Magellan Jets COVID-19 Updates And Procedures

Magellan Jets COVID-19 Updates And Procedures

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The Magellan Jets blog is your go-to resource for all things related to private jet travel, the aviation industry, and even more. 

Embraer Sees Bizjet Growth Returning in 2012

“Only in 2012 will [business jet] deliveries start growing again,” Embraer executive vice president Luis Carlos Affonso said Tuesday in a pre-LABACE press briefing. He recognized 2010 and 2011 as “difficult years” for the business aviation industry, but noted that there are already signs of an upturn and said the company will meet Phenom delivery goals if it can only make them fast enough. The Phenom 100 is Embraer’s first dedicated business jet, and the “natural challenges of the start of production” could impede the ambitious goal of manufacturing 110 of the light jets in its first full year of production this year. If the company can deliver 55 to 60 Phenoms by the end of the third quarter, then Affonso believes this year’s goal can be met. The Phenom 300 is on schedule for certification and deliveries by year-end. Affonso sees year-to-year U.S. charter numbers finally making an uptick after dropping 35 percent, while the less affected European charter market shows stabilization. Additionally, net ownership of fractional jet shares is up, he said. Meanwhile, Affonso said the drop in inventory of younger used jets, which compete with new aircraft sales, is even more accentuated than that in the pre-owned market as a whole.

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Mobile Phone Use Remains Banned on Most Flights, CAA Says

A ban on using mobile phones on aircraft remains in place for safety reasons, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said last week, despite tests on cell phone systems on some aircraft.  An increasing minority of passengers appear to be ignoring instructions to turn off phones on aircraft, but mobile use is forbidden unless cabin crew say otherwise.  The CAA said: “Use of mobiles can adversely affect navigation and communication functions, producing significant errors on instrument displays and background noise on pilot radios.”  Pilots complain that interference from phones has led to false notification of unsafe conditions, the malfunction of aircraft systems and interrupts flight crew communications.  CAA head of flight operations Bob Jones said: “The safety risks of using a mobile on board an aircraft are well established. Some airlines are testing various systems, but this does not weaken in any way the ban on phones being used on board the vast majority of UK aircraft.  “Unless told otherwise, people must not text or phone while the cabin doors of an aircraft are closedA ban on using mobile phones on aircraft remains in place for safety reasons, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said last week, despite tests on cell phone systems on some aircraft.  An increasing minority of passengers appear to be ignoring instructions to turn off phones on aircraft, but mobile use is forbidden unless cabin crew say otherwise.  The CAA said: “Use of mobiles can adversely affect navigation and communication functions, producing significant errors on instrument displays and background noise on pilot radios.”  Pilots complain that interference from phones has led to false notification of unsafe conditions, the malfunction of aircraft systems and interrupts flight crew communications.  CAA head of flight operations Bob Jones said: “The safety risks of using a mobile on board an aircraft are well established. Some airlines are testing various systems, but this does not weaken in any way the ban on phones being used on board the vast majority of UK aircraft.  “Unless told otherwise, people must not text or phone while the cabin doors of an aircraft are closed.”

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New FAA Chief Counsel

WASHINGTON — Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Administrator Randy Babbitt has announced the appointment of David Grizzle as the new FAA chief counsel.  “David Grizzle has top-level experience and I’m looking forward to having him on the team,” Babbitt said. “He understands the challenges of leading a diverse, international organization, as well as the complex interaction between governmental processes and our ultimate stakeholders, the American people.”  Grizzle comes to the FAA following a 22-year career with Continental Airlines, Inc. From 2005 to 2008 he served as senior vice president of customer experience, where he was charged with developing and implementing new operating strategies and improving product deficiencies and services. From 1986 to 2004 Grizzle served in many other leadership positions at the airline, including senior vice president of marketing strategy and corporate development, where he headed up a group of 150 finance, planning, operations and marketing professionals.  From 2004 to 2005, Grizzle was tapped by the U.S. Department of State and took leave from Continental to serve as the transportation and infrastructure coordinator and attaché for the Afghanistan Reconstruction Group, Kabul, Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he worked with the FAA and other government organizations to accelerate reconstruction efforts for air and surface transportation projects as well as power, and telecommunications.  Prior to his career at Continental, Grizzle served as vice president of administration and general counsel for New York Air, Inc. from 1984 to 1986. From 1978 to 1984 he practiced law at several New York-based law firms, including as a partner at Kellner, Chehebar, Deveney&Grizzle from 1983 to 1984.

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Bruce Willis Plans to Build His Own Airport

The superstar actor Bruce Willis has incurred the wrath of local critics over his plans to build his own airport near his ski lodge, the Soldier Mountain resort, in Idaho. The Die Hard star reportedly wants to have the private airport close to the small town of Hailey, where he moved almost 20 years ago. He believes this will stimulate the state’s economy, because it will enable more traffic to come through, most of which would be private jet owners (read: moneyed visitors).
Also, the Sixth Sense star promises “fresh employment opportunities,” should his airport get built.

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Supersonic Business Jet Inching Closer to Reality

Richard Tracy, founder and chief technology officer of Aerion Corporation, said he “feels pretty good” that the firm will enter into a joint venture to develop a Mach 1.6 supersonic business jet (SSBJ) by the end of 2009, as a result of confidential discussions with potential business aircraft manufacturers.  Most technical issues have been resolved, he said, including validation of full-chord laminar flow over most of the aircraft’s wing at speeds up to Mach 2.0 at full-scale Reynolds numbers in the European Transonic Wind Tunnel (ETW) in Cologne in August 2008. The ETW tests support Aerion’s range, speed and fuel consumption predictions, thereby providing reference data to support a second round of scaled wing tests aboard a NASA F-15 at supersonic speeds later this year or early next year.  Tracy also is more confident about prospects for the program because of potential consensus between US and European regulatory authorities regarding supersonic flight over land. He said that last year FAA’s Office of Environment and Energy moved towards creating a policy that would permit supersonic flight over land if “it can be deemed to be acceptable” with respect to mitigating sonic boom. Tracy said ICAO already has a policy that allows supersonic flight over land “if there is no unacceptable situation at the surface”. Tracy believes the Aerion SSBJ can meet this requirement by flying its SSBJ at up to Mach 1.1 over land.  With a 4,000 nm range at Mach 1.6, the Aerion SSBJ can fly from New York to Paris in 4 hrs 14 min, saving 2 hrs 47 min off the trip time in a G650 cruising at Mach .90, Tracy asserts. He also claims the Aerion SSBJ can fly from New York to Tokyo in 9 hrs 33 min, including a one hour stopover in Anchorage for refueling. That would be 2.5 hours faster than a G650 flying non-stop at Mach .87 between New York and Tokyo, according to Tracy.  Speed isn’t the Aerion SSBJ’s only asset. Tracy also said his design has the smallest size, lightest weight and lowest drag of any competing SSBJ concept, thus it has the lowest environment footprint. That, too, should be appealing to a potential joint-venture partner.

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Business Aviation Worried About New Climate Bill

Business aviation advocates are becoming increasingly concerned that a sweeping climate-change bill that has the potential to shape the future of aviation operations continues to progress through Capitol Hill with few details on how it might impact the aviation industry.

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NBAA Welcomes Proposal to Create LASP Rulemaking Committee

The National Business Aviation Administraion (NBAA) recently welcomed a congressional proposal that would require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to work more closely with the general aviation industry on its controversial proposed Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) and other security initiatives.    Representative Charlie Dent (R-15-PA) introduced legislation that would require TSA to create a rulemaking committee with general aviation (GA) industry stakeholders when developing security measures for the industry. H.R. 3093 was cosponsored by eight other House members.    “This legislation shows that Congress understands that we can accomplish more good if we work together rather than separately,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. In the time since the TSA introduced the LASP last October, Bolen has repeatedly called for a rulemaking committee like the one envisioned in the legislation introduced today.   “The business aviation community has a long and demonstrated history of partnership with government in developing effective yet workable security measures for the industry,” Bolen added. “A rulemaking committee, like the one proposed by Rep. Dent and others, would provide a consistent forum for stakeholder information sharing and the development of measures that enhance security while recognizing the need for mobility and flexibility.”   More than 7,000 comments were submitted to the TSA in February regarding the LASP proposal. Almost all of the comments suggested that the proposed changes would be onerous to the thousands of businesses that rely on GA aircraft.  -NBAA

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Prices Dropping, but Used Bizjet Inventory Stabilizing

According to JP Morgan Global Equity Research’s latest Business Jet Monthly report, June used business jet inventories remained stable at 14.4 percent of the active fleet, “a further sign of stabilization at this very high level.” Used inventories of Cessna, Embraer and Hawker Beechcraft jets decreased, according to the report, “while other OEMs saw inventories rise.” Of the 23 aircraft models tracked by JP Morgan, 12 had higher inventories, 10 were lower and one was flat. Although used inventories appear to have peaked, average asking prices dropped 2.8 percent in June, the report noted, “decreasing for the seventh straight month. We expect prices to continue falling to bring the used market toward equilibrium, though this could take some time.” Monthly takeoffs and landings in the U.S. “appear to have stabilized” around the 280,000 range, “off a low of 264,000 in February.” The latest results, for the month of May, show year-to-year flight operations 27 percent lower, “the twelfth straight double-digit decline and the seventh decline of more than 20 percent. Flight ops are down 28 percent year-to-date.”

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FAA Approves High-Speed Internet System for Jets

Aircell Inc. received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a high-speed Internet system designed for business-aviation jets.  The Broomfield-based company announced Thursday the FAA gave full approval to the system, which lets passengers use their own Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs to surf the Internet, and to send and receive e-mail with attachments at full mobile speeds.  The system is the first that provides “a true high-speed Internet experience that equals what passengers are accustomed to on the ground, while being small and light enough to fit on virtually any business aircraft,” according to a news release. The company said it finished a testing program for the new system three months ahead of schedule.  The first installation was completed by Midcoast Aviation aboard a Bombardier Challenger 6005 aircraft.  Airlines representing more than half of the North American market —including American Airlines, Virgin America, Delta Air Lines and AirTran Airways — are using the commercial airline version of the service, called Gogo Inflight Internet. Northwest Airlines, Air Canada and United Airlines plan to add the service.  In June 2006, Aircell agreed to pay $31.7 million for a 3MHz air-to-ground spectrum in a Federal Communications Commission auction in June. In November 2006, the FCC gave AirCell approval to provide broadband service to U.S. airlines.

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Hawker Beechcraft Continues Growth Despite Economy

Hawker Beechcraft has added a Germany based airport to its network of authorized service centers.  In addition to performing maintenance, Aerodata can provide turnkey, special-mission aircraft worldwide.  Aerodata is a source of flight inspection systems.  They have also added Jeddah, a Saudi Arabia-based aircraft service to the Hawker 800 authorized service center network.  They intend to add the 900XP in the near future.  

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The Legacy’s 400 and 500 Progression Continues

Embraer has announced that the Legacy 450 and 500 mid-jet programs are on pace and have completed all phases on schedule, including the joint definition phase that began last July.  This phase involves Embraer engineers and their suppliers, finalizing the product definition and defining methods for meeting certification requirements.  The man-machine interface advisory board validated the planes’ designs and the cockpit design.  The detail and certification phase is next and Embraer begins working with suppliers to detail the systems architecture and aircraft components before releasing drawings for the first cut and prototypes for ground and flight tests.  The test pilots are currently validating the control laws for these jet’s fly-by-wire system via flight simulations.

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Heliflite Becomes Wyvern Approved

Wyvern Consulting recently performed an on sight audit of Heliflite Shares, LLC.  Heliflite is based at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey and has 5 aircraft, one Sikorsky S-76 and four Bell 430’s.  This puts Heliflite in the few elite helicopter charter services recommended by Wyvern.  For more information visit their website or speak with Magellan Jets about your summer helicopter needs provided by Heliflite.  

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Private Aviation Flight Activity Picking Up

According to ARG/US, business flight activity increased 28.55 percent last month from January.  These numbers could be early indicators that the private aviation sector is starting to recover.  The data includes all turbine business aircraft on IFR flight plans.  The company also indicates that total flight activity has declined 18.51 percent over the last 12 months.  In the fractional market, flight activity was down 28.1 percent, while FAR Part 135 flight activity dropped 46.7 percent.

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NBAA Applauds Senator Brownback’s Supporting Statements

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen commended Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) for taking to the floor of the Senate late last month to remind his colleagues of the value of business aviation for citizens, communities and companies across the U.S. “The people of the business aviation community applaud Senator Brownback for explaining what business aviation is all about, and correcting some of the misstatements and mischaracterizations about business aviation that have recently been made,” Bolen said.  In his remarks, Brownback told his colleagues: “Some federal officials have recently been making use of business aviation a matter of derision. Well, there is a lot of good that this business–a U.S.-dominated business–does, and we ought to support it, not hurt it.” To illustrate his point, Brownback noted the following, among other facts:

  • Business aviation employs more than one million people in manufacturing and support services.
  • Many companies rely on an airplane to conduct business across a number of different locations, which are often located in areas without robust airline airline service.
  • Of the nation’s 5,000 public-use airports, only 500 are served by the commercial airlines, making business aviation the only option for accessing most airports.
  • Eighty-six percent of people aboard business aircraft are not a company’s senior officials, but are mid-level employees, including salespeople, engineers, or other technical specialists.

“Whether its a piston or a jet, it [a business jet] is often what ends up connecting a lot of people on a rapid basis throughout the country,” Brownback said. “Without the use of business aircraft, you’re going to have a lot more inefficiencies in companies; you’re going to have a lot more difficulty getting people from point A to point B.” Bolen agreed, adding: “Business aviation is an essential tool for many companies to be productive and efficient, which is especially critical in this economic climate. But as the senator also pointed out, business aviation means jobs for more than a million people. It provides a critical lifeline for communities across the country, many of which have lost some or all of their airline service in the past year. And, it supports humanitarian initiatives, including medical transport for people in need and delivery of relief and supplies for victims of natural disasters. We thank Senator Brownback for recognizing these facts in highlighting the essential role of business aviation in America today.”

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