Volume 2, Issue 6 -- March 31, 2004

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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded Business News Coverage At AVweb's Business NewsWire.

LONGTIME 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...

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GIRDING FOR GRIDLOCK?
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 Gridlock."

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 Airbuses. More...

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IS 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 technology. More...

HASSLE-FREE AUTO BUYING FOR THE AVIATION INDUSTRY
CrewCar and Consumer Guides have teamed up to offer hassle-free auto buying to the aviation industry! Next to your home and airplane, a vehicle is the most important item you will purchase. Don't go blindly into a dealership; look to CrewCar. CrewCar is a car-buying service formed by aviation professionals providing shoppers with a complimentary integrated phone and electronic concierge-level buying service offering value no matter the geography. The service is provided gratis and meets the Consumer Guide dealership network standards. For more information, visit CrewCar at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/crewcar/biz.

BOMBARDIER 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 world’s 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...

OURPLANE ORDERS TEN NEW 2004 CIRRUS SR22 G2 AIRCRAFT FOR CUSTOMERS
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...AND 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 BUDGET ANALYZER
AirPower Software offers multiple software editions that create instant budgets by manipulating your preloaded information to address your particular usage amounts and/or costs. Changes can be made to an individual preloaded figure or across the entire layout as needed. In addition to the preloaded databases of aircraft, the Budget Analyzer also lets you create your own individualized budget via the "My Aircraft" selection. This allows you to input operating numbers for any type of aircraft. There are six editions, including: Piston; Turbo Prop; Helicopter; Jet; and Full (which includes all four aircraft databases). Instant downloads are available on all software products. For complete information, go to http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/airpower/biz.

CESSNA'S 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 & Whitney’s 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. More...

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SIGNATURE 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...

TSA 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. More...

WATCH YOUR INBOX...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you on April 14. More...

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Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business aviation
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Today's issue written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside:
http://www.avweb.com/contact/authors.html#jburnside
AVweb's editorial team: http://avweb.com/contact/authors.html.

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