Vail Valley Jet Center at EGE (Eagle CO) now offers Avfuel contract fuel. Cardholders can access cost-plus rates on jet fuel and take advantage of the company's preauthorization and billing process.

Swift Aviation has joined the Air Elite network. Swift, based at PHX (Sky Harbor, Phoenix AZ), says it is capable of handling any size aircraft, including GA, commercial and military. With the addition of Swift Aviation, the Air Elite network now has 27 locations worldwide.

TAC Air OMA (Omaha NE) has completed its executive terminal renovations. These include extensive interior and exterior improvements, including upgrades to the passenger and pilot lounges, restrooms, conference room and weather briefing room. With the completion of the FBO project, TAC Air is moving forward with construction of a 20,000 sq ft hangar to accommodate GA customers.

TME (Exec, Houston TX) has announced that it is building the world's largest arrival canopy. Measuring 32,800 sq ft, the canopy will be constructed along with a new 22,500 sq ft FBO named the Henriksen Jet Center. Completion is imminent, and the facility should be open by the time these words are read.

A new aviation fuel and ground handling services provider, iFuel, has commenced operations, focusing on Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) markets. The new company, unveiled in Dec 2012 at the MEBA show in Dubai, UAE, was established by 3 European aviation businesses—Open Aero, Jet Aero Fuels (JAF) and 28 East Group. Together, they signed an agreement to form the new company, which they say will support strategic expansion plans for all 3 businesses, saving its clients up to 30% on fuel and ground handling services.

Hawthorn Services, based at CHS (Charleston SC), has been sold to Berger Group. The FBO, whose roots date back to the 1930s, was sold at the end of December to Greenville SC-based Louis Berger Services (part of Berger Group Holdings) for an undisclosed sum. The company says it will retain its name, contracts and 370 employees, and continue operating at several military stations throughout the eastern seaboard of the US.

Improvements and new look in store for Signature LTN

Signature Flight Support is starting construction of a new FBO at LTN (Luton, London, England) to replace its existing facility. Details were made public at a groundbreaking ceremony on Jan 17.

Scheduled for completion by the end of 2014, the new Signature LTN complex will include a 16,920 sq ft FBO facility with passenger and crew lounges, private conference rooms and catering.

It will incorporate a modernized security system and screening areas. New features in­clude a covered parking garage and arrival area. Passenger access to the aircraft ramp will be via a secured gate.

Work on the first phase—the construction of a 48,450 sq ft hangar—is beginning immediately and is expected to be complete by 3Q­2013. Site redevelopment includes a dedicated GSE garage. The entire construction will conform to US Green Building Council LEED certification standards.

Signature LTN Ops Mgr Richard Allsop confirms that the facility will remain fully operational throughout the construction period. Once the new hangar is finished later this year, he says, tenant aircraft will be transferred and the 2 hangars adjoining the existing terminal will be demolished. Signature will continue operating from its present terminal building until the new facility is completed next year.

LTN is the UK's busiest airport for business and GA traffic and the 3rd busiest in Europe. Signature LTN can trace its roots to McAlpine Aviation, an FBO established at the airport in 1947. Signature purchased McAlpine in 2000, and today considers its LTN location to be among its most important outside of North America.

Both the Town of Luton and Luton Borough Council played important roles in the approval process for the new construction. Signature notes that the new FBO will create additional jobs and contribute to airport redevelopment plans. —Phil Rose