Government

After 4 years and 23 temporary extensions, FAA finally has long-term funding. Both legislative assemblies have agreed on legislation that authorizes $63.3 billion for FAA programs through 2015. The measure retains, at existing levels, the proven, efficient and effective fuel tax as the means for general aviation to pay for its use of the aviation system, in lieu of new user fees. The reauthorization package also reflects a commitment to make NextGen a reality.

Industry

Embraer performed the Legacy 500 first engine run on Jan 17 at the company's headquarters at SJK (São José dos Campos SP, Brazil). This was a second milestone in the aircraft's development program, following its rollout on Dec 23, 2011. First flight is expected in 3Q2012.

In his Wall Street Journal blog, "Deal Maker," Mike Spector reports that Hawker Beechcraft has hired bankruptcy and restructuring lawyers as it deals with weakened demand for its business jets. It is reported that Hawker Beechcraft recently hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis, which has advised on large bankruptcies, including that of United Airlines, and out-of-court restructurings such as Keystone Automotive. Kirkland's hiring doesn't necessarily mean that Hawker Beechcraft plans to file for bankruptcy protection or that any other restructuring is imminent. Hawker Beechcraft is also being advised by Perella Weinberg Partners.

Hawker Beechcraft's board of directors appointed Robert "Steve" Miller (L) as company CEO, effective Feb 7. He replaces Bill Boisture (R), who had served as CEO from Mar 2009 and will stay on as chairman of operating subsidiary Hawker Beechcraft Corp. Miller, who styles himself "The Turnaround Kid," has had a long history in the automotive, steel and waste management industries. He is currently chairman of the board of AIG and a director of Symantec.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the first 2 of the many Raisbeck Engneering performance systems available for the Hawker Beechcraft King Air. They are dual aft body strakes (DABS) and Crown wing lockers (CWLs). The first applications in China are on King Air 350s. Other applications are currently working their way through the CAAC network. Raisbeck Dir of Customer Support and FAA Coordinator Bill Lally supervised the process that led to the Chinese certifications. He reports, "The gentlemen from CAAC are remarkable for their depth [of understanding] in aircraft technology, and have been a joy to work with."

Cessna has no plans to restart the moth­balled Citation Columbus program. Textron CEO Scott Donnelly—who is also Cessna's CEO—made this clear during the most recent quarterly conference call to review the company's financials. The company has announced 2 new models—the Cit­ation M2 and the Latitude—to respond to competitive offerings in its core market of light to medium jets.

Sales & leasing

Summit Aviation, a Greenwich AeroGroup Company, has re-entered the aircraft sales and leasing business. Founded in 1960, Summit Aviation had discontinued sales and leasing in the early 1990s but today's market environment inspired them to revive the services. "Many of the government and parapublic agencies we work with have ... been asking us for a solution that would meet their needs for fixed-wing or rotorcraft without having to make a capital investment," says Summit Pres Robert Fitzpatrick. Larger deals will be supported by Summit's sister company, Greenwich AeroGroup Financial Services.

Avionics

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has chosen the Becker Avionics DVCS6100 digital audio and intercom system for its new Pilatus PC12 Spectre turboprop fleet. The DVCS­6100 replaces the standard Honeywell Primus Apex integrated flight­deck audio control system for pilot and copilot, and a mission operator station in the main cabin. The first of several new aircraft is currently undergoing completion at the Pilatus facility at BJC (Rocky Mountain Metro, Denver CO).

The Berger Group of Companies, a global engineering firm with annual revenues of $1 billion headquartered in Morristown NJ, has acquired Ranger Intl Services Group of Greenville SC. Ranger—a 1000-employee firm providing aviation, logistics and engineering services—will henceforth be known as Louis Berger Services.

MRO Services

Airbus Corporate Jet Centre (ACJC) delivered its 10th cabin in early February. The aircraft, an ACJ319, was delivered from TLS (Blagnac, Toulouse, France) to an undisclosed European customer. The cabin includes a bedroom with 2 movable beds that can be configured as either 2 single beds or a double bed. The bedroom is complemented by a bathroom equipped with a full-height shower. With an aft section including 12 fully flat, electrically actuated cocoon seats, each equipped with a 15-in video screen, the aircraft can carry up to 18 passengers.

Jet Works Air Center (JWAC) and Odyssey Aerospace Components (OAC) have teamed to offer refurbishment services for bizjet interiors. Located at DTO (Denton TX), both companies have extensive business jet modification experience. OAC is an established Boeing BBJ completion center. Since OAC's start in 2008 the facility has supplied custom cabinetry for 5 BBJ programs, has completed more than 100 cabinetry refurbishments and is now manufacturing interiors for the VIP 747-8. JWAC has extensive experience of aircraft maintenance and modifications.

Manifest

ExecuJet Cambridge at CBG (Cambridge, England) has appointed Karen Hein-Jones to the position of FBO manager, effective Jan 2. Hein-Jones comes from another FBO company at STD (Stansted, London, England), where she was ops controller for 5 years. In her new role, Hein-Jones will report to ExecuJet Dir European FBOs Nicole Gut.

Mike Fetcko has joined Elliott Aviation as avionics manager at MLI (Moline IL). A former US Navy avionics technician, Fetcko's civilian career started in 1998 with Duncan Aviation, following which he worked as a systems design engineer with Great Lakes Aviation and as a private contractor.

Mid-Continent Instruments has appointed Mark Smith as quality assurance manager. He will be responsible for quality control, inspection, maintenance of technical data, and regulatory compliance with federal, state and international agencies.

PATS Aircraft Systems has added Chris Bott as certification manager. He will oversee certification efforts for PATS and Hollingsead Intl‐designed and manufactured products. Bott is an FAA designated engineering representative and comes to PATS with over 35 years of aviation experience.

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