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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded
Business News Coverage At AVweb's
If you liked 2003, you'll probably like 2004, say business and charter
aviation industry observers. Many of the issues, trends and challenges
visited upon the industry in 2003 remain either under continued
development or mired in mediocrity as the calendar flipped over a new
page. To be sure, the industry's overall outlook is a positive one --
barring any unforeseen blip in the rebounding overall economy, private
aviation should follow along on improving economic coattails. As in the
past, such a recovery will follow somewhat more slowly than for other
sectors, observers believe. More...
One of the most vexing issues to confront the industry recently is the
moving target of general aviation security: how to improve it, how to
ensure it and how to convince politicians and the public alike that much
has already been done to prevent business and charter aviation from
being used by terrorists. The problem was highlighted last week as CBS
aired what amounted to an "attack journalism" piece targeting fly-in
communities but painting non-scheduled aviation as insecure because it
does not feature TSA battle droids, metal detectors and baggage-scanning
equipment at every grass strip throughout the U.S. For all its faults --
and industry observers tell AVweb the piece really got nothing
right -- it did serve to remind industry it still has a long way to go
before the public's opinion of general and business aviation's relative
security changes. More...
IMPLEMENTING PART 145...
On perhaps a more easily understood -- but no less frustrating -- level,
the looming Jan. 20, 2005, deadline for domestic reduced vertical
separation minima (DRVSM) will have repair stations working overtime in
2004. This high activity level will come at the same time industry and
the FAA work to implement new, often-delayed Part 145 regulations. The
new regs go into effect Jan. 31, 2004. By that time, all certified
repair stations should have submitted their repair station and
quality-control manuals to their local FSDO, among other
deadline-related tasks. More...
Some good news came last year in the form of the long-awaited final rule
on fractional operations. Known formally as "Regulation of Fractional
Aircraft Ownership Programs and On-Demand Operations," the new rule was
published on Sept, 17, 2003, and, for existing frax operators, affects
flights conducted after Dec. 17, 2004. Still, industry's challenge in
2004 will be to read and understand the 70-page final rule and
comments-disposition document and the major or minor changes it makes to
FAR Parts 61, 91, 119, 125, 135 and 142. More...
Now that the new fractional-operations rules have a fork sticking from
them, naturally the FAA has launched yet another major regulatory
review: the Part 135/125 Aviation Rulemaking Committee. This
undertaking, for which the Fractional Ownership Aviation Rulemaking
Committee was but the opening act, began last summer and has met once
more since then. Still, there are many more meetings -- and, perhaps,
years -- to go before this rulemaking committee files its final
recommendations. Meanwhile, air tour operators and charitable
organizations in danger of being regulated out of existence by the FAA
will be fortunate to even get face time with the agency.
MARKS TWO MILESTONES...
Jan. 8 marked the first flight of Bombardier's second test copy of its
new Global 5000, the company's ultra-long-range business jet. The
four-hour local flight from Downsview, Ontario, served as a shakedown
prior to the plane's planned delivery to the Bombardier Completion
Centre in Montreal this month to install a production interior. Flight
testing for environmental control system validation and interior
function and reliability will begin as soon as the interior installation
is complete. It will then join the first aircraft as part of the
two-ship flight test program. More...
FIRST CHALLENGER 300 SERVICE ENTRY
Dallas, Texas, was the location, Jan. 8 was the date and Bombardier
Business Jet Solutions was the customer. The event? Entry into service
of the first completed Bombardier Challenger 300 business jet under the
Bombardier Flexjet fractional ownership program. According to the
company, the type's first customer flight makes the Challenger 300 the
first purpose-built aircraft to enter service in the emerging
super-midsize market segment. More...
25XL'S AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
When new, these
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Gulfstream is staying busy by using a new G550 bizjet to set a series of
city-pair speed records over the last month. Most recently, the company
launched a G550 from New York City to Kuwait City. The record-setting
flight departed John F. Kennedy International Airport at 4:51 p.m. EST
on Jan. 16, flew nonstop for 10 hours, 56 minutes, and landed at Kuwait
International Airport at 11:47 a.m. local time on Jan. 17. The flight
covered 5,757 nautical miles at an average ground speed of 527 knots.
Earlier, a G550 flew three different flights, including: Savannah, Ga.,
to Dubai, a distance of 6,554 nm, in 13:47, for an average ground speed
of 482 knots; Dubai to Hong Kong, 3,196 nm in 6:06, averaging 524 knots;
and Beijing to White Plains, N.Y., 5,903 nm, in 13:45 and 429 knots
average groundspeed. More...
YOU SEE ME NOW?
Meanwhile, Gulfstream wasted no time in welcoming the FAA's recently
released rule allowing certified enhanced flight vision systems (EFVS)
to be used to determine "enhanced flight visibility" for Part 91
operators landing at the conclusion of an instrument approach. Labeling
the new rule a "vote of confidence" for its own Enhanced Vision System
(EVS), Gulfstream reminded the industry -- and especially its potential
customers -- that aircraft and crews using EFVS can now descend and
operate aircraft below decision height, decision altitude, or minimum
descent altitude by utilizing the EFVS image to detect the required
visual cues and to determine flight visibility. The rule change was
issued Jan. 9, 2004, and becomes effective Feb. 9. (See related article,
below, on a Canadian-certified EFVS.) More...
FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS A PILOT'S DREAM COME TRUE!
WingX is a
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calculations, an E6B page, sunrise and sunset times, medical and pilot
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CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Cessna's transition to a world without 25-year veteran Russ Meyer
continued last week with Jack Pelton being named president and chief
executive officer of the airframe manufacturer. Pelton, himself a
veteran of both McDonnell-Douglas and then Boeing, replaces Charlie
Johnson, who announced his retirement last month after months on medical
leave from the Wichita-based company, as president. Meyer will stay on
as chairman to focus on "big-picture" issues with Pelton now in charge
of daily operations. "We're extremely fortunate to have proven leaders
like Jack on board to build on Cessna's rich foundation of success and
market leadership. He is a highly talented executive and a natural
choice to lead Cessna into the future," said Textron Chairman, President
and CEO Lewis B. Campbell in a press release. More...
CANCELS CITATIONS, ORDERS MIX OF AT LEAST 58 HAWKERS
Meanwhile, Cessna CEO Jack Pelton's task of helping the company rebound
from the economy's downturn got a bit tougher after industry leader
NetJets told the manufacturer that it was canceling its order for 50
Citation CJ3 aircraft. According to Cessna, the canceled order applied
to jets slated for delivery in the late 2005-2008 time frame. Almost in
the same breath, NetJets announced it has placed an order for 50 new
Hawker 400XP light jets and eight Hawker 800XP midsize jets from
Raytheon Aircraft Company. With an additional 50 Hawker 400XP jets
listed in NetJets' order as options, its potential value to Raytheon
rings the cash register at more than $600 million. The aircraft will be
added to the NetJets fractional aircraft ownership program.
TAPS BOMBARDIER FOR NEW CHALLENGER 604, OPTIONS TWO MORE
It won't be registered as N1, but Bombardier Aerospace will soon deliver
a brand-new Challenger 604 bizjet to none other than AVweb's
Favorite Aviation Agency. The Jan. 19, 2004, announcement by the
Canada-based manufacturer says that the aircraft -- for which the FAA
also placed two options -- will be used for runway and airway
calibration as well as other special missions. More...
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TAKES ON DOWNUNDER USER FEES
Jeppesen said earlier this month that it is refusing, so far, to sign an
agreement with the Australian government to pay what in the U.S. would
be a user fee for the privilege of using public data to compile
aeronautical charts and information. According to Jeppesen, it and other
commercial organizations are being asked by Airservices Australia to
sign a licensing agreement and pay a license fee, the first of its kind.
Jeppesen says the amount of the fee has yet to be determined, but it and
other companies compiling such data are confident that it will be
JOINS JEPPESEN AS FAA-CERTIFIED COMMERCIAL ONLINE WEATHER
WSI Corporation this week announced it had received FAA certification
for its Internet-based weather and NOTAM delivery system, WSI Pilotbrief
Online. The service's certification is under the FAAs Qualified
Internet Communications Provider (QICP) program, which means that WSI
Pilotbrief Online meets the agency's standards in areas like
reliability, security and accessibility. The WSI service joins one
offered by Jeppesen as the only two commercially available
QICP-certified providers. More...
CERTIFIES EVS-1000 ON CHALLENGER
Could you some day fly your steam-gage King Air down an ILS to a
100-foot decision height without the electronics costing more than the
plane? Could be, if recent trends are an indication. The trends in
question are the enhanced vision systems first available on Gulfstream's
high-end jets (see article above) and now being certified for other
airframes. Earlier this month, Portland, Ore.-based Max-Viz Inc.
announced the first-ever Transport Canada certification for one of the
company's EVS-1000 systems. The infrared-based system was installed on a
Bombardier Global Express by Montreal-based ABC Completions Inc.
Should the federal government retire its color-coded terrorist threat
warning system? That's the theme of an op-ed piece, "Damage From the
Alert System Is Alarming," written by Edward N. Luttwak at the
Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies that
appeared in Monday's Los Angeles Times. Labeling the current five-color
warning system as "useless," Luttwak decries the bureaucratic tendency
for government to cover itself by using the warning system whenever it
perceives a terror threat. He notes that, "Nothing prevents the
implementation of the security measures associated with each threat
level, without any need to broadcast frightening yet meaningless
warnings to the public." More...
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BUSINESS AVIATION LESS EXPENSIVE?
What do air-show legend R.A. "Bob" Hoover and former NASA astronaut
Eugene Cernan have in common? If you answered that they are co-founders
of a new corporate-jet buying service known as Jet Fleet International
(JFI), you win a free subscription to AVweb. The JFI mission is to bring
the same high-volume purchasing power enjoyed by the airlines to the
business jet fleet by banding them together under one program. According
to JFI, the program allows "members to fully benefit from savings on
repair and maintenance programs, safety evaluation programs, pilot
simulator training, fuel and weather data," among other products and
AIRSPACE CAN'T HANDLE O'HARE EXPANSION?
Now that Chicago's lakefront Meigs Field is closed, probably forever,
are the industry's warnings of an adverse local impact on air traffic
congestion coming true? Although not publicly connected to Meigs'
closure, a study conducted by former FAA official Joseph Del Balzo says
plans to expand Chicago O'Hare International Airport would create
additional airspace congestion in the area, already one of the most
crowded in the world. Among the problems Del Balzo reportedly uncovered
is that plans omit consideration of the traffic at outlying airports.
Whether the report's conclusion will serve as one more indication of the
city's shortsightedness in closing Meigs remains to be seen.
TO THE SUPER BOWL?
If your company is planning to fly the boss or a party of favorites to
the Feb. 1, 2004, Super Bowl game in Houston, be aware that not only
will you have to deal with a Special Traffic Management Program (STMP),
but you'll also be dealing with a security-based Temporary Flight
Restriction. The STMP itself is pretty normal, given the amount of
non-scheduled traffic events like this attract. And, of course, everyone
wants to leave at the same time, right after the game. The STMP, coupled
with the likely TFR -- AVweb hasn't seen it yet and doesn't know when we
will -- can only make things much more complicated than they need to be.
Our advice? Buy the boss one of those new digital flat-panel TVs and
park the airplane. More...
OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT BUDGET
AirPower Software offers multiple software
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Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the
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individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you
to input operating numbers for any type aircraft. There are six editions
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We Welcome Your Feedback!
Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business
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Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
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