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BlueSky Business AViation News | 17th June 2021 | Issue #610

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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

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Grand Forks, North Dakota:

North Dakota invests additional $20m to build out Vantis

Governor Doug Burgum recently signed into law an additional $20m investment to continue the buildout of Vantis, North Dakota’s statewide UAS network, the first of its kind in the nation.

North Dakota has been a leader in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) advancements for over a decade, but Vantis is poised to transform the state into the nation’s drone epicenter.

“We’re incredibly grateful to have leaders in this state - Governor Doug Burgum, Lieutenant Governor Brent Sanford, our legislators - with the foresight to imagine and invest in the vision of Vantis,” said Nicholas Flom, executive director of the Northern Plains UAS Test Site (NPUASTS). “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Vantis is a groundbreaking initiative. It simply doesn’t exist at this level anywhere else in the US.”

Nicholas Flom

Nicholas Flom

Currently, the FAA requires operators who want to fly UAS beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the pilot to have a special and currently limited waiver. Receiving this waiver requires a significant investment of time and resources, making it a considerable barrier to entry for BVLOS flights. This means that most UAS operators can only fly within about a half mile of where they’re standing, which is incredibly inefficient.


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Altitude Attitude

Sonia Greteman

Sonia Greteman, president and creative director, at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, the Air Capital.

FlightSafety Advances

As FlightSafety International celebrates its 70th year, CEO Brad Thress makes it clear that this is a company moving forward, not resting on its impressive legacy.

As the speaker at the Wichita Aero Club June meeting, Thress touched on a wide range of topics - from new efficiencies within its vertically integrated business units to the “commonsense stuff we’ve done” to get costs down and better serve customers. FlightSafety’s down-to-earth efforts are designed to realize an ambitious vision.

Brad Thress

FlightSafety International CEO Brad Thress at the Wichita Aero Club.

As many in the room train or have trained at FlightSafety, there was tremendous interest in the company’s focus on delivering an enhanced training experience.

Thress stressed the difference between prepared versus compliant. New initiatives serve to encourage current and prospective customers to go beyond simply ticking off regulatory requirements and instead to do what’s needed to be prepared. These include a customized curriculum with spotlights that focus on stopping “what hurts people.”

Training for Any and Everything


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Texas and California:

Signature partners with Neste to supply SAF at Austin, Houston and San Jose

Signature Flight Support announced new permanent supplies of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) at three airports: Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport in Austin, TX (AUS), Houston-Hobby Airport in Houston, TX (HOU), and the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in San Jose, CA (SJC).

In addition to being the first Fixed Base Operator to offer commercially available SAF at any airport in the state of Texas, Signature Flight Support is leading the business aviation industry’s drive towards sustainability as the largest network provider for permanent SAF - which now totals 9 airports around the world.

Signature’s SAF is supplied through its Signature Renew program, and added locations use Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel. The industry-leading 35/65 blend ratio of renewable feedstock and traditional Jet A fuel reduces direct net lifecycle carbon output by 25%, with that number set to increase in the near future as regulators allow for increased blend ratios.

The initial agreement for Texas, encompassing over 100,000 gallons of SAF, is expected to yield a 350 metric tonne reduction in aircraft CO2 emissions.


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Washington, DC:

GAMA and SAE International sign cooperation agreement for general and business aviation efforts

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and SAE International have signed an agreement to cooperate in the areas of general and business aviation, including advanced air mobility (AAM), electric/hybrid propulsion, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), rotorcraft, manufacturing, quality, maintenance, repair and overhaul to meet the demands of the evolving aviation landscape.

The agreement sets the goals of increasing coordination, fostering innovation and safety, as well as promoting the development of SAE standards in aviation that serve the members of both organizations.

“GAMA looks forward to working closely with SAE International to further advance environmental sustainability and new technologies in general aviation,” said Pete Bunce, GAMA President and CEO. “Through this partnership, both GAMA and SAE International will be able to promote the important interests and activities of the aviation industry and our memberships.”


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Boucherville, Canada:

MSB Group adapts its operations to better support the aerospace industry in Greater Montréal

The MSB Group, a subsidiary of the French firm SOGECLAIR, which specializes in custom services and products in the business aviation industry, announced an investment of $2.7m that will enable it to increase its offering and modernize its operations to meet the post-pandemic needs of the aviation industry.

This investment comes with about 15 new jobs and secures 40 existing positions at the company.

MSB intends to improve the productivity of its services and develop a new line of products using innovative manufacturing technologies.

With this investment, MSB is favourably positioned as a supplier of aircraft interior components for business jets already in service. In fact, the company intends to acquire technologies that will enable it to step up the maintenance and upgrading of aircraft that are already in service, in a timely manner.

“Business aviation operations appear to be resuming more quickly than global aviation activity, which is leading us to increase our service offering,” says Mario Sévigny, co-founder and Executive Vice-President of the MSB Group. “We are looking to efficiently support customers wishing to upgrade the cabin of their aircraft already in service,” he adds. “Our Boucherville plant is the hub of our North American manufacturing operations, and we are very happy to continue investing in Québec.”


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Wichita, Kansas:

Textron Aviation announces Peyton Manning as Honorary Chair for 2022 Special Olympics Airlift

Legendary quarterback Peyton Manning is joining Textron Aviation to promote the 2022 Special Olympics Airlift.

Manning has signed on as Honorary Chair of the event, encouraging aircraft owners to participate in the massive Airlift scheduled to transport thousands of athletes and coaches to the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games next year in Orlando, Florida.

“The Special Olympics Airlift is an incredible opportunity for the aviation community to give athletes from across the country a memorable experience while getting to the Games,” said Manning. “Textron’s support of the Airlift is a great example of their commitment to making a real difference.”

Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning

Since the first Special Olympics Airlift in 1987, nearly 10,000 athletes and coaches have been transported to Special Olympics World Games and USA Games by aircraft owners across the nation. With this eighth Airlift, Textron Aviation aims to recruit over 200 aircraft owners to help transport a portion of the more than 4,000 athletes and coaches invited to Orlando on Saturday, June 4, 2022, and then return them to their home states on Sunday, June 12, 2022.


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Mente Group

Ken Hart

Ken Hart

Mente Group has promoted Ken Hart as vice president & group lead, Transactions. He joined the company in 2020.

Hart joined Mente Group responsible for managing aircraft acquisition and disposition transaction activities for the company’s Gulfstream and turboprop clients. His areas of transaction expertise include - aircraft market research and value analysis, planning and managing aircraft sales campaigns, and planning and managing aircraft acquisition projects.

Hart possesses strong cross-border experience with import and export transactions to and from Europe, Australia and North America. He joined the firm following six years with Hagerty Jet Group as executive vice president, three years with Welsch Aviation as an associate broker and several years as an entrepreneur where he founded and operated several successful businesses.

He holds a bachelor of science in business administration, with a major in marketing from NYIT, in Old Westbury, New York. He works from Mente Group's headquarters in Frisco, Texas.

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WINGX Global Market Tracker:

Global business jet traffic in June trending 12% above pre-COVID

  WINGX Global Market Tracker

The first half of June 2021 is seeing a surge in business jet activity, rebounding well beyond the recovery threshold with relation to flight trends in 2019, according to WINGX`s weekly Global Market Tracker, published today.

With just over 100,000 business jet sectors flown this month, the sector represents 15% of all fixed wing movements, activity 12% higher than in the first half of June 2019, the first time bizav growth is outstripping Cargo growth.

Global business jet traffic in June trending 12% above pre-covid

Scheduled airline activity globally is still languishing more than 40% below pre-pandemic normal for this time of year. So far this year global business jet and prop activity is within 6% of 2019, rebounding 41% above YTD 2020. Comparably, passenger airlines are just 1% ahead of the first half of 2020, still just under 50% shy of 2019.

full report

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United Kingdom:

Weston Aviation success at G7 2021 in Cornwall

Weston Aviation, the UK & Ireland FBO and support services company has successfully delivered the G7 Summit in Cornwall.

The Summit held at the Carbis Bay resort in Cornwall, operated all delegate flights into Cornwall Airport Newquay, which saw not only the main delegate aircraft but also in excess of twenty support freighters and reserve aircraft.

The Weston Aviation team on the ramp of a C-17 at Cornwall Airport Newquay.

The Weston Aviation team on the ramp of a C-17 at Cornwall Airport Newquay.

During the week, Weston Aviation handled and supported the main mission delegations including Air Force One and Two, processed in excess of 400 passengers and support teams through the FBO with crew accommodation and transportation, significantly contributing to the overall success of the event. Weston Aviation brought in support teams, GSE and vehicles from other UK FBO locations to ensure that the extremely intensive and rapid flight program was met.


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Airfield Automation:

Air bp hits 300th location milestone in Airfield Automation roll out

Digital refuelling technology live at 300 network locations.

Air bp has its award-winning Airfield Automation digital technology live at 300 network locations across 28 countries in four continents, with Magdeburg City Airport (ZMG/EDBM) the 300th location to implement the technology.

Since launching in May 2018, over one million fuellings have been processed using Airfield Automation.

Designed to enhance safety and reliability in airport fuelling operations, Airfield Automation has been well received by operators who have reported increased speed, accuracy and efficiency in refuelling.

For example, the time taken to get fuelling data into the system has reduced by 95% in Portugal, one of the first countries where rollout took place.

  Air bp hits 300th location milestone in Airfield Automation roll out

Another example of the efficiency this brings to customers is that requests for copies of delivery tickets can be responded to immediately without, in most instances, requiring action from the airport.


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Melbourne, Florida:

Embraer has signed a contract with GrandView Aviation for a Phenom 300MED STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) conversion. The aircraft will be converted at Embraer’s Service Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and operated by on-demand charter operator GrandView Aviation.

As a purpose-built Medevac solution, created in collaboration with the leading companies in the aeromedical industry, the Phenom 300MED is designed to provide crucial air transportation for both civil and government applications, and to be quickly and easily configured to meet the various needs of both healthcare providers and patients.

Phenom 300MED

The Phenom 300MED is further distinguished by the integration of Aerolite medical equipment. Aerolite is a leader in the design, engineering, production, and installation of Air Medical interiors. With over 500 Medevac interiors delivered, the company offers the ideal blend of equipment for the mission.

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Peterborough, Ontario:

Flying Colours Corp. completes custom paint scheme for Gulfstream G650

Flying Colours Corp., the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul, and completions business, has optimised its advanced paint preparation and application facility at its Peterborough, ON Headquarters to perform a complete strip and subsequent high-tech repaint of a Gulfstream G650.

On completion the Gulfstream G650 fuselage boasted a sparkling pearl/mica Diamond Mine basecoat surface combined with an intricate design incorporating curving stripes and complicated swirling patterns. To achieve the striking results a specialty basecoat-clearcoat polyurethane paint incorporating translucent pearl and mica granules that generate a crystal-sparkling effect was applied after the priming process.

Flying Colours Corp. performed a complete strip and intricate repaint of the G650.

Flying Colours Corp. performed a complete strip and intricate repaint of the G650.

A metallic colour pallet featuring Concord Blue, Dusk Gray, and Medium Silver colours was subsequently used to complete the scheme. The need for mirror-images to appear on the right- and left-hand side of the aircraft, along with incredibly detailed specifications about distances between stripes, colours, and patterns added to the complexity.


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Melbourne, Florida:

Eve and Helisul partner to develop UAM products and services in Brazil

Initial order of up to 50 eVTOLs.

Eve Urban Air Mobility and Helisul Aviation, one of the largest helicopter operators in Latin America, have announced a partnership that will focus on creating an ecosystem-wide approach to prepare for Urban Air Mobility operations in Brazil.

In addition to collaborating on a suite of products and services, the partnership includes an order for up to 50 eVTOLs with deliveries expected to start in 2026.

Eve and Helisul partner to develop UAM products and services in Brazil

Over the last few years, Eve and Helisul have been collaborating to evaluate how to co-create solutions for Urban Air Mobility, leveraging Brazil’s existing air taxi infrastructure - one of the largest in the world - for the use of Eve’s electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL).


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Vilnius, Lithuania:

RAS and JETMS collaborate on Dassault 7X upgrade

In collaboration with its parent company Jet Mainrnance Solutions (JETMS), interior and completions specialist RAS Group has recently completed an extensive renovation projet on a Dassault 7X.

RAS was tasked with the aircraft’s complete interior overhaul which included cabinetry, seating and carpeting.

RAS and JetMS collaborate on Dassault 7X upgrade

“It was a process everyone at RAS was involved in," said RAS Business Development Manager, Roger Paton. "From the smallest inputs coming from our employees to a close collaboration with the owner’s interior designer, we strived to combine modern techniques and unique individuality into one piece of finely finished art."


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bizav newsreel

This week . . . Let Your Customers Do The Talking

As a business, your most powerful asset is happy customers or clients. Testimonials from satisfied customers are an invaluable marketing tool that will add credibility to your brand as well as help increase brand awareness in an organic way.

A good customer testimonial is so much more than a useful review on a business page. Having testimonials as a regular part of your social media marketing strategy can give your business an edge over your competitors and increase trust between you and your audience.

Let Your Customers Do The Talking

If you've never collected testimonials or used them as part of your social media marketing strategy, don't worry, we are here to help you! We can help you use social media to collect and share customer testimonials to build social proof and establish your brand as an authority in your industry.

This week . . . Let Your Customers Do The Talking watch the video

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St. Maarten:

Caribbean Focus

CARIBAVIA - the 5th Caribbean Meet Up event - is taking place at Simpson Bay on the Island of St Maarten from June 15th to 17th.

Veteran reporters Alison Chambers, Kelly Murphy and Kathryn Creedy,who pioneered Commuter Regional Airline News and CR News International - and who are regular contributors to BlueSky and sister publication, Resilient Aviation - have reunited to cover news, trends and insight direct from the destination conference for a special Caribbean Aviation themed issue of BlueSky next week.

Order your copy now!

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Sydney, Australia:

RBI Hawker Australia gains CASA Part 145 maintenance approval

RBI Hawker, a joint venture between Hawker Pacific Airservices, a Jet Aviation company, and Bell, has received Part 145 maintenance organization approval from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) for its new rotary blade repair facility in Brisbane, Australia. This approval authorizes the company to commence operations.

The RBI Hawker Australia facility is a new 1,000 square-meter hangar based in Eagle Farm, Brisbane. The facility offers advanced repair and static balance techniques for Rotor Blade repair on all Bell helicopter models and Leonardo AW139 and AW109 models.

RBI Hawker Australia gains CASA Part 145 maintenance approval

RBI Hawker has been providing maintenance support to both commercial and military helicopter operators in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and wider regions from Dubai since 2005. The company is an authorized Bell CSF and Leonardo Service Center with an extensive OEM-approved standard and expanded repair portfolio. The company is working to extend these same services and capabilities to Australian and Pacific operators.


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Business travel will become more important than ever to driving success says 81% of global leaders

New report measures value of business travel for first time.

Only 24 months ago, business travel was synonymous with global corporations and senior executives’ roles.

During the global lockdowns, companies have experienced the direct impact of no travel or in-person meetings on their business functions and operations. In new research from VistaJet, the first and only global business aviation company, in association with WSJ Intelligence, that impact is quantified for the first time.

For The Future of Business Travel report over 200 high-level company executives in the U.S., EMEA and APAC were surveyed about the essential role and value of travel in their professional lives.

During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed, and almost all (97%) said their businesses experienced negative impact directly related to those restrictions. Nearly one-quarter (24%) indicated massive or substantial disruptions across all eight areas measured, and 87% cited massive or substantial disruption in at least one area. More than a third (37%) said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.

As restrictions ease, built-up anticipation for business travel is clear, with 81% saying business travel will be more important than ever to driving success. Among respondents who take eight or more private flights a year, 60% plan to significantly increase in-person meetings.


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United Kingdom:

ACS suggests Europe’s long recovery for scheduled air traffic likely to create opportunities for charter aviation

Leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, has suggested that longer recovery for Europe’s scheduled air traffic will lead to a surge in interest for charter aviation.

The suggestion has come following air navigation safety organisation, Eurocontrol’s, recent forecast downgrade, implying that Europe’s air traffic will likely not return to former 2019 levels until 2025 - previously forecasted to be by 2024.

Air Charter Service has reacted to this downgrade by predicting an upgrade in business for its commercial jet and private jet charter divisions. Justin Bowman, Chief Executive Officer of Air Charter Service, comments: “This substantial drop in capacity, along with potential short-term surges in demand, means that charter flights will be increasingly turned to in order to ‘fill the gaps’ left by reduction in scheduled service flights.


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Pilatus PC-24 demonstrator touches down in Ireland

The Swiss aircraft manufacturer Pilatus and its Irish distributor Oriens Aviation showcased the brand-new PC-24 Twin Jet demonstrator aircraft in Waterford, Cork and Dublin-Weston last week.

This flagship aircraft, often called the Super Versatile Jet for its unique ability to land on short and unimproved runways features touchscreen controls in the cockpit, state of the art Advanced Cockpit Environment (ACE) with the latest enhancements on the avionics and upgraded controls for the cabin seats, designed in collaboration with the BWM Designworks.

Since its first PC-24 customer handover in 2018, Pilatus have delivered more than 100 to date. The PC-24 is now present on every continent, flying innumerable missions every day: executive transport, special missions, medevac operations and many more. The global PC-24 fleet has clocked up over 33,500 safe hours in the air so far.


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Stans, Switzerland:

Hansueli Loosli elected Chairman of Pilatus

Hansueli Loosli has been elected as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Pilatus Annual General Meeting. In addition, the AGM elected two further notable members: Martin P. Furrer and Mario Rossi.

Oscar J. Schwenk, the longstanding Chairman of the Board of Directors, has decided not to stand for re-election to the office of Chairman of the Board of Directors this year.

Having served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for over 15 years, the 76- year-old will hand over to his successor, Hansueli Loosli. The latter has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Coop and Swisscom and was awarded the “Entrepreneur of the Year” prize, among others, for his outstanding achievements in the past.

He has already been inducted and will take up his duties at Pilatus with immediate effect.


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Embraer E190-E2 certified for London City Steep Approach

In an important milestone for the E2 programme, the first of Embraer’s E2 family, the E190-E2, has been certified for Steep Approach; a requirement to operate at London City Airport (LCY). EASA certification was granted 11th May.

London City Airport sits on the doorstep of the city’s global financial district and is known as a premier business airport, but also as a key short-haul hub for destinations in continental Europe because of its convenience and speedy passenger experience.

Embraer E190-E2 certified for London City Steep Approach

However, its location means operating aircraft must be compatible with the airport’s steep approach and short runway; meeting strict noise regulations for the surrounding communities.

In certification testing, EASA figures confirmed the E190-E2 has the lowest noise levels among all new generation single aisle aircraft and will be the only jet operating at LCY certified to ICAO’s strict Chapter 14 regulation.


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United Kingdom:

GKN Aerospace delivers first wings, empennage and wiring for all-electric Alice

Sustainable technologies and specialist knowledge from across GKN Aerospace, including the UK, Netherlands, Germany, India and Romania.

GKN Aerospace has reached an important milestone in its collaboration with Eviation (USA) by delivering the first fully-integrated wings, empennage and EWIS for the Alice all-electric aircraft.

The wings and empennage feature advanced composite technology and are the first delivered by GKN Aerospace as fully integrated structures.

Alice is taking advantage of GKN Aerospace’s multi-technology specialist skills in airframe, structures and EWIS from right across the business.

The build and assembly has been supported with products manufactured in Cowes, Filton, Western Approach and Hoogerheide (NL). Final assembly and integration was completed at the brand new £32M Global Technology Centre in Bristol.


GKN Aerospace and Eviation announced the collaboration agreement covering the design and manufacture of wings, empennage and electrical wiring interconnection systems (EWIS) in May 2020.

The rapid development and delivery showcases GKN Aerospace’s ability to support the faster time-to-market of electrical aircraft. Alice is preparing for its first flight later this year and will fly nine passengers for up to 440 nautical miles.


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Washington, DC:

NBAA applauds selection of pioneering Garmin Autoland technology for 2020 Collier Trophy

The National Business Aviation Association has congratulated Garmin International on earning the prestigious 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy for Garmin Autoland, the world’s first certified emergency autonomous system to safely fly and land an aircraft without human intervention.

“The Garmin Autoland system marks a significant improvement in civil aviation,” said Jim Albaugh, chairman of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) in awarding the Collier Trophy. “Its ability to take over an airplane with a disabled pilot and land it safely will save many lives in the future.”


Garmin Autoland

Autoland can be activated automatically, or by a passenger, in the event of an emergency such as pilot incapacitation. Once activated, the system flies the aircraft to the most suitable nearby airport and runway, avoiding terrain and adverse weather, initiates a stabilized approach and lands the aircraft.



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Vertis Aviation 10 Years  

Top Ten For Ten - Fast and Bold Cars

Luxurious Travel Accessories

This month’s Top Ten For Ten from Vertis Aviation details desirable travel accessories regularly carried on board by clients. From practical document and digital device carriers, to products essential for well-being each item is a must have for any serious voyager.

Cartier Eyewear Aviator Sunglasses

At number 8, Cartier Eyewear Aviator Sunglasses. Keep your eyes protected from the sun’s UV rays with these stylish, gold-tone metal aviator-style sunglasses. Passengers can enjoy the view from the air even in the sunniest conditions thanks to the darkened lenses, which not only provide protection but equally add Vogueish style.

The Top Ten

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