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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 23rd March 2017 | Issue #409
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United States

GAMA statement on President Trump's 2018 budget proposal

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association issued a statement in response to President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal on shifting the air traffic control function of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to an independent, non-governmental organization:

"Removing the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA could create negative impacts for aviation safety, rural and small communities, national security, and air traffic control modernization as well as for other important regulatory reform efforts.

"The FAA air traffic control system is the safest, most efficient, largest, and most complex in the world. To a degree not found in other countries, the economic health and vitality of numerous businesses and communities, small and large, depend on the U.S. aviation system. We must not weaken this strong foundation.

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Embraer Legacy 450 sets speed records between California and Hawaii with AirSprint

Embraer’s Legacy 450 mid-light business jet set speed records on its recent flights between California and Hawaii, according to the National Aeronautic Association.

The Hawaii trip was a first for both the aircraft and the passengers from Calgary-based AirSprint, which operates Canada’s largest fractional aircraft fleet and was the Canadian launch customer for the Legacy 450.

The customer demonstration trip with Embraer crew departed from Oakland to Maui with two pilots, four passengers and 300 lb (136 kg) of baggage, and returned to San Francisco.

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click to visit Success Aviation

Meridian acquires new hangar at Teterboro

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company headquartered at Teterboro Airport, is pleased to announce that it has expanded its footprint with the acquisition of the former AIG hangar at the south end of the airport.

The impeccably maintained facility sits on approximately two acres and includes a 22,000 sq. ft. hangar as well as 11,500 sq. ft. of office and support space.

Officially known as Meridian Hangar 107, the building is a welcome addition to the Meridian campus, providing the extra space and resources needed to support its bustling fuel, maintenance, and charter operations.

Currently, Meridian’s main facility is located at 485 Industrial Avenue, which includes a 40,000 sq. ft. hangar and a 30,000 sq. ft. terminal.

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click to visit Weston Aviation

Priester Aviation expands with new King Air 250 in Boston

Priester Aviation, LLC has announced its expansion into the Boston market with the addition of a brand new, Wi-Fi enabled, King Air 250 to its global fleet of over 65 aircraft.

The world-class Beechcraft King Air 250 is available for immediate on-demand private charter.

“With the addition of the new King Air 250, our expanded Northeast service delivers greater efficiency to our clients,” said Andy Priester, president and CEO for Priester.

“The ease of our on-demand private travel allows for greater freedom with the simplicity of Priester’s pay-as-you- ly model - giving you ultimate flexibility and control over your schedule.”

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Stratajet adds Paragon Network FBOs to online booking platform

Stratajet is significantly expanding the network of fixed based operators available to its customers through an agreement with Paragon Aviation Group.

Building on a successful start to 2017, following the company’s launch in the United States, Stratajet has reinforced its aim to revolutionise the private jet industry by joining forces with the Paragon Network.

The deal will see Stratajet clients given the control of choosing from a distinguished group of carefully selected independent FBOs as part of their private jet booking.

The only platform that allows its customers to search for and compare accurate availability and costs of private jets in real-time and book instantly, Stratajet is using sophisticated technology to give private jet fliers complete freedom over their entire booking.

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Supreme Court: NBAA challenges incorrect IRS application of federal excise tax

The National Business Aviation Association this week filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Fifth Circuit decision on the IRS’s incorrect assessment of federal excise tax (FET) on management fees paid to fractional aircraft providers.

In the 2016 decision, the Fifth Circuit upheld a ruling that monthly management fees charged by FlexJet, once owned by Bombardier Aerospace, were subject to FET.

When Bombardier last year appealed the Fifth Circuit’s decision, asking the full court of appeals to reconsider siding with the IRS, NBAA filed an amicus brief supporting the company. The Fifth Circuit denied that request, and Bombardier is asking the Supreme Court to hear the case.

NBAA’s amicus brief now, as then, argues the IRS never provided precise guidance to fractional programs on the application of FET to aircraft management fees.

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NBAA welcomes Congressman's inquiries about FAA's SMO settlement agreement

The National Business Aviation Association has thanked Rep. Ralph Abraham (R-5-LA) for his letter to federal officials expressing "deep concern" about the unprecedented settlement between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the city of Santa Monica, CA over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), and asked that the agencies provide the rationale behind it.

The letter was sent to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Elaine Chao and FAA Administrator Michael Huerta.

Under terms of the settlement agreement announced in late January, the FAA will permit city officials to reduce the length of SMO's sole runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet - restricting access for many turbine-powered aircraft - while requiring the city to operate the historic airfield only through Dec. 31, 2028.

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U.S. Aviation Fuel Prices



Luzius Wirth

Swissport International Ltd., the world’s leading provider of ground and cargo handling services to the aviation industry, has announced the appointment of Luzius Wirth to CEO Swissport UK & Ireland as of 1 June 2017.

He will remain in his additional role as EVP Group Services and will continue to report directly to Eric Born, Group President & CEO Swissport International Ltd.

Luzius Wirth joined Swissport in 2012 and has since taken up various prominent leadership roles within the group and since 2014 he has held responsibility for Swissport’s Group Services.

From June 2017, his new tasks will include a focus on further developing and expanding the regional organization, as well as driving customer-orientation and sustainable growth across the UK and Ireland.


United States

Pilatus PC-12 NG officially world's best-selling turboprop in 2016

Delivery of 91 PC-12 NG single engine turboprops in 2016 make it officially the top-selling turbine-powered business aircraft in the world.

With 91 aircraft delivered to customers around the world in 2016, the PC-12 NG outpaced sales of all other individual models of turbine-powered business aircraft. In mid-2017, Pilatus will deliver the 1,500th PC-12.

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United States

Associated Air Center redelivers 21st Airbus VVIP completion

22nd Head of State completion

Associated Air Center (AAC), StandardAero's Large Transport Category VIP Completions Center, has completed the company's 21st Airbus completion project with the redelivery of an ACJ 320 aircraft.

In addition to this milestone, this redelivery also represents the company’s 22nd total completion - including both Boeing and Airbus wide body and narrow body aircraft programs - for Head of State Customers around the globe. The recent ACJ320 program was for a Middle Eastern Head of State customer and the aircraft was redelivered from AAC’s Dallas Love Field facilities on March 9.

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United Kingdom

Luxaviation UK welcomes Athens-based Challenger 604 to fleet

Luxaviation UK, the UK’s largest private jet charter operator, is welcoming a Bombardier Challenger 604 to its fleet, available for charter from April 2017.

The Challenger 604 (G-MOCL) will be based at Athens International Airport with a full-time crew, allowing for last-minute charter requests. Purchased by an existing Luxaviation UK customer for private and charter use, it will be available for charter without the owner’s release. The aircraft was fitted with new interiors and exteriors in 2015.

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Bizav Newsreel

This week:

Dassault has claimed compensation from Safran for delays to the Silvercrest engine, which has impacted the airframer’s 5X programme. Elsewhere, the manufacturer has produced a new video showing its 3D virtual reality training on Falcons.

Gogo Business Aviation has received STC approval from the FAA for its Gogo Biz 4G system. Richard Koe, Managing Director of WINGX Advance, says that a resurgence is coming in business jet activity following the release of the company’s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor and Honeywell has launched its new Premier Channel Partner Program which aims to establish relationships with MRO providers and incentivise them to offer the best possible service to business jet operators.

Also this week, Marc Bailey, CEO of BBGA, discusses whether the industry is too 'pale, male and stale', following comments at the Association's recent AGM.

Watch the video


RUAG integrates pilot assistance and safety solution on EC635 for NATO DVE flight trials

RUAG Aviation integrated a pilot assistance and helicopter safety solution on the Airbus Helicopter EC635, on behalf of the Swiss Air Force, for use in recent NATO-sponsored trials.

The goal of the international trials cited technology-testing for enhancing safety during helicopter operations in limited visibility environments.

Held at Älggialp, Switzerland, the NATO trials focused on Degraded Visual Environments (DVE) caused specifically by snow, or whiteout conditions. read more

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United States

Embraer lands in the Silicon Valley with sights on disruptive innovation

Embraer is forming innovation teams in Silicon Valley and in Boston with the objective of exploring business opportunities in the future of air transportation.

The team will seek partnerships that enable new business models and technologies, with particular focus on collaboration with startups, investors, academia, and corporations. Operations will begin this month.

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United Kingdom

Staff at Air Partner plc, the global aviation services group headquartered in Gatwick, have participated in various fundraising activities since February 2016, raising £8534 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Neil Morris, CFO at Air Partner, said: “We were thrilled to raise this amount of money for Macmillan Cancer Support. In addition to benefitting such a worthwhile cause, organising these charity events is a really good way of bringing our employees together. I took part in RideLondon last year and had a fantastic time cycling from London to Surrey alongside my colleagues. I hope we can get even more people to take part with us this year!”


Aero Expo Panama Pacifico

Yvan Boniface, organizer of Aero Expo Panama Pacifico, has announced the preliminary program for the event, including speakers, topics, exhibitors and official suppliers.

The Aero Expo Panama Pacifico (AEPP) will be held at the Panama Pacifico International Airport from April 20-21, 2017, and will include a diverse slate of exhibitors and attendees from the Americas and Caribbean.

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How safe is Europe's 'ultra-safe' aviation industry?

Pilots call on decision makers to stop spreading “alternative truths”

Under this - slightly provocative - question Members of the European Parliament, researchers and pilots gathered on Tuesday (22 March) for a breakfast debate in the Parliament.

Hosted by MEPs Agnes Jongerius (S&D) and Georges Bach (EPP), they examined the key findings of the recent ‘Safety Culture in European Aviation’ study by the London School of Economics (LSE) and EUROCONTROL.

Pilots called on decision makers to stop spreading “alternative truths” and instead recognise that not all airlines honour the same safety culture principles and that some business and employment models could be detrimental to aviation safety.

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Emirates A380 flips Challenger 604 upside down in freak mid-air incident

Wake turbulence from an Emirates A380 jetliner sent a Challenger 604 business jet - flying 1,000ft beneath it - into an uncontrolled roll, flipping it upside down three times [possibly five] and causing it to plummet thousands of feet.

The incident, reported this week by The Aviation Herald, occurred over the Arabian Sea on January 7th.

The Emirates Airbus A380-800 was at FL350, 630nm southeast of Muscat and about 820nm northwest of the Maldives - en route from Dubai to Sydney - when the business jet passed underneath in the opposite direction.

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United Kingdom

Oasis of calm at London City

Airline passengers travelling from London City Airport can now share in the 'private jet experience'.

The airport's new Business Lounge, which opened on Monday (20 March), offers a premium customer experience for all passengers at a reasonable cost of £35 per person.

Housed in a newly transformed area of the airport’s Private Jet Centre and accessible from the main terminal via a private taxi shuttle, the Lounge offers a discreet, quiet atmosphere with complimentary cold food, snacks, and alcoholic beverages.

The stylish interior surroundings are designed with comfort and convenience in mind, with hand-made furniture, a flat screen TV, and charging points. Free hi-speed Wi-Fi, ensures passengers can catch up on emails and stay connected before they depart to one of the 45 destinations served by London City Airport.

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 click to visit Flexjet Ltd


From Burritos to Crepes, Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering, has it all wrapped up!

Bundles of Yum

don’t know about you, but I love food that comes enclosed in an edible wrapper.

It's like receiving a wondrous gift that you can't guess until you take the first bite. You bite, chew a bit, and then then you take a moment to look at what that bundled beauty contains as it tingles your taste buds.

As my mouth salivates over the thought, I have to say that these little bundles are great for aircraft . . . already portion- controlled and easily placed and presented on a plate. When prepared correctly, they have a burst of flavor that explodes in your mouth. The variable textures as you crunch into these bundles are perfect to stimulate every needed sensation to excite your flavor detectives.

These assorted wrapped goodies are perfect for those who love the tangible food thoughts and for those who are connoisseurs of quick alternatives, as I tend to be. Let’s take a look at some new ideas for either passenger or flight crew meals. There is so much more to offer than the old standbys of turkey and cheese sandwiches or the proverbial garden vegetable basket - or even the infamous cookie and brownie trays.

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TAG Aviation Spain receives renewal of Wyvern Wingman Operator status

TAG Aviation Spain has successfully received renewed accreditation to the Wyvern Wingman safety program following a rigorous on-site safety audit conducted by Wyvern.

The Madrid-based based operating Centre also recently strengthened its dedication to safety excellence by achieving the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) Stage 1 certification from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) which certifies the highest standards of safety, security and efficiency in business aircraft operations.

The Wyvern Wingman standard is globally acknowledged as the industry’s benchmark in aviation safety and reflects a commitment to current aviation best practices and the highest level of safety and protocol.

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 click to visit Global Trek Aviation

Hong Kong

Jet Aviation receives Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department approval for G650 aircraft

Jet Aviation recently received approval from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department (CAD) to support Gulfstream G650 aircraft with line and base maintenance.

Jet Aviation’s maintenance facility in Hong Kong is an approved Gulfstream Factory Authorized Warranty Service Center for G450/G550/G650 aircraft. With this approval, it is authorized to provide line and base maintenance to Gulfstream G650 aircraft registered in the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Macau and Hong Kong.

“Our goal is to provide required business aviation services as close to demand as possible,” says Nigel Parker, managing director at Jet Aviation Hong Kong. “We are delighted to expand our maintenance capabilities to extend support to all owners and operators of G650 aircraft in the region.”

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FlightSafety now offers G650 training at Farnborough

FlightSafety International announces the start of the only factory-authorized Gulfstream G650 training program located close to operators in Europe, the Middle East, and surrounding regions.

The training is provided using the fifth Gulfstream G650 simulator built by FlightSafety. It is installed at the company’s Learning Center located at the Farnborough airport in the United Kingdom and is now qualified to Level D by the FAA and EASA.

“Gulfstream and FlightSafety work closely to ensure the simulator reflects the exact flying and operating characteristics of the Gulfstream G650 aircraft now and in the future,” said David Davenport, Executive Vice President, Commercial. “As the only factory-authorized training provider for the G650, our training materials meet Gulfstream’s highest standards and include the latest aircraft configuration updates and operating guidance.”

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Pilots needed near you! (and other things you'd like to know about your Captain) With demand for air travel increasing, and the pipeline of commercial pilots dwindling, today’s cockpit captains are sitting comfortably when it comes to their job security, according to new research by PrivateFly. read

New research on Northern Lights will improve satellite navigation accuracy read

Daher salutes Europe’s approval of expanded commercial air transport operations for single- ngine turboprop aircraft read

Is Organic Healthier and Does it Really Matter? Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering. read

More stories in our

Industry Supplements

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Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame declares Honorary Poet
Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame has declared John Gillespie Magee Jr. as its Honorary Poet.

Magee was a 19-year old Spitfire pilot serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force when he wrote his famous sonnet, “High Flight,” which has become a symbol of lost aircrew in both peace and war.

The official announcement of Magee as Honorary Poet will be made at the 2017 induction dinner and ceremonies to be held at the Vancouver International Airport on June 15. Guest presenter and speaker will be Her Honour Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Four new members of the Hall will be inducted.

Born in Shanghai, China to missionary parents, John G. Magee Jr. attended Rugby School in England where he first distinguished himself as a poet. Later, continuing his education in the United States, Magee earned a scholarship to Yale University. However, in 1941, before the United States entered the Second World War, instead of attending university, he enlisted in the RCAF and trained as a pilot in Canada, graduating with the rank of Pilot Officer.

Posted to England and qualifying as a Spitfire fighter pilot, Magee wrote “High Flight” after completing a training flight. The poem was mailed to his parents, first printed in a Pittsburgh newspaper, and became widely known after publication in his father’s Washington D.C. church bulletin. On December 11, 1941, Magee was killed in a mid-air collision with another trainee pilot in England.

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John Gillespie Magee Jr.


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