AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 6, Number 26

June 25, 2008

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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High-Profile Report Sparks Debates Over BizAv back to top 

Aviation Groups Criticize "High Flyers" Report

The Institute for Policy Study, a Washington-based social and environmental think tank, says the perceived boom in private jet travel is hurting the environment, stretching air traffic control and airports and could even be making commercial airline travel worse for those who can't fly privately. In a podcast interview with AVweb, Chuck Collins, a senior scholar for IPS and author of the report, entitled "High Flyers: How Private Jet Travel Is Straining The System, Warming The Planet And Costing You Money," said the disproportionate environmental impact of private air travel is obvious, and that he relied on FAA figures he says suggest that private jets don't pay an equitable potion of the costs they cause in the air and at airports. "It's about paying your fair share," he said. But both the National Business Aviation Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association were quick to dismiss the report as inaccurate and unbalanced. "This report is 30 pages of nothing but outrageous claims and the warmed-over rhetoric used by the nation's big airlines," said NBAA President Ed Bolen. "It is unfortunate that at a time when businesses are struggling and communities are losing air service, we see political screed masquerading as a policy report." Collins said his organization is independent and wasn't trying to get in the middle of the years-long friction between airlines and GA over who pays what.

In fact, he noted, the report blames airlines for the congestion plaguing many major airports and also deals with the growing dissatisfaction of airline customers. But the report also says the growing use of private air travel (NBAA says it's not actually growing) is robbing commercial air travel customers of their most powerful allies in maintaining or improving standards. "As the upper echelons of American society insulate themselves further from the traveling public via private jet travel, we run the risk of a dangerous loss of social cohesion," the report, says. "As the super-rich and wealthy 'opt-out' of the public commercial air travel system, they withdraw their considerable political clout from making sure that the system works well for everyone."

In Print & Online, Trade-A-Plane Has Everything That Keeps You Flying
Get 24 issues (two years) for just $24.95 (U.S., standard mail), including no-cost access to Trade-A-Plane's web site, which is updated daily. Subscribe by calling (800) 337-5263 and mentioning this AVwebFlash, or subscribe online.
GA Terror Fears Resurfacing back to top 

British Lord Fears GA Terror Attack

Lord Carlile of Berriew QC, the British government's anti-terror advisor, says police in that country are worried that light aircraft will be used as "vehicle bombs against places of public aggregation," adding in his annual report that pulling off that kind of terror attack would "relatively simple." Naturally, the report has prompted pressure on Home Secretary Jacqui Smith by opposition politicians to ensure "that security measures at small airports are as tough as those for larger airfields." The Home Office has replied that while it is mindful of that kind of threat, it also has heard of no intelligence that suggests terrorists are plotting any light aircraft attacks.

Britain deals with the potential threat from GA the way most aviation countries do, with security awareness campaigns at GA airports and the preparation of educational material for such programs. However, a Home Office spokeswoman also said various departments of the government keep an eye on the potential for trouble. "Aviation security measures must be proportionate to the threat and we keep our security measures under constant review," the unidentified spokeswoman said. "We are constantly vigilant to the potential threat and work with the police and security agencies to prepare advice to all airfields that host small aircraft operations and flying schools." There are about 8,500 private aircraft and 500 identified "landing sites" ranging from major airports to farmers' fields.

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Quotes reprinted with permission: Professional Pilot, 2007 Headset Preference Survey, 12/07; Aviation Consumer, 8/07.
Russian Jet Market Continues to Heat Up back to top 

Epic To Build Certified Jet In Georgia?

A Georgian Web site, finchannel.com, is reporting that Bend, Ore.-based Epic Aircraft has reached a deal with Tblisi-based Tbilaviamsheni (TAM) to certify and build its seven-place Elite light jet in the country, under Russian certification. The news service says the cost of the project is $10 million, split between Epic and TAM. Epic did not immediately respond to our request for confirmation of the report. The Elite was introduced at EAA AirVenture in 2007 and is a twin-engine composite aircraft with a predicted range of about 1,600 nm and cruise speed of 410 KTAS.

Epic had plans to certify the Elite in Canada but that deal apparently fell through. At last year's NBAA convention, Epic announced a $200 million investment from Indian airline tycoon Vijay Mallya and a partnership with EADS to develop the certified jets but there have been reports that the deal went sour and that Mallya will pursue his own business-jet venture with EADS. The Georgian press is reporting that Russian certification will take up to 18 months. It also quoted Epic CEO Rick Schrameck as saying he was attracted to TAM by the high quality of the work it does. TAM Chairman Pantiko Tordia was a little more pragmatic. "Epic was seeking a company which would provide high quality. Unfortunately, we have a cheap work force and this is the only reason the Americans got interested in our company," Tordia said.

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.
Bush Twin Comeback in the Works back to top 

Gippsland Revives Nomad Bush Twin

An icon in Australian aviation is about to be reborn. Following a ceremony at Latrobe Regional Airport, the type certificate for the Nomad twin turboprop was handed over from Boeing Australia to Gippsland Aeronautics Pty Ltd. (GA). GA purchased the certification of the aircraft along with technical and spares sales support and all intellectual property for the aircraft. Development of the new Nomad aircraft is planned to be a global affair, catering toward remote area operations like GA's already highly successful aircraft, the GA-8 Airvan.

The Nomad is expected to be exported to markets with mountainous and remote areas for use as a light aircraft workhorse by mining industries operating in inaccessible areas. "The Nomad is an aircraft that is a part of Australia's aviation history," said the Federal Minister for Trade Hon Simon Crean MP. "It was originally designed and manufactured by the Government Aircraft Factories in Melbourne, but GA will develop a new aircraft for the 21st century." Two Australian operators have already sent letters of intent to GA for the Nomad, one being Australia's biggest private aviation tour operator, and the other specializing in air freight operations.

Aircraft Financing to Fit Your Needs
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Filing Your Flight Plan Will Change Next Week back to top 

New Flight-Plan Rules Take Effect Sunday

As part of FAA's ongoing effort to harmonize its paperwork and procedures with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the form for filing a flight plan is about to change, but only for IFR flights that include RNAV arrival or departure routing. Pilots filing VFR, or filing IFR but without the RNAV arrivals or departures, can continue to file using the usual flight plan format. Pilots filing point-to-point (RNAV direct) and "T routes" also are not affected. The format change, which takes effect at 0900 UTC June 29, is being made to help expedite the FAA's transition to a new en-route computer system for Air Route Traffic Control Centers. Click here for the text of FAA's Letter to Airmen. Pilots affected by the change can find more information, including FAQs and step-by-step filing instructions, at the FAA Web site.

The FAA site also includes contact information, with email addresses and phone numbers, to answer any questions. The changes will affect only about 10 percent of general aviation flights, says AOPA. Lockheed Martin flight service station specialists will be trained to help pilots file the new flight plan. "The ICAO flight plan is necessary because it collects more detailed information about actual avionics equipage and aircraft capability," said Melissa Rudinger, AOPA vice president of regulatory affairs. "This in turn allows ATC to match the most efficient routing to the aircraft capabilities, resulting in better service to pilots." Pilots with questions about the change can also contact AOPA for more information.

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Now Driving Fuel Prices: More Taxes back to top 

Carbon Tax Hikes Fuel Prices In B.C.

As fuel prices continue to rise, the government of British Columbia is imposing a carbon tax on all fuels, including Jet-A and avgas, that put the price up by at least 10 cents a gallon. The tax, which goes into effect on Tuesday (Canada Day, the country's annual patriotic holiday) will push the price of Jet A up 2.61 cents per liter (10.15 cents a U.S. gallon) and 100 LL 2.46 cents a liter (9.56 cents a U.S. gallon). Jet fuel was selling for $6.18 a U.S. gallon and 100 LL was priced at $6.73 a gallon at Vancouver International Airport on Tuesday.

The rates are calculated based on $10 CAD per metric ton of carbon produced and vary according to the carbon emissions from each type of fuel. The imposition of the tax has been controversial in B.C., particularly in the far-flung regions of the largely undeveloped province where residents say they have no alternative to burning fossil fuels for transportation and other energy needs.

Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator Sale
For a limited time only, while quantities last, Diamond DA40 XL Demonstrator models are available at a special price of $299,950. The aircraft also qualify for special 2008 tax incentives. You can enjoy owning a Diamond DA40 and write off up to 93% of the purchase price. Visit Diamond Aircraft now for more information.
New on AVweb back to top 

'High Flyers' Author Chuck Collins on BizAv and Culture

File Size 6.9 MB / Running Time 7:30

Podcast Index | How to Listen | Subscribe Via RSS

Private air travel evokes wonder, envy and scorn, depending on who you talk to. But is it really the cause of a social schism that furthers the economic divide? Think tank author Chuck Collins is inviting people to think about the impact of business aviation beyond its place in the airspace system, and he talked to AVweb's Russ Niles about it.

Click here to listen. (6.9 MB, 7:30)

Exclusive Video: B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Crash Technical Report

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

The crash on takeoff of a 509th Air Wing, Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber, February 23 operating at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, was caused by water in the aircraft's sensors, according to an Air Combat report issued Thursday. Specifically, moisture in three port transducer units "distorted data introduced by a B-2 Spirit's air data system" which led to flawed information entering the bomber's flight control computers. The aircraft was reacting to inaccurate airspeed and a "perceived" negative angle of attack. This resulted in an "uncommanded 30 degree nose-high pitch-up on takeoff," according to the Air Force.

The video has more detail, but you can also click here for the full story.

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AVweb Insider Blog: Aviation Regulators Need To Embrace Technology

Live-saving aviation technologies are available--if only the road from tech to flight deck wasn't so long and slow. In the latest installment of our informative and opinionated AVweb Insider blog, contributing editor Mary Grady is as baffled as the rest of us with the frustrating gap between inspiration and implementation.

Read more.

You Pay More for the Unbiased Truth — To Ultimately Save More
Yes, Aviation Consumer costs more than other aviation magazines. Aviation Consumer is supported by you, the subscribing consumer, not by advertising. So the editors can be completely truthful to help you make the right decision on products and services. Order online and receive unlimited use of Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
Who's Where back to top 

Adam Komack to XOJet

Adam Komack

XOJET has hired Adam Komack as its chief marketing officer. Komack was the chief lifestyle officer for EOS, an executive-class-only airline.

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.

The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You! back to top 

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.

Do You Like the Headset You Own? How About Telling Us About It?

Our sister magazine, Aviation Consumer, is preparing a survey on conducting an extensive customer survey on headset quality, performance and comfort. We would love to hear from readers everywhere about their headset experiences. The survey takes just a few minutes.

Click here to take part.

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

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

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