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Astra Aviation expands in Africa
3/29/2016 4:39:18 PM

Astra Aviation has expanded its presence in Africa with the addition of a new location at Harare International Airport. The new location which became operational in January is being managed by Zimbabwe-born aviator Corrina Pickard. The facility currently employs three staff and marks Astra Aviation’s nineth location in its network.

The airport is a popular hub for air and road transfers to many regional destinations in addition to being a centre for imports and exports for Zimbabwe.

It is anticipated that the location will also serve as a regional hub for air ambulance flights as well as meeting the needs of tourist passengers staying in area’s popular game lodges and resorts. This facility will enable passengers to be flown in from unimproved air strips, to then transfer on to larger jets for international flights, or to medevac aircraft.

Astra Aviation’s new location also offers available hangar space through its partner Southern Skies Aviation. The hangar, which measures 2,656 sqm can house four Beech King Air 200’s, or one Beech 1900C, with additional parking on the private ramp outside for seven King Air’s.


Astra Aviation will be providing meet and assist services as part of a concierge style service for both business and tourist visitors to Zimbabwe. This portfolio of services will include airport transfers, airline and hotel bookings, tourist services into game lodges and Victoria Falls, airport lounge access, security services and business support services to new investors into Zimbabwe in addition to the airport meet and assist services.

Astra Aviation sees an opportunity in positioning itself close to popular tourist attractions as Africa prepares to develop the world’s fastest growing travel and tourism market over the next 10 years according to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

Commenting, Phil Eyre, managing director of Astra Aviation, adds, “We are very pleased to expand our presence in Harare, Zimbabwe and Corrina Pickard is a highly capable and experienced partner to manage the business.  Zimbabwe is somewhere that I have always wanted an office as it was the first African country I fell in love with back in 1990. I have seen an opportunity to serve the tourist sector which is starting to recover despite the fluctuations of the Zimbabwean economy and we want to be ready for when the rest of the economy recovers.” 

Swiss Firm ESFS Partners with Smart Aviation at Cairo FBO/HECA
3/22/2016 6:27:56 PM

Executive Sky Flight Support (ESFS) has partnered with local ground handler Smart Aviation to offer FBO services at Cairo International. “Egypt is the 29th biggest country in the world” said Rushdi Zakaria, CEO of Smart Aviation, which also provides ground handling at 10 other airports in Egypt as well as aircraft charter & air ambulance services. 

“We are really proud to announce our strategic partnership with Smart Aviation to start our FBO service in a great country like Egypt,” noted ESFS CEO Caled Iccaoui. “We consider this partnership as a humble start with impressive announcements to follow later.”

Avfuel Corporation gives ‘thumbs up’ to new Woodgate hangar at EGAA
3/11/2016 1:42:52 PM


A senior group of executives from Avfuel Corporation has described Woodgate Aviation’s new 33,000 sq ft hangar in Northern Ireland as ‘an outstanding statement of quality and confidence’ in the future.

On their first visit to the state-of-the-art hangar at Belfast International Airport, the Avfuel executives were given a guided tour of the new facility which is already utilising all available floorspace.

Woodgate recently joined the Avfuel Network which it sees as strategically important as it handles increased levels of traffic.

The Avfuel group was made up of Joel Hirst, Vice President Sales; Jon Boyle, Vice President Contract Fuel and Ryan Hogg, Operations Manager. They were briefed by Woodgate General Manager, David Shaw, who said the partnership with Avfuel completed an important part of the company’s development plan.

Afterwards, Mr Hirst said: "My colleagues and I were hugely impressed. Everything at the hangar makes a statement about quality and a commitment to the customer.

"From the Terrazo flooring, to the luxurious washrooms, crew facilities and environmentally-friendly, energy-efficient measures, this hangar ticks all the boxes. It is an outstanding statement of quality and confidence in the future, and we will be right alongside this progressive company to help it expand and grow."

Mr Shaw said: "Since becoming fully operational at the hangar, we’ve seen an increase in business right across all of our disciplines including charter, contract, aircraft management, handling, maintenance and parts.

"We were delighted that Avfuel Corporation took the time to visit us. We talk with some enthusiasm about what we have – the only hangar on the airfield – but it’s only when people see it at first hand that they appreciate what we’ve done, and what we want to achieve."



Left to Right: Jon Boyle, David Shaw, Joel Hirst, Ryan Hogg.

Weston Aviation Appoints Eddie Allison as Commercial Director for UK & Ireland
3/7/2016 5:11:01 PM

 Weston Aviation has appointed Eddie Allison as Commercial Director, taking responsibility for the growth and development of the company’s five UK and Ireland FBO locations and business aviation services. With over 30 years background in business aviation and airport management, Eddie brings to the company extensive knowledge and experience from previous director and management roles with Prestwick Airport, Ocean Sky, RSS Aviation and Landmark Aviation.

Commenting on the appointment, CEO of Weston Aviation, Nick Weston said "I am delighted that Eddie has joined the company and to have someone of his calibre joining our senior management team. This is an exciting appointment for us as we continue to grow and develop our FBO network and range of aviation services within our current five locations".

Weston Aviation is the second largest chain of FBO operations in the UK and Ireland in terms of locations. In September 2015, Weston Aviation opened its first international Business Aviation Centre in Cork, Ireland, taking the company into Europe. Formed in 1995, Weston Aviation now has FBO locations at Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, Durham Tees Valley Airport, Humberside Airport and Newquay Cornwall Airport in addition to Cork Airport.

Universal Aviation Mexico
3/7/2016 4:26:26 PM
03MAR: TOLUCA, MEXICO - Universal Aviation Mexico, a joint venture between Avemex & Universal Weather & Aviation Inc. to provide ground support throughout Mexico, announced the completion of the renovation of their co-branded FBO at Toluca International /MMTO.

 Universals' location in Toluca is also one of the longest-running FBOs at the airport, first established in the early 1990s.

"Throughout our Universal Aviation ground support network, our goal is to exceed our clients' expectations every time they land," said Adolfo Aragon, Vice President, Latin American and Caribbean, Universal®. "With our Toluca FBO being both a high-traffic destination and one of the cornerstone locations in our global network, it was important to make a significant reinvestment here with our long-time partner, Avemex, in order to provide the highest level of amenities and features for our clients."

The facility includes a 16,384 square-foot FBO, three direct ramp access points from taxiways, 135,000 square feet of ramp space and a controlled private parking lot for clients. It also features a 16,640 square-foot maintenance hangar, and three overnight hangars (92,000 square-feet) with controlled hangar and ramp access with CCD cameras and biometrix fingerprint scanners.
Yelvington Jet Aviation at Daytona Beach joins Paragon Network
3/3/2016 5:14:47 PM

Yelvington Jet Aviation, located at Daytona Beach International Airport (KDAB), became an official member of the Paragon Network on March 1. 

Yelvington Jet Aviation opened the doors of their premier full-service FBO in July of 1998 after servicing aircraft since its incorporation in 1990. This facility is located adjacent to the main runway 7L/25R. Yelvington Jet Aviation offers five acres of ramp space, 36,000 square feet of insulated hangar space and 27,000 square feet of office space.

Part NCC - Bespoke Aviation
3/3/2016 3:20:24 PM
New Regulations Affecting Private Ops Aircraft
Part-NCC represents a major overhaul in the regulations which govern the non-commercial operations of complex aircraft. The intention of the EU legislator is to increase safety levels across private operations by increasing the requirements (organisation, training, reporting) for operating a complex aircraft in a non-commercial environment. All operators of non-commercial complex aircraft, having their principal place of business or residence in the EU will be expected to comply with EASA Part-NCC.
Thought some EU Member States have different compliance deadlines (i.e. France, by Aug 2015) most have until August 2016 – but this is still a very short amount of time in which to comply.
The National Aviation Authority (NAA) of each EU Member State is currently developing a transition programme for Part-NCC and many private operators are now looking for help in understanding the scope of applicability and the requirements for compliance.
Part-NCC applies to:
·         any complex or non-complex operator; the complexity being determined by the operator’s activity and fleet
·         engaged in non-commercial operations
·         of complex motor-powered aircraft, i.e. all business jets and all aircraft with more than one turboprop engine
·         and having its principal place of business or residence in one of the EASA Member States.
Complying with this regulation is not going to be an easy task, especially as most operators will need to restructure the way they operate. With the implementation date fast approaching, Bespoke Aviation aims to assist those operators who will (or may) be affected by Part-NCC with ensuring that they are prepared and appropriately resourced to comply with the regulation.
Aircraft owners have the option to continue operating their aircraft by themselves and restructure in the process or to entrust the OPS to a third party (AOC or any other NCC operator).
Bespoke Aviation will assist you with the considerations of:
·         Identify the best operational options for non-commercial operators submitted to part-NCC
·         Identify the scope of applicability of Part-NCC for non-commercial operators of aircraft registered in non-EU countries but based in Europe.
·         Identify and outline who could be the operator under Part-NCC
·         Determine the “principal place of business” or residence of the operator under Part-NCC
·         Assist and advise the operators in the establishment of their own operational structure
·         Assist operators in their compliance process, in particular by developing their Management System, Operations Manuals and Safety Management System, by preparing the specific approval records, training and Dangerous Goods programmes and all other necessary documents.
·         Prepare all agreements needed (operations, management, services, employment, CAMP, etc)
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