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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 20th February 2020 | Issue #545

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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

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Washington, DC:

General aviation’s contribution to US economy remains strong

Study reveals general aviation supports over 1.1m jobs and $247bn in economic output.

A group of seven general aviation associations have welcomed an updated study detailing the contributions of general aviation to the US economy.

The study, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, determined that general aviation supports a total 1,179,200 jobs and a total of $246.8bn in total economic output in the US.

“As this important study reminds us, general aviation remains an essential and powerful contributor to our nation’s economy, providing critical services to citizens, companies and communities across the country,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Hundreds of lawmakers at the federal, state and local level have recognized the industry’s vital role in America’s economy and transportation system - a role that will only grow more important as the industry continues to innovate and evolve in the years to come.”


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Montreal, Canada:

Bombardier chooses bizav over locos

Company will dispose of train, monorail and locomotive division.

Bombardier has made the strategic decision to focus exclusively on business aviation and plans to accelerate its deleveraging through the sale of its rail business.

“Today marks an exciting new chapter for Bombardier," said President and CEO Alain Bellemare. "Going forward, we will focus all our capital, energy and resources on accelerating growth and driving margin expansion in our market-leading $7bn business aircraft franchise.

"With a stronger balance sheet after the completion of this transaction, an industry-leading portfolio of products, a strong backlog, and a rapidly growing aftermarket business, we will compete in this market from a position of strength.”

The company has chosen to dispose of Bombardier Transportation, which manufactures trains, monorails, locomotives and associated systems. This division will be incorporated by the French company Alstom, which will pay $8.2bn.


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Reno, Nevada:

Stellar Aviation expands FBO network with RFP award at Reno Tahoe International

Stellar Aviation Group has been awarded a 50-year lease and development agreement with the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority (RTAA). The agreement provides for Stellar Aviation to construct a state of the art, full service FBO and hangar complex at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport located in Reno, Nevada.

To meet the increased demand from all aspects of the general aviation community, Stellar was awarded the right to operate a 2nd FBO in Reno. Stellar's phased development of over 40 acres will significantly increase the availability of FBO services and hangar space at the growing airport.

Jonathan Miller, President of Stellar Aviation Group, said, "This new location is another strategic cornerstone for our growing FBO network as we look to expand beyond the East Coast and Midwest by garnering an important foothold in the West. It is with great pleasure that Stellar accepts the opportunity granted by the RTAA to become a strategic ambassador to all RNO's discerning customers, existing users, and future tenants while introducing them to Stellar's unparalleled service standards and infrastructure development expertise. We intend to provide services and facilities to not only the myriad of users that call, or want to call, RNO their home base, but also the significant transient operators that require such services at this bustling airport."


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Embraer delivers 109 executive jets in 2019

Embraer delivered a total of 198 jets in 2019, of which 109 were executive jets (62 light and 47 large) and 89 were commercial aircraft.

The figures represent an increase of 9% compared to 2018, when the Company delivered a total of 181 jets. The deliveries were within the outlook ranges for 2019 of 85 to 95 for the commercial aviation market and of 90 to 110 for the business aviation market. In the fourth quarter of 2019, Embraer delivered 81 jets, being 35 commercial aircraft and 46 executive jets (20 light and 26 large).

As of December 31, the firm order backlog totaled USD 16.8bn.

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West Conshohocken, PA:

New parachute standard helps recover small planes

A new ASTM International standard outlines minimum requirements for designing, manufacturing, and installing emergency parachute systems that help recover a small plane’s airframe, potentially helping occupants survive, according to Jay Yeakle, a member of ASTM International’s general-aviation aircraft committee (F44) and who serves as an administrator at Cirrus Aircraft.

“Whole aircraft parachute recovery systems are an emerging safety device that is gaining use in general aviation,” says Yeakle. “The new standard provides design and certification requirements for any person or company to qualify these systems on GA aircraft.”

Yeakle says that recovery system designers and aircraft designers will be able to use the new standard (F3408) as a guide.

“Certification agencies have had to develop special conditions to certify these systems,” says Yeakle. “Having the new standard will provide companies a way to show compliance with existing rules, so special conditions might not be necessary. This could help speed the certification process, saving time and resources for both the applicant and the certification agencies.”

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member. The next meeting of ASTM International’s general aviation aircraft committee is April 27-30 in Prague, Czech Republic.

More news in this sector


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Los Angeles, CA:

Clay Lacy to develop comprehensive sustainability program

Clay Lacy Aviation has engaged World Kinect Energy Services a subsidiary of World Fuel Services Corporation, to assist in developing a comprehensive sustainability program with the goal of significantly reducing the company's carbon footprint as a large business aviation operator.

The multifaceted program will attempt to reduce the carbon footprint of Clay Lacy facilities, as well as offering Clay Lacy Aviation’s clients a simpler way to purchase carbon credits to offset their flying activity.

“Operating safely and responsibly, while continually adding value for our clients, is at the core of our business philosophy,” said Brian Kirkdoffer, President and CEO, Clay Lacy Aviation. “Reducing our carbon footprint and offering clients an easy, verifiable way to operate their planes sustainably is simply the right thing to do. We see this program as an important step toward making business aviation sustainable and helping our industry achieve its climate objectives.”


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FlightSafety International

Brad Thress

Brad Thress

Brad Thress has joined FlightSafety International as President and CEO. He assumes this responsibility from David Davenport who has left FlightSafety.

Brad joins FlightSafety from Textron Aviation where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Global Parts, Program and Flight Operations, and the President of Able Aerospace.

“I am honored to join FlightSafety International and look forward to leading this exceptional company,” he said. “FlightSafety is known for enhancing aviation safety around the world by providing the highest quality training programs and products, thanks to its outstanding Teammates. Together we will build an even stronger and more successful company.”

During his 27 years with Textron Aviation, Brad held several leadership roles within many business areas including Engineering, Flight Operations and Customer Service. In addition, he served as Cessna Senior Vice President of Business Jets.

Brad earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from Baker University.

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The WINGX Report:

2020 starts with growth, although UK disappoints

There were 56,571 departures recorded in January 2020 according to WINGX`s monthly Business Aviation Monitor published this week.

This figure represents a 4.5% increase year-on-year (YOY), equating to 2,436 additional departures. Whilst January was up by 14% compared to the post-recession low point in 2016, it is still down by 7% compared to pre-recession high in January 2008.

Big increases in activity in France and Germany contrasted with a large drop in flights from the UK. Additionally, Switzerland, Spain and Italy enjoyed a strong growth in flights.

In France the growth came from increased Large Jet activity, up 8% YOY. Germany had fewer Large Jet sectors, but more Small and Midsize activity. The UK decline came mainly in Prop activity.

Austria, Poland and the Czech Republic saw the biggest increases in Charter and in Private activity, Turkey and Norway were well up. The UK Charter market declined by almost 10% YOY.

full report

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Washington, DC:

GAMA releases 2019 year-end aircraft billing and shipment numbers

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) presented the 2019 year-end aircraft billing and shipment numbers, during its annual State of the Industry press conference yesterday (February 19th).

In 2019, aircraft deliveries reached a value of $26.8bn, an increase compared to $24.3bn in 2018. The number of piston airplane deliveries experienced the largest growth among the segments at 16.4 percent. Business jet deliveries were at their highest since 2009. Meanwhile, turboprop and helicopter deliveries decreased.

“The 2019 year-end numbers reveal that overall, the general aviation manufacturing industry is vibrant, although we are encountering headwinds in the rotorcraft sector. It is great to see two of our fixed wing sectors, piston airplane and business jet shipments, reached decade highs. Looking ahead, manufacturers are excited about the future, especially given the ongoing innovation in manufacturing that directly relates to safety and the progress being made in the development of supersonic and electrically propelled aircraft,” said GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce.

full report

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United Kingdom

Air Partner evacuates over 300 British and EU nationals from Wuhan in wake of coronavirus outbreak

Global aviation services group, Air Partner, was recently called upon by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to arrange two charter flights for the evacuation of British and EU nationals from Wuhan in China to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, following the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak in December 2019.

The flights took place on 31 January and 8 February, carrying over 125 and 200 passengers respectively on Boeing 747-400s. These aircraft were chosen on account of their high-density seating configuration and long-distance range, which meant the flights could operate non-stop between the two destinations.

Air Partner evacuates over 300 British and EU nationals from Wuhan in wake of coronavirus outbreak

The aircraft were ideally configured for the flights, with the upper deck designated for crew rest only so that there was clear segregation between the evacuees and the flight crew. There was also a separate section in the nose of the aircraft, which could be used as an isolation zone for passengers if necessary.

Given the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, the Air Partner team worked closely with a number of different stakeholders, including the FCO, Public Health England and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), to put in place the necessary safeguards and protocols for the flight crew. UK government medical professionals were also on-board the aircraft to assist the passengers and crew during the flight.


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bizav newsreel

This week . . . . Coronavirus - what operators need to know

We are all impacted by the Coronavirus and how it is spreading throughout the world.

Coronavirus - what operators need to know

The European Aviation Safety Agency and the European Business Aviation Association have issued guidelines on what to do to protect your passengers and crew.

watch the video watch the video

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Savannah, Georgia:

Gulfstream G700 makes first flight

Gulfstream's all-new G700 has made its first flight, demonstrating the program’s maturity and officially launching the rigorous flight-test program of the most spacious jet in the industry with the longest range at the fastest speeds.

The G700 departed Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport at 1:19 p.m. and landed 2 hours and 32 minutes later. The aircraft made the flight on a 30/70 blend of sustainable aviation fuel.

Gulfstream G700 makes first flight

“The G700’s first flight is a momentous occasion and the next step forward in Gulfstream’s vision for the future, a vision that has been guided by the strategic leadership of our parent company, General Dynamics, and the innovation of the Gulfstream team,” said Mark Burns president, Gulfstream. “As the market leader, Gulfstream is moving the entire business-jet industry forward with advanced safety features, tomorrow’s technology and a cabin purposefully designed to exceed our customers’ expectations for comfort.”

The G700 was introduced as the new industry flagship in October 2019 with a full-scale cabin mock-up and an aircraft taxiing under its own power. The program includes five already manufactured flight-test aircraft and a structural test article that has completed load testing.


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Cayman Islands:

Universal Aviation expands presence in the Caribbean with new Cayman Islands location

Universal Aviation, the FBO ground services division of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc., has partnered with Cayman Dispatch Service (CDS) to join its growing global network of 50+ locations in 25+ countries, as a Universal Aviation Certified location - Universal Aviation Cayman Islands.

CDS is based at Owen Roberts International Airport (MWCR) in Grand Cayman and is a leading ground handling company in Cayman, providing both over and under-wing services to the main airlines, for more than 25 years, with a team of 120+ people, and a wide range of equipment.

Universal Aviation expands presence in the Caribbean with new Cayman Islands location

As a Universal Aviation Certified member, CDS has proven its commitment to service excellence by passing Universal’s rigorous standards for ground handling quality, training, safety, consistency, customer service, and regulatory compliance - including compliance with international law such as the Foreign and Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and UK Bribery Act.


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Melbourne, Florida:

Keeping it Plane Simple, SD develops modular antenna portfolio

SD, the business, military, and government aviation solutions provider, is expanding its hardware portfolio with the launch of a new tail-mounted antenna series. The announcement, which heralds the launch of the SD Plane Simple antenna portfolio, positions SD as a single source provider of end-to-end connectivity solutions for business jet and government operators worldwide.

The new tail-mounted antenna system offers two variants for operation in Ku- or Ka-band frequencies. The Ku-band variant is expected to be available for STC in early 2021, followed by the Ka-band version later in the year. With only two line-replaceable units (LRUs) and a network agnostic design, the common form factor and wiring simplify the installation, which allows owners and operators to equip aircraft with a connectivity system compatible with future technological developments. Partnerships with Inmarsat for Jet ConneX service delivery and Intelsat for FlexExec connectivity have already been established.


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United Kingdom:

London Biggin Hill Airport has announced the appointment of Chris Randall as Head of Aviation Development.

Previously Business Development Manager at Stobart Jet Centre at London Southend Airport and FBO Manager at London City Airport, Randall joins London Biggin Hill’s management team as it establishes the airport as the capital’s preeminent full-service business aviation hub and a leading centre for aviation technology and enterprise.

Chris Randall, London Biggin Hill Airport's new Head of Aviation Development.

Chris Randall, London Biggin Hill Airport's new Head of Aviation Development.

Robert Walters, Commercial Director, London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “Chris’ experience at two of London's airports has afforded him the specific regional knowledge and expertise to effectively support the leadership team to deliver the airport’s vision and strategy. I’m looking forward to working together with Chris to grow the cluster of resident aerospace companies choosing to base themselves here, as well as attract new customers and increase aircraft movements.”

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United Kingdom:

Fly Victor / RocketRoute parent company Alyssum enters administration

'Business as usual' says CEO.

Alyssum Holdings Limited, parent company of online charter platform Fly Victor and flight planning service RocketRoute filed for administration in the UK on Wednesday (February 12th). Both subsidiary companies are now for sale with the deadline for buyers set at February 28th.

Alyssum was created in 2018 when Victor obtained $18m financing involving BP Ventures and BBA Aviation. It then went on to acquire RocketRoute from BP.

In a statement the company said: “The board of Alyssum Group have placed our Holding Company into Administration to ensure both RocketRoute and Victor which are both fully trading going concerns are able to pursue separate paths and seek a new investment through a sales process managed by Hilco and administered by David Rubin & Partners.”

Clive Jackson, founder and CEO of Alyssum said: “The industry has a leaning towards creating a drama, but frankly, its business as usual for RocketRoute and Victor. Both companies are going concerns and are having a great start to 2020."

click to visit London Biggin Hill Aiport


GAMA and IAOPA Europe launch 2020 European General Aviation Survey

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations (IAOPA), with the support of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and AERO Friedrichshafen, have launched the 2020 European General Aviation survey.

The annual survey will aid in providing a better understanding of the trends in general aviation flight activity, aircraft equipment and fleet composition trends to support safety analysis in Europe.

The 2019 survey, which concluded in April 2019, was highly successful, with responses covering over 6,000 general aviation aircraft in 32 European countries. Its results were used by EASA in their 2019 Annual Safety Review to calculate accident rates for Non-Commercial Aeroplanes.

This year, GAMA and IAOPA aim to further increase participation across the general aviation community to improve the accuracy of the results and ensure all countries are well represented.


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Northern Ireland:

Jet Assist selected as CAA’s preferred FBO in Belfast

Jet Assist (Aviation) Ltd, the Belfast International-based FBO, has been selected by the Corporate Aircraft Association (CAA) as their preferred Ground Handling and Fuel Partner at EGAA I BFS.

With this selection, Jet Assist becomes the second FBO in Europe awarded preferred status by CAA. CAA members considered fuel price, handling fees and service when voting for Jet Assist.

Jet Assist selected as CAA’s preferred FBO in Belfast

David Hull, Business Development at Jet Assist said “Jet Assist has seen a steady growth over the last three years and receiving the support of CAA membership, validates our customer centric approach to meeting the operational needs of business aviation at Belfast International Airport.

“We handle qualifying tech stops on the demarcated ramp ensuring smooth turnarounds and Jet Assist are the only company in Ireland with in-house security screening. We also manage organ donor and organ transplant teams for UK hospitals which means we are always contactable 24/7 with immediate response.”


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Tastefully Yours.

Paula Kraft

Paula Kraft, founder of Atlanta's Tastefully Yours Catering and the DaVinci Inflight Training Institute in Fort Lauderdale.

Bowl Mania

Bowl Mania. That’s right, culinary trends are leaning toward the bowl.

This is not soup, although some but may have a broth base; this is actually a beautiful presentation of healthy, clean foods, full of freshness and color that is eaten from a single bowl, rather than on a plate.

They are a huge hit for all meals. Breakfast bowls - not only featuring eggs for protein - but many other protein sources; and there are even smoothie bowls. A smoothie bowl has a wonderful chilled fresh smoothie under a topping of all kinds of goodness.

Bowl Mania

I recently gave a presentation on food trends to the NBAA Flight Attendants’ Conference, and one of those trends was the new phenomenon of Bowls. What is a bowl, and how do you create a bowl? It’s simple, and anyone can follow these basics to prepare one.

Creating a bowl, is like creating an adventure, you can put anything in it and eat it with a spoon or fork. Generally no knife is required since all the pieces are bite size tidbits.

Create your own adventure in a Bowl Meal


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click to visit Weston Aviation

United Kingdom:

‘Flight to Sustainability’

The environment and business aviation tops BBGA conference agenda.

Embracing the number one issue affecting our industry today, the British Business General Aviation Association (BBGA) is putting sustainability at the heart of its annual conference theme next month.

Returning to Luton Hoo Hotel, UK, on Thursday 5th March, the Association is pleased to confirm that environmentalist, former MEP and World Bank representative, author Stanley Johnson will be this year’s keynote speaker.

BBGA Keynote Speaker, Stanley Johnson.

BBGA Keynote Speaker, Stanley Johnson.

The conference, to be hosted at Luton Hoo’s historic and grand Mansion House venue this year, will also address the importance of Future Aviation Strategy 2050 with Paul Maynard MP, Minister for Aviation and Major Infrastructure, followed by a workshop discussion. BBGA and its membership have provided input to FAS 2050, highlighting how the unique characteristics of business and general aviation can make a valued contribution.

“We are on the precipice of an exciting new world in aviation - encompassing alternative fuels; modern renewable powerplants; new eVTOL models,” said Marc Bailey, BBGA CEO.

“Our recommendations for a sustainable future include maximising use of airspace, performance based navigation and multiple approach paths to minimise noise and fuel burn, as the need to invest in sustainable fuels.”


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And Finally

FAI announces multi-year partnership with McLaren Racing

FAI Aviation Group, one of the world’s leading global providers of mission-critical aviation services, has partnered with world-famous race team, McLaren Racing. FAI will provide private aviation services to the Formula 1 team as part of a multi-year partnership which will commence at the start of the 2020 season.

The partnership aligns two internationally recognised and established brands, leaders in their fields, both committed to excellence and will enable FAI to raise its profile within the Formula 1 community.

As part of the partnership, FAI Aviation Group will be represented on the inside of the rear wing endplate of the McLaren MCL35 race car for the 2020 Formula 1 season.

2020 Maclaren MCL35

2020 Maclaren MCL35

Siegfried Axtmann, Group Chairman and Founder, FAI Aviation Group said: “We are very excited to become a partner of McLaren Racing. This will enable FAI to promote its services within the Formula 1 community and continue to grow its brand. We look forward to serving the McLaren team as their official private aviation provider as they commence the 2020 season.”

Zak Brown, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Racing added: “The FAI Aviation Group is a perfect partner for McLaren Racing. Being trusted to provide services to NGO’s and several government agencies underlines the quality and professionalism of the company and its people. We are proud to welcome them as partners from the 2020 season.”

This latest news follows the announcement in July 2019 of FAI’s first celebrity brand ambassador, former double Formula One World Champion and McLaren driver, Mika Häkkinen.


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