Benet Wilson

Benet Wilson
New Aircraft Ready Industry To ‘Punch Back,’ Analysts Say 

The entry of new aircraft, such as Gulfstream’s G650, is placing the industry on a solid footing to emerge from the downcycle, but continuing economic uncertainties cloud the immediate future, analysts attending the recent National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) convention believe.

Gulfstream Tops OEM Brand Reputation Survey 

A new survey on the brand reputation of business aviation original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) from aviation information consultancy Jetnet LLC was released at last week’s National Business Aviation Association convention.

Respondents in the third quarter of 2011 indicated that Gulfstream is the overall business aircraft brand leader, scoring 8.6 on a 1-10 scale, the survey says. “Owners and operators of Gulfstream aircraft are more likely to rate their brand as number one across various brand elements than any other respondent group,” it says.

Analysts At NBAA Offer Mixed Views On BizAv Prospects 

Wall Street analysts attending last week’s National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) annual convention offered differing opinions on the future prospects of the industry.

As demand for large-cabin business jets continues to outpace that for small- and medium-cabin aircraft, everyone is still waiting for the glimmer of hope that those segments have turned the corner, but the evidence is not yet there on any metric, says a new Bank of America/Merrill Lynch report.

DOT Awards $6 Million In Small Community Air Service Grants 

Twenty nine communities in 22 states have until Oct. 30 to accept grants awarded under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP). DOT awarded $6 million in grants for fiscal year 2011.

The program was created in 2000 under the AIR-21 Act to help smaller communities improve air service and lower air fares. The grants aim to help communities offer air service for underserved airports.

‘No Plane, No Gain’ Goes North

The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) has launched a version of the National Business Aviation Association/General Aviation Manufacturers Association’s “No Plane, No Gain” business aviation public relations campaign.

CBAA’s “Business Aviation Works” campaign was created to promote the importance of business aviation operations in Canada, and aims to educate those seeking to stymie the Canadian industry with new rules and fees driven by a contentious political environment, CBAA says.

Bolen Calls For Clear National Aviation Policy 

The lack of a clear national aviation policy could jeopardize the future of business aviation, Ed Bolen, president and CEO of the National Business Aviation Association, told the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) at a recent hearing.

Duncan Aviation Unveils New iPad App 

Lincoln, Neb.-based aviation services provider Duncan Aviation has launched its first mobile application for the iPad. The free app is designed to improve operators’ access to information about the company’s service locations, contact information and department listings. Raises $3 Million From Private Investors 

Online charter aggregator laid the groundwork for expansion following successful investment fund raising of £2 million (US$3 million) generated from eight private investors.

EC Airport Slots Put In BizAv, Regional Airline Crosshairs 

An independent study to evaluate the potential damage to intra-European airlines under proposed European Commission (EC) slot rules has been commissioned by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA).

The two organizations say the study is needed as the EC moves ahead with plans to amend the current slot allocation regulation.

EBAA, ERA To Study Impact Of Proposed Slot-Allocation Changes 

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) have commissioned an independent study to evaluate the potential damage to business aviation and intra-European airlines should the European Commission (EC) go ahead with its plans to amend the current slot-allocation regulation.

Wichita Aero Club Prepares New Air Capital Logo 

The Wichita Aero Club wants to ensure the world knows that the Midwestern city is still the air capital of the world. To that end, the club is creating a new logo that will be unveiled at the upcoming National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) annual convention. The old logo is dated, says club Executive Director David Franson. “We saw an opportunity had arisen, with an uptick in business aviation, and we wanted to take advantage of that,” he says.

Court Agrees To Hear BARR Restriction Arguments 

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has agreed to hear arguments Dec. 2 in a case brought by the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) to preserve the Block Aircraft Registration Request (BARR) program. The organizations have asked the court to find that FAA acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” when it dramatically scaled back BARR.

Piper Looks For Wichita Talent 

Vero Beach, Fla.-based Piper Aircraft is returning to Wichita on Oct. 7 to recruit local talent. The Wichita region—which proclaims itself as the “Air Capital of the World”—has lost more than 30,000 aviation jobs since the beginning of the severe downturn in business aviation in 2008, making it a ripe field for talent recruitment.

Piper had its own round of furloughs in 2009 and 2010 as it right-sized production. But as things stabilized, the manufacturer visited Wichita in November 2010 to recruit workers.

Jetnet August Report Sees Improvement In Used BizAv Sales 

August 2011 statistics on the used aircraft markets overall have yielded good news, says aviation information consultancy Jetnet.

In the first eight months of 2011, the year-to-date average asking price for business jets rose 3.5%, while the industry maintained double-digit growth (11.4%) for used business jet retail sale transactions.

Cecil Airport Prepares For Facility Upgrades 

Florida’s Jacksonville Airport Authority (JAA) is planning to expand the available business aviation facilities at Cecil Airport with the construction of a new taxiway and roadway on 120 of the facility’s acres.

“We’re ... constructing a taxiway that connects to the airport runway system. We’re also going to construct a roadway along 113th Street that will bring access to the east side of the runway,” explains JAA interim COO Bob Simpson.

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