Industry

Gulfstream says it is adding approximately 35 jobs at its BQK (Brunswick GA) completions facility over the next year to support Gulfstream completions work.

FirstFlight has expanded its fleet with the addition of a Hawker 850XP. With this aircraft, based at TEB (Teterboro NJ), the total number of aircraft in FirstFlight's fleet has risen to 15.

Hawker Beechcraft Corp (HBC) has announced its intent to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as a standalone company after the deal with Superior Aviation Beijing collapsed.

HBC made the announcement on Oct 18, saying it would rename itself Beechcraft Corp and focus on its most profitable lines of business—turboprop, piston, special mission and trainer/attack aircraft when it emerges from Chapter 11, expected in 1Q2013.
HBC Chairman Bill Boisture says that the company will keep Superior's $50-million deposit—now considered fully nonrefundable—and is evaluating its alternatives for the Hawker product line, including options to sell some or all of the ill-performing business unit or close it down entirely.

Industry advisor Brian Foley believes that this is just another chapter of a story that is still playing itself out. He, along with other industry experts, speculate that the collapsed deal is an indication that the company as a whole is not saleable. However, they also believe the new plan of reorganization may allow the company to sell off its various business units separately, which would likely be more appealing to potential suitors. Prior to Superior's $1.79-billion bid in July, both Textron and Embraer reportedly had interest in the company.

Simulators

CAE has been awarded a contract to supply Bombardier Aerospace with a simulator for the development of the Global 7000 and 8000 program. Under the agreement, CAE will provide Bombardier with engineering services and simulation-based technology tools, including a simulator, to support the design, testing and certification of the Global 7000/8000 platform as part of Bombardier's integrated system test and certification rig.

MRO Services

Honda Aircraft Company has broken ground on a new MRO facility at GSO (Intl, Greensboro NC). The 90,000 sq ft facility is being built adjacent to the company's world headquarters and will accommodate up to 12 aircraft simultaneously. Capabilities include composite and sheet metal repair as well as avionics and interior repair and modification. The building will also include a customer area, individual works rooms, conference space and a flight planning room. Construction is expected to be completed by 2H2013 and will cost $120 million.

Hawker Beechcraft has opened a new service center at MTY (Gral Escobedo, Monterrey del Norte, Mexico). The 48,000 sq ft facility offers maintenance, repair and modification services for airframe, engines and avionics as well as interior modification services. It is also the company's first dedicated paint facility in Mexico. The new service center includes 10,700 sq ft of office and customer hospitality space, including a design center for reviewing and selecting interior fabrics and exterior paint schemes.

Cessna has opened its first Citation service center in the UK. The 50,000 sq ft facility at DSA (Doncaster/Sheffield, England) was known as Kinch Aviation Services for 15 years until Cessna acquired the company recently. The service center offers a wide range of services from maintenance to modernization and paint.

 

NBAA Business Aviation Regional Forum BFI

BFI is a vibrant and growing bizav hub, with new hangars going up and ongoing expansion of local flight departments.

NBAA's latest regional forum was hosted by Clay Lacy Aviation on Sep 20 at BFI (Boeing Field, Seattle WA). It attracted more than 800 attendees, 16 aircraft on static display and 80 exhibitors. This was a daylong learning and peer networking venue designed to meet the needs of the regional business aviation community in the Pacific North­west.

NBAA Pres & CEO Ed Bolen opened the general session and took the opportunity to warn local business aviation operators about the threat of new $100-per-flight user fees imposed on turbine ops. Learning sessions at the forum included upset recovery and mitigation strategies for business aviation, best practices for transitioning from paper to digital charts, future air navigation system (FANS) updates and business aviation tax considerations.

AgustaWestland brought a YVR (Vancouver BC, Canada)-based AW139 to the static display.

Aircraft presented on static display included the Dassault Falcon 2000LX, Hawker Beechcraft Hawker 4000, Embraer Legacy 650, AgustaWestland AW139 and a full-size mockup of the Cirrus Vision SF50 VLJ.

The evening prior to the forum Clay Lacy Aviation hosted a reception for attendees and Galvin Aviation held a soirée, cosponsored by Epic Aviation and the UVair Fuel Program, in its newly completed hangar with guests mingling around a restored Boeing B17 on loan from the Seattle Museum of Flight.

Business aviation remains strong in the Seattle area with ongoing hangar construction and a growing population of locally based business aircraft. Aviation Partners CEO Joe Clark was on hand to tout 4 blended winglet-equipped Falcons now based at BFI—a factory Falcon 2000LX, 2 retrofitted Falcon 900s and a recently retrofitted Falcon 50.

FAA certification was achieved Sep 18 for Falcon 50 High Mach blended winglets.
BFI features a wide range of large private corporate hangars and Galvin Flying Service will soon be expanding based aircraft accommodation with a series of boutique hangar facilities.

NBAA business aviation regional forums are designed to meet the needs of local business and aviation communities while providing an introduction to local government and area leaders interested in learning more about the business aviation industry. Next NBAA regional forum is at LGB (Long Beach CA) on Feb 28, 2013. —Grant McLaren

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