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Aviation Bloom & Aviapartner Executive team up!
6/1/2017 11:08:28 PM
Aviation Bloom is delighted to announce that Aviapartner Executive is opening its new FBO in the Balearic Islands at Ibiza (IBZ/LEIB) in June!


Aviation Bloom CEO Thomas Kränzlein, Aviapartner Director Europe of Premium Services, Caroline De Caigny & the Amsterdam FBO Manager, Martijn Minnema, dannounced the new facilities listing on the Aviation Bloom Ground Handling booking platform at EBACE last week.
During the first 20 days of the facilities operation every operator booking handling via Aviation Bloom will receive a 20% discount off the Basic Handling Fee !
www.aviationbloom.com
Aviation Bloom - Trip Support Platform
5/15/2017 11:43:34 AM
.

After more than two year of consultation with business aviation stakeholders we have launched Aviation Bloom, a new online platform designed to connect flight planners, crews, owners and operators with FBOs, Business Aviation Ground Handlers (BAHA), Airports, In-Flight Caters, Chauffeur companies & other services.
Aviation Bloom is a Free-to-Use Service
 
Aviation Bloom is accessible via any office PC or laptop and our App is available to download for Android and iOS from the App Store.
 
Flight operators can book handling services directly from the platform.
Listing is free for FBOs, Business Aviation Handling Agents and airports. To ensure your operation is listed & up to date go to www.AviationBloom.com
If you are not there yet, if you want to update a listing or to advertise with your logo, just click the UPDATE button and send us an email with your comments to our Operations Control Center in Munich.
AviationBloom is proud to offer ourregistered usersdiscounted rates for ground handling with Aviapartner Executive at all their locations!

To meet the Aviation Bloom team at EBACE please send an email to info@aviationbloom.com
Book Ground Handling Early for Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
4/4/2017 2:22:29 PM


Attention Trip Support Service Providers, Aviation Departments, Flight Crew & Operators !

An important message from our OCC at
Belfast International Airport/EGAA/BFS
Please book Ground Support Early!

Dubai Duty Free Irish Open
Portstewart Golf Club, Northern Ireland, 6-9 July 2017

This event will attract considerable business aviation traffic to the area.
Global Trek Aviation at Belfast Int. is the nearest (nearer than City/EGAC) full service FBO facility to the event & we offer:
  • Two BizAv dedicated Jet A-1 fuel trucks & full range of GSE (not 3rd party)
  • NATA Safety 1st certified ramp crew
  • Excellent VVIP facility with secure chauffeur parking area
  • The only off terminal VIP parking ramp on the airfield, directly in front of our VIP facility.
  • CIQ attend our FBO to process VIP PAX.
  • Escorted departing VIP transportation directly to aircraft steps.
  • Very competitively priced Handling/Parking
 
     Belfast International Airport, Northern Ireland, EGAA/BFS
Just 11.5 NM north-west of Belfast City, is the ideally located airport for this world class event. It is CAT IIIB and operates 24H with no curfew restrictions. Multiple runways (9100’ +) ensure no congestion slot restrictions and short taxi times.
                                                 

ExecuJet Acquires FBO Sydney/YSSY
3/6/2017 2:36:16 PM

FBO Acquisitions, Mergers, Networks & Partnerships update:
ExecuJet has acquired an FBO at Kingsford-Smith Int. Airport, Sydney, Australia to complement its existing maintenance, flight operations & administrations facility. The FBO is located at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport, 12km from the city center, with a dedicated VIP lounge, passenger amenities & CIQ processing facilities.

Part of the Luxaviation Group, ExecuJet now has an international network of 25 FBOs. Facilities are located across Africa, the Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East.

GSE & Ramp-Ops
2/27/2017 11:40:45 AM

Click image to be taken to event website
NBAA acts in support of Santa Monica/KSMO
2/20/2017 2:22:44 PM


The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has
joined with five additional aviation stakeholders to petition the U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, asking the court to review the recent agreement between Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the city of Santa Monica, CA over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).

Last month, the FAA announced it had reached a settlement with the city, which, in addition to permitting closure of the historic airfield at the end of 2028, would also allow the city to immediately begin the process of reducing the length of the SMO's sole runway from 4,973 feet to 3,500 feet.

NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen termed the FAA’s seeming acquiescence to a vocal minority of Santa Monica residents, "a one-of-a-kind development" that would severely restrict aviation access throughout Southern California and across the U.S.

"Santa Monica's airport is a vital asset to our aviation system, both locally as well as nationally, and serves as a critical transportation lifeline for the entire Los Angeles basin," Bolen added. "NBAA remains committed to aggressively supporting unrestricted business aviation access to SMO, through this petition and other available channels."

City officials have repeatedly attempted to curtail access by aviation users and other stakeholders to the airport, in defiance of established historical precedents dating back to the original 1948 instrument of transfer agreement that returned control of the former military airfield back to the city, as well as the city's federal grant obligations.

Orange County To Replace Signature with ACI Jet at SNA
1/27/2017 11:58:07 AM
The Orange County, California, board of supervisors has awarded ACI Jet one of two FBO leaseholds at Santa Ana’s John Wayne Airport/KSNA, giving the company a fourth location in the state. ACI Jet, which provides charter, management, maintenance & ground handling services, is taking over the east side FBO & west side hangars at the airport from Signature Flight Support, which had run the facilities for at least the past two decades.

The board of supervisors voted to switch amid complaints by some tenants about fuel pricing. Supervisor Shawn Nelson noted that he had received complaints that both SFS and Atlantic Aviation, the other FBO on the airport, had nearly matched each other on pricing that was above market rates.

During the meeting some attendees urged a switch in FBOs, saying pricing was as much as 20% above market rates. Other businesses at the airport urged caution, worried that a switch could affect their existing agreements & operations. Both FBOs had lowered prices after complaints were brought to light.

Atlantic Aviation CEO Louis Pepper and Julie Broderick, the area director for SFS, based at KSNA, told the board that their goals are the same as the county’s. Broderick added she would work to address concerns.
Kent-Manston/EGMH to close for good?
1/1/2017 11:42:07 PM

Kent International Airport/Manston/EGMH.

 
Another UK regional airport under threat of total/final closure to redevelopment plans. 
  • Manston’s runway is 2,752m, long enough and wide enough to accommodate any commercial aircraft type. There is a full parallel taxiway, with all air and ground paths uncongested.
  • There are no slot or gate restrictions, and on-stand passenger aircraft parking available for 3 x 737-800 (Code C) aircraft or 2 x 747-400 (Code F) aircraft. Further remote stands and aprons are also available. Fees and charges were highly competitive.
  • Manston was regularly used for flight testing and crew training (e.g. British Airway’s A380 and the 787 Dreamliner) as well as ‘touch and go’  landing sequences. Training rates are highly competitive and space for crew rest and flight planning are available at Manston’s world class training facilities.
  • Manston has seen regular use for aid shipments to other countries in times of disaster.
  • One of the few airports in the UK to hold a license for the dismantling and recycling of aircraft. The area surrounding the airport is home to a developing cluster of aviation-related businesses. There are significant areas of land around the airport identified for development within Manston Airport’s masterplan – which can offer direct air-side access if required.
     
Wellsbourne Montford/EGBW
12/18/2016 7:32:51 PM

12DEC2016 - Stratford Herald

Urgent action has been taken by Stratford-on-Avon District Council to prevent the demolition of buildings at Wellesbourne Airfield in the UK.

The airfield is HQ to EASA/CAA, IS-BAO certified Heliair,a pilot training organisation, charter operator & Robinson Helicopters agent. It is also regularly used by corporate Phenom 300 in support of a major nearby manufacturing facility.

The council’s ruling cabinet agreed to remove permitted development rights from the site owners, the Littler family. The decision took immediate effect and is now in force.

The cabinet also decided to seek powers to compulsorily purchase the airfield if negotiations with the owners fail and to obtain an injunction if any attempt is made to start the demolition process.

The moves by the cabinet were made under urgent business at a special meeting that had been arranged to discuss another issue.

Shock plans to begin demolishing the site were revealed by the family two weeks ago. The news – which would involve all the businesses there closing down with more than 200 jobs being lost – prompted urgent discussions between the tenants and leading figures at the district council.

The Littler family and developers Gladman are believed to be furious that their proposals to close down the airfield and build 1,500 homes on the land has been repeatedly rejected at every level – including that of the planning inspectorate.

Given that the airfield has been refused classification as a development site in the council’s core strategy, there is deep concern that the owners now want to render the site unusable for aviation purposes by wrecking it.

Just over a week ago Cllr Chris Saint (Cons, Shipston North), the leader of the council, wrote to Business Secretary Greg Clark and Small Businesses Minister Margot James, asking the government to intervene to help save the airfield. At the beginning of this week he was awaiting a reply.

Santa Monica, Calif evictions
12/14/2016 9:32:56 PM

The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday ordered the owners (City of Santa Monica) of Santa Monica Municipal/KSMO to halt the evictions of 2 aviation companies at the airport until the agency can finish an investigation into the city's effort to force a shut down of the facility.

FAA officials issued an interim cease-and-desist order to stop the eviction of Atlantic Aviation and American Flyers, two major providers of FBO services, including fuel, flight instruction, hangars and amenities for charter operators.

The move to evict the companies is part of the city's strategy to force out aviation tenants, reduce movements and shut down the oldest operating airport (and birthplace of the Douglas DC-3) in Los Angeles County by July 2018.

If the evictions go forward, the city plans to replace Atlantic and American Flyers with its own municipal aviation company and sell bio-fuel for jets and unleaded gas for propeller planes to reduce aircraft emissions. Federal law allows governments that operate airports to provide services themselves instead of relying on private companies.

The city sent the first notices to evict in mid-September and filed lawsuits against both tenants in November to regain possession of the property.

"While we are disappointed but not surprised that the FAA has decided to issue this interim order on the pending evictions of Atlantic and American Flyer, we remain committed to replacing private fixed-based operations with public services," Mayor Tony Vasquez said.

The cease-and-desist order states that Santa Monica's "unremitting effort" to remove critical aeronautical services and its "hostility" to the sale of leaded fuel still needed by many aircraft is "a clear contravention of law."

Gama unveils Sharjah major plans
12/7/2016 2:44:03 PM

Gama Aviation unveiled plans at MEBAA 2016 for a major business aviation facility at Sharjah International Airport. The development,  to open in mid 2018, will offer an alternative to congested Dubai International Airport/DXB and closer access to the center of Dubai than Dubai World Central/DWC.

The UK based groups' architectural drawings show a purpose-built complex that will offer space for commercial tenants, as well as passengers and crew of its own aircraft management and charter operations. Billed as the first integrated facility of its type at Sharjah, the new location will consist of a large hangar (with an option for a second) and 215,000 sq ft / 20,000 sq m of ramp parking space.

Over the past 12 months Gama, which also provides maintenance services has seen a 12% increase in the volume of traffic it handles at its existing Sharjah operation. It attributes the gain to slot restrictions at DXB and to Sharjah's proximity to Dubai’s financial district.

Hayward Executive Airport/KHWD
11/11/2016 10:15:03 AM

APP Jet Center, which operates a network of FBOs across North America, has announced that its new $5m facility at Hayward Executive Airport in the San Francisco Bay Area, is on track for opening in December. This is a major expansion of APP’s existing operations, designed to better serve its growing client base.

The new 3,000ft² FBO building will include a pilot lounge, snooze rooms, shower facilities, concierge facilities, wi-fi and private meeting rooms. Design of the project has been handled by Niche Interiors, with a brief to aesthetically reflect the style of Silicon Valley.

A new 30,000ft² hangar has also been created, with 28ft tall doors, which will increase APP’s capacity at Hayward to 86,000ft². This includes an existing 12,000ft² hangar that has been fully renovated.

Chris Hambleton, vice president of APP Properties, said, “This is a bold achievement for APP. We are increasing our aircraft storage and client services while developing the most distinguished facility at Hayward Executive Airport. We have planned on this for many years and are very excited for our clients to share our enjoyment of this upscale, modern property.”

Tom Panico, general manager of APP Jet Center Hayward, added, “It’s an honor to offer this top-notch facility to our loyal clients and to our growing list of new clients as well.” 

AviationBloom BizAv Platform
10/8/2016 7:29:00 PM



Press Release 8 October 2016

AviationBloom is exited to announce that our business aviation support platform, in development over the last three years, is available via the APP Store, Android & iOS version.

Aviation Bloom is a business aviation support tool. Our system provides flight departments with a tool that allows the client to book multiple FBOs, fuel, HOTAC, ground transportation and VIP catering through vetted vendors.

CEO Thomas Kränzlein says "We are the next generation aviation information provider and travel support service. I invite all trip planners, from flight departments to flight crew to visit our Bordeaux airport page www.aviationbloom.com/airport_info/LFBD to see for themselves how our system can work for them."
 
Thomas Kränzlein
is a corporate pi
lot himself,has flown several aircraft types, mostly across Europe and Africa and he has seen the need for an integrated system the flight crews, planners and OCCs can trust in.

Santa Monica, FAA & NBAA step in
9/28/2016 10:20:05 PM
The Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it will investigate City of Santa Monica owned Santa Monica Municipal Airports "starvation strategy" which could close the city's embattled airport within two years.

Santa Monica Airport officials have told Atlantic Aviation Services & American Flyers, the two major tenants that provide FBO & fuel services, to leave by Oct. 15.
"The FAA strongly recommends that the city withdraw the notices to vacate until such a time as this matter can be resolved," the agency said.
FAA officials said they also plan to scrutinize the city's airport leasing policy, a proposal to limit fuel sales & efforts to reduce jet operations until federal courts rule on whether the airport can be shut down, .
"These actions may be causing, and appear intended to cause, impairment of the airport, including, but not limited to a de facto closure of the airport in violation of applicable law" the FAA said in a notification to the city.

 


 


Santa Monica was the birth place of the worlds most produced airliner, the Douglas DC-3. The airport has been in continued use as such since the early 1920s.

 

Both FBOs have filed emergency requests for the FAA to halt the eviction process. The FAA responded with a notice of investigation (NOI) requiring the city to explain its rationale for the evictions within 10 days, with a “strong” recommendation that the city halt the eviction process until the agency’s investigative process is
completed. The FAA also subpoenaed city representatives to appear, in person, at an October 12 agency hearing on the matter.

The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) has welcomed the prompt action by the FAA to investigate the attempt by the City of Santa Monica to evict the two longstanding service providers on the field.

Stacy Howard, NBAA’s Western regional representative, noted the FAA’s response reflects concerns from industry stakeholders
about the city’s actions. "While federal regulations may allow the city to operate its own FBO, Santa Monica is certainly not prepared to provide an equivalent level of service by Oct. 15,” she added. “It is also unlikely the city would ever do so in a manner beneficial to the airport and its aviation users."
 
Monroe Regional, Louisiana
9/21/2016 8:50:21 PM

Avflight has expanded its FBO network to 16 locations with its latest acquisition of JPS Aviation, the lone service provider at Louisiana’s Monroe Regional Airport/KMLU, Louisiana, USA. 

Its facility features a 6,000 sq ft two story terminal with pilots' lounge, snooze room, shower facilities, outdoor balcony, 10 seat conference room & onsite car rental. The location also offers 150,000 sq ft of hangar space capable of storing super-midsize jets> Avflight is in the process of having the facility’s Part 145 maintenance and avionics certificate transferred.

“Joining Avflight is a grand opportunity for our FBO and the airport,” said John Mullen, the FBO’s general manager. ‘We’ve always delivered a high standard of service, but the level of support and branding recognition Avflight provides will help us thrive in an evolving market for years to come.”

FBO files Part 16 against the City of Santa Monica
9/15/2016 1:16:46 PM

 

FBO Files Part 16 complaint against the City of Santa Monica, Calif.
 
Atlantic Aviation asks FAA to compel the city to renegotiate its lease in good faith
 
In the continuing battle over Santa Monica Airport (KSMO) Atlantic Aviation, an FBO based on the aerodrome, has filing a Part 16 complaint with the FAA.
 
In its complaint, Atlantic Aviation says the city has not acted in good faith in negotiating a new, long-term lease with the FBO because of its long held intention to close the airport.
 
In the complaint, Atlantic Aviation, which has operated at KSMO since 2007, describes itself as the only full service FBO at the airport. It employs 30 people and provides services to based and visiting general and business aircraft operators, servicing an average of 36 aircraft per day. Atlantic leases 33 hangars from the city, which it subleases to aircraft owners and others, as well as office space,
some of which are also subleased. According to the document submitted to the FAA, a policy adopted by the City Council in March that would nearly double its rent to $40,000 per month, and was in effect for only 30 days. The complaint with the FAA documents the long history of the city's attempts to close the airport and what Atlantic Aviation describes as the lack of good faith effort on the part of the city in negotiating with the FBO and other  tenants.
 
The complaint requests that the FAA take any and all actions that are necessary and appropriate to ensure that the City is in compliance with its obligations as sponsor of SMO. Specifically, Complainant requests that the FAA issue an order directing the city to
(1) immediately reenter the written Holdover Agreement it previously negotiated with the Complainant
(2) negotiate in good faith with the Complainant toward a long-term lease renewal (a minimum of 3 years) at competitive market rates, and without restrictions intended to eliminate or reduce aviation usage of the airport
(3) to maintain the full range of FBO services at the Airport with no limitation or restrictions that will have the effect, intended or otherwise, of limiting air traffic at
the airport.
 
The FBO has asked that the FAA expedite its request, as the city's new FBO policy directs the City Manager to serve Atlantic Aviation with an eviction notice on September 15, 2016 or soon thereafter, and the city would take over the business as a proprietary operation by December 31, 2016. "If the city is permitted to do either, Complainant will be irreparably harmed," the company says in the document.
Regional Airports Government Support
9/14/2016 5:55:11 PM

14SEP2016: Ireland. An allocation of €870,000 has been announced for Waterford Regional Airport by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross. It is part of an overall allocation of €2.7 million in funding support for the four regional airports in Donegal, Ireland West Airport Knock, Kerry and Waterford.

The Waterford funding, however, will only be confirmed when the resumption of scheduled passenger services has been secured by airport authorities. The airport authorities in Waterford are in discussions with a number of airlines with a view to securing a replacement carrier for VLM Airlines which filed for bankruptcy protection in Belgium in June.

The Exchequer grant allocations are being made under the Regional Airports Programme 2015-2019, which was approved last year by the EU Commission and administered by my Department. The funding is aimed at assisting with capital investment on various projects at the four regional airports over the coming months in the areas of safety and security such as CCTV monitoring equipment, repairs to taxiways, aprons and perimeter roads, upgrades to electrical systems and winter-ready equipment.”

In the case of Waterford it is envisaged that when the money is drawn down it will be used in part toward acquiring properties by way of compulsory purchase as a first step towards the runway extension

Neil Pakey appointed chair of Regional and Business Airport Group
7/13/2016 11:15:31 AM
Neil Pakey has been appointed chair of the Regional and Business Airports (RABA) Group, which represents smaller regional airports and general aviation airfields. Pakey will replace John Spooner, who has grown the group to its current membership of 33 regional and business airports since it was formed in 2013.
 

The driver for the Group has been the strong perception among its members that the UK government, and on occasion the European Commission, misunderstands or fails to recognize the role of smaller airports, tending to adopt ‘one size fits all’ policies tailored principally to the needs of larger UK airports. This inadvertently disadvantages or damages commercial and economic interests of RABA Group members and the wider stakeholder networks who support them.

Neil Pakey praised John Spooner for “leaving RABA in great shape having taken it from nothing more than a murmuring of discontent among a number of smaller airports, to a distinct and important voice in the industry.” Pakey added, “I intend to build on these initial efforts and with the support of our 33 airport members raise the understanding and appreciation of the economic and social roles they play in their catchments and in the wider UK aviation.

Mr. Pakey has previously served as CEO Shannon Airport, Senior Director Network Marketing, Cyprus Airports Group, CEO Peel Airports & MD Liverpool Airport.

Dublin-Weston Executive Airport/EIWT, Ireland
5/23/2016 10:46:58 AM
Sphere One Aviation/KCDC Opens
4/19/2016 1:56:26 PM

GateOne will welcome stakeholders to its newly-acquired FBO, Sphere One Aviation, at Cedar City Airport during a Grand Opening Event on Friday, April 22.

The event will bring together prominent members of the community, various heads of city departments, city council members, vendors, local aviators, business owners and more.

"We're excited to expand our reach into Cedar City, Utah," said GateOne CEO Thomas Mathew. "And with this expansion, we also plan to extend the offerings of Sphere One Aviation to provide comprehensive services to a wider range of aviation customers."

As the only FBO on the KCDC airfield, Sphere One Aviation offers its customers complete FBO services, charter flights, flight instruction, aircraft detailing, car rental, catering, flight schedules, and maintenance on single and twin-engine aircraft. Mathews plans to expand maintenance to turbo-prop aircraft and helicopters over time. In addition, Sphere One Aviation provides service for commercial airlines, as well as both U.S. and Canadian military aircraft.

Along with old-fashioned American hospitality, guests to Sphere One Aviation will enjoy the convenience of a large runway and fast and easy turns.

Pilots can now earn triple AVTRIP Points at Sphere One Aviation from April 15 through July 15.

Flight Consulting Group - Don’t Miss Football!
4/11/2016 11:57:52 AM
Flight Consulting Group creates and maintains traditions and this year for the second time organizes the Euro-2016 forecast contest for its business aviation colleagues – its own competition for aviation professionals.
The 15th UEFA European Football Championships will take place in summer 2016 in 10 cities of France with a final in Paris.
The contest will be available online – starting April 1, Flight Consulting Group Launches a special web-site www.fcg.aero/euro2016 , where it will be possible to make a football match game forecast and win points. The winner will be decided by the total of points.
The most successful participants will receive prizes: iPad will be delivered to the contest winner, Euro-2016 ball to the second place holder and championship shirt will be the third prize.
The table of results will be conducted online.
In 2014, the forecast contest was organized in conjunction with World Football Championship in Brazil. In the result of a tough struggle, winners were decided and awarded: Air Support (Denmark), airBaltic (Latvia), Avjet Routing (UAE), Euro Jet (Czech Republic), Baltic Business Aviation Services (Latvia), Hadid International Services (Syria).
In total representatives of 67 companies from 31 country participated making the contest indeed international.
Flight Consulting Group invites everyone to take part in the contest and calls to actively practice sports!
 
About Flight Consulting Group:
The Holding company Flight Consulting Group is founded in 2000 and offers complex solutions for ground handling of business jets, flight support, organization of private flights, sales and purchase of aircraft and aviation consulting.
The Holding comprises: FBO RIGA, a certified ground handler and operator of business aviation complex at Riga International Airport; FCG OPS, a certified European 24/7 operational and dispatching center; travel agency JET TRAVEL; specialized on services for crew members; FCG Aviation Development, expert in design and development of business aviation airport infrastructure.
Flight Consulting Group is also the developer of software for OCC, FBOs and their clients. Company’s flagman product is FCG ATOM system (Air Traffic Order Management), which comprises functions of ERP, CRM, Flight Planning and Business Analytics.
Latvian citizens Mr. Roman Starkov and Mr. Leonid Gorodnitsky own Flight Consulting Group.
Belfast City Airport to be sold as part of a deal worth nearly £500m
4/8/2016 1:17:58 PM
BELFAST CITY GEORGE BEST AIRPORT/EGAC: The international fund which owns the airport is on the verge of selling up to another consortium.

According to the Belfast Telegraph newspaper a spokesman for the airport said it would not be commenting on the deal.

Current owners Eiser Global Infrastructure Fund, based in London, bought the airport for GB£132.5m in 2008.
They are thought to have spent around £20m on improvements over the last eight years.

Now a consortium led by 3i Infrastructure is expected to make a final binding offer over the next few weeks.
According to news service InfraNews, the consortium is expected to pay around €600m (£480,769,000) for the fund, which also includes UK gas business ESP Utilities, Spanish road company Autovias de Peaje en Sombar and Spanish solar firm ASTE.

3i had made a non-binding offer for the fund late last year but refused to comment on the latest developments in the process.

"I'm afraid we don't comment on speculation regarding our future intentions," it said. Eiser also refused to comment on the deal.

It took control of ABN AMRO, which bought the airport from former Spanish owners Ferrovial Group. Ferrovial had paid £35m for the airport in 2003.

More than 2.6 million people used Belfast City Airport last year, an increase of 5.4% on 2014, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
London City Airport Sale Agreed
2/29/2016 1:11:32 AM

LONDON--Alberta Investment Management Corporation, on behalf of its clients (“AIMCo”), OMERS, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (“OTPP”) and Wren House Infrastructure Management Limited (“Wren House”), the infrastructure investing arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority, (each a “Consortium Member” and collectively the “Consortium”), is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to acquire the company that owns and operates London City Airport.

The Consortium consists of international infrastructure investors, all with proven track records, which will bring significant financial and operational expertise to London City Airport. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

London City Airport, which is located in the Royal Docks, in the London Borough of Newham, is a highly attractive infrastructure investment in the UK. The airport represents a unique opportunity to invest in an integral part of the London airport system and offers a service proposition based around location, convenience, speed and customer service. London City Airport is located in close proximity to Canary Wharf, the City of London and the West End, and is easily connected through the Docklands Light Railway service to the airport, as well as road links.

Since the acquisition of its controlling stake by Global Infrastructure Partners in 2006, London City Airport has successfully grown passenger numbers from 2 million in 2005 to 4.3 million in 2015, with an 18.3% increase in the last year alone.

The Consortium is committed to the responsible, long-term ownership and development of London City Airport to ensure its continued strong position and reputation as a key airport for London. Working together with management and local authorities, the Consortium will support the enhancement of facilities and build on the airport’s successful track record.

As part of its investment, over the long-term, the Consortium is dedicated to developing existing and new airline relationships and routes, improving the airport’s already excellent customer service, and generating opportunities for new and existing employees.

The Consortium has proven experience as long-term owners and operators of UK and European airports, as evidenced by selected members’ current ownership of Belfast International Airport, Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport, Brussels Airport and Copenhagen Airport, and historical investments in Rome Airport and Sydney Airport. The Consortium has a strong track record of investing in and growing excellent businesses, maintaining good relationships with customers, staff, management, regulators and other stakeholders.

A spokesperson for the Consortium said: “London City Airport is a premium infrastructure company, operating in a very attractive market. We look forward to working closely with the airport’s strong management team to achieve the business’s full long-term potential. Our investment and support will foster a mutually beneficial relationship between the airport and its airlines, passengers and employees, while ensuring a positive economic impact for all of London and the local community, in particular.”

NBAC - Nigerian Business Aviation Conference 2016
1/25/2016 2:13:19 PM
London Biggin Hill Airport/EGKB
12/8/2015 9:15:42 PM

London Biggin Hill Airport has unveiled a "complete refurbishment" of its passenger terminal & introduced the Amsterdam Software FBO-One aircraft handling system. The airport also named Sally Powell its new FBO manager. Powell, who has been with the airport for several years, reports to business development director Robert Walters. Meanwhile Kevin Berry has been appointed deputy FBO manager.

The refurbishment includes the addition of several discrete passenger areas & a new dedicated pilot lounge. "High-quality, modern furnishings and lighting have been installed to provide a complete transformation of the facility" said Walters.

London City/LCY
12/7/2015 6:56:12 PM

Five main bidders for London City Airport have emerged following last week’s deadline for parties to register their interest. The airport in the heart of London City was put up for sale earlier this year by the owners Global Infrastructure Partners of the USA & is estimated to be worth close to GB£2bn.

 The next stage in the bidding is set for February 2016.

The airport’s estimated worth of GB£2bn is based on a formula of 27 times its expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation & amortisation.

In 2015, this was GB£71.5m.               

 

JSSI Index: Bizav Flying Up 4.3 Percent in 3Q
11/10/2015 8:15:31 PM
JSSIBusiness jet flight hours worldwide were up 4.3% in the 3rd quarter & have reached 80.7% of the sectors' 2008 peak, according to the latest index, published yesterday by Jet Support Services (JSSI). Year-over-year business jet flying is up in the light and midsize sectorss, climbing 8.2% and 3.7% respectively, while large cabin activity slid by 5%. Helicopter flying fell by 15%.
NBAA Warn on Santa Monica, CA
7/21/2015 12:41:00 PM

NBAA has again warned the city of Santa Monica, CA, that it must abide by its federal obligations and extend the leases of various airport tenants at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) for a term of at least three years.

Steve Brown, NBAA’s chief operating officer, contacted Santa Monicas Mayor and other city officials prior to a July 14 Santa Monica City Council meeting, which partially addressed the lease situation at the airport, where all tenant agreements expired on July 1. Brown reminded the mayor that the city’s obligations pursuant to the grants it has received from the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program endure until 2023, and that the conditions of the 1948 instrument of transfer, when ownership of the airport was transferred to Santa Monica, are effective in perpetuity.

“Consequently, the lease term extensions now under consideration must be consistent with the city’s federal obligations,” wrote Brown. “Generally, airport tenants are entitled to long-term leases. For current purposes, this obligation means that – consistent with the city attorney and director of public works’ recommendations – involuntary month-to-month leases would be non-compliant and subject to challenge.”

Business Airports Int - New EJ Register
6/17/2015 4:41:35 PM
From Business Airports International, June 2015 Issue

The EJ Register is the new Irish ‘gold standard’ aircraft register for private and corporate aircraft. It is an EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) register, meaning that unlike other offshore registers, it operates entirely in compliance with current and forthcoming EASA regulations.

The forthcoming EASA Non-Commercial Complex (NCC) aircraft regulations will impose severe restrictions on the operation an offshore-registered aircraft within Europe and the new EJ register already takes into account these regulatory changes.

Two types of registration are possible:

1. Public Transport registration, where the aircraft is operated under an Aircraft Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and can fly for hire and reward.

2. Private (NCC) registration in excess of 12,500lb maximum take-off weight, where the aircraft does not operate under an AOC and cannot fly for hire or reward.

Of interest for many owners and operators will be the fact that the EJ register will support the temporary withdrawal of an aircraft from an AOC for valid operational reasons. Since EASA’s Part-NCC regulations, like an AOC, stipulate an operations manual and post-holders must be in place, an operator who maintains both AOC and NCC paperwork will be able to ‘flip’ an EJ aircraft with a minimum of formalities. In addition, EJ registration marks can be transferred between aircraft, for example on the sale of an aircraft. The registry designation EJ will be followed by four alphabetical characters (for example EJ-IASC) allowing for the personalization of aircraft registrations.

Attractive economy
Ireland has an established reputation as a stable jurisdiction from which to access global capital markets. In recognition of Ireland’s strong pro-business environment, Forbes magazine voted Ireland as The Best Place in the World for Business in October 2013.

Within this highly positive economic landscape, Ireland has also created a legal and taxation framework that is most attractive for aviation and aviation related businesses and this small country is also a very attractive base for aircraft registration, ownership, charter and leasing. Today, Ireland is the global capital of the aircraft leasing industry, with over 40 years’ heritage and approximately 50% of the world’s current leased aircraft fleet (4,000+ fixed and rotary wing) being owned and leased from the island.

In addition, Ireland is considered to have one of the best aviation regulatory jurisdictions in the world, operated by the IAA. Operating in full compliance with EASA regulations, both financiers and insurers of aircraft have a very positive view of the IAA and can do business in the knowledge that aircraft are maintained in a full state of airworthiness and their crews are fully trained in compliance with EASA regulations, resulting in ease of financing and insurance for Irish-registered aircraft. Of just as much importance – resale values are also protected.

Shannon Free Trade Zone
A further attraction for private and corporate aircraft owners and operators is the Shannon Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Located on the west coast of Ireland and established in 1959, the Shannon FTZ was the world’s first – a geographic area where goods can be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities.

Shannon Airport’s International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) is re-inventing the FTZ in a 21st-century context, offering specific taxation advantages to the global aerospace and aviation industry.

At the very heart of the FTZ is Shannon Airport. Shannon is a key strategic location on the trans-Atlantic route between Europe and the Americas, located close to one of the key great circle routes for trans-Atlantic transit. Shannon is designated by the Irish government as the national Centre of Excellence for corporate and business aviation, and is already a major transit stop for corporate aircraft and the only airport outside the Americas offering US CBP pre-clearance to corporate aircraft passengers.

The new EJ registry will further strengthen Ireland’s reputation as an attractive location for business aviation.

Read more about the EJ registry here.

 

About the author
Joe McDermott has worked with Landmark Aviation and Universal Aviation. As founder of Global FBO Consult he has worked on projects with EAN Aviation (Nigeria), Moroccan Aviation Services, Aero Lead (Nigeria), Jet Assist (Belfast), Dublin-Weston Executive Airport, South Aer FBO (Ireland), Skyplan Dubai to name a few.. Global FBO Consult specializes in providing cost effective solutions to assist airports and FBOs grow efficiently and deal with the competition head on, allowing them to attract new customers, keep existing customers and generate maximum revenue.

 

June 15, 2015

 

 

Blink Buys Blackbushe
6/12/2015 7:53:19 PM
Blink has purchased Blackbushe airport, south of London, where it has been based for the last four years. This will allow it to deliver security of tenure and regulation of costs.
The UK air taxi operator has also announced the takeover of Italian air taxi operator MyJet. The acquisition adds three Citation Mustangs to Blink's fleet, bringing it to a total of nine. The deal also provides Blink with an enhanced maintenance capability in the north of Italy to work in conjunction with its existing ops at Blackbushe airport.


East Hamptom Airport, NY (KHTO) Restrictions
5/9/2015 10:54:09 AM
NATA submitted a letter May 7th to the East Hampton Town Supervisor Board urging it to reconsider and repeal its recentl approved restrictions on the use of the airport. The letter is in response to the Council’s scheduelled hearing that will consider additional changes to the recently approved restrictions including the adoption of penalties.

In March, NATA & other major GA associations submitted comments to the  Board in opposition to the town’s proposal to restrict operations at East Hampton Airport (KHTO), New York, and its related airport infrastructure plan.

In the letter, NATA Senior VP for Government Affairs, Bill Deere, emphasized that the imposition and structure of the restrictions will have a detrimental impact on aviation businesses operating at the airport, including the loss of good paying jobs & result in expensive litigation, “While NATA understands the concerns that have led to the development of these restrictions & the GA community shares the town’s desire to maintain a clean and quiet community of beaches & surrounding protected lands, the restrictions are nothing less than local job killers that are a serious violation of the federal regulations related to airport grant assurances.”

 

Airport Security Changes
4/21/2015 5:14:03 PM

USA: WASHINGTON DC (AP) — The Transportation Security Administration is tightening security rules for airline and airport workers in the wake of a criminal case in which an Atlanta baggage handler was accused of smuggling guns on commercial jets, Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Monday (20APR).

In the immediate aftermath of the December arrest, Johnson ordered a 90-day review of security measures and now the agency is closing some security gaps the review highlighted.

Among the changes announced on Monday are new rules requiring real-time, recurring criminal background checks for aviation workers, including airline employees. Fingerprint-based background checks will also now be conducted every two years for airport employees who hold Secure Identification Display Area badges.

Johnson said airport and airline workers traveling as passengers will also have to go through TSA screening before boarding a flight. The number of access points to secure areas will be reduced to an "operational minimum," he said.

The security review and subsequent changes were made in the aftermath of a gun smuggling case involving an Atlanta-based baggage handler who was accused of helping smuggle weapons from Atlanta to New York on passenger aircraft.

Johnson said the security changes will greatly reduce "the potential insider threat" posed by aviation employees.

Northolt/EGWU
4/15/2015 9:04:23 PM

London Oxford Airport and London Biggin Hill Airport have asked the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) why Northolt does not fall under its regulatory control, despite its increasing numbers of civilian flights. It is currently still regulated as a military airport which means it has different restrictions, and they argue a commercial advantage, over other private jet airports serving the London area.

The result of a review - if it goes against the Ministry of Defence (MOD) - could see London's premier VIP airport, and the preferred airport for the Queen and royal household, sold for residential housing.

If the runway length was reduced (one of the possible outcomes), the resulting drop in business aviation revenue would mean the MOD could not justify continuing to run a runway at RAF Northolt. And selling the unused land in a prime West London location would be a commercial decision for the UK military, who are desperate to reduce expenditure. Essential military services at the base, such as the British Services Post Office, could be still retained but the site reduced considerably, by selling off the land taken up by the airfield and runway.

Previously purely a military airport, in the past decade RAF Northolt has been made available for private civilian flights - including those referred by nearby Heathrow (which has been scaling back its private flights at the same time).

And customers have been voting with their jets since, in ever increasing numbers. The cap on annual flight movements was recently increased to 12,000 from the previous limit of 7,000 - by 2016, it plans to offer 17,500.

Northolt's popularity has dented demand at other business aviation airports serving London during a challenging economic climate. In addition to Oxford and Biggin Hill, London's Luton and London Farnborough airports have also lost business (Farnborough has seen growth due to the uncapping of its own flight movements, but its demand would have been even greater).

Why is Northolt so popular for private jet customers?

There is no doubt that London RAF Northolt holds strong appeal with the private jet customer travelling to or from London. It offers a winning combination of location; (just 12 miles from the city centre); privacy; and service.

It's the closest private jet airport to Mayfair, with driving times from London RAF Northolt as little as 28 minutes. Compare this to the 1 hour 10 minutes from London Oxford, or just under an hour from Biggin Hill.

As the military airport used by the Queen and royal family, it has exceptional security and is very discreet for those looking to travel with a low profile.

It also has very high service levels. Since London City Airport took over the running of Northolt's Jet Centre in 2006, the airport has offered the same consistently high and efficient service as the City location - setting the standard for Europe.

What are the other airports objecting to?

London Biggin Hill and London Oxford airports have highlighted specific aspects of Northolt's infrastructure - such as a petrol station too close to the touchdown point - that would not be allowed if it was regulated by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) but which meet Military Airports Authority (MAA) guidelines. They argue that the less rigorous MAA regulations give Northolt a competitive advantage over other London airports - and have also questioned its safety for civilian flights.

So what will happen next? Here's a summary of the situation, as I see it:

  1. The MOD would like to earn as much revenue from Northolt as possible - under the Wider Markets Initiative, which allows the military to look to gain commercial value from its assets that can't be reduced.
  2. Customers clearly like using Northolt - we see this all the time at PrivateFly. The demand is there for the reasons shown above. And this has upset other surrounding airports.
  3. The operational environment at Northolt (flight paths and airport infrastructure) is currently regulated under military guidelines. If Northolt was a civilian airport, regulated under the CAA, it would not be licensed.
  4. To change Northolt to meet civilian airport standards would either cost millions, or mean reducing the official length of the runway - restricting its use by bigger aircraft. Currently most sizes of private jet, up to large cabin aircraft, can land there. This would include the complication of how to handle flights by the Royal household, which are now predominately in CAA registered aircraft, and not with the Royal Air Force.
     
Biggin Hill and Oxford are absolutely right to request an explanation from the CAA as to why they are not enforcing their regulations at Northolt - as they have to operate under a significantly higher cost of business.
What is best for the business aviation customer?

London Biggin Hill has written formally to the CAA and is awaiting a reply, so we will keep a close eye on developments.

When the CAA is looking at this case, I hope they put interests of customers first. There will need to be a great deal of consideration given to balancing all the considerations of safety, and commercial fairness. But decisions to close runways are very rarely unpicked and can be a cause of regret. This was widely felt after the closure of Berlin Templehof (closed due to environmental concern, but a superb airport giving much improved access for Berlin).

If the CAA were to close RAF Northolt for civilian flights, it would be very difficult to reopen it. Ideally consideration of Northolt's role for private aviation in London should be included in the overall view on Heathrow. The debate on runway capacity in the South East of England has just got even more complicated, nobody likes upsetting the Queen!


• The safety of all civilian aircraft using government owned military aerodromes is the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority.

• CAA now responsible for deciding if RAF Northolt is safe for use by civil aircraft.

• As a result taxpayers could potentially be facing a bill in excess of £20 million.

• RAF Northolt admitted (by MOD and CAA) that it does not comply with Civil Aviation safety standards.

• Ruling impacts all civilian flights using military aerodromes, including 12,000 civilian flights a year at RAF Northolt

Previously, as part of a policy of attracting 12,000 more business jets a year to RAF Northolt in west London, Ministers had repeatedly argued that they didn’t need to meet stricter, costlier civilian safety standards – only military ones – and that the CAA had no regulatory powers at military aerodromes.

This meant that smaller private airports reliant on business jets were being significantly undermined, as RAF Northolt became a competitor without incurring the higher costs of complying with civilian safety standards.

London Oxford and Biggin Hill Airports, represented by John Steel QC, lodged an application for a Judicial Review, arguing that military aerodromes should be regulated by the CAA and subject to equivalent safety standards that would apply to civilian airports, as mandated by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA).

This Judicial Review has now clarified the position – the CAA and the Secretary of State for Transport are responsible for the safety of all civilian flights using RAF Northolt and other military aerodromes in the U.K. The safety of military flights remains the responsibility of the Military Aviation Authority.

In evidence submitted to the Judicial Review, it has been suggested that the costs to the taxpayer of meeting equivalent safety standards as would apply at a civilian airport would run into the tens of millions. For example, the MOD submitted evidence that suggested that measures to address a lack of adequate emergency runway run off areas to allow for potential under/over-shooting aircraft would alone cost in excess of £21 million at a time of defence cutbacks.

The Judgment is also likely to have a major impact on an ongoing E.U competition investigation concerning State Aid, and requested by London Oxford and Biggin Hill Airports. Should the Commission finds that the MOD have been unfairly competing with the private sector the compensation bill could run into many tens of millions.

In welcoming the Judgment, Will Curtis, Managing Director of Biggin Hill Airport in SE London, said ‘Despite a serious crash in 1996 in which an aircraft overran the runway and collided with a vehicle on the A40 trunk road, RAF Northolt evidently believed it was entitled to bypass many internationally accepted aviation safety measures – measures that civil airports such as ours are required to maintain. Lower safety standards at military aerodromes are unacceptable, not only for those in the aviation industry, but also for passengers and those in the surrounding community on the ground.

The Judgment now for the first time clarifies that the CAA has statutory responsibility for safety in relation to use of RAF Northolt by civil aircraft. This is long overdue as the relevant legislation goes back to 1982. I am sure that they will want to quickly consider their position regarding the safety standards for civil aircraft at RAF Northolt."

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