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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded
Business News Coverage At AVweb's
NBAA STAFFERS TENDER RESIGNATIONS
As the deadline for this edition of Business AVflash was approaching,
AVweb learned that NBAA Senior Vice President, Operations Bob
Blouin had tendered his resignation. Also leaving the association is
Cassandra Bosco, who has served as senior manager, media relations,
since 1988. Both resignations came within days of each other. At our
deadline, neither Blouin nor Bosco had responded to e-mails seeking
additional information. More...
Are the bad old days -- the time when ground delays, in-trail spacing
and lengthy conga lines at airports throughout the U.S. were the norm --
coming back? Since September 2001, U.S. air traffic delays and
congestion have been virtually nonexistent on a widespread basis. The
ongoing economic doldrums, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and
intermittent, security-related groundings of non-scheduled aircraft --
among other factors -- have all contributed to relatively few
demand-related ATC delays being imposed on business aircraft operators
over the past two and one-half years. Exceptions include special events
for which special traffic management programs (STMPs) are issued and, of
course, severe weather. However, if you believe all of the dire
predictions from industry and government, the coming summer could see
the return of "hurry up and wait" flight operations in the en route
environment and at major hub facilities around the U.S. Put simply, the
problem is that scheduled operations are projected to return to
"normal," and the result could well be saturation of certain terminals
and sectors at various times of day. And that's just 2004 -- the
out-years are projected to be worse.
But government officials say they
are on the case. At last week's FAA-sponsored 29th Annual Aviation Forecast
Conference, both Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and FAA
Administrator Marion Blakey went to great lengths to describe the steps
their agencies are taking to minimize delays. Secretary Mineta also said
that a new era of government-industry cooperation is helping to prevent
the chronic flight delays experienced during the summer of 2001 and
earlier. "Aviation is on the cusp of a paradigm shift," Mineta said.
"Because a strong economy depends on a vibrant aviation system, the
future of our system depends on new solutions that keep America as the
worldwide leader in aviation." Mineta and Blakey used last week's
conference -- and a media event at the Herndon, Va., Air Traffic Control
Systems Command Center (ATCSCC) -- to announce a new initiative dubbed "Growth without
Unfortunately, Blakey's speeches are long on optimism
-- especially for economic growth, which she says both will drive and be
driven by increased air travel -- and short on specifics. The good news
is that one of the central reasons for airborne gridlock -- lack of
adequate runways -- is being addressed. According to Blakey, "several"
new runways were commissioned in the past year and six more "are
scheduled to open in the next few years." The bad news is that there are
more aircraft operated by scheduled air carriers than before. The big
difference is in regional jets, whose performance is similar to business
jets and which are used by the scheduled carriers to serve routes with
frequencies not sustainable with larger, more-traditional Boeings and
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A FLING-WING IN YOUR FUTURE?
One way to deal with projected delays might be to add a helicopter to
your company's fleet. If many of your operations involve relatively
short distances -- like within the northeast corridor -- you might be
better off reserving the jet for longer flights and using a helicopter.
If so, you'll be among good company, according to the Rolls-Royce annual forecast of worldwide turbine
helicopter demand. Released March 15 at the Helicopter Association
International's HELI-EXPO 2004, Rolls-Royce projected more than 5,000
new civilian helicopter deliveries worldwide over the next ten years.
Rolls-Royce President, Helicopters Stuart Mullan made the predictions, a
result of a teaming effort with industry-forecasting specialist the Teal
Group, to provide the definitive turbine helicopter market forecast. A
similar forecast was presented at HELI-EXPO by Lynn Brubaker, vice
president, Honeywell Commercial Aerospace. Honeywell's sixth
Turbine-Powered Civil Helicopter Purchase Outlook projects deliveries of
approximately 2,350 new civil-use helicopters during the five-year
period from 2004 through 2008, driven in part by increased demand for
light single and intermediate twin-engine models offering newer
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ADDS CANADIAN GLOBAL 5000 TYPE CERTIFICATE...
If all goes well, first deliveries of Bombardier Aerospace's Global 5000
will take place in the second quarter of 2004, now that the company has
a type certificate from Transport Canada for the new model in hand. The
milestone, achieved March 12 and announced by Bombardier on March 22,
means that the first Global 5000 -- currently being completed -- will
enter service by the end of the year. Billed by Bombardier as "the
worlds fastest intercontinental super-large business jet," the
Global 5000 is certificated to Transport Canada's Chapter 525, Change 6
standards. Certification to U.S. FAR Part 25, Amendments 1 to 97, and by
the European Joint Aviation Authorities to JAR Part 25, up to Change 14,
is expected in the near future. More...
EXPANDS ITS FLEXJET PACIFIC RIM NETWORK
While one arm of Bombardier Aerospace concentrates on building and
certificating its airplanes, another arm is hard at work making sure
they get flown, profitably. The company recently announced it has
selected Global Wings Inc. of Tokyo, Japan, as a new operator for its
growing Bombardier Flexjet Asia-Pacific business jet charter network.
Global Wings Inc. will offer customers access to a new Learjet 45 XR the
Japan-based company will begin operating this spring. Judith Moreton,
managing director, Bombardier Flexjet International, observed: "Demand
for business aviation in Asia continues to grow and evolve, and this new
association reflects our ongoing commitment to solidify our program and
better serve charter users." More...
CALCULATE OPERATING COSTS WITH THE INTERACTIVE AIRCRAFT
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CITATION XLS GETS FAA APPROVAL
Cessna announced March 23 that its Citation XLS upgrade program has
received FAA approval. The agency's action came less than six months
since the model's introduction at the 2003 National Business Aviation
Association (NBAA) convention. The Citation XLS is the successor to the
Citation Excel, which Cessna calls the "fastest-selling business jet in
the world." The XLS program approval allows Cessna to add the XLS to its
existing type certificate, with appropriate amendments. Powered by Pratt
& Whitneys new PW545B engines, the XLS will feature better
performance than the Excel, including a cruise speed of 431 KTAS at
FL430 and less than 30 minutes to climb to that altitude.
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BREAKS GROUND FOR NEW FACILITY
March 25 was the date; Toulon, France, was the location. The event?
Signature Flight Support's groundbreaking ceremony for its newest FBO
location at the Toulon-Hyeres Airport (TLN/LFTH). Signature took on the
airport's FBO role in January and is currently operating from space in
the main terminal, with exclusive use of the airport's VIP lounge.
Construction on the new purpose-built, 2,410-square-foot facility is
expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2004. More...
WATCH: GAO'S CRITIQUE
Rarely does the General Accounting Office (GAO), Congress' watchdog
agency, have anything good to say about the agencies and bureaucracies
at which it takes a close look. That was true of the FAA in the years
before Sept. 11, 2001 -- on any subject, including aviation security --
and it's true now when it comes to the Transportation Security Agency
(TSA). As AVweb reported, the GAO recently wrote
Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge that the "TSA concluded that a
variety of factors made general aviation, including aerial advertising
operations, vulnerable to terrorist attack." The GAO's perception of
general aviation is all the more important because the agency has
underway a long-term study of the industry's "vulnerability" to
terrorism, currently scheduled for release in the fall of 2004.
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you
on April 14. More...
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