Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Freedom Aviation seeks commercial-plane fuel sales permission: Lynchburg Regional Airport (KLYH), Virginia

Freedom Aviation, Liberty University’s fixed base operator at Lynchburg Regional Airport, seeks City Council approval to amend its franchise agreement to allow the operator to sell fuel to commercial airlines.

In 2007, when Freedom Aviation precursor Falwell Aviation entered into a franchise agreement for the construction of a hangar and storage facility at Lynchburg Regional Airport, the agreement included language prohibiting the operator from refueling commercial planes. That clause stemmed from a previous agreement between Falwell Aviation and Virginia Aviation, the airport’s other fixed base operator.

At the time, Virginia Aviation had filed a lawsuit over the city’s awarding of the 20-year lease to Freedom Aviation. Virginia Aviation later dropped the suit after a set of compromises were made between the city and the two operators.

Dave Young, president of Freedom Aviation, in letters sent to both the airport’s director and the city manager, said the language in the agreement cements “an unequal status amongst the FBO’s with regard to fuel sales.”

The operator asks City Council to “rectify this imbalance” by amending the ordinance governing the franchise agreement to allow Freedom Aviation to sell fuel “for use in commercial and all other aircraft.”

City Council will hear the operator’s request at Tuesday's meeting. The Regional Airport Commission, composed of eight representatives from Region 2000 communities and Lynchburg’s city manager, has recommended denying the request. Stewart Hobbs, chairman of the airport commission, declined to discuss the commission’s reasons.

Virginia Aviation’s owner did not respond to a request for comment.

Source:   http://www.newsadvance.com

Air traffic workload blamed for mid-air incident between Qantas and Virgin 737s over Ceduna

A heavy workload for air traffic controllers contributed to aircraft getting too close to each other over South Australia's west coast in November 2011, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has found.

The incident near Ceduna involved Boeing 737s operated by Qantas and Virgin.

The Virgin flight was heading from Perth to Brisbane and the Qantas flight from Port Hedland to Melbourne.

The report said the flights were well inside the 37 kilometres of separation required.

It said a 10-minute separation was required but they got within two minutes of each other.

The report found the two air traffic controllers lacked experience in coping with heavy workloads.

Source:  http://www.abc.net.au

Manhattan, New York: Balloon To Fly For Building Survey Near South Street Seaport -- New 1,018-Foot Skyscraper Is Planned For Site

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Manhattan residents near the South Street Seaport should not be alarmed if they see a large balloon flying 950 feet in the air near their homes.

The Federal Aviation Administration has advised that the moored balloon will be launched over 80 South St. to obtain photos for a building survey operation, the NYPD said.

The allowable window for the balloon launch begins Tuesday and ends on Sunday, Dec. 1. The balloon will only be up for about three or four days during the allowable window, for periods of two hours a day during daylight hours, the NYPD said.

The balloon will fly at an altitude of about 950 feet, and is about the size of a weather balloon.

The 80 South St. site is the prospective location of a new 1,018-foot residential skyscraper bisected by gardens, designed by architect Anthony Morali.

A prior planned skyscraper at the site, designed by celebrity architect Santiago Calatrava, would have risen to 1,123 feet with a design of 12 four-story cubes stacked on top of each other. That project was called off in 2008 as the real estate market declined.


Embraer Phenom 300: Jet gets close-up view of Las Vegas Strip

DrVita.com CEO Wayne Gorsek flys his Embraer Phenom 300 private jet, right, over the Las Vegas Strip during a sunset photo shoot on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. The FAA provided a dispensation to allow the low flying hour-long photo opportunity for the two planes.
 (David Becker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The Federal Aviation Administration granted special permission for a corporate jet to fly low over the Las Vegas Strip Monday afternoon.

Wayne Gorsek, CEO of DrVita.com, received dispensation to fly his jet over the Las Vegas Strip for a photo opportunity at 4:45 p.m.

The Embraer Phenom 300 departed Signature Aviation and flew over the Strip with Gorsek in the cockpit and Asia lead vocalist John Payne as a passenger.

Paul Strickland, a former F-16 pilot with the Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team at Nellis Air Force Base was the co-pilot, said event spokeswoman, Courtney Pisarik, of ink Public Relations.

A Beechcraft Bonanza chase plane followed to shoot photos and video of the fly-over to promote Gorsek’s business.

DrVita.com is Las Vegas-based company that distributes vitamins, supplements and health food items.

“It’s a passion of his and his past time,” Pisarik said.

Story, Photos and Comments/Reaction:   http://www.reviewjournal.com

Corporate jet sales set to climb despite turbulence

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Stroll amid the corporate jets on display at the National Business Aviation Association's annual convention outside Las Vegas and you'll see a troubled industry trying to regain momentum after a crushing four-year run. 

"In some economies we're doing well, some economies, not so well. Europe, as an example, we have actually seen a dramatic tailoff in business activity. So I think it's a spotted world," said Steven Ridolfi, president of Bombardier Business Aircraft.

Bombardier and other jet makers are hoping, and cautiously optimistic 2013 is when their industry finally turns the corner. In its annual forecast for corporate jets, Honeywell forecasted industry sales will grow by 8 percent this year and top $18.4 billion.

"It [business jet sales] probably is the best that it has been since prerecession, but we're nowhere near where we were back at the market peak in 2007, 2008," said Ed Bolen, the association's president. "We're well off the bottom, but we're not quite back to the top."

Executives who sell these business jets to other executives said the number one thing keeping corporations from placing orders for new planes is the uncertainty swirling around the economy and the politics in Washington.

"All the indicators are there to say that business should be better than it is — corporate profits are [at an] all-time high, more high net worth individuals today than have ever existed," said Ernest Edwards, president of Embraer Executive Jets. "What's missing is the lack of confidence, lack of confidence in the world economy, lack of confidence in the domestic economies, and in our business."

Scott Donnelly, CEO of Cessna maker Textron, has seen that lack of confidence weigh on the bottom line. After reporting a greater than expected loss for Cessna in Q3, Donnelly said uncertainty about the U.S. economy is making potential customers think twice before buying.

"Most of our customers are small to mid-size business guys. Most of them are doing fairly well. They're doing much better than they were doing in the darker days of '09 and '10, but they still have a lot of concerns on how the economy is going," he said.

Despite the caution among corporate customers, the jet makers are riding a wave of new wealthy individuals who want, and are buying, their own planes.

It's one reason the Gulfstream G650 is one of the hottest jets on the market right now. The backlog of orders for the $65 million jet stretches out through 2017. While the company won't break down how many private individuals are buying the G650, it's believed approximately 30 percent of the plane's sales are to wealthy individuals.

"They [the rich] are buying more than ever before, driven by the fact that there are more high-net individuals than ever before," said Ridolfi. "Last year we added 200 billionaires to the world's population. Well, I love that. Everyone of those guys are one of my customers."

Story and Video:   http://www.nbcnews.com