Business Aviation On Offensive »

Business aviation is on the offensive after spending much of the year on the ropes courtesy of the battered economy and some politically opportunistic comments by, well, politicians. During the opening general session of the National Business Aviation Association convention on Tuesday, NBAA President Ed Bolen and General Aviation Manufacturers Association President Pete Bunce gave an assessment of the battles fought in the past nine months and changing conditions that they hope will stem the damage and start healing the industry. Among the new tools that business aviation operators can tap is the Business Aircraft E-Valuation Toolkit , which is a system designed to prove the value of business aviation across the broad spectrum of companies that use it. More

NBAA Tees Up Support From Arnold Palmer »

Golf legend Arnold Palmer has lent his support to the public relations campaign being waged by the National Business Aviation Association and General Aviation Manufacturers Association to try to change the perception of business aviation. Palmer stars in three television/online commercials in which he discusses the function, value and myths about business aviation. "For 50 years, the single most productive thing I've done is business aviation," Palmer says in one of the spots. He told the opening general session of the NBAA convention in Orlando on Tuesday that business aviation provided the competitive edge in golf and business that was largely responsible for his success in both. More

User Fee Debate Simmers »

While the difficult economic and perception problems plaguing the business aviation industry have center stage at the National Business Aviation Association convention this week in Orlando, background work on the reauthorization of the FAA continues, and NBAA President Ed Bolen told today's opening session that there is strong opposition to the administration's apparent preference for user fees to fund the agency. Bolen noted the House and the Senate now both have general aviation caucuses opposed to the notion of user fees. Bolen noted FAA bills passed by the House and under consideration by the Senate don't mention user fees and that fees have been rejected in previous bills. As he was discussing the issue with members, there were some developments on Capitol Hill, according to AOPA. More

Tough Times Create Future Problems »

Although there have been hopeful signs in the past year that the downward slide of business aviation is slowing, if not stopped, the consensus of industry leaders at this year's National Business Aviation Association convention is that recovery will be slow and painful. "We expect 2010 to be a tough year," said Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture. Cessna CEO Jack Pelton agreed, noting that recovery to the heady levels of 2007 and early 2008 could be years away. Meantime, both CEOs say they've done their best to put their companies in shape to weather the storm and emerge as strong companies. However, in doing so, they have most likely created some serious future problems. More

Columbus Not Quite Dead? »

Cessna's large-cabin business jet might be officially dead, but CEO Jack Pelton is suggesting it still has a pulse. Pelton surprised a packed media conference Monday by saying he prefers to consider the Columbus project "suspended" even though it's been formally cancelled by parent company Textron. He said the stronger language was important for "contractual and legal reasons," but he still believes it's a market Cessna needs to service. "We'll get back in it," he said. More

Longer Range Legacy 650 Launched »

Embraer has announced development of a long-range version of the Legacy 600 super midsize business jet. The Legacy 650 is already flying and is based on the 600 model. A beefed-up airframe and landing gear allow more fuel, and new Rolls Royce AE 3007A2 engines are both more powerful and more efficient. It adds up to a 3,900 nm range with four passengers and a 3,800 nm range with eight passengers. The cabin can hold up to 14 passengers. More

Dornier Seastar To Be Built In Canada »

The Dornier Seaplane Company says it has the orders it needs to begin production of the twin turboprop SeaStar amphibian, and it's narrowed the factory site to two Canadian locations. The 10-place aircraft, with an over-wing push-pull arrangement for the two PT6 engines, will be built in either St. Jean sur Richelieu, Quebec, just south of Montreal, or North Bay, Ontario, about 250 miles north of Toronto. Winter operations will be conducted in Punta Gorda, Fla. The company says it has 25 letters of intent in hand for the aircraft, which harkens back to Dornier's early flying boat designs, but the version is made mostly of composites and boasts the latest in engine and electronic technology. More

Cessna Makes Hangarcalls »

Cessna technicians will be making hangarcalls for customers who choose the new ServiceDirect option for maintenance of their aircraft. The new program was announced at NBAA in Orlando on Monday and will allow owners to have many servicing tasks done without leaving their home field. "ServiceDirect is a new offering designed to provide a range of customer service options for Citation operators outside of the company's service centers. This includes on-site maintenance operations and long-term logistics support, including A&P placement or contract support," the company said during press day Monday. More

Business Traveler Rewards From Air BP »

Air BP has introduced a fuel purchase rewards program that is tailored to business aviation and offers products and services that might be appealing to business travelers. Accumulated points can be divided among staff and can be redeemed on products and services that BP says its customers have asked for. Merchandise, travel and tickets are redeemable items, but the program also offers a concierge service for those who would like some help tracking custom items. There will also be a charity component to the program, with non-profit groups selected to benefit from the diversion of customers' points. More