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Volume 7, Number 4
January 28, 2009
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Top News: Citi Jet Draws Fireback to top 

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday at a press briefing that President Barack Obama "doesn't believe" using private jets "is the best use of money"-- at least not if that money is from a federally financed bailout package. In response to a question about Citigroup spending $50 million for a Dassault Falcon 7X business jet, which was reported Monday in the New York Post, Gibbs said, "The president believes that great care should be used anytime the taxpayers' money is being used ... that money should be used to lend to consumers to get the economy moving again, to free up capital and credit, and help small businesses create jobs." Citigroup has received $45 billion from the TARP, or Troubled Asset Relief Program. According to Bloomberg News, an official from the Treasury Department called Citigroup this week to "express concern" about the company's planned purchase of the jet. A bank spokesperson told Bloomberg that their intent was to sell off older aircraft and buy new, more efficient ones and no TARP funds would be used for the purchase. The plan, however, drew an outcry. Sen. Carl Levin, of Michigan, where the auto industry has taken harsh criticism for use of corporate jets, said that Citigroup shouldn't be flying either. "To permit Citigroup to purchase a plush plane -- foreign-built no less -- while domestic auto companies are being required to sell off their jets is a ridiculous double standard," he said in a statement on his Web site. "The notion of Citigroup spending $50 million on a new corporate jet, even as it is depending on billions of taxpayer dollars to survive, does not fly." Citigroup later released a statement saying that the company has "no intent to take delivery of any new aircraft." More...

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Search for the Next FAA Administratorback to top 

Although Duane Woerth, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association, has long been considered a strong contender to take over as next FAA administrator, Senate aide Robert Herbert seems to be making headway, the Washington Post reported on Monday. Herbert is an advisor to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate majority leader, and specializes in transportation, defense and security issues. Woerth is backed by the AFL-CIO. Senator Reid has sent a letter to the Obama transition team expressing support for Herbert, according to the Post. Also, Herbert met last Thursday with Ray LaHood, on the same day he was appointed Transportation Secretary. Relations between unions and the FAA have long been contentious, and LaHood has said that settling those issues will be a top priority for him. More...

Fly with Bose Aviation Headset X®
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TSA Security Hearings Draw to a Closeback to top 

The Transportation Security Administration wrapped up the last of four public hearings into its highly controversial Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP) with a session in Chicago last week and TSA reps heard more of the same from the GA community. In fact, if anything, rather than calm the waters, the hearings appear to have whipped up even more opposition to the plan, which would mandate airline-style security procedures for aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds. "In this brutal economy, everyone in every corner of general aviation will be impacted if this plan is enacted without significant changes," NBAA President Ed Bolen told the meeting. But while much of the focus has been on the impact on flight operations, hundreds of airports, some of which only occasionally see aircraft that big, will have to be set up to handle the security. More...

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The Recession Comes to Bizavback to top 

Statistics on business aircraft identified by arrival and departure information on all IFR flights for December 2007 and compared to December 2008 show a 22.8 percent drop, according to the Aviation Research Group/U.S. Inc., but there may be some surprises. The data includes both Alaska and Hawaii and segregated data between Part 91, Part 135 and fractional operations. The steepest decline in activity was seen by Part 135 operators, which in 2008 dropped by one third versus the same month in the prior year. The steepest decline came to Part 135 large-cabin jet aircraft (identified as those with a maximum takeoff weight of over 41,000 pounds), which saw a 44 percent decline in activity. On the opposite end of the scale, Part 91 business aircraft operators as a group curtailed their activity by only 15.3 percent and showed the largest diversity in change by aircraft size, according to ARG/US. Small cabin jets (MTOW under 20,000) flown under Part 91 and midsize-cabin jets suffered the least, falling just 6.3 percent, while turboprop business aircraft (both single- and multi-engine) took the largest hit for the Part 91 category, chiming in with a 23.2 percent drop in activity. Fractionals told a slightly different story. More...

Choose Cutter Aviation PHX for NBA All Star 2009!
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When the Private Jet Is No Longer an Option ...back to top 

As corporations try to trim costs by cutting back on their in-house flight departments, business workers in need of long-distance transport may turn to luxury airlines -- at least, that's the hope of Emirates Airlines, based in Dubai. The airline hopes to appeal to business-class and first-class travelers in the U.S. who need to travel abroad. The airline's widebody fleet can fly nonstop between just about any two spots on earth. To ease the weariness of the trip, Emirates offers perks such as complimentary limousine service, gourmet on-board meals, personal 17-inch video screens with over 1,200 channels of in-flight entertainment, hot showers, and private suites and mini-bars. Emirates recently treated about 500 invited guests in the San Francisco Bay area to a lavish dinner party with actress Hilary Swank as host and a live show by Sheryl Crow, USA Today reported on Tuesday. "It was over the top," said travel broker Terry Brodt. The airline operates more than 120 new widebody airplanes, including 58 Airbus A380s. More...

Corporate Aviation Management Certificate with Embry-Riddle and the NBAA
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers the most comprehensive Corporate Aviation Management Certificate program approved by the NBAA Professional Development Program (PDP) for the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM). For details, visit Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's web site at ERAU.edu/camc.
News Briefsback to top 

The party is over for business jet brokers as far as the Super Bowl is concerned. At last year's event in Phoenix, more than 500 private aircraft crammed Glendale Municipal Airport, which is less than a mile from the stadium where the game was played. This year, the numbers will be a fraction of that if one broker's experience is any indication. "It's sure not 2008 any more," jets.com CEO Nathan McKelvey told The New York Times. Last year, his company booked 55 packages for the big game and this year, with a week left, he had 13. More...

Put AeroExpo Europe - Prague and AeroExpo Europe - London on Your Show Schedule
AeroExpo Europe - Prague (May 22-24, 2009) will showcase everything from ultralights to helicopters to business aircraft in the heart of Europe, marketing to the European and emerging Eastern European and Russian markets. AeroExpo Europe - London (June 12-14, 2009) includes aircraft from light aircraft, pistons, and turboprops through to VLJs (very light jets) and all parts and services for these general aviation aircraft. Go online for exhibitor and attendee details.
News Briefsback to top 

A FedEx AT-42 flying from Fort Worth, Texas to Lubbock evidently landed short of the runway in freezing mist conditions early Tuesday morning. The AP reported that two crew members—a 52-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman—were taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock where they were examined and released. Both walked away from the 4:30 a.m. mishap, according to FedEx. The aircraft impacted in a grassy area about 300 feet short of the runway, airport director James Loomis told the AP. "They apparently bounced onto the pavement, skidded down the pavement and veered off to the right," he said. "There is a trail of jet fuel from their impact area, which was in the grass, to where it sits now to the right of the runway north of the terminal." A small fire ensued, but it was quickly extinguished. More...

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New on AVwebback to top 

Despite a troubled economy, the fifth U.S. Sport Aviation Expo proved to be a must-see event. Some exhibitors scaled back a little, but everyone was represented. AVweb Editorial Director Paul Bertorelli has some thoughts on this little bright spot amid all the economic turbulence; read them on the AVweb Insider blog. More...

As the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009 gets underway in Sebring, Florida, Chairman Bob Wood talks with Aviation Safety Editor-in-Chief Jeb Burnside. A quick preview of this year's show tells attendees what to expect and what they don't want to miss at the nation's premier sport pilot gathering. (Click through to watch.) More...

The nation's showcase for light sport aircraft and the Sport Pilot program (U.S. Sport Aviation Expo 2009) kicks off in Sebring, Florida today. Tom Peghiny from Flight Design joins Aviation Consumer Editor-in-Chief Paul Bertorelli to discuss the company's presence at the show and the state of LSA. (Click through to watch.) More...

Kitplanes Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook talks with Neal Willford, Cessna Aircraft's project engineer on the 162 SkyCatcher. Neal was kind enough to share the inside scoop on the SkyCatcher's journey to market. (Click through to watch.) More...

New to the world of LSA? One of the things you'll discover is that your engine choice makes a big difference, in terms of both weight and performance. For an overview of the three top choices in the light sport segment, Marc Cook, Editor-in-Chief of Kitplanes magazine, visits Rotax, Jabiru, and Continental on the grounds of the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. (Click through to watch.) 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!
The Top Reporter on Our Crack Staff ... Is You!back to top 

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. What have you heard? More...

Names Behind the Newsback to top 


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

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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