AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 13

March 26, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Airlines and GA at Loggerheads in Aspen back to top 

GA Blamed For Airline Delays In Aspen

As frustrated airline passengers waited for flights to Denver that ranged from a few minutes to six hours late on Mar. 15, airport staff were making public-address system announcements blaming the delays on an influx of private aircraft. That quite naturally riled those cooling their heels in the gates. “You’re causing a huge inconvenience for hundreds of people who fly into Denver,” Aspen resident Richard Simpson, whose daughter was stuck at the airport for most of the day, told The Aspen Times. “I’d like to know what (Washington) D.C.’s policy is, because in my opinion, you’re screwing over hundreds of people by letting in extra private aircraft.” Well, the FAA said it wasn’t its fault and that in the absence of slots at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport it’s first come, first served for any aircraft landing and taking off. “An aircraft is an aircraft and there’s no preferential treatment unless there’s an emergency," FAA spokesman Mike Fergus told the newspaper. “And I can tell you that any delays were not induced by the FAA or Air Traffic Control.” But SkyWest Airlines spokeswoman Marissa Snow disagreed. “It was related to Air Traffic Control, and out of the airline’s control,” she said. And as these things generally go, there were some complicating factors.

Both commercial and private flights were disrupted by a storm the day before and that meant there was a backlog of both commercial and private traffic when the weather cleared. The airport was also closed for an hour after a private aircraft slid off the runway. And although the ramp was full of GA aircraft on that day, Airport Manager Jim Elwood said increased airline service to Aspen has actually reduced GA traffic by 18 percent as private pilots opted for airline seats.

AVweb Insider Blog: A Bad Rap for GA?

On March 15 at Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, frustrated airline passengers were told via the PA system that the reason they were delayed was that there were too many private aircraft getting in the way of airliners. Of course it was much more complicated than that but the message was heard by hundreds of people just looking for someone to blame for their inconvenience.

Read more.

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News Briefs back to top 

Fuel Prices Make Airlines' Small Jets Obsolete?

"The (regional jet) era is over," according to aviation consulting firm The Boyd Group. A report released by the company runs contrary to some forecasts by predicting that instead of a surge in the use of aircraft with fewer than 50 seats the industry will instead see accelerated retirements of about 900 of those aircraft within the next five years as carriers favor mid-sized designs that champion fuel economy. The Boyd Group's conclusions are based at least in part on its interpretation of the impact of record-high fuel costs and potential economic recession and existing fleets' incompatibility with those external forces -- specifically RJ-sized aircraft. Medium-range aircraft with 75-125 seats will make up 40 percent of some 14,000 aircraft forecast to be put into service, according to the firm's report. In that case, Embraer, with mid-size offerings, is currently among the head of the field of potential winners, as there are few high-efficiency mid-sized offerings in the pipeline, according to Boyd. Major carriers like United and American that run a wider gap between the smaller and larger aircraft in their fleets would stand to lose the most.

Kansas City Courting C Series

Bombardier isn’t just sniffing the ground for customers for its proposed C Series aircraft, it’s also looking for a place to build them. Folks in Kansas City consider themselves to be front-runners for the $375 million plant that would turn out the 110- and 130-seat airliners, which are the first clean-sheet aircraft from the Montreal-based planemaker in decades. The factory would employ 2,100 people and the proposed investment dwarfs the last big deal attracted to KC, an $86 million Harley Davidson factory built 10 years ago. Local and state governments are rolling out the incentives for Bombardier.

Missouri is ready to pass a “mega-project amendment” to its current economic deal-sweetener legislation and it could amount to incentives worth $880 million over the next 22 years. But the economic imprint of all those $55,000-a-year aerospace jobs at the factory itself and the spinoff industries that will pop up is estimated at $5.9 billion. "They really like Kansas City,” Greg Steinoff, of the state economic development department, told the Kansas City Star. “If we can put together this legislation and have it passed, I think they’ll give us a hard look.” Of course, Canada would like to have all that, too, but the strength of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar is working against Bombardier building in its own country.

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
News Briefs back to top 

Door Falls Off Challenger

FAA investigators were to have arrived in Grand Junction, Colo., Tuesday to try and determine why the cabin door fell off a 25-year-old Canadair (Bombardier) Challenger 600 on climbout from the local airport. The door fell in a desert area and no one was hurt on the ground or in the air. It’s not clear how many people were on board the aircraft, which is registered to a company in Snowmass, Colo.

The incident occurred shortly after the aircraft took off from Grand Junction Regional Airport about 3:30 p.m. on Monday. The aircraft circled the airport briefly before landing uneventfully at about 4 p.m.

NBAA’s Lobbying Bill $2.4 Million

The National Business Aviation Association spent $2.4 million getting its members' views across to politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, note lobbying-disclosure statements quoted by Business Week. According to the magazine, the group spend $1.4 million in the second half of the year lobbying on aviation security funding, general transportation matters and on the bills to reauthorize the FAA. The efforts were aimed at members of Congress, the White House, the FAA, the Departments of Transportation and Defense, the National Transportation Safety Board and other agencies.

NBAA’s lobbying expenses were about half that of AOPA’s and there was plenty of overlap on the issues both organizations dealt with. On a per capita basis, however, NBAA’s 8,000 mostly corporate members ponied up an average of $300 apiece for the effort while the 410,000 individuals that make up AOPA chipped in a little more than $10 each.

Cessna Aircraft Company, the World's Largest General Aviation Manufacturer
Based on unit sales, Cessna Aircraft Company is the world's largest manufacturer of general aviation airplanes. In 2007, Cessna delivered 1,272 aircraft, including 387 Citation business jets, and reported revenues of about $5 billion. Cessna has a current backlog of $12.6 billion. The global fleet of more than 5,100 Citations is the largest fleet of business jets in the world. More information about Cessna Aircraft Company is available at Cessna.com.
Gearing Up for Interiors Expo back to top 

Interiors Expo A Big Draw

Kerosene and LCD screens may keep the business aviation industry going but it’s the people in the back who are generally paying the bills for all that gear, and keeping them fed, comfortable and rested is not only high art, it’s a big-bucks industry. Witness the pre-registration figures for the Aircraft Interiors Expo that will be held at the HamburgMesse in Germany starting next Tuesday. More than 8,000 attendees have registered to view more than 500 exhibitors in the three-day show. Show organizers say the numbers reflect “not only the increasing popularity of the exhibition, but also the sustained business confidence in the industry itself.”

Comfort is key and 20 percent of the exhibitors are involved in seating and overall interior design. Galley equipment suppliers are almost as numerous and in-flight entertainment and communications companies are a close third. Most of the attendees are from Europe but about 1,000 Americans have pre-registered.

NAA Spring Awards & Collier Winner Announcement in AVweb's Audio News
AVweb's Managing Editor, Meredith Saini, was on-hand for this year's National Aeronautic Association (NAA) Spring Awards Luncheon. Meredith spoke with NAA chairman Walter J. Boyne about the 2007 Collier Trophy winner he announced. Listen online.

Join NAA and be an aviation record setter and part of the Collier Trophy. Aviation enthusiasts can join for $39 a year and receive Smithsonian's Air & Space magazine, aviation record fee discounts, and much more. Join now online, or call NAA at (800) 644-9777.
AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Richard Aboulafia Explains How the BizJet Market Can Soar Above Turbulent Times

File Size 11 MB / Running Time 12:04

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

In defiance of all the lousy economic news of late, the business aircraft industry continues to boom. Teal Group Analyst Richard Aboulafia told AVweb's Russ Niles that it generally takes about two years for a downturn in the rest of the world to reach the business jet sector. In the meantime, the industry is booming.

Click here to listen. (11 MB, 12:04)

Exclusive Video: Lockheed U-2S "Dragon Lady" Cockpit Tour

Original, Exclusive Videos from AVweb | Reader-Submitted & Viral Videos

The Lockheed U-2 has been in service for over 50 years. It has been at the center of some of the most tense moments in America's history. AVweb's Glenn Pew takes you inside the cockpit on a guided tour with an active U-2 pilot.

Don't see a video screen?
Try disabling ad blockers and refreshing this page.
If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Envision® Integrated Flight Deck Now Available for Retrofit Installation in Cessna 400-Series Aircraft!
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Who's Where back to top 

Matheis to Universal Avionics

Norm Matheis

Norm Matheis has been appointed Regional Marketing Manager for Canada for Universal Avionics Systems. He worked at Field Aviation in Toronto for 19 years and was educated in Ontario.

Jacques New Socata Chief Test Pilot

Stéphane Jacques

Stéphane Jacques has been named EADS Socata's chief test pilot. The 44- year-old Jacques retired as a Lt. Col. in the French Air Force where he was a test pilot instructor.

Who's Where? You Tell Us

Get a promotion or a new job? Your colleagues want to know about it, and AVwebBiz can get the word out. Drop us a line about the staff appointment, with a nice recent photo, and we'll do our best to include it in our new section, "Who's Where." The items will be permanently archived on AVweb for future reference, too.

Safety Equipment — Add Aviation Safety to Your MEL
A Minimum Equipment List is not complete without a subscription to Aviation Safety. Discover this informative, instructive monthly publication that sharpens your air readiness. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

Got Cylinders? Tell Us About Your Service History

Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, is conducting a survey on aircraft engine cylinder products. If you've done an overhaul during the past several years, the magazine's editors would like to hear from you on how the cylinders have performed.

Just click on this link to take the survey.

The results will appear in a future issue of Aviation Consumer. For subscription information, click here.

AVweb's Newstips Address ...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something 200,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

AVweb Essay Contest — Spread the Word back to top 

Always Wanted To Fly A DC-3?

copyright © John Fleck
Entry Deadline:
April 1, 2008
Flight Date:
April 8, 2008 (7 a.m.)
Flight Location:
Linder Airport, Lakeland, Florida
Winners Announced:
April 3, 2008
To qualify, you must have a valid pilot certificate and current medical. (It doesn't have to be a U.S. certificate.)

Arguably the most important aircraft ever produced, the DC-3 ushered in the "modern" era of air transportation. But until you've sat in the left seat, gripped that huge yoke and tried to muscle the big bird onto final, you can't appreciate what life was like for the tens of thousands of pilots who have shaken, rattled and rolled in the confines of that cockpit.

Or maybe you're a former DC-3 pilot looking for a trip down memory lane. Whatever the motivation, now's your chance to fly left seat in the iconic aircraft, courtesy of Herpa Wings, AVweb and the owner of N143D, Dan Gryder, at Sun 'n Fun on April 8. You'll be in control as Dan guides you through takeoff, pattern work and even a few low and overs in a beautifully maintained but still very historic DC-3. All you have to do is tell us (and 200,000 AVweb readers) why you want to. Send us a short (no longer than 200 words) essay on the topic: "Why I Want To Fly The Herpa Wings DC-3."

E-mail your entry to fly-the-dc3@avweb.com by April 1, 2008.

Important Rules:
To qualify, you must have a valid pilot certificate and current medical. It doesn't have to be a U.S. certificate. You must be available to fly at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 at Lakeland Linder Airport in Florida. All entries must be received by April 1, 2008.

Winner will be announced in the April 3 edition of AVwebFlash. Good luck!

To get some idea of what you're in for, watch this video of AVweb Editor-in-Chief Russ Niles as he tries to push the aircraft around (left) and Dan's patented one-wheel landing (right):

Names Behind the News back to top 

Meet the AVwebBiz Team

AVwebBiz is a weekly summary of the latest business aviation news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebBiz team is:

Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

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