Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, of North Charleston SC, has acquired ISP (Islip NY)-based ExcelAire. In addition to offering standard FBO services, ExcelAire manages 20 large cabin aircraft through its Part 135 certificate and holds several service center designations through its Part 145 repair station license. ExcelAire CEO Bob Sherry and Pres David Rimmer will remain in their positions with the company.
Texas Jet at FTW (Meacham, Fort Worth TX) has bought out former competitor Fort Worth Flight Support. The acquisition includes 2 hangars and an executive terminal building totaling 63,000 sq ft. The new office and hangar space will serve as Texas Jet's private VIP terminal. Founded in 1978, Texas Jet has grown to 22 hangars totaling over 400,000 sq ft. It fuels about 10,000 private turbine aircraft annually, accounting for about 70% of fuel sales at FTW.
Boundary Bay Air Services at ZBB (Boundary Bay BC, Canada) is open for business. The Air BP branded FBO offers separate VIP and pilot lounges, flight planning facilities, a board room, catering and on-site customs. The operation is located in the new terminal building, with a restaurant and free parking.
London area FBOs ramp up for summer Olympics
Dassault Falcon 7X at LCY (London City, England), 2 miles from the site of the 2012 Olympic Games. Aircraft using LCY must meet the airport's noise category requirements and be capable of making an approach at 5.5° or steeper. Helicopters and single-engine aircraft are not permitted.
FBOs in and around the British capital are looking forward to a little extra business in late July and the first half of August. According to the UK Dept for Transportation (DfT), an extra 500,000 people will visit London during the 2012 Olympics.
A notable minority of them will arrive on business jets. DfT anticipates an extra 3000 business jet movements, adding to the 7000 usually expected for the 31-day period. Arriving heads of state will account for about 120 of those activities. Peak operations are expected for the opening and closing ceremonies, on Jul 27 and Aug 12, respectively. Further complicating matters, business and GA traffic is barred from LHR (Heathrow, London) during the Olympics.
Most of the Olympics traffic will hit 4 London-area airports—BQH (Biggin Hill), LCY (London City), LTN (Luton) and STN (Stansted, London).
BOH (Bournemouth), on England's south coast, may also see a few extra arrivals. It is the closest major airport to the Olympics sailing venue at Weymouth/Portland. Signature, which runs the local FBO, reports that plenty of parking should be available there.
That cannot be said of many London-area airports. Signature operates FBOs at LGW (Gatwick, London), LTN and SEN (Southend). "We expect a total of 1500 additional arrivals for the Olympics," says Signature VP Marketing Patrick Sniffen. "Given our network spread, we expect to see 30% of that [traffic], with the majority into Luton."
Harrods Aviation operates FBOs at both LTN and STN. "In 2010, we entered into an agreement with the airport authority at Stansted, which saw us increase our hangarage and ramp space with the Olympics in mind," reports Harrods' Laura Cood. "We are also looking to work closely with neighboring airports to support our operation should we reach capacity."
Universal Aviation, also at STN, is expecting standing-room-only crowds. "We were anticipating traffic around 100–150% above seasonal numbers," says Jason Hayward, general manager of the handling department. "We had that booked by late December. We could be looking at 200% over seasonal numbers.
"We have identified a lot of additional pieces of concrete that we are using for parking aircraft," he adds. "Now we're trying to work out the mix of aircraft, because that dictates ramp space."
Universal and Signature both anticipate bringing in chocks, safety cones and even tugs from other locations. "We are lucky to be part of a network," says Universal's Hayward.