AVwebBiz Complete Issue: Volume 5, Number 17

May 9, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
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Teal Group Forecasts Continued Bizjet Growth

Everywhere one looks these days companies and organizations are positively bullish about business aviation's economic prospects. The latest glowing forecast comes this week from the Northern Virginia-based Teal Group, an aerospace and defense industry consulting and analysis firm. Richard L. Aboulafia, vice president of analysis for the Teal Group, this week released his firm's industry overview and 2007 market forecast, the headline from which is this: "Long term growth looks great. This REALLY is a transformed industry." Aboulafia's analysis looked at a variety of metrics, including historical jet aircraft availability and value dating back to 1964, used jet supply and demand, average selling prices and industry profits -- among other industry variables -- to come up with his firm's 17th business jet forecast. Highlights of that prognostication include deliveries of 12,000 bizjets worth $173.2 billion in 2007 dollars through the next 10 years (2007-2016). Additionally, Aboulafia says those numbers don't count some 424 corporate jetliners and RJs worth $12.3 billion. Of course, there are caveats. Among them: a continued strong economy, a soft landing from any declines and no recession. Hand in hand with those caveats are continued strength in corporate profits and globalization, along with emerging market growth.

Some of the details in the firm's forecast include:

  • A short-term peak in airframes and market value in 2009, followed by a brief decline, rising to another peak in 2015, near the end of the forecast period.
  • Values of lower-end jets will remain essentially flat or climb very slowly toward the end of the period, while more volatility will be present in larger, faster business jets.
  • Existing market shares enjoyed by the "name-brand" manufacturers in the next 10 years -- Bombardier, Dassault, Cessna, Gulfstream and Hawker Beechcraft -- will remain roughly the same when compared to the last 10 years.
  • On the very light jet front, Aboulafia believes there's only room for one or two major new players to succeed in that market, selling between 150 to 200 VLJs each year. Cessna is not a new player; Honda is.

Soon after Aboulafia's 10-year forecast period ends, he believes the industry will see the first generation of supersonic business jets hit the market. Regardless, in looking at the aerospace and defense markets, Aboulafia sees that business jet values may become "ascendant" for the first time since the late 1990s, when compared to combat aircraft. Essentially, market values for new business jets will grow faster than those of new military aircraft for the first time in 20 years, according to Aboulafia. And that can't be a bad thing for the business aviation industry.

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Flight Options, Pilots At Odds Over CANPASS Requirement

Pilots at fractional operator Flight Options, a subsidiary of the Raytheon Company and not part of its recent civil aviation assets sale, are reacting angrily to their employer's new requirement for them to gain Canadian approval for expedited entry into that country. According to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, whose Local 1108 represents the nearly 700 pilots at Flight Options, the operator recently decided to require its pilots to hold so-called CANPASS authorization, which permits certain travelers to enter Canada using expedited customs and immigration procedures. CANPASS stands for Canadian Passenger Accelerated Service System; to use the expedited customs and immigration procedures available through the program, all persons aboard an entering aircraft must participate and have received prior approval from the Canadian government. According to the labor union, "a traffic violation or misdemeanor conviction in the U.S. can prevent any individual from obtaining CANPASS authority. Because it is only a program of convenience, pilots who are not eligible for CANPASS are still able to fly to and from Canada using standard customs and immigration procedures, the union said.

Of course, that could be a major inconvenience to passengers and Flight Options's customers. According to the union, Flight Options has decided to terminate pilots unable or unwilling to obtain CANPASS authorization. The union said Raytheon's status as a defense contractor made its alleged willingness to terminate pilots unable to obtain CANPASS authorization "un-American." For good measure, union officials added they believed the company was hiding "behind the rules of a foreign government" in making its decisions. AVweb was unable to reach Flight Options representatives for comment. The union said it offered to assist management in developing scheduling procedures to retain pilot jobs and ensure no flight to Canada would be affected if a pilot did not have CANPASS, but Flight Options' management rejected the offer. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters won an election to represent the pilots at Flight Options in May 2006. The union's local presently is in negotiations with the operator on its first collective bargaining agreement.

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CharterX / Wyvern Unveil Pilot & Aircraft Safety Survey

A new product resulting from last year’s merger between CharterX and Wyvern Consulting was unveiled yesterday at the Corporate Aviation Safety Seminar (CASS) in Tucson, Ariz. The seminar, hosted by the Flight Safety Foundation and the National Business Aviation Association, saw CharterX/Wyvern announce their new PASS program, an acronym for Pilot and Aircraft Safety Survey, which is designed to keep charter passengers aware of who is flying their airplane along with their qualifications. Indeed, the company said its new PASS program enables air charter passengers, brokers and operators to ensure that each and every flight meets existing or specified safety standards. A PASS certifies that a flight is in legal compliance and that it meets upcoming Department of Transportation rulemaking regarding full preflight disclosure of a FAR Part 135 operator. Operational control, doing business as (DBA) and broker/arranger relationships are disclosed.

The PASS safety-check engine evaluates the operator, aircraft and crew against a specified safety standard. For instance, the pilot check verifies that the assigned pilot is fully certificated; it ensures that each pilot is properly type rated in the assigned aircraft, and that each pilot has met flight time requirements in aircraft type and has current medical and training records. “Private aviation, specifically the air charter segment of general aviation, is growing,” says Jim Betlyon, CharterX founder and CEO. “Providing safety intelligence on the operator, aircraft and crew assigned to each trip, the PASS system assures each party involved that they are booking a safe and compliant flight. The business and leisure traveler, entities arranging the air transportation and the government, are requiring assurances that a service provider is safe, legal and dependable.”

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BizAv Consulting Services Consolidated

Four business aviation consulting firms this week announced allying themselves under an umbrella organization known as ACCESS Alliance. The newly formed group -- founded by Alliance, Aviation Personnel International (API), Waypoint Partners, Gray Stone Associates and Jet Perspectives -- is based on a business model allowing any one member to expand their consulting services from single-requirement assignments to more comprehensive and multi-faceted projects drawing on other alliance members. According to the organization, ACCESS Alliance’s services encompass human resources consulting, management consulting, operational reviews, aircraft transaction consulting and asset appraising; each of the founding companies represents a key specialty and has in-depth experience in their area of expertise. When combined, Alliance members have more than 180 years of expertise to draw on for their individual clients.

"The Alliance represents an opportunity for business aviation operators, as well as potential operators, to address a variety of business needs without the hassles and inconsistencies that come from contracting with multiple consulting companies,” said Waypoint Partners’ Mike Sowa, speaking on behalf of the Alliance members. “We can also help clients avoid pitfalls that often occur when using larger consolidated firms that lack in-depth industry expertise.” Added Jet Perspectives’ Robert Zuskin, “Our intention is to provide a single source of knowledge and capabilities that will benefit the customer. Collectively, we represent an alliance of excellence whose main focus is serving the customer.”

In a Group Plan & Think You're Getting the Best Deal on Life Insurance?
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Gulfstream's Airborne Warranty Service Is Five Years Old

Gulfstream Aerospace last week said it is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its Airborne Product Support (APS) service -- kind of a AAA card for Gulfstream operators -- and what the company says is the first-of-its-kind airborne aircraft maintenance and repair support program. Since the program officially launched on May 6, 2002, Gulfstream has completed more than 1,350 Airborne Product Support missions, 96 of which have been outside the U.S. The program uses a Gulfstream G100 jet, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year to assist customer aircraft under warranty. The G100 transports flight-essential parts, such as tires and windshields, test equipment and technicians to airports within North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

In cases where an operator’s aircraft is located outside the G100’s range of service, Gulfstream will fly the needed parts and technicians to a major airline hub where they can connect to commercial flights to reach the customer’s aircraft. “We are the first and only manufacturer to dedicate an aircraft solely to assisting customers whose aircraft are unexpectedly grounded as a result of needed parts or technical assistance,” said Larry Flynn, Gulfstream's president of product support. “From the inception of this program, we made sure that those who answer the customer calls can dispatch the APS plane. By eliminating senior management approval, we can respond without delay.” Gulfstream's Airborne Product Support operation employs eight dedicated pilots and a full-time manager.

XM WX Satellite Weather Uses a Continuous Satellite Broadcast to Deliver Graphical Weather Data to the Cockpit
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EBACE 2007 To Recognize Two For Their Contributions

Organizers behind the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE 2007) -- the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) -- yesterday announced Judith Moreton, managing director of Bombardier Skyjet International, and Mark Wilson, chief executive of the British Business and General Aviation Association, will receive European Business Aviation Awards later this month at the show. According to EBACE, the two will receive the awards in recognition of "their outstanding contributions to European business aviation." Moreton has a 22-year career in aviation, including a variety of operational and management roles both in regional and international airlines, and in business aviation organizations in the UK and Europe. She joined Bombardier Flexjet Europe in 2002 as head of European Operations, and became managing director in 2003. Wilson more than 15 years experience in business and general aviation. He became the chief executive of the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) -- formerly GAMTA -- in 2003, thus representing the association's members to all relevant international, European and national civil aviation authorities.

The award recipients will be honored for their achievements at this year's event, which is scheduled for Geneva on May 22 to 24. "I am delighted to see proper recognition being given to Judith Moreton and Mark Wilson for the outstanding contributions they have made to business aviation in Europe in their respective fields," said Brian Humphries, CEO of EBAA. "Both have worked unstintingly to improve the image and success of business aviation here in recent years and have achieved results that have exceeded even our best expectations in their specialist disciplines. I extend my warmest congratulations to two very worthy recipients." NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen added, "Judith Moreton and Mark Wilson exemplify the best of the business aviation community. We are proud to honor their contributions to the industry with the award."

Columbia Introduces 2007 Models
The 2007 Columbias have arrived. Fresh for this year are new, dynamic paint schemes for both the Columbia 350 and 400, as well as a host of thoughtful and unique features for the discerning aircraft owner. See how your new Columbia will look with the interactive online Paint Selector. Just go online and click on the "Paint Your Passion" icon.

FAA Proposes Harmonizing Rotorcraft Engine-Out Standards

The FAA last week formally proposed new rules designed to bring its rotorcraft certification standards into "harmonization" with existing European standards and proposed Canadian regulations. The new rules, found in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), amend the FAA's existing one-engine inoperative (OEI) definitions and type certification standards for 30-second OEI, two-minute OEI and 30-minute OEI ratings for rotorcraft turbine engines. The proposed rule, if adopted, would "revise the ratings’ standards to reflect recent analyses of the ratings’ usage and lessons learned from completed engine certifications and service experience." Public comments on the proposal are due by Aug. 2, 2007.

The NPRM would amend FAR Parts 1 and 33 and result from an Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee (ARAC), which was assigned the task of harmonizing the differing OEI ratings. According to the NPRM, on Feb. 29, 2000, a working group within the ARAC reported its recommendations to the full panel, which recommended the agency proceed with a rulemaking. This NPRM reflects the ARAC recommendations, though it's not clear why it took the FAA more than seven years to develop the new rules. In the NPRM, the FAA states the OEI ratings allow operators to use higher than takeoff and maximum continuous rating power during takeoff, cruise, and landing when one or more engines of a multi-engine rotorcraft fails or is shut down. While European and proposed Canadian standards are similar to the FAA's, they differ in certain areas.

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Cessna Names Stan Younger Vice President, Service Facilities

Cessna Aircraft Company last week promoted Stan Younger to vice president of Service Facilities. In his new position, Younger will manage all activities of the company’s 10 Citation service centers as well as its network of some two dozen authorized service centers around the world. Younger will report to Mark Paolucci, senior vice president, Customer Service, and will be based at the company’s headquarters in Wichita. Younger is a 28-year veteran of Cessna’s customer support organization. He began his career as an A&P mechanic in 1979 at Wichita and has held positions of increasing responsibility at Cessna service centers in Wichita and San Antonio, Texas. His most recent position was director, Citation Service Facilities.

"Stan brings to this new role both an in-depth technical knowledge of our product and an intense focus on customer satisfaction -- skills that will be critical as we move Cessna’s customer support to a new level of excellence," Paolucci said. "I’m very excited to have one of the top customer support people in the industry moving into this critical position." Younger holds both a bachelor's and master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. He also holds an associate degree in total quality management from Kansas Newman University in Wichita and an aircraft maintenance technician degree from the Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla. He holds a green belt certification in Textron’s Six Sigma program.

DA40 Diamond Star a Fleet Favorite
Airline Transport Professionals, Beijing PanAm, Empire Aviation, European-American Aviation, Middle Tennessee State University, Sabena Airline Training Academy, Utah Valley State College, and Utah State University have all selected the G1000-equipped DA40 Diamond Star. For value, efficiency, and safety, the Diamond Aircraft DA40 is the fleet favorite. Go online for information on all Diamond Aircraft.

Psssst: Wanna Buy A Pilot?

Finding a good pilot is always one of the more formidable challenges aircraft operators have. Of course, the converse is true: Finding a decent piloting job at a trustworthy company can be harder than the flight training necessary to do the flying. One enterprising Norwegian pilot is trying to use the popular Internet auction site eBay to widen his job search and, hopefully, snag a flying job. The pilot, with the eBay ID of "jonas_tind," is auctioning "unlimited use of a male pilot (27) for one year." According to the auction, he so far has earned his FAA commercial pilot certificate and an instrument rating and has logged 350 hours total time. He's also type-rated in the Beech/Raytheon 1900 B/C/D.

According to the auction, the winner gets "unlimited use of me as a pilot for one year" with the highest bid serving as his annual salary. The winning bidder must guarantee approximately 50 flying hours each month. The pilot will travel "anywhere in the world the winner requires," but the winning bidder must supply accommodations. As we were preparing this edition of AVweb-Biz, the auction was only at $1, with four days to go.

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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.

Today's issue was written by Joseph E. (Jeb) Burnside (bio).

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Shiny side up, okay?