Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Learn to fly at Sacramento Executive Airport!

EVA Airlines, Taiwan’s second largest airline, has identified Executive Airport as the potential location for a U.S. based flight training school. The long-term plan for this exciting development is the construction of a new flight training facility.

The project could result in a $13-$15 million investment in Executive Airport, including classrooms, a cafeteria, dormitory housing for students, a maintenance hangar, shade hangars and a private apron. This development is consistent with the Draft Airport Master Plan.

Prior to development and operation of the new facility, EVA must obtain certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate a flight training facility.

To support the curriculum development effort and establish an immediate Sacramento presence EVA is proposing to lease building 10318 at Executive Airport. The lease, which was on the agenda to be considered by the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, passed on March 12, 2013.

“This type of private investment at Executive Airport is a long-term shot in the arm for our local economy,” said District 1 Supervisor Jimmie Yee. “Sacramento County is committed to exploring these types of projects to ensure a bright future for Executive.”

If the FAA approves the EVA curriculum, training for the first 12-15 students would begin in early 2014. The EVA training program will use modern 2- to 4-seat aircraft similar to other types of airplanes that operate at Executive Airport.

“This is the first step in what will be a long-term partnership,” said Interim Director of Airports Rob Leonard. “Over the next few months, our staff will work with EVA and other stakeholders on a ground lease and other details for development of the project.”

EVA Air offers a global flight network, with connections to more than 60 cities in Asia, China, Europe, North America and Oceania. EVA’s parent company, The Evergreen Group, owns a diverse set of companies that include land and air transportation companies and an international chain of hotels.

Sacramento County Airport System, a department of Sacramento County, is responsible for planning, developing, operating and maintaining four of the County’s airports: Sacramento International Airport, Executive Airport, Mather Airport and Franklin Field. The Airport System provides more than $4 billion in annual economic impact to the Sacramento region. 

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Court backs arbitration in helicopter school bankruptcy

A case involving Silver State helicopter school’s bankruptcy ends with a ruling endorsing arbitration over jury trials

BY JACK KATZANEK, The Press Enterprise
April 16, 2013; 11:03 AM

A case that started more than five years ago at small airports all over the country, including one in Inland Southern California, has evolved into a federal appeals court ruling that will probably favor employers and corporations in future cases.

The case, Kilgore vs. Key Bank, began when Silver State Helicopters, a national string of flight schools that was based in Las Vegas, abruptly went out of business in February 2008.

The school closed after thousands of people, mostly young people in their 20s, took out hefty loans to pay $70,000 in tuition to learn to be helicopter pilots.

One of the academies was at Chino Airport. More than 100 people from San Bernardino and Riverside counties were enrolled in the school, and most found out about the closing from telephone calls they received while watching the 2008 Super Bowl game.

Several legal challenges arose from the closing by students who claimed that lenders who gave tuition loans should have known that Silver State was on shaky financial ground.

Some of the lenders forgave the student loans, but Cleveland-based Key Bank insisted the loans in dispute should be subject to arbitration.

A Ninth Circuit judge last year refused to honor Key Bank’s request to compel the plaintiff to force the dispute to be settled via arbitration.

However, last week a Ninth Circuit appeals court, in a 10-1 ruling, reversed that decision. It ruled that arbitration should be allowed because it gave students a 60-day window during which they could have opted out of the arbitration agreement and because the provision was “clearly labeled in boldface.”

The case was closely watched in legal circles because employers and corporations prefer to settle workplace law disputes in front of an arbitrator rather than a jury, which might be more likely to side with a plaintiff.