General

On Mar 27 the White House announced that the President intends to nominate Michael Huerta (L) to the post of FAA Administrator. Huerta, previously the deputy administrator, had been serving as interim administrator following the sudden resignation of the previous administrator, Randy Babbitt, last December.

A representative of NBAA appeared before the House Aviation Subcommittee on Mar 28 to express the business aviation community's opposition to the European Union's proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). "The companies of all sizes that rely on business aviation are unified with the rest of the aviation community in our alarm over the proposed scheme," said Gulfstream Senior Flight Ops Technical Specialist Leo McStravick, who testified before the subcommittee on the industry's behalf. He claimed, "The proposal is unfair, intrusive, administratively burdensome and fails any reasonable cost/benefit test for the environment."

Industry

Airbus has won its first corporate jet sale in Japan, adding a new customer and building on what it calls its widespread and growing presence in the Asia-Pacific market. The aircraft, an Airbus ACJ318, is the latest of some 170 orders since Airbus delivered its first corporate jet in the mid-1980s.

Hawker Beechcraft announced in March that it has reached an agreement with "certain lenders" that will provide the company with approximately $120 million of additional liquidity through an incremental term loan facility under its existing credit facility.
In a related announcement, Hawker Beechcraft states, in its 10-K filed with SEC on Apr 13, that it realized a loss from operations of approximately $482 million for FY 2011 compared to $174 million for FY 2010. The filing goes on to say that there are "substantial doubts" that the company will be able to continue as a going concern.

Gulfstream announced on Mar 2 that the G280 has received a provisional type certificate (PTC) from FAA. It had obtained a PTC from the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI) on Dec 29, 2011. The principal remaining item required before full type certificates are issued by FAA and CAAI is an update to the software for the aircraft's avionics. Full type certification is expected later this year.

CAE says that it will begin training pilots and maintenance technicians this year for business aircraft and civil helicopter operators in Asia. Gulfstream G450/G550 training and Sikorsky S76C++ training will be offered in 2012. Training for the Bombardier Global 5000, Global Express and Global Express XRS will be available in early 2013. CAE intends to deploy a training program for the Dassault Falcon 7X soon thereafter.

Viking Air of Victoria BC, Canada announced in late March that it has finalized a military service center agreement with the Argentine Air Force, making it Viking's first South American and first factory endorsed military service center (FEMSC). The agreement authorizes the Argentine Air Force to provide Viking-backed support services for Twin Otter 400s, Guardian 400s and legacy Twin Otters at its base in Quilmes, and covers government and military maintenance, warranty work and Viking recognized modifications.

Bombardier Aerospace says its Vision Flight Deck has entered service on schedule on a Global 5000. The aircraft was delivered to Formula 1 Champion Niki Lauda, a longtime Bombardier customer, during a special ceremony at Bombardier's completion center at YUL (Trudeau, Montreal QC, Canada). Bombardier and Rockwell Collins, its HUD partner, are the first to certify synthetic vision imagery on a HUD as part of the Pro Line Fusion avionics system on Vision Flight Deck.

Embraer and Boeing announced on Apr 9 that they have an agreement to work together to benefit their customers, their companies and the global aviation industry. Embraer Pres & CEO Frederico Curado and Boeing Commercial Airplanes Pres & CEO Jim Albaugh signed the agreement following the annual meeting of the US–Brazil CEO Forum. Curado and Albaugh are cochairs of the CEO Forum's aviation subcommittee. Areas of cooperation to be pursued include commercial aircraft features that enhance safety and efficiency, research and technology and sustainable aviation biofuels.

On Mar 21 the Smithsonian presented its 2012 National Air & Space Museum Trophy to Burt Rutan (lifetime achievement category) and the Cassini-Huygens flight team (current achievement category). Museum Dir Gen JR "Jack" Dailey said, "Burt Rutan has inspired the aeronautical community to reach beyond the conventional for innovation and achievement. The Cassini-Huygens mission has changed our understanding of the Saturn system and contributed to our understanding of planetary systems' formation and evolution."

Avionics

AeroMechanical Services, operating under the FLYHT brand name, announced on Mar 26 that it has signed a contract with NetJets Europe. FLYHT will provide the automated flight information reporting system (AFIRS) and services for 30 Hawker Beechcraft 750s and 800XPs. The installations will ultimately consist of the company's next-generation AFIRS 228U to provide compliance with Europe's new ATC regulations (Link 2000+) for protected-mode CPDLC.

Universal Avionics has announced the completion of the first customer installation of the UniLink UL80X communication management unit (CMU) on a Falcon 50 owned by Chicago Jet Group. Interfaced with dual UNS1Lw FMSs and an ICG ICS220A Iridium communications system, the installation provides the flightcrew with a global voice channel and a dedicated datalink channel to support ACARS, FANS 1/A+ messaging and CPDLC.

MRO Services

Million Air's maintenance department at HOU (Hobby, Houston TX) has received the 2012 NATA Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMT) Employer Recognition award. The recognition award program acknowledges employers that share NATA's belief that high-quality AMT training has a positive impact on aviation safety, employee morale and customer satisfaction and have demonstrated this belief by providing that training to their employees.

Gama Group, a global business aviation and services company, announced on Mar 29 the acquisition of Ronaldson Airmotive, an engine and components overhaul organization based at OXF (Oxford, England). Ronaldson joins Gama Engineering and Gama Support Services in providing engineering products and services for fixed and rotary-wing aircraft operators. This includes design, certification, maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification services already established in dedicated facilities at FAB (Farnborough, England) and FRK (Fairoaks, England).

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