Teterboro, New Jersey:
Award-winning private aviation company, Meridian, is celebrating the 30th anniversary of its jet charter business.
General Aviation Flying Service, as the charter company was originally known, was formed in 1983. In September 1989, it added its first jet, a Citation SII, to its fleet of piston aircraft. In 1986, General Aviation Flying Service became Million Air Charter Teterboro when its FBO joined the aviation franchise. In 2004, the company evolved into Meridian Air Charter, as it is known today.
“We officially entered the jet age in 1989 when the owner of one of the piston aircraft we managed acquired a jet,” said Ken Forester, Meridian’s CEO. “From there we continued to grow and add additional aircraft, as well as open our FAA-approved repair station.”
In 1997, the company began operating a Gulfstream II, marking its entry into the large cabin charter business.
Grand Prairie, Texas:
Airbus Helicopters has delivered the first EC145e produced at its US assembly plant in Columbus, Miss. to Metro Aviation Inc.
This latest aircraft delivery is part of an order for 25 that Metro placed in 2018, and the remaining aircraft will all be delivered out of Columbus.
Metro is a Shreveport, La.-based company that operates air medical helicopter services for hospitals and customizes new helicopters for a variety of missions. Metro was the first customer in the world for the EC145e when Airbus Helicopters launched the model in 2015. The twin-engine EC145e was initially introduced for use with Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
“Airbus Helicopters is pleased to deliver this EC145e, now the third Airbus model to be produced in the U.S. by workers in our Columbus plant,” said Romain Trapp, President of Airbus Helicopters Inc. and head of the North America region.
“For more than a decade, our workforce has been producing high-quality aircraft for both the US Army and more recently our commercial operators in North America.”
Sonia Greteman, president and creative director at Greteman Group, a marketing communications agency based in Wichita, the Air Capital.
The largest generation in American history is starting to hit the workforce en masse. No, it’s not the Millennials - the group that older generations routinely use as a shorthand for youth. We’re talking about Generation Z.
Born after 1997, this group’s first college graduates are beginning their professional lives, a few years after their colleagues started earning paychecks immediately following high school.
As retiring workers leave the workplace, a huge demand for skilled labor grows. Now Boomer, Gen X and even Millennial managers and company owners need to answer the questions: How do we recruit and retain the best young talent? What can we do differently to ensure company growth in this environment?
More Similar than Different
Despite how young people are often depicted, their wants in the workplace aren’t that much different than others. Research has shown young people’s top-5 workplace desires are:
The order of those might change for someone who is 25 versus someone who’s 55. But generally, the equation is simple: we all want to be paid well for our work and have the ability and tools to strike a good work-life balance.
Gulfstream has officially expanded its MRO operations at Wisconsin’s Appleton International Airport with the opening of a newly built aircraft maintenance facility. The facility has been operational since Aug. 10th.
The nearly 190,000 square-foot/17,652-square-meter building, northeast of the airport terminal, was constructed with an investment of approximately $40m. The expansion to the Appleton service center includes 101,853 sq ft/9,462 sq m of hangar space, which will accommodate 12 Gulfstream G650ER or G650 aircraft. In addition to offices, back shops and general support space, the expansion adds a new sales and design center and increased customer access to Gulfstream’s design portfolio. The project, announced in February 2018, has resulted in nearly 100 new jobs at Gulfstream Appleton, with the potential for more in the next few years.
“This is a very exciting day for Appleton and the entire Fox Valley,” said Derek Zimmerman, president, Gulfstream Customer Support. “This beautiful facility represents the most significant expansion we’ve had in the 20 years we’ve been here. It is a tremendous asset to our site and the community. It will help us enhance the reliability of our growing fleet, support more customers and elevate their experience, continue to maintain a high level of safety and provide a world-class workplace for our employees.
Leading MRO service provider SR Technics has announced the appointment of Jean-Marc Lenz as new Chief Executive Officer with effect from September 6, 2019.
Jean-Marc succeeds Frank Walschot, who has decided to take up a new opportunity in the aviation industry.
Jean-Marc Lenz and Frank Walschot have been working side by side for many years, as Jean-Marc has played an active role in business operations, quality & safety and Lean CI.
Frank Walschot will remain available until the end of November this year to support the transition.
With over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, most recently as Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager at SR Technics, Jean-Marc is a recognized industry leader and aviation executive.
Satcom Direct (SD) has appointed John Tan as regional director for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region.
Based out of the SD Hong Kong office, Tan will manage the APAC sales and business development activities. As the senior executive in the region, his responsibilities include providing leadership to the regional commercial and technical team, maintaining and developing commercial activity in the region, and delivering valuable input into SD product innovation. He will report directly to the Vice President, SD International, Michael Skou Christensen, who was previously regional director for the APAC region.
He also holds a bachelor’s degree in science from the National University of Singapore. He is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese.
Yesterday (September 11th) the European Business Aviation sector signed the joint declaration on the Future of the European Sky, renewing its commitment to the Single European Sky and improving the European airspace.
At the high-level Conference 'Digital European Sky', organised by the European Commission and the Finnish Presidency, EBAA alongside 20 EU aviation stakeholders agreed to collectively intensify efforts to fully implement the Single European Sky (SES) initiative.
Signing the declaration, EBAA Secretary-General Athar Husain Khan said: “We are happy that the joint declaration for the Future of the Single European Sky aims all noses in the same direction: delivering the efficient and sustainable European airspace we all deserve. The future Air Traffic Management (ATM) system should be inclusive, because one size does not fit all.”
There’s no denying that air travel has changed the way the world works, but our ability to fly pretty much wherever and whenever we like comes at an environmental cost. The good news is that with industry stakeholders, including Air BP, committed to a sustainable future, it’s not unthinkable that one day we’ll be taking to the skies guilt-free.
From a green perspective, the element that everyone is grappling with right now is how to mitigate CO2 emissions from air transport.
Cleaner, greener fuels
Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) produced from vegetable oils or biomass is currently the most viable route to reducing CO2 emissions in air transport. It has been designed as a ‘drop-in’ fuel and can be blended with up to 50% traditional jet fuel so that it is safe to use in existing aircraft and airport infrastructure.
Air BP has already taken significant steps to make flying greener and in recent years we’ve supplied SAF to 15 locations in five countries. What’s more, last October we agreed a collaboration with leading fuel producer Neste to develop and supply SAF from non-palm renewable and sustainable raw materials including used cooking oil. These fuels can reduce the carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80% over their full life cycle.
So, why isn’t SAF more widely available?
As business aviation in Africa continues to develop, and demand for the unique benefits it brings to users grow, there’s a number of issues that still restrict the pace of development. Infrastructure is one of them and any operator flying across Africa’s vast terrain needs to be aware of the potential holes in the aviation offering.
Most crucially there is a lack of FBOs. Believe it or not, even though there is significant growth in business aviation usage there are still only a handful of FBOs of the standard international crew and passengers are used to. The majority of business aviation flights are currently processed through the regular passenger terminal, or via a VIP/protocol terminal reserved for head-of-state, political dignitaries, or government guests.
Upgrading of many airports is necessary to support Business Aviation growth.
Using the regular terminal means that security may not be as close and personal as it would be at a regular FBO. There is also a lack of discretion when ultra-high-net-worth individuals, celebrities and high-profile business executives are processed through the same channels as commercial airline passengers. Simple processes often become complex and consequently service levels may be reduced.
AviationManuals, the world’s leading provider of aviation manual development services and Safety Management System (SMS) software for business aviation, has expanded its Manuals portfolio with a new Fixed Base Operations Manual, designed to help managers and staff improve the professionalism, standards and safety of their FBO operations.
“For more than 20 years we have been a convenient and effective resource for helping aircraft operators improve their operations through the development of high-quality manuals. We are now channeling that extensive experience for FBOs,” said AviationManuals CEO Mark Baier. “We will make things easy for FBOs that simply do not have the resources to research, write, and maintain manuals themselves.”
Long Island, New York:
Sheltair cuts the ribbon on its new multimillion dollar aviation complex at Republic Airport (KFRG)
With the nose of a corporate jet providing an appropriate backdrop, Sheltair has cut the ribbon on a new $55m aviation complex at Republic Airport (FRG), East Farmingdale, Long Island, New York.
The first three of six state-of-the-art, 31,200 square foot hangars reflect Sheltair’s strategic commitment to the busiest general aviation airport in New York, one that brings pilots and passengers to within easy reach of metropolitan New York at an airport that prides itself on virtually no ground delays.
Sheltair COO Warren Kroeppel.
Jerry Holland, founder, chairman and CEO of Sheltair, said, “This investment reflects our company’s belief in the strength of the New York metro market, now and for generations to come. In addition, we are extremely proud of the fact that at a time when New York-based development of any kind can face significant opposition, our hangar development was supported and endorsed by local civic and community leaders who appreciated our commitment to a transparent process and the role that general aviation brings to strengthening the local economy.”
Mr. Holland also had praise for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has long recognized the importance of general aviation in providing New York with an air bridge to a global economy. “One cannot overestimate the importance of the Governor signing into law a proposal to eliminate sales and user taxes on general aviation, ensuring a level playing field for those supporting aviation in the `Empire State.’”
A second air ambulance service is set to receive a boost from Harrods Aviation and London Luton Airport (LLA).
Harrods Aviation has agreed to waive all parking and handling charges for the Children’s Air Ambulance while London Luton Airport has agreed to supply fuel free of charge as well as offering to waive all landing fees. The same arrangement was offered to Herts and Essex Air Ambulance last year.
The Children’s Air Ambulance (TCAA) charity is an aero medical transfer service whose specialist facilities are so advanced it can provide intensive care in the air for critically ill babies and children up to the age of 18 while transferring them from local hospitals to specialist paediatric and neonatal treatment centres.
VOLUXIS, the international private jet operator, has announced the addition of a Hawker 900XP to its fleet which is now fully available for charter.
Based at London Farnborough Airport and certified to operate worldwide, the aircraft is privately owned with no owner approval required.
Gareth Cadwell, Charter Sales Manager of VOLUXIS says, “We’re delighted to launch the Hawker 900XP, a recent example of the best-selling midsize private jet. The aircraft offers maximum comfort for up to eight passengers and boasts a spacious stand-up cabin with accessible in-flight baggage hold for up to six suitcases. With an increased range of 2,700 nautical miles and six and a half hours endurance, it’s the perfect aircraft for city pairings such as London to Jeddah or Frankfurt to Dubai."
The Hawker 900XP joins the established VOLUXIS fleet of Hawker 800XPi, 800XP and 800B private jets, as well as an expanding ultra-long range fleet of Bombardier Global Express XRS and Dassault Falcon 7X types.
The WINGX Report:
There were 79,894 business aviation departures in Europe in August according to WINGX`s latest monthly Business Aviation Monitor.
The total is down by 10K compared to July, and down 2.3% vs August 2018. Private and Owner flights declined by the most, down by 8% in the business jet fleet. YTD-2019 trend in total activity is now -1.9% compared to 2018.
There was growth this month in Greece, Austria, Turkey, especially in Russia, flights up by 8% YOY. So far this year, Spain is the only top market with growth. Germany and UK have both seen flights decline more than 4% compared to 2018.
Large Jet activity was down overall by 1% this month, with Germany bucking the trend, also adding 1% YOY. The Small-Mid sector was down by 4%, dropping 11% in Germany, 8% in UK, 4% in France. The Charter/AOC market was particularly weak in Germany this month, 57% of departures and down by 9% YOY. Conversely, there was strong growth in Spain, Russia. Private activity in UK was -12%.
Market-leading travel risk and security technology provider, Drum Cussac, has joined forces with aviation intelligence and data-led risk management experts Osprey Flight Solutions to deliver a market-first aviation risk and security solution.
This product offers a unique partnership which gives the aviation industry a single solution for world-class aviation-specific intelligence, and 20 years’ experience in security, travel risk management and duty of care.
Drum Cussac and Osprey recognised a genuine gap in the market which led them to create this unique partnership.
Paula will be back next week
The fifth edition of the European Cabin Service Conference will take place on 3rd & 4th October 2019 at the Hilton Grand Place Brussels.
Cabin crew, caterers and pilots from around the world will join this two days event to strengthen BizAv relationships and learn about best practices in the industry.
Beside the numerous networking opportunities, the participants will have the occasion to enhance the skills needed to achieve safe and secure travel while delivering the highest quality service.
FCG OPS expands ground handling network to Scandinavia
FCG OPS, a part of the aviation holding company Flight Consulting Group, has entered the Scandinavian market and announced the launch of ground handling services for business aviation flights in four airports in Finland, including Pori (EFPO), Tampere-Pirkkala (EFTP), Rovaniemi (EFRO) and Turku (EFTU).
FCG OPS has established itself as a reliable ground handling provider for business aviation flights in the CIS, the Baltic states and Eastern Europe. With accumulated experience and knowledge in this area, the company has successfully entered the Scandinavian market by offering business aviation operators and private owners a full range of ground handling services.
Earlier in the summer, FCG OPS launched three new ground handling stations in the Balkans: Rijeka (LDRI) and Bol (LDSB) in Croatia, and at Banja Luka Airport (LQBK) in Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing coverage to 41 airports in 20 countries.
Zeusch Aviation, the Netherlands-based aerial services provider, has begun dedicated European medevac operations in Spain using its King Air B200.
The G-registered, G-MEDZ, which has been configured in air ambulance format, is operating regular flights in partnership with IAS Medical, the UK-headquartered private air ambulance company which holds the AOC on which the aircraft operates.
Air ambulance services are being provided for the Spanish aviation organization Eliance which specialises in supporting aerial medical transportation, search and rescue and firefighting. Zeusch has repositioned the modified King Air B200 from its home-base in Lelystad to Malaga, where a crew of two, working on a two-week rotation, is also based to support the mission.
The first medevac operation took-off on 10 July 2019, and since launching the King Air B200 has already transported some 40 patients between Melilla and Malaga, Spain. Patient care is administered by a local professional medical team during the thirty-minute flight.
Swedish air ambulance service acquires six Pilatus PC-24s
After a long period of intensive negotiations, Swedish air ammbulance service - 'Kommunalförbundet Svenskt Ambulansflyg' (KSA) - has opted for six Pilatus PC-24s in a fully equipped air ambulance configuration. These PC-24s will provide aeromedical care across Sweden from 2021.
KSA is a national organisation formed, mutually owned and financed by all 21 regions in Sweden. The regions are responsible for ensuring that everyone living in Sweden has equal access to good healthcare. Time is the essence for patients in an emergency and given the vastness of Sweden, the establishment of a national air ambulance service provides all residents with access to rapid, professional aeromedical care.
Combining the speed of a jet with the ability to use short runways - one of the great strengths of the PC-24 - the Super Versatile Jet from Pilatus is the ideal aircraft for KSA.
Monarch Air Group, private jet provider based at Fort Lauderdale International Airport, brings the top six predictions for 2020.
or check out our back-issues
Paw-fect welcome for man’s best friend at ACE19
London Biggin Hill is opening this year’s Air Charter Expo (ACE) to St Bernards, Beagles, Poodles, Pugs, and every breed of dog in-between for the first time.
Business aviation professionals attending ACE19 on Tuesday 17th September are invited to bring their canine companions and leave them in the care of London Biggin Hill’s specially trained service, SkyPets, while they attend presentations and network at the show.
London Biggin Hill was the first and only business aviation airport within the London area to offer a dedicated animal handling service, and for more than 15 years SkyPets has given DEFRA-approved charter operators the option to fly owners and their pets directly to the capital.
Andy Patsalides, marketing manager, London Biggin Hill Airport, says: “With an average of 2,000 animals passing through London Biggin Hill each year, we recognise the importance of having an expert team on hand to make travelling with pets as fast and stress-free as possible. We established this service in 2003 to allow pets to travel safely in the cabin with their owners straight into London and we are proud to provide a considerably shorter clearance time for animals than at Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
“We encourage this year’s ACE attendees to bring their dogs to the expo and speak to the experienced SkyPets team about the services they offer our furry friends.”
Organised by The Air Charter Association and Charter Broker Magazine, ACE is the main event for the global air charter industry. Last year, the event drew a record attendance with training events, presentations and more than 60 exhibitors and 20 aircraft on show.
To get their paws on a ticket to ACE19, dogs (and owners) can register online at: http://www.aircharterexpo.com/register.html