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Changing The Charter Rules

Parts 125, 135 Reviewed ...

The FAA says it's time for its charter regulations to catch up with the times. The agency issued a notice on Feb. 3 that it's doing a wholesale review of FAR Parts 125 and 135. "Industry dynamics, new technologies, new aircraft types and configurations and current operating issues and environment mandate a comprehensive review and rewrite of Parts 135 and 125," said the notice, which appeared in the Federal Register. Among the more pressing issues prompting the review are the new types of aircraft and technologies that can be applied to operations under those parts. For instance, the notice specifically mentions airships and powered-lift aircraft as types that don't get the attention they deserve in the current regs. It will also look at certain types of payload and passenger capacity mods on large aircraft and, in general, make the rules reflect the technology and equipment available in the 21st century. Harmonization with the regs in other countries and the International Civil Aviation Organization is also a component of the review.

... With A Committee To Oversee The Process ...

The FAA will establish a Part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee to conduct this regulatory review and make recommendations as necessary. The committee will act only in an advisory capacity and make recommendations to the FAA "to assist the agency in establishing a regulatory framework that will address industry trends and dynamics and issues, and to enhance safety in this segment of the industry." The steering committee will be made up of about 25 members representing all facets of the aviation industry, including aviation associations, industry representatives, employee groups and various government agencies. Want to join this committee? You can apply, but be aware the FAA will give priority "to those applicants representing an identified part of the aviation community who are empowered to speak for those interests." And you won't be paid for your time, either.

NOTE: See the Federal Register for the full text of the notice.

... And The 12-5 Compliance Deadline Is Extended

Another set of rules concerning business aviation is taking effect as well, this time for the benefit of charter operators. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has advised industry groups the compliance deadline for the so-called Twelve-Five Security Program has been moved back to April 1, 2003. The deadline was relaxed after it became clear that many Part 135 operators would not be able to fulfill all requirements of the rule by the original deadline of Feb. 1, 2003, and that the TSA hasn't finished designing a training program required under the plan. Industry reaction to the extension was mixed, as NATA applauded the extension yet made clear its disappointment with the TSA's management, who "did not recognize these problems weeks ago and issue a revision on a more timely basis." The NBAA merely notified its members of the change and offers a download of the official notifications (as Adobe Acrobat PDF files) for both the Twelve-Five Standard Security Program and the Private Charter Standard Security Program.

The Evolution Of The Dassault Jet Line

Dassault Falcon's New 7X Takes First Virtual Flight ...

Dassault is in the middle of an interesting period. It's seeing the birth and development of new aircraft programs that shed some light on a bleak aviation industry.

Last month in St. Cloud, France, Dassault Aviation performed the first simulated flight of the Falcon 7X, establishing a preliminary standard for its fly-by-wire controls.

"This virtual 'first flight' was very exciting," said Bill Kerhervé, Dassault Aviation's chief test pilot. He and test pilot Philippe Deleume worked together to evaluate the flight controls. "I was particularly impressed by the superb handling qualities through the whole flight envelope," he added in a company press release.

The Falcon 7X will be the first business jet in the world with fly-by-wire flight controls. While a new feature for its bizjet line, Dassault has used this technology on its fighter jets for decades. The Falcon Simulation Bench (BSF), on which Kerhervé and Deleume flew, comprises a 7X flight deck functional mock-up coupled to a real-time simulation bench, with an artificial environment projected onto a screen in front of the cabin. It provides the ability to perform full simulated flights -- from takeoff to landing -- testing all the airbrakes, flaps, slats and gear configurations for different weights, speeds and CGs. By 2004, the BSF will be linked to a Global Test Bench, which will be fully representative of the entire flight-control system of the aircraft, including hydraulics and electrical power generation.

... While The Falcon 2000EX EASy Also Spreads Its Wings

On January 29th, at Dassault Aviation's facility in Mérignac, France, 2000EX EASy s/n 6 took to the skies for the first time. Test pilots Dominique Chenevier and Etienne Faurdessus were at the controls.

The successful flight lasted two hours and twenty minutes, and according to company officials, provided a healthy quantity of positive data. The autopilot was engaged and reportedly worked without any problems. "As anticipated, we did not encounter any anomalies or problems during the flight," said Christine Courault, EASy Program Manager. "The aircraft is on the right track for certification and delivery," he added in a company statement.

The reminder of the Falcon 2000EX EASy flight test program will conducted at Dassault Aviation's flight test facility in Istres.

Dassault's EASy flight deck has been in development since the mid-1990s, when Dassault felt the need for a fully integrated cockpit management system. Dassault claims the EASy is a "powerful and uncluttered flight deck, ready to process and communicate today's safety innovations as well as those that will surely appear in the future." EASy is built on Honeywell's Primus Epic system.

Cessna's Citations Make The Headlines

Citation Bravos Delivered To The Company Jet ...

Cessna Aircraft Company recently delivered three Citation Bravos to The Company Jet, a new fractional ownership company based in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Company Jet will take delivery of two additional Bravos during 2003. The Company Jet is a newly formed fractional jet ownership company. The company's clients -- called "co-owners" -- are organized within specific geographic areas to maximize airplane availability and minimize flying time.

Since its first delivery in 1997, the Citation Bravo has accumulated over 210,000 fleet flight hours. The Bravo cruises at altitudes up to 45,000 feet, features the Honeywell Primus 1000 Avionics System and trailing link landing gear.

... And A Citation CJ1 Transports Lifesaving Organs

Moving from fractionals to medical transport, Cessna also delivered a Citation CJ1 to Midwest Transplant Network. The bizjet -- serial number 505 -- will be used to support the non-profit corporation's mission of transporting organs and medical professionals involved with transplantation-related services. Midwest Transplant Network is a not-for-profit 501c(3) corporation and is one of more than 50 federally certified Organ Procurement Organizations. They have been designated as the exclusive Organ Procurement Organization for the state of Kansas and the western two-thirds of Missouri.

"When the call comes in, our recipients deserve delivery of these vital organs as quickly as possible, and air travel is often necessary to achieve that," said Rob Linderer, Midwest Transplant Network Executive Director.

The original CitationJet -- the CJ1 -- was introduced at the 1998 NBAA convention. Over 140 Citation CJ1s have entered service since the first delivery in March 2000.

Flight Options Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

On February 10, Cleveland-based Flight Options announced that the company has appointed John P. Nahill, 38, as Chief Executive Officer. Nahill replaces Kenn Ricci, who will continue as an advisor to Flight Options management and support its future endeavors. Nahill most recently served as vice president of Corporate Strategy and Development for Raytheon Company and served on the board of Flight Options since its merger with Raytheon Travel Air. Nahill's appointment is subject to the approval of the investors in the Flight Options LLC. That approval is expected this week.

A graduate of Connecticut College and the MIT Sloan School of Management, Nahill joined Raytheon in March 1999 as vice president of Financial Planning and Analysis. He also serves on the board of Raytheon Aerospace. Previously, Nahill spent six years with McKinsey & Company as a leader in operational, marketing and merger practices.

Founded in 1998, Flight Options is a fractional aircraft provider with operations in Denver, Colo.; Sacramento, Ca.; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and both Teterboro and Binghamton, N.Y.

Albion Aviation And Aradyme Development Corp. Sign Reorganization Agreement

Albion Aviation, a Delaware corporation organized to operate a small aircraft charter business, announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Aradyme Development Corporation. Aradyme -- which develops and distributes computer software that helps companies manage and grow their businesses -- is based in American Fork, Utah.

As required by the terms of the agreement -- which was announced on Feb. 10 -- Albion, which currently has approximately 1.5 million shares issued and outstanding, will issue an aggregate of approximately 13.2 million shares of common stock and 12,000 shares of preferred stock, convertible into 120,000 shares of common stock, to the Aradyme stockholders. Options to purchase approximately 1.3 million shares of Aradyme common stock will be converted into options to purchase the same number of shares of Albion common stock. The acquisition, which is subject to approval by the Aradyme stockholders and certain other matters, should be completed on or before Feb. 28, 2003.

As a result of the acquisition, Aradyme will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Albion, and the current officers and directors of Aradyme will become the officers and directors of Albion. Aradyme's board of directors and management team will continue Aradyme's business as Albion's new subsidiary. Albion will continue to implement its air charter service through its subsidiary, Svetlana Aviation. Albion anticipates changing its name to Aradyme Corporation upon completion of the reorganization.

Adam Aircraft to Expand Operations in Pueblo, Colorado

Earlier this month, Adam Aircraft announced its intention to expand operations in Pueblo, Colo., through its A500 and A700 programs. The company feels that the city of Pueblo, with its workforce, airport and facilities, provides a first-rate solution for Adam's long-range growth strategy. Over the course of the next three years, Adam Aircraft anticipates delivering 125 aircraft, each requiring 10,000 person-hours to build.

In a press release, George F. "Rick" Adam, CEO of Adam Aircraft said, "We are committed to staying in Colorado and looked at a number of cities in our state. Many of these sites had airports but none compared to the facilities in Pueblo."

Company officials also claim that Pueblo offered them a very effective program for their expansion. With this proposal, Adam will have immediate access to a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at the Pueblo airport -- which has long, wide runways and a ILS system -- and an on-property building, which is in immediate move-in condition. The city has also provided significant assistance in capital equipment needs for the new plant. Adam Aircraft anticipates being in operation at Pueblo later this month.

Eclipse Releases New Performance Specs

Eclipse Aviation gathered some of its customers together late last month to update them on the complications caused by abandoning the Williams EJ22 engine. On February 3, the company issued a news release detailing the facts and figures released during that meeting.

The Eclipse 500 will cruise at 375 knots, an increase of 20 knots over the previous 355 knots max cruise speed. That's thanks to a boost in thrust to 900 pounds a side from its new engines. The maker of the new engines wasn't released but an announcement is said to be imminent. The payload is increasing by 250 pounds, but most of that is reserved for fuel for the thirstier engines. Weight isn't the only thing on the rise, however.

The company confirmed that it would deliver the aircraft at a firm price of $950,000 (up from $837,500) for customers with non-escrowed deposits and $975,000 for those customers whose deposits remain in escrow. The million-dollar barrier will be broken at serial number 1533 and jets built after that will cost $1,175,000. The Eclipse 500's revised operating range will be 1,280 nm and the jet's projected stall speed will increase slightly to 67 knots. Earliest certification is now projected at the first quarter of 2006. Eclipse’s current order book totals 2,102 aircraft priced at less than $1 million, with an additional 100 jets selling at this price. Don't forget, however, that the prices quoted are in June 2000 dollars so, factoring inflation, the checks actually written for all those aircraft will almost certainly be more than $1 million.

NBAA's Third Business Aviation Forum Is Rescheduled For March 28

The NBAA has rescheduled its Southern California Business Aviation Forum & Static Display, the third such NBAA event of its kind. The Forum is now set for Friday, March 28, at Long Beach Airport in Long Beach, Ca. Originally scheduled for March 27, 2003, but rescheduled for March 28, the day-long Southern California Business Aviation Forum & Static Display will feature informational briefings on key business aviation topics, a static display featuring the latest offerings from business aircraft manufacturers and dozens of indoor vendor exhibits. The event, which will utilize AirFlite's FBO, hangar and ramp facilities, will begin at 7:30 a.m. on March 28 with a continental breakfast and conclude at 4:30 p.m.

NBAA's most recent Business Aviation Forum, held Nov. 14 in Fort Worth, Texas, featured more than 1,500 attendees, 27 aircraft on static display and 53 indoor exhibitor stations, and the association expects an even larger turnout for the Southern California Forum.

For information about attending, exhibiting at, or sponsoring this event, contact NBAA's Benjamin Jones at (202) 783-9266 or Joe Ponte at (202) 783-9452.

NBAA Begins "Proof Of Concept" For TSA Security Protocol

NBAA reports that as part of a "proof of concept" demonstration, non-commercial Part 91 corporate operators based at New Jersey's Teterboro Airport (TEB) recently participated in two training sessions that discussed qualifying for and obtaining a Transportation Security Administration Access Certificate (TSAAC). The organization explains TSAACs could be used to grant access to international and domestic airspace during times of heightened restrictions. The trial program will require final approval by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other security agencies before expanding the program to other airports. For more information, contact NBAA's Bob Blouin.

NBAA Offers Visa Advice For LABACE Attendees

As a reminder, the NBAA notes a Brazilian government-issued Business Visa (not a Tourist Visa) is required for non-Brazilian Exhibitors and Delegates at the First Annual Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (LABACE), to be held March 13 to 15, 2003, in São Paulo, Brazil.

To review further guidance on this topic, LABACE2003 Exhibitors and Delegates should visit the LABACE Web site.

Nampa's Airport Manager Wants to Attract More Corporate Aircraft

Colleen Hartnett learned to fly in 1990 at the Nampa (Idaho) Municipal Airport. Now she's running it. She took over as airport manager after Dan Henry's resignation in November, after he had overseen several improvements during his five years at the helm. As the new manager, Hartnett said she hopes to continue building on Henry's efforts through marketing, reaching out to the community and staging special events. Now, she wants to attract corporate aircraft.

"I've tried a little of everything, but I like the business side," she told the Idaho Statesman newspaper.

Under her guidance, the terminal lobby has been rearranged and redecorated for the comfort of the pilots, offices were moved downstairs and an attendant meets and offers service to each plane at the gas pump near the terminal. The airport's Web site also has been updated.

"We have a lot of big ideas," she said. "It just takes a little time to do it."

The paper says that Hartnett, working with the airport commissioners, plans to make Nampa (S67) a destination airport for pilots flying through and for those who want to get to Boise or the surrounding area. (Nampa Muni is 12 nm from KBOI.) They want to attract airport-related businesses, such as corporate aircraft and charter companies. A semicircle of large aircraft and service or business hangars is proposed around hangars for smaller craft. Jeff Ekberg, a pilot and small general contractor, has teamed with other business operators to build the first corporate hangar. Once finished, the hangar will house nine aircraft, including two small jets.

Ekberg said the Nampa Airport has a great location in the center of the Treasure Valley. Pilots can land and take off with no delays, the land leases are affordable, and the mechanics and other avionics people at the airport do good work, he said. Plans also are in the works to build a helicopter pad, offer jet fuel and develop another 20 acres in a few years. "I see it growing," said Dan Linett of Linett Aviation, a charter service and flight school that opened at the airport more than a year ago. "That's why we're here," he told the newspaper.

Nimbus Group Executives Resign

Nimbus Group Inc. announced earlier this month that its chief technology officer and chief financial officer resigned, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company, which plans to offer a fleet of jet charter aircraft, said it is evaluating its corporate structure and plans to begin a search to fill the positions. Jonathan Geller resigned as technology chief Jan. 15, citing personal commitments. He plans to remain on the board and continue as a consultant, the filing said. Mitchell Morgan, financial chief and director, submitted his resignation Monday, citing family obligations, but agreed to stay on until the end of the month. He won't remain on the board, according to the filing. In a press release, Nimbus clarified that no disagreement involving company policies or operations prompted either executive to resign.

Dassault Falcon Mourns The Loss Of Bob Dalin

On Sunday evening, Jan. 12, Bob Dalin and his wife Linda, were killed in a motorcycle accident in Sarasota, Fla. Dalin was a Regional Sales Manager for Dassault Falcon, responsible for sales in the Eastern United States. He started his career with Dassault in 1986, and in the ensuing 17 years, sold over $800 million worth of Falcons.

"Bob's death is a tremendous loss for us," said John Rosanvallon, president of Dassault Falcon, at an impromptu company memorial in Miami last week. "He was not only a valued colleague, but a close friend to many of us and we will miss him dearly."

Friend and industry colleague Mike Gaffney, of Fleet Capital Leasing, said of Dalin, "When you mentioned his name to anyone that knew him, the immediate response would always be a smile and shake of the head."

Sal Agosta of AT&T, concurred, adding, "Bob Dalin was all good things. He was a man of character and integrity."

In a company statement, Dassualt added, "He will be remembered not only for his knowledge of the corporate aviation market, but for the life he lived beyond the walls of the office. He was passionate about Falcons, naming his 42-foot sailboat Mystère. He and his wife Linda also enjoyed riding their motorcycles, fishing and traveling together."

Dalin was 58 years old.

BizAv's AD Watch

Piaggio AD

This amendment adopts a new airworthiness directive (AD) that applies to all Piaggio Aero Industries S.p.A. (Piaggio) Model P-180 airplanes. This AD requires owners/operators to inspect and determine whether any firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve with a serial number in a certain range is installed, and requires the replacement of any valve that has a serial number within this range. This AD allows the pilot to check the logbook and does not require the inspection and replacement requirement if the check shows that one of these valves is definitely not installed. The FAA claims this AD is the result of mandatory continuing airworthiness information (MCAI) issued by the airworthiness authority for Italy. The actions specified by this AD are intended to prevent a faulty firewall shutoff or crossfeed valve from developing cracks and leaking fuel. The FAA claims this situation could result in an engine fire. This AD becomes effective on March 8, 2003.

NOTE: Read the full text of the FAA's final rule (as an Adobe Acrobat PDF file).

Upcoming BizAv Events

NBAA is holding the following events within the next few weeks:

AVweb publishes the Business/Corporate Aviation Update on a monthly basis. As circumstances allow and as demand increases, AVweb will increase its publishing frequency and add more news and features targeting this segment. Stay tuned!

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