Fort Bragg NC was the scene for a Mar 16 ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the US Army "Golden Knights" Parachute Team.

Sharing cake-cutting duties were (L-R) Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Golden Knights Commander Lt Col Tony Dill, Sergeant Major Michael Eitniear and Golden Knights Alumni Pres Sonny Hill.

Industry

Cessna has received FAA certification for Garmin's Synthetic Vision Technology (SVT) in the Citation Mustang. Accordingly, SVT is now an FAA-certified option for the aircraft. The announcement came during the recent Sun 'n Fun fly-in at LAL (Lakeland FL).

In further news, Cessna advises that the 200th Mustang is scheduled for May delivery to Maritime Air Charters of Honolulu HI.

The current fleet of Citation Mustangs has accumulated more than 34,000 flight hours, and the high-time aircraft has logged nearly 1000 hrs. The Mustang is certified in 57 countries including the US.

Services

FltPlan.com, which provides flight planning service for business and corporate pilots in the US, has announced its new electronic advance passenger information service (eAPIS). Described as a secure, easy-to-use system for submitting eAPIS manifests, this is reported to be among the first services to receive certification from the US Dept of Homeland Security/Customs & Border Protection (DHS/CBP).

According to the company, it developed the system in response to CBP's requirement that as of May 18 all pilots of private aircraft transmit notices of arrival and/or departure and traveler manifest information to CBP electronically at least 60 minutes prior to departure.

Benefits of FltPlan.com's CBP-approved eAPIS include a user-friendly interface integrated with flightplans, storage of passenger, aircraft, aircraft owner and crew information for future eAPIS submissions, and access from any Internet-enabled computer with secure SSL technology encryption. FltPlan.com was launched online in 1999 and today has over 80,000 users.

First Class Cars (FCC), based at LTN (Luton, London, England), is predicting a 20% increase in business this year. FCC CEO Graham Coate notes that the market for luxury ground transportation has continued to show healthy returns despite the current gloomy economic climate

"Our net profits resulted from new business gained in the last 4 months of 2008," he says, and attributes most of this growth to high levels of US corporate aircraft traffic to airports in the London area-a trend which has offset a 25% decline in charter-related business.

FCC, which has nearly 40 luxury cars located at BQH (Biggin Hill), FAB (Farnborough), NHT (RAF Northolt) and STN (Stansted, London), in addition to LTN, works closely with FBOs to achieve secure seamless airside service for what Coates describes as FCC's "highly selective" clients. US customers account for 50% of the company's business, according to Coates. The remainder come from Russia (30%) and elsewhere in Europe (20%).

Association takes a firm stand on image

NBAA's recent regional forum, held at DAL on Apr 9, was a standing-room-only event. NBAA Pres Ed Bolen was on hand to give a "No Plane No Gain" update. "We want to make sure policymakers and opinion leaders are well aware of the essential role business aviation plays for citizens, companies and communities across the country," Bolen told forum attendees.

Business Jet Center hosted the event and drew a crowd of more than 940 attendees, including 54 exhibitors with 24 aircraft on static display. It was one of the best attended regional forums in the Dallas area. In other recent NBAA news, the association has publicly welcomed and praised the announced formation of the General Aviation Caucus.

The caucus is cochaired by Rep Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) and Rep Allen Boyd (D-FL), who formed the caucus to inform members of Congress and their staff about the value of GA to the nation's economy and transportation system.

Maintenance

Dassault Falcon has announced the opening of a Dassault Aircraft Services (DAS) facility at RNO (Reno-Tahoe NV). The new 40,000 sq ft facility is a full service Falcon MRO location and offers comprehensive avionics, engine and aircraft support services, including an AOG "go team," which will provide rapid mobile response to the location of a Falcon aircraft anywhere in US with the technicians, parts and tools necessary to get it flying with minimal delay.

DAS Reno is FAA certified to perform maintenance on the Falcon 50, 900, 2000 and 7X. Dassault has invested nearly $1.3 million in tooling and ground support equipment at the facility, which will eventually be staffed by at least 40 Dassault Falcon personnel.

Manifest

Jonathan Miller has been appointed general mgr of Galaxy Aviation PBI (Intl, West Palm Beach FL). He has been with the organization for 12 years, focusing on real estate development, acquisitions, financial analysis and strategic management.

Robby Harless, previously general mgr at Gulfstream's BQK (Brunswick GA) facility, has been named VP and general mgr of its DAL (Love, Dallas TX) unit. Here he will be responsible for Gulfstream's midsize-cabin completions facility, product support center and General Dynamics Aviation Services (GDAS) product support center. Harless replaces Charles Celli, who is moving to another business unit within the GD Aerospace group. Harless will be succeeded as general mgr at BQK by Ron Aldrich.

Meanwhile, Don Petersen, formerly VP and general mgr of Gulfstream's ATW (Appleton WI) operations, has been appointed to another GD Aerospace business unit. Service Dir Greg Laabs will be interim site lead at the ATW facility, which comprises a Gulfstream large-cabin completions center and Gulfstream/GDAS product support centers.

Vince Ruscitti is the new dir of service center ops at DAL, where he will oversee the Gulfstream and GDAS maintenance facilities. Most recently, Ruscitti served as senior service ops mgr at GDAS DAL.

SheltAir Aviation Services is welcoming Russ Lawliss as general mgr of its PBG (Plattsburgh NY) FBO facility. Lawliss previously managed the FBO at the Plattsburgh Clinton County Airport, now closed. Lawliss is a retired NY State Trooper and serves as a Town Justice in the Plattsburgh area.

Tiedown

May 27-29: Canadian Business Aviation Assn Convention, Queen Elizabeth Hotel, YUL (Trudeau, Montreal QC, Canada). CBAA, Janet Maslin, 613-236-5611 x225 or visit www. cbaa.ca.

Jun 15-21: 48th Paris Air Show, le Bourget Exhibition Centre, Paris, France. GIFAS, 3314-443-1700 or visit www.paris-air-show.com.

Jul 22-25: ALEA (Airborne Law Enforcement Assn) Annual Conference and Exposition, Orange County Convention Center, Orlando FL. ALEA, 301-631-2406 or visit www.alea.org.

Jul 27-Aug 2: EAA (Experimental Aircraft Assn) AirVenture 2006, Oshkosh WI. EAA, 920-426-4800 or visit www.airventure.org.

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