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BlueSky Business Aviation News | 14th December 2017 | Issue #443
Dr Adnan Branbo   Kathryn B. Creedy   Paula Kraft
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United States

GAMA welcomes progress in EU-US Bilateral Aviation Cooperation

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) has welcomed the signing of an amendment to the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) between the European Union (EU) and the United States of America (USA), which promotes transatlantic cooperation and efficiency.

On the occasion of his visit to Brussels yesterday (Wednesday 13th November), US Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael Huerta signed an amendment to the existing agreement, alongside Permanent Representative of Estonia to the EU Ambassador Kaja Tael and European Commission Directorate General for Mobility and Transport (DG MOVE) Director General Henrik Hololei.

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in Brussels yesterday.

The amendment paves the way to expand cooperation to cover pilot licensing and Flight Simulator Training Devices in the future - two key areas where reciprocal acceptance will deliver pragmatic, safety-enhancing improvements for pilots and the industry. The next step in the process is to conclude negotiations on both the technical annexes, which have already been prepared.

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November flight activity provides holiday boost

US growth trend continues with 4.8 percent yearly increase in flight operations.

ARGUS TRAQPak data on US flight activity released this week indicates that November 2017 (vs. November 2016) posted an increase of 4.8%.

The results by operational category were all positive, again, with Part 135 activity continuing to produce substantial gains, up 8.6%. Fractional activity recorded a rise of 4.5% and Part 91 activity increased 2.1%. The aircraft categories were all positive as well with large & midsize jets posting the largest gains, up 6.6% & 5.5% respectively. Light jets and turboprops recorded gains of 3.1% & 4.4% in that order. One individual sector Fractional large jets showed a decline of 4.7%.

Download the full report

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NBAA hails House passage of bill strengthening GA security

The National Business Aviation Association has welcomed the US House of Representatives’ passage of much-needed legislation that would strengthen and streamline security for general aviation and charter operators.

The bill (HR3669) - “Securing General Aviation and Commercial Charter Air Carrier Service Act of 2017" - sponsored by Rep. Ron Estes (R-4-KS), would improve security procedures for general aviation and commercial charter air carriers.

“We applaud Rep. Estes for introducing this important legislation, which would provide much-needed streamlining of security for general aviation and commercial charter air carriers,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “The bill would offer more flexibility to general aviation and charter operators, while also increasing security.”

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First Pilatus PC-24 full flight simulator qualified by FAA

FlightSafety International and Pilatus have announced that the first full flight simulator for the new PC-24 Super Versatile Jet has received interim Level C qualification from the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

The new FlightSafety FS1000 simulator is expected to be qualified by the European Aviation Safety Agency early next year. Training is scheduled to begin at FlightSafety’s Learning Center in Dallas, Texas during the first quarter of 2018.

“We are pleased to announce the FAA qualification of the first Pilatus PC-24 simulator,” said Bruce Whitman, Chairman President & CEO. “We appreciate all those who have contributed to this significant milestone in the development of this new training program and look forward to serving Pilatus PC-24 owners and operators around the world.”

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US Department of Commerce invests $1m to establish new aviation research center in Florida

A new project at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, funded by a $1m grant from the US Department of Commerce through its Economic Development Administration (EDA), is expected to create 387 new jobs and spur $1.6m in private investment.

On Dec. 11, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that a $1m award to Embry-Riddle will be used to establish a new aviation and engineering research center in Florida. Specifically, the grant will “help build the Applied Aviation and Engineering Research Hangar in Volusia County,” the US Department of Commerce reported in an official news release.

The new facility will serve as the new home for Embry-Riddle’s Eagle Flight Research Center, a hub for engineering research and development.

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Women in Corporate Aviation

January 8 deadline for WCA Scholarships

Nearly $10K in scholarship opportunities available to business aviation professionals.

The Women in Corporate Aviation (WCA) association announces that it is accepting member applications through January 8, 2018.

Nearly $10k in scholarship money can be used for leadership development, training and certification purposes.

“We encourage any member - whether a pilot, maintenance technician, flight attendant or aspiring aviation leader - to apply for a scholarship,” said WCA President Cindy Youngblood.

“There is a wide variety of training opportunities available for nearly any role within the business aviation industry.”

read more


Elit’Avia well-positioned to respond to evolving trends in business aviation access and ownership

Elit’Avia, a fully-integrated provider of business aircraft charter, management and operation services, has commented on the evolution of access and ownership models in business aviation.

The industry’s ecosystem features a wide range of solutions that allow corporations and individuals to access services with maximum efficiency. The spectrum ranges from on-demand charter services all the way to exclusive aircraft ownership - with all manner of permutations between the two points. Recently, an arrangement known as “aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance” (ACMI) has become increasingly popular.

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Bombardier's newest Challengers surpass significant delivery milestones

Bombardier Business Aircraft's Challenger aircraft have accomplished two important delivery milestones in the past few months.

The super midsize Challenger 350 aircraft has surpassed 200 deliveries, and the more recently introduced large cabin Challenger 650 aircraft has exceeded the 50-delivery mark.

Challenger 650

Challenger 650

Thanks to their exceptional cabin comfort, connectivity and reliable performance, both Challenger models have proved a leading choice among private aviation customers, dominating their respective classes in terms of unit sales. The Challenger 300 aircraft series have garnered more deliveries than any other business jet platform in the last decade, and the Challenger 600 series aircraft is the best-selling business jet of all time in the large category.

"Achieving these significant delivery milestones is a testament to the unrivalled capabilities of our newest Challenger aircraft," said Peter Likoray, Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Bombardier Business Aircraft. "No competitor comes close to the comfort and connectivity of the Challenger aircraft's cabin, or to their class-leading economics and dependable performance in operation."

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Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civil

Olivier Chansou

ENAC, The French national school of civil aviation, has announced the appointment of Olivier Chansou to the position of Director of the school.

Olivier Chansou, 52, an engineer and member of the Corps des Ponts, des Eaux et des Forets, will become the 8th director of ENAC. He will succeed Marc Houalla who has occupied the position since November 2008.

Olivier graduated from ENAC in 1988 and earned his degree as an engineer in Civil Aviation in 1993. He also holds a master’s in computer science and parallel computing.

Olivier Chansou has extensive professional experience in the French civil aviation authority.



Historic milestone in Swiss economic history as Pilatus obtains PC-24 type certificates

On December 7th Pilatus obtained type certificates from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the US-American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the first ever Swiss business jet.

Pilatus PC-24

Certification of the Super Versatile Jet prepares the ground for initial customer deliveries, which will see the PC-24 business jet take off from Central Switzerland for its entry on the global market.

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Plane Speaking

This week we're delighted to welcome veteran aviation journalist and author Kathryn B. Creedy as a regular columnist on BlueSky.

Kathryn B. Creedy

Zunum Aero: Promise for commercial but vast implications for business aviation

Activity in Propulsion is Electric.

P erhaps nowhere in aviation is there more activity than in electric propulsion with new aircraft designs set to address a broad market from Uber/Lyft-like air taxis to the potential of
scaling up from such advanced designs as Zunum Aero’s regional aircraft which could be on the market by 2022.

Even so, anyone who has been in aviation for more than a minute has watched many leading-edge technologies falter and what seemed like an ambitious, or even reasonable, development cycle, stretch out for years.

Zunum Aero

That means it is time to check our expectations at the door but that should not dampen our excitement for the potential new propulsion systems the aircraft bring.

read more

United Kingdom

PrivateFly opens Santa's Gulfstream grotto

Private charter platform, PrivateFly, brought some Ho Ho Ho to Harrods Aviation Luton last weekend with a family-friendly festive event for over one hundred special guests of all ages.

PrivateFly's Gulfstream Grotto

While Santa is more usually found flying in a sleigh, he switched to a Gulfstream G450 - operated by Pen-Avia, a recent addition to PrivateFly’s charter network - which was magically transformed into a unique Santa’s Grotto for the occasion.

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International Trip Planning
International Trip Planning

The essentials of obtaining crew visas

Dr. Adnan Branbo, Chief Executive Officer of iJET.

Dr. Adnan Branbo
F light and cabin crew play an essential role in international business aviation.

Therefore allowing them to travel around the world at short notice with flexible entry and visa requirements is crucial for the functioning and growth of business aviation.

However, visa requirements for crew not only vary from one country to another, but sometimes from one airport to another in the same country.

In this brief we're going to highlight the main methods used in dealing with foreign crew visas - allowing

crews, schedulers and dispatchers to ask the right questions, to plan properly, and to perform their trip successfully.

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FBO RIGA, located at Riga International Airport, Latvia, has become the first IS-BAH registered FBO in the Baltic States.

“We are proud to announce that we have accomplished the IS-BAH registration," said Roman Starkov, co-owner of the Flight Consulting Group Holding, which comprises FBO RIGA. "Safety is one of the most important priorities in aviation. The audit took several days, but a several-month preparation period had taken place before that."

Terry Yeomans, IS-BAH program director at IBAC welcomed the achievement: “We are very glad that FBO RIGA achieves IS-BAH registration joining those, who have already successfully implemented the standard. FBO RIGA Quality manager Kristaps Freimanis and his team can be proud of their achievement.”

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Bizav Newsreel

Bizav Newsreel

A video roundup of this week's headlines . . .

Fledgling charter operator, Zetta Jet, has not only failed to secure Chapter 11 financing, but now the trustee in the bankruptcy case, Jonathan King - a partner and co-chair of DLA Piper's white collar, corporate crime and investigations practice - has asked the court to change it to Chapter 7 proceedings. This will involve selling off all assets to pay back creditors.

United Arab Emirates

Falcon Aviation celebrates first year at Dubai South FBO with IS-BAH accreditation

Falcon Aviation is celebrating the completion of its first anniversary at its FBO in the VIP Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai South) with the news that it has been awarded International Standard for Business Aircraft Handling (IS-BAH) certification.

Falcon Aviation FBO UAE

The accreditation was received by the company on 30th November following a third-party audit by IBAC, the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC). The endorsement underlines to the wider business aviation industry that Falcon Aviation follows a voluntary code of best safety practice for FBOs.

read more


AfBAA celebrates successful first AfBAC EXPO

The AfBAC EXPO, Africa’s first three-day event dedicated to business aviation and RPAS, exceeded organiser’s expectations with just under 1000 delegates registering to attend the event held in Johannesburg, 29 November to 1 December.

Attendees came from as far afield as New Zealand, Canada, the USA, Europe and the Middle East, to participate in three days of conference, exhibition, workshops, and static display held at ExecuJet’s Lanseria Airport facility.

full report


Universal Aviation Mexico breaks ground on its fifth hangar at MMTO

New 50,000 sq. ft. hangar will be completed by June 2018.

Universal Aviation Mexico, a joint venture between Avemex, and Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. to provide ground support throughout Mexico, officially broke ground on a new, 50,000 square-foot hangar on the property of their FBO at Toluca International Airport (MMTO).

The new $3.5m hangar, not including the cost of the land, which was previously acquired, is slated for completion in June 2018 and will be the fifth for Universal Aviation Mexico, the most of any private aviation company at Toluca.

With the addition of the new hangar, Universal Aviation Mexico will increase its total number of hangarage space to almost 170,000 square feet, including a 16,640 square-foot maintenance hangar. The construction of the hangar comes two years after a multi-million dollar renovation of Universal Aviation Mexico’s 16,384 square-foot state-of-the-art FBO at Toluca.

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United Kingdom

First phase of key development at Solent Airport is completed

Construction work has completed on the first phase of a multi-million-pound hangar development that aims to double the capacity of Solent Airport and create a major new business hub.

Five new hangars, three of which are under offer, are now ready for occupation at the airport, which is located within the Solent Enterprise Zone on the former Daedalus airfield, near Fareham, Hampshire, UK. The five hangars, each 6,350 sq ft in size, are available for general aviation purposes.

read more

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Growth trends strengthen as winter draws in The WINGX Report

November was another growth month for business aviation in Europe, with 61,837 flight departures, up 6.1% YOY, taking the YTD growth trend to 4.2%, according to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor.

Activity in November 2017 was still 10.5% behind the pre-crisis peak back in November-2007.

Continuing the recent trend, the biggest growth came in Western Europe, with business aviation departures up significantly from leading markets UK, Spain and Switzerland. For the year-to-date, Germany has added the most flights.

Of the smaller markets, Greece, Belgium, and Portugal had well over 15% growth this month, with flights from Poland and Croatia up 25% YOY.

read more

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United Kingdom

Oriens Aviation moves into Pilatus PC-12 MRO support with Avalon Aero London Biggin Hill acquisition

Oriens Aviation, the exclusive British Isles Pilatus Centre, has reinforced its commitment to the world’s best-selling single engine turboprop (SET), the Pilatus PC-12 and the growing SET commercial operations’ market in Europe by acquiring Avalon Aero’s business aviation MRO facility at London Biggin Hill Airport.

The business will be formally renamed and inaugurated as Oriens Aviation Limited effective immediately, with a view to becoming the principal authorised PC-12 Service Centre in the UK by 29th January, 2018. (Oriens’ activity extends to an agreement with Goodwood Engineering, who will act as a satellite service centre).

Oriens Aviation

Oriens will also have the expertise, as a result of the acquisition, to support other aircraft types for all line and base maintenance activity.

The deal between the owner of Avalon and the Oriens Aviation Board was ratified on 1st December, 2017, including the transfer of the existing Avalon Aero lease on its 18,000 sq ft hangar.

read more

Pilots repeat concerns as Commission announces EU flights could cease to operate from UK

Tuesday's statement from the EU commission on the ability for UK flights to operate in Europe should no deal be reached is cause for great concern, says the UK pilots’ association.

The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has repeatedly called for clarity on how flights will operate post-Brexit and says that a no deal is “not an option”.

The notice from the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport states:

Air carriers of the United Kingdom will no longer enjoy traffic rights under any air transport agreement to which the Union is a party, be it to or from the territory of the United Kingdom, be it to or from the territory of any of the EU Member States.

BALPA general secretary, Brian Strutton, commented: “Here it is in black and white from the EU Commission - UK flights to the EU will be grounded in March 2019 should no agreement be reached. We need the UK Government to sort air traffic rights now. Once again, no deal is not an option.”

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Zenith Aviation looks to further Learjet purchases and gain significant growth in 2018

Zenith Aviation has announced that it is expecting significant growth in 2018 after enjoying a record year of flying, up 35% in hours flown, compared to 2016.

The aviation business has gained industry attention since it purchased two Learjet75s from Bombardier in 2016, and is the only company to station its Learjet75s in the UK at its hangar in Biggin Hill.

Following their success, the purchase of two more Learjet75s was announced in August this year. The aircraft have been acquired from Bombardier with the first scheduled to arrive in February 2018, solidifying the businesses position as a major player in the private charter sphere.

Zenith Aviation

Stuart Mulholland, Managing Director of Zenith Aviation commented: “Our existing Learjet75s have exceeded our wildest expectations in the level of activity generated so we are hoping that the new aircraft can maintain this trend. Our business is synonymous with the Learjet brand and the 'Lear75' is the latest iteration of this iconic design. We are certainly interested in adding more aircraft to our fleet.”

read more

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Tastefully Yours . . . Pauls Kraft.
Paula Kraft

Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Chanukah Sameach, Freilichen Chanukah, Happy Hanukkah!


he eight nights of Hanukkah have begun and some of you may find yourself flying
passengers to and from celebrations during the holiday.

Hanukkah - also known as the Festival of Lights - is a Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire of the 2nd century BC.

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

This year the Holiday began on Tuesday, December 12th and continues until nightfall on Wednesday, December 20th.

To understand the specific dietary needs during this holiday I needed to understand the holiday a bit more than I already did. I want to share with you this beautiful explanation about the holiday celebration:

“Hanukkah celebrates the triumph of light over darkness, of purity over adulteration, of spirituality over materiality. The battle was fought to force the Jews to surrender to Syrian-Greek laws and religion. After their victory, the Jews reclaimed their holy temple (Beit Hamikdash) in Jerusalem.

Olive oil had been used, and was again, to re-light the sacred menorah (a nine-branched candlestick), but as only one of the oil flasks had remained untouched by the invaders, the warriors knew there would only be enough oil to burn for one day . . .

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Europe keeps pressure on international aviation industry to reduce emissions

On Tuesday (12th December) MEPs endorsed an agreement that will continue to see international flights in and out of Europe exempted from the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) until 2023.

ECR MEP Julie Girling was the European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the agreement and has welcomed the deal that maintains the status quo that will still see internal flights within the EU coming under the ETS and contributing to emissions reductions on an annual basis.

Mrs. Girling successfully proposed introducing a time limit for the exemption that will see it lapse on 31 December 2023. With the International Civil Aviation Authority due to introduce a global carbon offsetting scheme for the sector in 2021, the time limit will enable lawmakers to assess whether the global scheme makes an effective contribution to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and possibly amend the provisions of the ETS accordingly.

Increases in air traffic will mean that CO2 emissions in 2050 are likely to be seven to ten times higher than in 1990 therefore it is crucial that action is taken to reduce their impact on climate change.

Speaking after the parliament endorsed her report, Girling said: “We’re still waiting for clarity on how the new global scheme will help reduce emissions from international flights so it was important to maintain the status quo on international flights.

“The aviation sector needs to do more to cut emissions, in line with other heavy emitters. Putting a time limit on their exemption from the EU’s carbon market until 2023 will provide an important opportunity to assess the progress of the new global scheme.”

Stories you might have missed

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2018 Seven Marketing Musts. Sonia Greteman, president and creative director, at Greteman Group. read

The Essentials of Airports Slots. Dr. Adnan Branbo, Chief Executive Officer of iJET. read

Eliminating Catering Stress. Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering. read

The Maturation of an Industry. Andrea Jilkova, Director Sales and Marketing, Travion Flight Management. read

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And Finally

Flexjet continues sponsorship of St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship
Flexjet has announced its continued sponsorship as official Aviation Partner for the St. Regis World Snow Polo Championship taking place December 14-17, 2017 at the Aspen Valley Polo Club in Colorado, USA.
Flexjet once again will sponsor the championship-winning Flexjet Polo Team.

"We appreciate the spirit of competition within polo and the energy the game brings to Aspen,” said Flexjet Vice President of Global Marketing Christopher Bero. “The St. Regis Snow Polo World Championship is one of the winter season’s most distinctive events in one of America’s most beautiful venues. We look forward to another opportunity to support the passion points of our Owners.”

This is the only professional snow polo championship in North America, annually drawing a high-profile audience of fans to Aspen to watch some of the world’s best players compete in this scenic mountain resort town.

The Flexjet Polo Team won the 2016 Championship, defeating the U.S. Polo Association team in a dramatic final.

Snow polo, first played in 1985 in St. Moritz, Switzerland, is a variation of the more familiar version of the sport that is played on turf seasonally in U.S. venues such as Aspen, Florida, Hawaii and Long Island. The winter version of the game is adapted to snowy conditions through a smaller field, three-player teams, cleated horseshoes for better traction and a larger, lighter, red-colored ball.

In addition to Aspen, snow polo is played in other globally renowned winter sports locations. Such locales include St. Moritz, Switzerland; Bariloche, Argentina; and Cortina, Italy.

Flexjet snow polo

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