of internal policies and procedures, and ongoing internal evaluation relative to HS&E regulatory requirements and third-party safety standards adopted by Pentastar.

Prior to joining Pentastar, Housner held the position of Safety Specialist in the excavating industry. He also has 9 years of Distinguished Service with the United States Coast Guard, in which he held the positions of Aircraft Maintenance Technician and Maritime Enforcement Specialist.

Housner studied Occupational Safety and Health at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, graduating with honors and has a Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot’s License and several industry certifications for safety and health.

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WINGX Global Market Tracker:

Spring seeing quickening US activity, stuttering European trends

  WINGX Global Market Tracker

From the start of April through the first week of May, global fixed wing flight activity is up 219% compared to 2020 but still trailing 35% versus comparable 2019, according to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker published today.

Within that context, global business aviation traffic is up 200% on last year, down by 8% versus April-May 2019. For the year-to-date, business aviation activity is up 28% compared to 2020, down by 9% compared to 2019, which is in stark contrast to scheduled airlines, sectors down 20% and 47% compared to 2020 and 2019 respectively. Global cargo activity is up 14% so far this year versus last year, and 7% ahead of pre-pandemic Jan-May 2019.

WINGX Global Market Tracker:

United States

In the US market, just under one million flights so far this year is 8% below same period 2019, only 6% behind April 2019, and almost 30% ahead of the first 4 months of 2020. In the first few days of May, the 7-day rolling average activity has peaked at 9,217 departures, which is the highest since the 12th of July 2019.

full report

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Broomfield, Colorado:

Arizona businessman takes delivery of Pilatus' 1800th PC-12

After leading the turbine-powered business aircraft market in 2020, Pilatus passes another fleet milestone with the delivery of the 1800th example of the versatile single-engine turboprop.

At 82 deliveries, according to GAMA's 2020 Year-End Aircraft Shipment Report, the Pilatus PC-12 was the most popular model of all turbine-powered business aircraft.

Arizona businessman takes delivery of Pilatus' 1800th PC-12

Building on that success, Pilatus delivered the 1800th production unit at the end of April. PC-12 NGX serial number 2070 was delivered to Alán Aguirre, owner of Divine Flavor LLC, a family-run and grower-owned distribution company based in Nogales, Arizona, with greenhouses and vineyards throughout Mexico.


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United Kingdom:

Faradair signs former Boeing, easyJet executives to its Advisory Board

Faradair has announced the appointment of OEM and airline industry titans Randy Tinseth and Tony Anderson to help steer the company through its next phase of growth and continued development of the Bio Electric Hybrid Aircraft (BEHA).

Former Vice President Marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Randy Tinseth becomes the new head of Faradair Aerospace Limited’s Advisory Board. Tony Anderson, former easyJet executive and only the third employee at the famous low-cost carrier also joins the Board.

Tony Anderson (left) and Randy Tinseth have been appointed to the Faradair Advisory Board.

Between them, they bring a wealth of experience from leading companies in the commercial aircraft sector, providing valuable insight to Faradair’s future business model and growth.


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Gazprom Neft's new technology boosts aviation refuelling process

Gazpromneft-Aero, the aviation fuel operator of Gazprom Neft, is boosting the efficiency of aircraft refuelling following successful tests of the first modular fuel truck in Eastern Europe.

Gazprom Neft's new technology boosts aviation refuelling process

Its prototype, which has been tested at Omsk International Airport, cuts the maintenance time for automobile equipment by 50% and improves fuel delivery to the aircraft wing. New equipment makes it possible to modify the truck using four basic elements - a hauler, a lifting platform, a refuelling module, and a semitrailer-tank.


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Straight out of Africa

Helina Teshome, managing director at Krimson Aviation, discusses how launching a bespoke travel service at the beginning of a pandemic highlights why flexibility, agility and adaptability matter.

  Helina Teshome

Since we launched more than five years ago, there has been a steady increase in demand from crew and passengers for travel recommendations in Ethiopia.

In response to this growing interest, we launched Krimson Koncierge at Aviation Africa in the first week of March 2020. The show began in a pre-pandemic world and finished in a rising tide of travel lockdowns as the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed the global pandemic a week later on 11 March 2020.

We couldn’t have anticipated that our timing would be so wrong, but in fact the global pause has allowed us to further research and develop our offering for when the border restrictions ease and regular travel is the norm.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley, is the country’s commercial and cultural hub.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley, is the country’s commercial and cultural hub.

With flight movements at a near standstill for the past year, it may have seemed contrary to continue building a bespoke travel service business. However, with the gradual global rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine, we are moving closer to a major travel boom and Krimson Koncierge will be ready to accommodate both first-time and experienced travellers seeking to maximise their Ethiopian experience.


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bizav newsreel

This week . . . . May 4th Be With You

Since Star Wars Day took place on Tuesday, we thought we'd share the story of Mae Jemison, who became the first African American woman to travel into space when she served as a mission specialist aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992.

Mae Jemison

Today, space and the business aviation industry are increasingly converging with companies like OneWeb launching 900 low earth satellites into orbit, democratising the cost of inflight connectivity for private jets, while seeing females enter the arena is much less noteworthy. May the Force always be with you.

video watch the video

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Basel, Switzerland:

Jet Aviation has received Part 125 certification from the FAA, authorizing the global aviation service provider to operate aircraft that seat 20 or more passengers.

Part 125 establishes a uniform set of certification and operational rules for large aircraft with a seating capacity of 20 or more passengers. The company used a Boeing 787 aircraft as its prototype in the filing process.

Jet Aviation

“I am incredibly proud of our Flight Services team for the work they have done to make this possible,” said David Dalpiaz, Jet Aviation’s vice president of Flight Services, Americas. “Their efforts are a representation of Jet Aviation’s dedication to delivering an elevated customer experience.”

Jet Aviation can now operate large aircraft carrying groups of 20 or more passengers, such as corporate groups, educational institutes or sports teams.

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Embraer names its main factory 'Ozires Silva Unit'

Embraer's main industrial complex in São José dos Campos, Brazil is now named 'Ozires Silva Unit'.

The initiative is part of a series of tributes that have been carried out this year in celebration of the engineer and former Air Force officer’s 90th birthday, who led the group of visionaries responsible for the creation of Embraer in 1969.

Embraer names its main factory 'Ozires Silva Unit'

Artistic mural pays tribute to the Brazilian aeronautical industry pioneer.

A 115 m² 3D mural painted outside of the company's delivery center hangars, close to the visitors' main entrance, highlights Ozires Silva and the Bandeirante turboprop aircraft, Brazil’s legendary aeronautical project that resulted in the creation of Embraer.

The Ozires Silva Unit commenced operations on January 2, 1970, and was the production site for historic Embraer aircraft such as Bandeirante, Xavante, Ipanema, Xingu, Brasília, Tucano, AMX, the ERJ-145 family and executive jets.

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Torrance, California:

Robinson delivers 13,000th helicopter

On April 23rd, 2021 Robinson Helicopter delivered it’s 13,000 helicopter, R44 S/N 14438 to longtime Robinson dealer SKY Helicopters of Dallas, Texas.

S/N 14438 shows off a brand-new paint scheme and is equipped with the latest in R44 options; a Lithium-ion battery, heated seats, and a 4K cockpit video camera. The aircraft also includes a well configured glass panel featuring Garmin’s 700L TXi, GTN 650Xi navigator, and a Genesys HeliSAS Autopilot.

Robinson delivers 13,000th helicopter

SKY president Ken Pyatt wanted a new generation R44 to round-out the company’s fleet. “We purchased this R44 for our Part 135 air taxi and tour operations,” said Pyatt, “because we needed a safe and reliable helicopter than can fly all day, every day.” A dealer since 1996, this latest acquisition puts SKY’s Robinson fleet at 27.

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Universal Aviation UK works with RAF Northolt to extend airport operating hours

Universal Aviation UK-London Northolt has successfully worked with the Royal Air Force to extend RAF Northolt Airport’s operating hours by three hours a day, significantly enhancing the flexibility of using central London’s closest airport (RAF/EGWU).

Effective May 17th, Northolt’s Monday-Friday operating hours will be extended by three hours daily from 0900-1700 to 0800-2000 local. This better accommodates business travelers needing to get in and out of Central London the same day, as well as crew and passengers needing to connect with commercial flights at London Heathrow Airport, which is just eight miles away.

In addition, the airport will selectively operate on some weekend days to accommodate high-traffic events.


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Six West and Technical Flight Solutions' partnership creates Europe's first fully EASA compliant organisation structure for lessors

Six West and Ireland-based Technical Flight Solutions (TFS) have signed an exclusive partnership agreement to meet the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) regulatory provisions for the conduct of Part NCC and Maintenance Check Flight operations, creating the first fully EASA compliant organisation structure in Europe for the use of aircraft lessors.

The regulations provide a robust framework for the operation of aircraft undertaking technical flights such as delivery flights, demonstration flights and maintenance check flights, and are now in line with those already applicable to flight operations conducted in a commercial airline or AOC environment.

This entails making a modified declaration to the home-based regulator, the Irish Aviation Authority, confirming that each aircraft movement is undertaken in accordance with specific Non-Commercial Complex (NCC) regulations, and that all storage, technical or demonstration flights on EASA-registered aircraft are completed under Part NCC and/or Maintenance Check Flight (MCF) regulations.


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Malmö, Sweden:

Web Manuals to nurture next-gen aviation start-ups with freemium package

Aviation start-ups can benefit their businesses post-pandemic with a three-month freemium package from Web Manuals, the world leader in digitizing manuals for the aviation industry.

The incentive is designed to support start-ups as they emerge from the most difficult year for the travel and aviation industries, due to Covid-19.

Web Manuals provides an all-in-one document management system which allows new companies to start out digital, by integrating all their company manuals online.

In turn, this improves aviation safety and regulatory compliance by ensuring operating manual updates are distributed immediately, in addition to administrative cost-savings for the business.

Web Manuals to nurture next-gen aviation start-ups with freemium package

Each start-up can assign five readers to the full package from Web Manuals Essentials plan. Companies can also choose two editors and one compliance library, with up-to-date aviation rules, all free of charge.


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Erfurt, Germany:

F/LIST GERMANY gains EASA Part-145 approval

F/LIST GERMANY’s upholstery facility in Erfurt has recently been granted EASA PART-145 approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to act as a repair station. This positions F/LIST GERMANY's newest branch as a qualified maintenance service for upholstery work on business aircraft.

The aftermarket division of business aviation picked up significantly in the crisis year 2020.

The associated increase in the number of refurbishment requests has made the aftermarket division one of the fastest growing, and increasingly important strategic business areas of the international F/LIST Group.


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United Kingdom:

GA community outlines plan to save threatened UK airfields

The General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC) has proposed a fourth category of land to the UK Government that would aid in balanced economic development - through the recognition of valuable ‘Infrastructure’.

Without an ‘Infrastructure’ category, suggests the GAAC, airfields would be deemed ‘Protected’, rendering them unable to evolve and become commercially viable, and leaving them even more vulnerable to housing developers.

The Council reasons that small airfields complement future flight projects such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including commercial drone deliveries and air taxis. It also highlights that more environmentally sustainable ‘green’ aircraft powered by electricity, hydrogen (or multi-fuels like used cotton) are either already UK licensed or about to be.

GA community outlines plan to save threatened UK airfields

The UK Government’s Planning White Paper, published last August, focused on streamlining the planning process and speeding up the provision of new housing. At the heart of this Paper was a proposal to create three ‘Zones.’

Growth: areas suitable for substantial development

Renewal: areas suitable for development

Protected: restricted development.

The GAAC accordingly suggested an amendment to the Government’s Planning White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ to create a further planning ‘Zone’ for ‘Infrastructure’ - to include GA airfields.


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Google News


Brussels and Washington:

EBACE Connect keynotes look to the future of aviation

Erik Lindbergh, a famed pilot and aviation visionary who has followed in the footsteps of his iconic grandfather in charting a course for the industry’s future, will headline the first of two exciting keynote sessions for EBACE Connect, on 18 May.

An EBACE Connect Town Hall on Day Two, 19 May, will bring together a host of leading OEM CEOs, for a compelling discussion about the trends shaping business aviation today and tomorrow. EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan and NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen will moderate both EBACE Connect sessions.

Erik Lindbergh

Erik Lindbergh

An all-new program series with government officials, market experts, flight department managers and business leaders, EBACE Connect is co-hosted by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), and will take place from 18 - 20 May, 2021.


EBACE Connect

United Kingdom:

The ACA confirms return of ACE 2021

September 14th event to showcase first electric aircraft to market.

The Air Charter Association (The ACA) is announcing the return of Air Charter Expo (ACE) taking place at London Biggin Hill Airport on 14 September 2021. The event will be the first in-person air charter exhibition of its kind to be confirmed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

ACE 2021, running in partnership with Business Air News and London Biggin Hill Airport, is anticipated to welcome over 1,000 delegates and to showcase more than 60 global companies’ exhibits. Both inside the hangar and in the adjacent open-air static aircraft park, visitors will be able to step onboard a diverse range of more than 20 aircraft, including the first electric aircraft to market.


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Vertis Aviation 10 Years  

Top Ten For Ten - Fast and Bold Cars

Top Ten For Ten - Fast and Bold Cars

As Vertis Aviation continues to mark a decade in business this month's Top Ten for Ten lists the team’s favourite fast and bold top marque vehicles. These ultra-luxe automobiles deliver speed, style, and sheer joy, and more-often-than-not express many aeronautical characteristics.

Porsche 911 Turbo S

Porsche 911 Turbo S

The Porsche 911 Turbo S leads this top marque portfolio. With a contemporary, sporty design and 8-speed double-clutch transmission, delivering impeccably fast gear changing, it is a driver’s dream.

A fact not lost on Embraer who paired with the German manufacturer to offer a limited - just ten - duo pairing the iconic car with the Embraer Phenom 300. Porsche is also renowned for manufacturing the fastest car in the world, the 919 Hybrid (Mk II) at an exhilarating 0 to 100 km/h in only 1.9 seconds.

The Top Ten

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