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The Top Headlines From AVweb's Expanded
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RIDE AT NBAA...
Officials and staff at the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)
have been hard at work putting the organization's membership at ease and
gearing up for a second presidential talent search in less than a year
after what has been a tumultuous couple of weeks. For those just joining
this saga, a brief recap is probably in order:
The rapid-fire developments came
during a scheduled meeting of the association's board. Since then, NBAA
staff and board members have gone out of their way to reassure the
association's membership that they are back to work. A public letter to all NBAA members signed by Baldwin
noted, "You should know that this is a resilient group of professionals,
most with very long service to the Association. In part because of that
experience, the business of NBAA continues uninterrupted, with some
shifting of responsibilities." More...
- Late in the week
of March 23, longtime NBAA media relations manager Cassandra Bosco
announced her intention to leave the association and form her own
- On March 30, the association's senior vice
president, operations, Bob Blouin, announced his intention to
- On Thursday, April 1, the NBAA issued a press release
announcing the departure of new President and CEO Shelley Longmuir and
decisions by both Blouin and Bosco to remain at the
- The same April 1 press release also announced the
departure of Bob Warren, executive vice president and COO, who was hired
- Also on April 1, Chairman Donald E. Baldwin took
over as NBAA interim president and CEO. A search committee, headed by
NBAA Vice Chairman Ken Emerick, was formed to begin work on identifying
a new president and CEO.
For her part, Longmuir attempted to counter many of those observations
in a prepared statement of her own, as previously reported by AVweb and dated
April 1, the day of her departure. According to her statement, she had a
difference in vision for leadership of the association,
something with which no one disagrees. "I am proud of the progress I
made at as President and CEO and take pride in accomplishing key goals
for the organization and its members," she said in her statement.
Additionally, she added that she "was able to establish sound financial
footing for the organization," although the NBAA has seen substantial
growth in its staff and its industry-leading trade show over the last
10-15 years and is not known to have financial troubles of any kind. For
example, under former president Jack Olcott, NBAA membership more than
doubled -- from 3,076 companies in 1992 to more than 7,300 by late 2002
-- and convention attendance almost doubled, from 17,312 attendees in
1992 to nearly 30,000 for the 2002 event. More...
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SEARCH FOR PREZ BEGINS ANEW
Meanwhile, back at the ranch and in what must seem like déjà
vu all over again, the NBAA's board has formed a new search committee
and retained an executive search firm -- the same one they used to hire
Longmuir -- to come up with a new president. Toward that end, the NBAA
has established a
page on its Web site to obtain "the advice and counsel of NBAA
Members regarding qualifications or persons the [presidential search]
Committee should consider for this position." The Web page was announced
in an April 7 press release. At AVweb's deadline
for this issue of Business AVflash, the association did not have any
details on the activity generated by members through that Web page, but
noted that response had been "good." More...
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UPDATE: CJ3 EQUIPMENT, PERFORMANCE
Cessna Aircraft Company announced earlier this month two upgrades to the
forthcoming Citation CJ3 model: an improved standard-equipment package
and increased payload. According to the company, all Citation CJ3s will
now come equipped with a standard FMS performance database making
takeoff and landing performance data more readily accessible, while
V-speeds will be calculated and posted to the primary flight display.
According to the company, Cessna's announcement means the CJ3 will be
the only aircraft in its class with such equipment delivered as
standard. Meanwhile, the same standard-equipment, full-fuel payload will
be approximately 70 pounds greater than projected when the aircraft was
announced in 2002. The CJ3's revised full-fuel payload has increased
from 800 to 870 pounds. More...
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OUTSOURCES AIRFRAME COMPONENTS
Eclipse Aviation Corporation announced earlier this month long-term
contracts with two firms that will manufacture major components of the
company's forthcoming Eclipse 500 microjet. According to Eclipse,
Ducommun AeroStructures in California will manufacture all of the
fuselage and cockpit skin panels for the airplane while Empresa Nacional
de Aeronáutica (ENAER) in Chile will be responsible for the
complete nose assembly. The selection of Ducommun and ENAER
reflects Eclipses strategy of seeking out the best suppliers
worldwide, said Vern Raburn, president and CEO of Eclipse
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AIR CENTERS NOW UNDER ALLIED CAPITAL UMBRELLA
How much is an FBO chain worth? Well, Allied Capital Corporation's
recent deal to purchase Mercury Air Centers Inc., the FBO chain serving
19 airports around the U.S., rang the cash register at $81 million,
according to a press release from Allied Capital. The sale closed on
April 12 after its original announcement on Oct. 28, 2003. Meanwhile, a
press release from Mercury Air Group Inc., the FBO chain's parent
company, valued the transaction at "only" $76,300,000, subject to
adjustment. Mercury Air Centers comprise the nation's third-largest
wholly owned fixed base operations. More...
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CELEBRATES CJ2 MILESTONE
Cessna Aircraft Company last week announced delivery of the 200th
Citation CJ2. The Citation CJ2 was introduced at the 1998 NBAA
convention, and first deliveries occurred in November 2000. The 100th
CJ2 was delivered in August 2002; to date, the CJ2 fleet has flown over
80,000 flight hours. Unijet, a leading European charter operation based
at the Le Bourget Airport in France, is the operator receiving the 200th
WATCH I: FAA'S FOOT-DRAGGING
This issue's TSA Watch feature includes not one, but two items of
interest for readers. The first item is to update readers about
something on which AVweb's Business AVflash has reported before:
the FAA's failure to comply with the law. As AVweb reported on March 17, the FAA still hasn't submitted
a required report to Congress "containing an explanation of the need
for" the Washington ADIZ. More...
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WINGX FROM HILTON SOFTWARE IS NOW 30% OFF JUST
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WATCH II: TSA'S DCA PLAN
The second item has to do with the agency's draft plan to once again
allow non-scheduled aircraft access at Ronald Reagan Washington National
Airport (DCA). As AVweb reported last month, David M. Stone, the TSA's
acting administrator, told Congress that his agency "is devising a
security plan that will allow general aviation and charter operations to
resume at DCA." More...
...the next issue of AVweb's BizAVflash will be e-mailed to you
on April 28. More...
We Welcome Your Feedback!
Business AVflash is a twice-monthly summary of the latest business
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