A 15-year, $120 million tax credit from Ohio will support General Electric Co.’s plan to invest more than $100 million in capital improvements during the next several years at its GE Aviation complex in suburban Cincinnati, including demolishing some buildings that date to around World War II, GE said Thursday, Nov. 5.
The Kansas City Aviation Department is nearing completion on a $70 million refurbishment program at Kansas City Downtown Airport. The effort, begun in 2005, includes a $28 million project to raze and resurface both airport runways; $20 million to bulldoze 40 old hangars and replace them with 96 new hangars; $17 million for runway safety projects; and construction of a $1 million general aviation terminal, which includes a pilots’ lounge and large waiting room capable of accommodating up to 66 people, a self-fueling facility, and an outdoor aircraft wash bay.
by Jennifer Anderson
Embraer has announced development of a long-range version of the Legacy 600 super midsize business jet. The Legacy 650 is already flying and is based on the 600 model. A beefed-up airframe and landing gear allow more fuel, and new Rolls Royce AE 3007A2 engines are both more powerful and more efficient. It adds up to a 3,900 nm range with four passengers and a 3,800 nm range with eight passengers. The cabin can hold up to 14 passengers.
Late last month, the FAA signed a three-year deal with the National Air Traffic Controllers Association valued at $669 million. A new contract for Natca had been a top priority of the Obama administration after years of impasse in negotiations with the union that represents about 20,000 employees.
Emivest Aerospace Corporation, current owner of what had been the Sino-Swearingen SJ30 business jet, reports that it has delivered its first airplane. The first Emivest SJ30—serial number 008—went to Harry Mahoney, of Déjà vu Consulting. Déjà vu is an international entertainment business. The airplane was completed at the Jet Works Air Center and fitted with an HF radio, dual Mode S transponders, a Garmin 500 GPS receiver, and veneer cabinets.
This weekend, Boston’s Logan International Airport expects to nearly finish the first runway in the nation repaved with an environmentally friendly material called warm-mix asphalt. The asphalt is heated to a lower temperature than normal, burning less fuel and emitting less carbon. Airport operator Massport says on this project that means a cut of 4,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel. The last batch of the asphalt will be laid on Runway 9/27 this weekend, though the runway won’t reopen until later this year. The $12.5 million project began in July. Some European airports have used warm-mix asphalt, but it had to pass Federal Aviation Administration testing before Logan could use it.
Organizations representing general aviation in Washington know that Errol G. Southers has been nominated by President Barack Obama (D) to head the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and that Brian Delauter has been named the new general manager of that department’s GA division. Of the two Delauter is the better known quantity, having been named acting manager in July. But Southers is known to the community mainly through his resume.
The National Hockey League regular season has yet to begin, but elbows are flying in an aviation scrap between the U.S. and Canada that threatens to disrupt air-charter arrangements made by many NHL teams. Air Canada last week sued U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, seeking to block his enforcement of an Aug. 11 Transportation Department order that Air Canada to cancel its season-long sports charter contracts. Air Canada’s Jetz charter service currently has contracts with the six Canada-based NHL squads and the Toronto Raptors basketball team. The ruling “is wreaking havoc on the hockey season,” said Air Canada, a unit of ACE Aviation Holdings Inc., in its lawsuit. “The urgency of this matter cannot be minimized.” Air Canada claimed the U.S. position has cost it contracts with three U.S. NHL teams this season, including the Boston Bruins. The Bruins declined to comment. At issue is whether Air Canada is allowed to fly Canadian sports teams between U.S. destinations without first returning to Canada. By law and treaty, foreign airlines can’t pick up passengers when flying between U.S. cities — nor can U.S. airlines in most foreign nations, including Canada. However, the DOT for years has allowed Air Canada to fly sports teams on back-to-back U.S. flights if the teams ultimately would return to Canada. Similarly, U.S. airlines ferrying American teams have been allowed to fly within Canada. But the Air Line Pilots Association union, two U.S. aviation trade groups and a U.S. charter carrier began calling for a penalty last year because Air Canada won DOT-approved contracts to fly two American sports teams, the NHL’s Bruins and the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association. The pilots want to assure that U.S. flights are operated by U.S. pilots. In an order to Air Canada’s Washington lawyer, the DOT said the agency found the airline last year carried individuals on Bruins and Bucks charters who were transported within the U.S. and never carried across the border during the season, contrary to the DOT’s agreement with the airline. Canada’s Minister of Transport, John Baird, said in a letter to Mr. LaHood demanding the DOT retract its decision. This Canadian Transportation Agency retaliated by banning flights by U.S. carriers that require multiple stops within Canada. Miami Air International Inc., a U.S. charter carrier that has contracts with 10 NHL teams this season, had to arrange for a Canadian charter to make intra-Canada flights last weekend for the Florida Panthers, rather than carry the NHL team itself, said Ross Fischer, chief executive of Miami Air. Miami Air also had to amend its travel plans last weekend for a major-league baseball client, the Toronto Blue Jays, Mr. Fischer said. Instead of flying the team to Windsor, Ontario, from Toronto, as the team requested, the flight went to Detroit. “We’re scrambling,” Mr. Fischer said. But the situation is worse for Canadian teams because they have more back-to-back games in the U.S., where there are 24 NHL teams. Canadian teams could be forced to return home between each U.S. game, which would be expensive. Bill Daly, deputy commissioner of the NHL, said the league is “concerned with these new interpretations, especially on the eve of the new season when our teams have all made their travel arrangements already.” Air Canada said it hoped a solution could be reached. In its suit, the airline said it has a permit to operate charter service between any points in Canada and the U.S. Because of the treaty between the U.S. and Canada, Air Canada said it can make an unlimited number of U.S. stopovers, which allows the airline to offer charters for sports teams whose schedules require play in both countries. The contract and season itinerary is treated as a single journey with multiple stopovers, the airline said. A hearing on Air Canada’s complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for Tuesday. A DOT spokesman declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Transport Canada. The preseason was to begin Monday; the regular season Oct. 1.
Airbus, the European plane manufacturer, said last Wednesday that it expects private jet sales to rebound in 2010 behind a fast-growing Chinese market. According to Francois Chazelle—vice president of executive and private aviation at Airbus Middle East—more and more Chinese billionaires are considering purchasing private jets due to their convenience compared to commercial flights. “We do see the market bouncing back, with the largest number of expressions of interests coming from China,” said Chazelle. He said that the interest would be particularly special among Chinese businessmen in the oil trading industry, construction, and other chemical sectors, who are looking to purchase companies after the financial crisis. Right now, the proportion of billionaires owning a private jet in China are about a tenth of that in the United States. Chazelle admitted that the industry did experience a slowdown this year, but it did not completely breakdown.
Corporate jets became a popular symbol of wasteful spending after the Big Three automobile executives flew in to visit Capitol Hill seeking federal government bailout cash late last year.
Crowded skies and exhausted pilots are a bad mix, the airline industry and pilot unions agree, but they’re struggling over what to do about it. The airlines want to schedule some pilots with less-taxing flights — fewer takeoffs and landings — but for longer, not shorter, hours in the cockpit. The unions say they won’t agree to more hours for those pilots in exchange for fewer hours for pilots who fly as many as a half dozen short flights a day or take off at odd times. That was the main sticking point in an otherwise harmonious effort over the past month and a half to rewrite flying-time rules that in many cases are a half-century old and predate recent scientific findings concerning fatigue. The advisory committee on pilot fatigue was expected to deliver its recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration late Tuesday. Committee members said the FAA had asked them not to make their recommendations public.
IS-BAO, the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations, has received been received official recognition as an industry standard for business aircraft operations in Europe. The approval, announced last week, by the European Union’s standard body, should facilitate recognition of IS-BAO in the upcoming EASA Implementing Rules. IS-BAO was developed and is overseen by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) in Montreal, Canada. According to IBAC and the European Business Aviation Assn., business aircraft operators should be able to use IS-BAO registration in their declaration to EU civil aviation authorities as the means they use to meet the regulatory requirements. It is also anticipated that national regulatory authorities will take into account IS-BAO registration in their regulatory oversight of business aviation operators engaged in commercial operations. Brian Humphries, EBAA President and CEO, said, “The ISBAO was developed as a professional safety code of practice for business aviation operators and we encourage those operators to move forward with IS-BAO implementation so that they will be ready for the upcoming EASA Implementing Rules”. Because a Safety Management System (SMS) will be required of all commercial operations and operators of complex motor-powered aircraft engaged in noncommercial operations within the EU, the IS-BAO includes an SMS Toolkit that can be used by operators to develop their own SMS. – William Garvey Aviation Week
Fractional aircraft provider NetJets’ second-quarter revenues fell 43 percent year-over-year to $550 million, and for the first half dropped $1.024 billion–or 42 percent–from the same six-month period last year. According to parent company Berkshire Hathaway, NetJets’ declines reflected an 81-percent dive in aircraft sales and a 22-percent reduction in flight operations revenues “primarily due to lower flight revenue hours. NetJets reported pre-tax losses of $253 million for the second quarter and $349 million for the first six months, compared with gains of $192 million and $255 million, respectively, in the same time frames last year. Further, Berkshire said that NetJets owns more airplanes than it requires for its present level of operations “and further downsizing will be required unless demand rebounds. NetJets founder and now former chairman and CEO Richard Santulli left the company last Tuesday, just three days before Berkshire released its second-quarter results.
Feds want more info at booking to compare to terrorist watch lists
The Transportation Security Administration wants to know more about who’s boarding commercial flights in the United States.
Beginning Saturday, the federal agency will begin collecting additional data from airline passengers at booking time, including full name, date of birth and gender. That data must match whatever is on the form of government-issued identification — driver’s licenses and passports are the most common — that a passenger uses to check in and board the flight.
The new requirement will affect all airline bookings made beginning Saturday and is just the first phase of a larger program called Secure Flight. That program’s goal is to vet 100 percent of airline passengers through the TSA’s watch lists by next year. TSA’s goal is to vet 100 percent of passengers on all domestic commercial flights by early next year, and all passengers on all international commercial flights by the end of 2010.
The agency, known best for its takeover of the airport security screening process following the Sept. 11 attacks, is touting the program as a better way to keep dangerous travelers from boarding planes, while preventing confusion for passengers with names similar to people on the government’s “No Fly” and “Selectee” lists. Those lists bar some would-be fliers and mark others for “enhanced screenings” at airport security checkpoints.
Extra information helps
Because the government will have access to additional pieces of identifying information, the TSA says it will be better able to distinguish between, for example, a 25-year-old John A. Doe who is OK to fly and a 37-year-old John Z. Doe who is not. In addition to the data required of passengers, fliers who have had difficulty with watch list confusion can include a “redress” number. Those are issued to cleared passengers who have been stopped or delayed before because of similar names or other confusion. “By enhancing and streamlining the watch list matching process, the Secure Flight program makes travel safer and easier for millions of Americans,” Gale Rossides, the TSA’s acting administrator, said in a statement.
The Secure Flight program was born out of a Department of Homeland Security directive issued in 2006 that required the TSA and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to start working together to implement a system to make sure airline passengers have been cleared.
Aside from the additional information collected by the airline, Secure Flight will mean a closer relationship between those airlines serving the United States and the TSA. The new requirements call for passengers to provide the information to airlines when they book flights. The information, in turn, is sent to the Secure Flight system, which matches up names with watch lists, and determines whether the matches are legitimate or errors.Secure Flight then sends information back to the airlines, separating passengers into those who are cleared to fly, those who aren’t and those who will be subjected to enhanced screening. Initially, Secure Flight requires passenger information to match up exactly with what’s on the ID, so if a passenger’s license says “Richard,” for example, a ticket shouldn’t be booked under “Dick.”
Matching up names
“During this phase of the Secure Flight program, passengers are encouraged to book their reservations using their name as it appears on the government-issues ID they will use while traveling,” Rossides said. Most airlines say they’re implementing procedures to help passengers comply with the regulation so they’re not delayed or denied boarding. Airlines have been preparing for the new requirements for months. Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s largest airline, which operates its second-largest hub at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, will roll out revamped online pages that will allow passengers booking tickets via the Internet to submit the required information beginning Saturday, said company spokeswoman Susan Elliott. Additionally, the airline will allow fee-free name changes on tickets, so names on reservations will match up with the documents passengers use to check in and clear security checkpoints.
By: Nathan Hurst / The Detroit News
Access the safest and highest quality aircraft on a trip-by-trip basis.