AVwebBiz - Volume 8, Number 9

March 3, 2010

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Top News: A Bad Economy Can't Stop Business ... back to top 

Biz Traffic Up

Business aircraft activity is up considerably, bucking a trend that saw an overall decline in general aviation activity (it's down three percent overall) in the U.S. according to FlightAware. In its monthly analysis of aircraft movements, the popular online tracking and data site says private jet traffic is up a whopping 8.8 percent in February, compared to the same month in 2009. Turboprop was up 2.2 percent but the tale of the tape was in charter and fractional operations. Charters were up 16.5 percent and fractional traffic 6.5 percent, perhaps reflecting a shift from ownership to charters for economic and public relations reasons. Every other sector of GA activity measured by FlightAware was down.

Single and multi piston operations were off a staggering 14.1 percent and private operations lagged by 4 percent. As might be expected, Wichita Mid-Continent Airport saw the biggest overall reduction in traffic with 15.8 percent fewer movements. Fort Lauderdale Executive was up 23.3 percent. FlightAware also tracks movements by type and the Learjet 40 and 45 posted the highest gains. And whether it's a sign of the times or a reflection of the changing market at the low end, the Cessna 152 saw the biggest overall reduction in use at 35.1 percent.

Related Content:
Read the full FlightAware report (PDF)

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... But TFRs and a Presidential Visit Can Slow It Down back to top 

Obama Visit Impacts Hawaii Aviators

The Oahu Aviation Initiative, an ad hoc coalition of 20 small general aviation businesses in Hawaii, is asking the federal government to compensate them for $200,000 in losses they incurred due to almost two weeks of flight restrictions during President Barack Obama's recent holiday visit to Oahu. The group is also working with the Secret Service and the TSA to negotiate less severe restrictions before the next presidential visit to their state. The restrictions essentially banned flights within a 30-mile radius of the rented house where the Obama family was staying outside Honolulu. Pat Magie, president of Island Seaplane Service, told the Honolulu Advertiser that aviation company owners were not informed of flight restrictions until four days before the president's arrival, and many of them had no option but to shut down entirely during the 12-day visit, from Dec. 23 to Jan. 4.

More visits are expected from President Obama, including an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation conference planned for November 2011. "We know we've got to live with it somewhat and sacrifice some, but if it happens next year with the international summit, plus if Obama came back again for Christmas, we could be shut down for a month," Magie said.

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Tracking Deicing Fluid back to top 

Airport Execs Oppose EPA Deicing Rules

New rules proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to control runoff from aircraft deicing fluids would "create safety hazards at many airports," the American Association of Airport Executives says. Under the proposed rules, airports with more than 10,000 annual aircraft departures and 1,000 annual jet departures would be required to re-capture up to 60 percent of the fluid, rather than allow it to drain off the pavement, where it can end up in nearby rivers, lakes, streams and bays. AAAE says the proposal doesn't allow airports enough time to comply, would impose financial burdens, and the use of additional fluid recovery vehicles around crowded gate areas could cause safety issues. "Safe airport deicing procedures are paramount to winter weather practices," said AAAE Director of Regulatory Affairs Leslie Riegle. The EPA says stricter rules are needed because airport discharges from deicing operations can affect water quality. Impacts include fish kills, contaminated drinking water, and noxious odors in residential areas and parks, among other effects.

Airports affected by the new rules would be required to collect spent aircraft deicing fluid and treat the wastewater. They may either treat the wastewater onsite or send it to an offsite treatment contractor or publicly operated wastewater treatment facility. Some airports would be required to reduce the amount of ammonia discharged from urea-based airfield pavement deicers or use more environmentally friendly airfield deicers that do not contain urea. EPA says it expects compliance with the proposed regulation would reduce the discharge of deicing-related pollutants by at least 44.6 million pounds per year, and the annual cost of the rule would be an estimated $91.3 million.

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News Briefs back to top 

"Pilot-Optional" DA42 To Fly This Summer

Test flights are set to start this summer of a Diamond DA42 that will be modified to fly in a "pilot optional" configuration. Aurora Flight Sciences, of Manassas, Va., is creating the Optionally Piloted Vehicle prototype, called the Centaur, for a variety of scientific and military applications. The Centaur will have roughly the same payload and range capabilities as an unmanned MQ-1 Predator, the company said, but with several advantages. "First, it can be flown with a pilot onboard, which will facilitate operation in the National Airspace System," said Aurora President John Langford. "Second, it has two engines, which gives greater reliability and safety. Third, the Centaur is easily reconfigurable so it can carry a variety of payloads. Finally, it has extremely low operating costs. We see it as a crossover product with enormous potential in many markets."

The four-seat airplane, equipped with two Austro E300 diesel engines, will be modified with an extensive suite of propriety electronics and software. Its first mission will be mapping the ice pack over Greenland, as part of a NASA experiment. For this mission, a removable belly pod housing radar will be installed. When flying in manned aircraft mode, the Centaur is intended to retain the DA42's normal FAA certification, the company said, and when operated in unmanned mode, it is expected to fly under an experimental certification. An unmanned version of the DA42, using Thielert diesel engines, was developed by Israeli Aeronautics Defense Systems and flew for the last time last July. That aircraft is named the Dominator II.

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Opinion & Commentary back to top 

AVweb Insider Blog: Fat Fliers — What Should the Airlines Do?

If you don't think this is a problem, says Paul Bertorelli on the AVweb Insider blog, you haven't flown much. Anyone who finds themselves seated next to a 300-pounder should reasonably expect the airline to intervene. The expectation that you have to share a third of your seat with someone else is just wrong.

Click here to read Paul's take on the Kevin Smith/Southwest brouhaha and chime in with your own thoughts.

AVweb Insider Blog: Airport Management — Suffering Fools

Is every airport managed as poorly as Paul Bertorelli's local base, Venice Municipal? Thankfully not, says Paul — but plenty of airports are similarly under siege by anti-noise and anti-aviation interests. In a post to the AVweb Insider blog, Paul explains why the only way to fight these interests is to get involved with local politics.

Click here to read more and share your own experiences.

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Who's Where back to top 

Peterson Takes on AOPA Marketing

Michelle Peterson, AOPA's vice president of products and services, has added marketing to her portfolio and has been promoted to vice president of marketing. Peterson has been with AOPA since 200.

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.

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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.

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Help Us Celebrate AVweb's 15th Anniversary back to top 

15 Years and Now 15 Grand Giveaways ... It's Your Chance to Win a Garmin Aera 510 Handheld GPS

CLICK HERE to Register for All 15 Drawings

Win a Garmina aera 510 handheld GPS as we celebrate our 15th Anniversary! All you have to do is click here to enter your name and e-mail address. (You only have to enter once, and you'll be entered in our prize drawings for the entire year — so if you've already entered, you're all set.)

And no, we're not going to rent or sell your name, ever. Tell your friends, and invite them to sign up for AVweb so they can qualify for our 15 Grand Giveaways prize drawings, too. (We won't spam them, either — but we hope they will sign up for our newsletters.)

Deadline for entries is 11:59pm Zulu time March 12, 2010.

Click here to read the contest rules and enter.

Congratulations to Rod Anson of Camperdown, Victoria (Australia), who won 100,000 Air BP Bravo Rewards Points! (click here to get your own Rewards Points from Air BP)

AVweb Media: Look, Listen, Laugh and Learn back to top 

Exclusive Video: Last Flight of an English Electric Lightning (And Pilot Dave Stock)

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

The crash of a rare and historic English Electric Lightning MK T5 on November 14, 2009 was unique for the history of the model and the renown of its pilot, Dave Stock. Here AVweb compiles historic video and actual event footage to review the event that saw both Stock and the aircraft lost.

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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

Exclusive Video: JPI's New Engine Monitor Technology

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

JP Instruments has developed a new line of digital engine monitors. Here's a brief video report.

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.

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

Scott Simmons

Jeff van West

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