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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 13th December 2018 | Issue 490.

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International Business and Private Aviation Industry News

Signature Flight Support

United States:

US November flight activity slows after weekday and Thanksgiving week travel declines

TRAQPak’s review of year over year flight activity (November 2018 vs. November 2017) published this week indicates that November 2018 recorded a forecasted decrease of 1.2%.

The results by operational category were mixed with Fractional activity posting the only yearly increase, up 3.5% year over year. Part 91 activity posted a slight decrease of 0.4%, while Part 135 activity declined for the 6th straight month, down 3.7%.

The aircraft categories were mostly negative with mid-size jets posting the only increase from 2017, up 2.3%. Light jets posted an decrease of 2.3%, while large jets posted a 1.0% year over year decrease. Turboprops decreased 3.4%.

Download the report

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United States:

Gulfstream G650ER connects New York with Dubai in record time

Flagship aircraft shaves 1h 48 mins off previous record.

Gulfstream has announced that the ultralong-range Gulfstream G650ER has completed a record-breaking flight en route to the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show in Dubai.

The aircraft bested the previous world speed record by one hour and 48 minutes.

Gulfstream G650ER connects New York with Dubai in record time

The G650ER flew from Teterboro, New Jersey, to Dubai, UAE, a distance of 6,142 nautical miles/11,375 kilometers, in just 11 hours and two minutes. The flight was completed at an average speed of Mach 0.90.


click to visit London Oxford Airport.

United States:

Planet Nine Private Air launches executive protection option for clients

Planet Nine Private Air (P9PA), the Van Nuys, California based private charter operator has announced a newly ratified collaboration with T&M Protection Resources, LLC (‘T&M’) to provide personal protection for its international customers.

Planet Nine is offering the T&M solution on a non-exclusive basis as an added safety enhancement, in response to the increasingly uncertain global environment and the need to mitigate potential risks to HNWI/influential and high-profile passengers.

The addition of this valued global aviation solution follows interest from a growing clientele of ultra HNW/high profile clients and governments who want that extra layer of security, even beyond the inherent safety of flying privately aboard P9PA’s Falcon 7X business jets, from discreet FBOs.


click to visit Success Aviation Services.

Altitude Attitude

Deanna Harms

Deanna Harms, executive vice president, at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency in Wichita, the Air Capital.

Bullish On-Air Summit

The Wichita Aero Club’s eagerly anticipated annual on-air summit, did not disappoint.

This year, panelists included the leadership of five key aviation organizations: the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA).

Moderator Molly McMillin, managing editor of Aviation Week’s The Weekly of Business Aviation, kept the discussion moving. With this group, that wasn’t hard.

Jack Pelton

Jack Pelton

Panelists started out talking about the challenges of the past 10 years. Jack Pelton, EAA CEO who was CEO of Cessna Aircraft at the time, hasn’t forgotten the terrible downward spiral the Great Repression generated. “I have recurring nightmares,” he said.

NBAA CEO Ed Bolen has flashbacks when he thinks back to the “tough” 2008 convention - a reflection of the tanking stock market and aviation’s public-image issues.


BlueSky Recruitment

United States:

Baker Aviation breaks ground on new facility to centralize operations in Fort Worth

Baker Aviation, a full-service aircraft maintenance, management and charter company in North Texas, has announced construction is now underway for two new hangars with immediate plans to centralize and expand operations at the Fort Worth, Meacham International Airport (KFTW).

The Baker Aviation Maintenance business will move its FAA Part 145 repair station from Addison, Texas to the Fort Worth headquarters location next month as part of the master plan.

The new 30,500 square foot maintenance hangar is projected to be completed by November 2019.

Adjacent to the maintenance hangar will be a state of art facility for the Baker Aviation Part 135 charter and aircraft management business, measuring 35,850 square feet, with a completion date of January 2020.


click to visit Flightworx

United States:

FlightSafety's Joe Ping becomes 4,000th recipient of prestigious Master Technician award

FlightSafety International has announced that Joe Ping, Manager, Aircraft Maintenance, Global Integrated Services - Aviation, Cummins Inc., is the 4,000th aircraft maintenance technician to successfully complete the Master Technician training program.

Joe earned his Master Technician certificate following completion of a comprehensive multi-year training curriculum for the Gulfstream G280 aircraft.

Joe Ping

Joe Ping

“We are very pleased and proud to congratulate Joe Ping on his significant achievement and to celebrate the awarding of FlightSafety’s 4,000th Master Technician certificate,” said Daniel MacLellan, Senior Vice President, Operations. “The recognition Joe and all others who have completed this rigorous program is most deserved.”


Click to visit Pratt & Whitney Canada


Aviation sector working towards fossil-free aviation from Kalmar

Kalmar Öland Airport and Kalmar Municipality, together with airlines SAS and BRA and fuel supplier Air BP, have cooperated to meet a 5% biofuel target on all flights from Kalmar to Stockholm.

Kalmar Öland Airport has, together with its owner Kalmar Municipality, been working actively for many years to create the conditions to secure funding for the additional cost of aviation biofuel, with a long-term goal of having fossil-free aviation from Kalmar. As a first step towards fossil-free fuel locally, domestic flights between Kalmar and Stockholm flew on biofuel during the Kalmarsundsveckan 2017 sustainability week.

The next step in the process was to establish the conditions for funding the aviation biofuel more broadly. During this process, both Kalmar Municipality and the airport, and many of the municipal companies, took the decision that all their own business travel on flights from Kalmar should be powered by biofuel. The procurement of aviation biofuel, equivalent to three years’ supply, for Kalmar Municipality took place this autumn.


click to visit Cordwell.aero

United States:

SmartJets and VIP Completions relocate to new facilities at Fort Lauderdale and appointment of new Director

Strategic decisions address business expansion and market resilience.

SmartJets, a turn-key aircraft dealer-broker, and sister company, VIP Completions, providers of maintenance and completions services, have announced the opening of new facilities at Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) and the appointment of Manny Kapranos as Director of Sales and Marketing for both companies.

The move to newly-built facilities at 1460/70 SW 43rd Street, on the southwest side of FLL, provides SmartJets and VIP Completions with a combined 4,400 square feet of purpose-built client hospitality and executive office space, adjacent to a state-of-the-art 15,500-square-foot hangar, capable of accommodating the latest generation of long-range business aircraft, including the Bombardier Global 7500.


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Janet Chen

Janet Chen

Hong Kong-based Metrojet Limited, a business aviation service provider with presence throughout the Asia Pacific region, has announced the appointment of Ms Janet Chen as Regional Sales Manager, MRO.

Janet is uniquely placed to be Metrojet’s MRO subject matter expert and ambassador for the Mainland customers and help develop the team’s support and services to better meet customers’ expectations both now and in the future.

Janet has over 14 years’ working experience in the aviation industry. She started her career in Sales, Marketing and Customer Service but has also worked in Supply Chain and Business Development with her most recent role being Commercial Manager in HAECO Private Jet Solutions.

Janet will initially be based in Mainland China and have a main focus in that market.


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United Kingdom:

GKN Aerospace announces new £32m Global Technology Centre in Bristol

Public-private investment enables world-class centre for 300 highly skilled engineers.

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, and the Chief Executive of GKN Aerospace, Hans Büthker have revealed plans for GKN Aerospace’s new Global Technology Centre in the UK.

The new centre - funded by a £17m commitment from GKN Aerospace and a £15m commitment from the UK Government, through the Aerospace Technology Institute - is expected to open in 2020. Once open the 10,000 square metre facillity will host 300 highly skilled engineers, and will include collaborative space for research and development with universities, the UK’s CATAPULT network and GKN Aerospace’s UK supply chain.

The centre will focus on additive manufacturing (AM), advanced composites, assembly and industry 4.0 processes to enable the high rate production of aircraft structures. The GTC will maintain GKN Aerospace’s position at the forefront of technology development for the next generation of energy efficient aircraft. The facility will serve as a base for GKN Aerospace’s technology partnership in the Airbus’ ”Wing of Tomorrow” technology programme as well as new additive manufacturing programmes.


click to visit Air BP.


Air BP showcases its technical services capabilities and general aviation expertise at MEBAA 2018

New, dedicated general aviation fuel terminal at Al Maktoum International airport (DWC) is set to open in 2019 with Air BP taking a lead role in its design.

Air BP, the international aviation fuel products and service supplier, showcased its technical services capabilities and general aviation expertise in the Middle East at MEBAA 2018 this week, a region where it has been active for over 85 years.

Air BP showcases its technical services capabilities and general aviation expertise at MEBAA 2018.

Air BP is currently providing technical services to customers in 11 countries across the Middle East, including Al Maktoum International airport, where the company was selected in 2015 as lead participant by the oil companies joint venture to design a new general aviation fuel terminal. Work has just commenced at the airport to connect the main fuel hydrant to the new general aviation terminal, which is home to Jet Aviation, Jetex Flight Support, ExecuJet, DC Aviation and Falcon Aviation, and is expected to be completed next year.


click to visit Global Jet Services


ExecuJet looks forward to upturn in Middle East activity in 2019

ExecuJet, part of the Luxaviation Group, has been marking its seventh attendance as an exhibitor at the Middle East and North Africa Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show at Dubai Al Maktoum International Airport this week.

Mike Berry, Exec. VP Aviation Services and VP Middle East, Luxaviation Group, says: “The Middle Eastern business aviation market has been slow for the past two years. However, we are expecting to see improvements in 2019, especially in the latter half of the year, as issues with aircraft grounded during the Saudi anti-corruption cleanout and the Qatari political embargo should get ironed out and resolved.

Rendering of ExecuJet's new Dubai South facility.

Rendering of ExecuJet's new Dubai South facility.

“As a result of the widespread economic upturn, we are also expecting to see boosts in tourist traffic across the region over the coming months. This is an area that used to attract a lot of activity, from Russia in particular, but has dipped significantly in recent years. We are looking forward to handling more tourist and business aviation activity as we slowly get back up to pre-recession figures.


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United Kingdom:

Ilmor Engineering applies motorsport technologies to improve GA aero engine for EU Clean Sky 2 programme

Ilmor Engineering has improved the power density of a General Aviation diesel engine by applying technologies and design solutions honed in Motorsport to successfully deliver an EU Clean Sky 2 (CS2) programme, funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation project aimed at reducing CO2, gas emissions and noise pollution.

Northampton, UK based Ilmor Engineering is world renowned for producing championship winning engines for Formula 1 and IndyCar and has a growing aerospace capability, which includes the development of a UAV engine and a project for Boeing that earned Ilmor a Boeing Silver Supplier Award.

Team Penske's 2018 Indy 500 winning car.

Team Penske's 2018 Indy 500 winning car.

The competitively awarded programme had two interdependent aims. The first and very demanding challenge was to improve power density on a certified engine by increasing power and reducing weight while also maintaining fuel efficiency. The second was to identify and apply new design techniques and technologies; the project’s remit was not to create an airworthy, certifiable power plant.


click to visit Sky Services Italy.


Sheltair and Avfuel foster global connections at MEBAA

Sheltair and Avfuel partnered up once again at the Middle East Business Aviation Association (MEBAA) Show this week to represent their award-winning brands to international operators.

The Sheltair network comprises 18 modern FBOs throughout Florida, Georgia, New York and Colorado.


“We’re particularly enthused to speak to operators about our New York locations and the addition of our 18th FBO in Denver, Colorado,” said Karen Kroeppel, Sheltair’s director of sales and marketing. “In particular, our JFK location often serves as the main gateway for international operators - from there, we welcome them throughout the Sheltair network and are pleased to add Colorado’s bustling business epicenter to that list.”


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Falcon Aviation highlights a successful year at MEBAA 2018

Falcon Aviation returned to MEBAA 2018 this week at Dubai World Central, where it talked up a raft of new developments it has put in place in the region.

Throughout 2018 it has continued to make progress towards fulfilling its core mission to expand infrastructure in the Middle East to support growing business aviation activity.

Falcon Aviation's new MRO facility at DWC.

It is also gearing up to be a more active player in the regional aircraft market too. A shift in its business in the UAE will see its established Al Bateen Executive Airport, Abu Dhabi HQ evolving into a premier turboprop MRO base, supporting the Bombardier Q400, where it has full base maintenance capabilities.


click to visit Avfuel


AVIAÂ partners with Jetex to launch Middle East supplier network

AVIAÂ, the international group purchasing organisation (GPO) for business aviation is expanding its presence in the Middle East with the signing of a new preferred supplier partnership with Jetex, the leading international ground handling specialist in the region.

The partnership commences with exclusive savings on full business aircraft handling, through select FBOs in Jetex’s global network.

AVIAÂ Business Development Director Matt Smith signed the partner agreement with Adel Mardini, CEO and President of Jetex.

AVIAÂ Business Development Director Matt Smith signed the partner agreement with Adel Mardini, CEO and President of Jetex flight support, at its flagship VIP Dubai South, Dubai World Central Airport FBO on Sunday (9th December) on the eve of the biannual MEBAA 2018 Show.


click to visit Voluxis.


Krimson gains one of first new Ethiopian CAA aviation licenses

Krimson, the Ethiopia-based aviation services company has attained one of the first new business aviation licenses being issued by the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA).

The new permits have been created to establish a transparent regulatory framework to support fair processing of flight permits and ground handling services by operators or agents. The aim is to bolster local aviation industry standards to support the country’s growing aviation sector.

Dawit Lemma MD and Founder of Addis Ababa based Krimson.

Dawit Lemma MD and Founder of Addis Ababa based Krimson.

Krimson was awarded the paperwork having completed the rigorous application process which requires providing materials to substantiate the company’s professional experience, employee suitability, financial sustainability, active sector knowledge and technical understanding of the required norms to operate within civil aviation. Only a limited number of licenses have been made available to ensure that the holders consistently deliver the certified standards which are comparable to accepted ICAO service levels.


click to visit Flying Colours Corp.

Terry Spruce



By Terry Spruce

Upgrading Your Aircraft



Lee Rohde is Founder, President and CEO of Essex Aviation, a business and private aviation aircraft acquisition and consulting firm, based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA.

He has 30+ years' experience in financial and operational analysis, together with manufacturing, distribution and corporate business development.

In this week's Spotlight, Lee gives BlueSky his insights into upgrading your aircraft.


click to visit World Fuel Services.

United States:

Skyways' new owner unveils new name: Fly Jet Center

Under new ownership, Huron Regional Airport’s sole FBO has announced its new name: Fly Jet Center.

Previously known as Skyways, the FBO at KHON is getting more than a fresh name. The operation is focused on providing a premier customer experience out of a newly-renovated facility featuring a pilot’s lounge, conference room, flight planning room with internet access, wireless internet, pilot supplies, a passenger lobby and heated hangar space.

Skyways' new owner unveils new name: Fly Jet Center.

“The new name is representative of the developments we’re making at KHON,” said Tanyika Sims, Fly Jet Center’s president and COO. “We’re thrilled to be able to serve South Dakota’s aviation market - as well as those visiting for a quick tech stop - with the quality services they deserve in a facility of which the Huron community can be proud.”


click to visit Baker Aviation | HOT-STOP 'L'

United Kingdom:

'Don’t get done because of your drone this Christmas', warn pilots

With drones high on many peoples Christmas lists, British pilots are reminding people who buy one that they need to understand the new drone laws, or they could get a very unwanted Christmas present . . . time in jail or a fine.

Earlier this year new laws came into force that limit drones to 400ft and prevent them from flying within 1km of an airport boundary. Drone users who flout these rules could face a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

It’s hoped the new laws will help reverse the recent rise in near misses between manned aircraft and drones reported to the UK Air Proximity Board. So far, up until November this year there were already 117 near misses, compared to 93 for the whole of 2017.



The WINGX Report:

Seasonal low-point indicates weakening demand in Western Europe

There were 62,726 business aviation departures in Europe during November according to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor.

The figure represents a big drop off from the tail-end of the summer´s activity, and down 1% YOY in business jet activity. Business aviation activity in Europe now has a rolling 12-month trend of +2%.

There was some growth in France and a fairly strong increase in YOY activity in Germany and Spain, but business aviation flight departures were off more than 5% YOY from the UK, Italy and Switzerland. Domestic UK activity fell by 9% YOY.

YTD growth, after 11 months of 2018, is still up in all top 6 markets, although only substantial in Germany and Spain. The Netherlands, Finland, Portugal, Greece and Hungary have strong trends this year. Substantial declines in 2018 for Turkey.


click to visit London Biggin Hill Airport

United Kingdom:

New AW139 for Heli Shuttle at London Biggin Hill Airport

The London Heli Shuttle, operated by Castle Air at London Biggin Hill Airport, is extending its fleet to 10 helicopters with the addition of a new AgustaWestland AW139.

The London Heli Shuttle was established in 2015 to offer the airport’s customers the fastest and most convenient route to central London. The service has been in high demand ever since.

New AW139 for Heli Shuttle at London Biggin Hill Airport

Now, the addition of the twin-engine AW139 to Castle Air’s current fleet of AW109 Grands will further boost the number of transfers available at short notice. With a larger cabin, it will also provide a more comfortable journey into the capital.


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Jet Aviation receives IS-BAH Stage 2 Safety Registration for 20 FBOs at MEBAA

Jet Aviation has received International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) Stage 2 Safety Registration from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) for 20 of its FBOs across EMEA and the Americas.

The company intends to achieve IS-BAH Standard registration for its new Hawker Pacific and KLM Jet Center FBOs in 2019.

IBAC Program Director for IS-BAH, Terry Yeomans, presented 20 IS-BAH Stage 2 Safety Certificates to Jet Aviation at its MEBAA chalet on Monday (10th December) in Dubai.

“This remarkable achievement demonstrates Jet Aviation’s ongoing commitment to the highest safety standards for its customers and employees,” said Yeomans.

Based around a safety management system that models the structure and format of the International Standard for Business Aircraft Operators (IS-BAO), IS-BAH establishes criteria for best handling systems, processes and practices to ensure FBOs meet rigorous safety and security standards.


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Nomad Technics receives EASA Part-145 approval for line and base maintenance

Nomad Technics AG, the maintenance division of Nomad Aviation AG, has received the EASA Part-145 Maintenance Organisation Approval Certificate to perform full line and base maintenance at its Basel, Switzerland, facility.

Nomad Technics AG is an EASA Part-145 approved organisation and provides base and line maintenance services. The company is authorized to perform work on Embraer, Bombardier and Cessna aircraft, including Embraer 135, known as Legacy 600 and 650, Bombardier Challenger 604, 605, 650, 800, 850, CRJ 100, Global Express, Global Express XRS, Global 5000, 6000 and Cessna CJ1, CJ2 and CJ3.


Tastefully Yours.

Paula Kraft

Paula will be back in the New Year.

United Kingdom:

On Air Dining partners with Travelworx to offer Horizon members exclusive travel discounts

On Air Dining, the award winning executive in-flight culinary specialist, and Travelworx, a travel agency specialising in travel arrangements for flight crews and business personnel have partnered to extend On Air’s Horizon members discounts on crew hotels, hire cars and repositioning flights.

The exclusive member benefits enjoyed by Horizon members now extend to wherever their travels may take them around the world.

Horizon by On Air Dining is being adopted by both operators and brokers alike as it removes airport delivery charges, gives support for personalized catering offers as well as many other exclusive perks. Owners, operators and brokers of any size can benefit from the very highest quality catering at every budget level while reducing costs across their en-tire fleet. As the program continues to grow in popularity, other quality service providers in the industry are coming on board to add to the benefits.


click to visit DaVinci Inflight Training Institute


Avinode makes online charter sales easy with improved web apps

Business aviation technology leader Avinode is launching two upgraded web apps to further improve the company’s online service for buying and selling charter flights.

The breakthrough new web apps make searching for flights and empty legs even easier than before, benefiting not just operators and brokers but - critically - their customers too.

Per Marthinsson, Founder and EVP, Avinode Americas, says: “We’ve improved our ‘Full Search’ and our ‘Empty Leg Search’ web apps. The upgrades mean buying and selling air charter online is now simpler and quicker than ever before. If you’re an operator or broker, and you want more leads, these products are perfect for you.”

Operators and brokers can add the ‘Full Search’ application to their websites, with or without the ‘Empty Leg Search’ option, offering their customers an air charter search portal powered by Avinode.

Marthinsson continues: “Both apps can easily be customized by brokers and operators, whose clients will use our technology and comprehensive data to search for flights and empty legs but only see the branding of the broker or operator in question. Setting everything up is incredibly quick and easy. You basically just decide where you want the application to appear on your website.


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Jet Aviation signs preferred handling agreement with German-based Excellent Air

Jet Aviation has signed a preferred FBO service agreement with Excellent Air, which operates Europe’s largest fleet of Cessna CJ2 aircraft as-well-as several Cessna XLS aircraft based in Memmingen, Germany.

Excellent Air offers its customers a full-service, door-to-door charter experience on its twin-engined Cessna business jets. Under the agreement signed at MEBAA 2018 in Dubai, Jet Aviation becomes the preferred handling service provider for Excellent Air at its FBO locations in EMEA.

“As the name suggests, we at Excellent Air are committed to service excellence, seamless travel and absolute quality - whether in the air or on the ground,” says Excellent Air CEO, Richard Hekker. “We appreciate Jet Aviation’s commitment to safety and the highest service standards, readily evidenced by the IS-BAH Stage 2 Safety Certificates conferred on them just yesterday, and are pleased to entrust our customers to their care.”

Oliver Bergsch, Jet Aviation’s VP of Sales Management for EMEA and APAC, adds, “We are delighted to partner with Excellent Air and look forward to welcoming their customers at our facilities in Berlin, Dubai, Dusseldorf, Geneva, Moscow, Munich, Vienna and Zurich.”

click to visit Weston Aviation


Sky Valet Connect opens its first-ever establishment in France in the Avignon business terminal

Sky Valet Connect continues its growth in Europe with the announcement of its arrival in the business aviation terminal at Avignon-Provence airport.

This terminal, which perfectly meets the demands of business flyers and is JS-BAH-certified, meets all the requirements of the Sky Valet Connect label. Located at the heart of the high-growth triangle that stretches from Montpellier to Marseilles, covering the Lubéron and Provence regions, Avignon-Provence airport plans to develop its business aviation traffic.

With its hangars ideally suited to the parking of private aircraft, the airport actively contributes to the appeal and the vitality of a large territory.


BlueSky Recruitment

Hong Kong:

ACS Hong Kong celebrates 10 years of success in style

This October Air Charter Service's Hong Kong office celebrated its 10th birthday, with a lavish party to recognise the office’s huge success over the last decade.

Justin Bowman, ACS Group CEO, and Justin Lancaster, ACS Group Commercial Director, both flew out to Asia to help get the celebrations under way. Also invited were board members from the Asian Business Aviation Association (AsBAA), including its CEO, Mike Walsh.

The party was held in the exclusive, aviation-themed, China Clipper Lounge at the Peninsula Hotel in downtown Hong Kong.


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And Finally

American Aero FTW's sixth annual holiday toy drive benefits US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program

Piles of donated toys and rows of shiny, new bicycles once again filled the corner of hangar 11N at Meacham International Airport on Wednesday (5th December) during American Aero FTW’s sixth annual Christmas luncheon and toy drive.

American Aero FTW is an FBO focused on the ground handling needs of private aviation. The annual holiday celebration benefits the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program, and guests include clients and tenants, as well as area firefighters and police officers.

Each year, Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys to distribute as Christmas gifts to children in the community. The program benefits about 150,000 children throughout Tarrant and surrounding North Texas counties. Since opening its doors in 2013, American Aero FTW has purchased 550 bicycles and helped gather another 1,200 children’s gifts. This year, the FBO will deliver 50 bicycles and more than 200 toys and games to Toys for Tots.

American Aero FTW Toys for Tots

Crew members and leaders of American Aero FTW, an FBO at Fort Worth’s Meacham International Airport, join founder Robert M. Bass to present hundreds of gifts to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program. This is American Aero FTW’s sixth annual toy drive, with donations from the FBO, its tenants and clients, and local first responders. Since opening its doors in 2013, American Aero FTW has purchased 550 bicycles and helped gather another 1,200 children’s gifts.

"It is heart-warming to see the aviation community come together to make the holidays a little brighter for area children,” said Staff Sgt. Jason Smith, coordinator for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. “American Aero FTW has been a tremendous partner in our efforts, and we are truly grateful for its support each year.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity for us to get together with our aviation friends and neighbors to give thanks and to give back,” said Robert M. Bass, founder of American Aero FTW. “It is gratifying to be part of such a generous group of men and women, and to know that our efforts will help lift the spirits of children in need this holiday season.”

In addition to supporting Toys for Tots, American Aero FTW has donated more than $100,000 to the Navy SEAL Foundation, with those funds earmarked to support scholarships for SEALs interested in earning a pilot certification.

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