Palm Spring’s Ross Aviation now offering SAF to its customers

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In partnership with fuel supplier, Avfuel, Ross Aviation is offering sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to its customers at Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Palm Springs, California.

Having accepted its first load of SAF on 14 January, Ross Aviation will continue to receive an ongoing supply of Neste MY SAF from Avfuel and as additional supply becomes available, Avfuel will collaborate with Ross Aviation to expand the availability of SAF to the company’s 18 other FBO locations.

“This shipment of SAF is the first of many more to come, and represents another key component in support of our commitment to reducing business aviation’s impact on the environment,” said Brian Corbett, CEO of Ross Aviation. “It dovetails perfectly with our other sustainability initiatives already underway, such as our ‘Fly More. Leave Less.’ carbon offset program, as well as additional initiatives underway across our network.”

Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s manager of alternative fuels, added: “Avfuel is thankful to partner with Ross Aviation on furthering its sustainability initiatives with the provision of SAF for its eco-conscious customer base. Together, we can help provide a real, measurable difference in reducing carbon emissions, furthering our industry’s commitment to reaching net zero.”

Domodedovo FBO prepares for interior revamp and launch of gourmet restaurant

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Since taking over operations of the Domodedovo Business Aviation Centre in April 2021 and the end of last year, UTG Private Aviation has seen 10,297 passengers use its new facility. On average the FBO handled 1,144 passengers per month with the most active months in terms of passenger traffic being May (1,440) and November (1,389).

UTG PA has been actively working to transform the FBO at Domodedovo over the last 10 months carrying out major renovation and upgrade works. In October last year it began offering flight support services for business aviation, including ground handling arrangements and obtaining overflight and landing permits worldwide.

Crews can receive navigational estimates, weather reports, NOTAMs and flight plans. It also provides additional services such as rapid PCR tests on arrival, visa support, inflight catering, transfers and concierge services and aircraft customs clearance.

As of 2022, customers can enjoy the revamped interior of the bar and lounge area and in February UTG will install a stylish wing-shaped counter along with new designer furnishings.

Meanwhile, the opening of a gourmet restaurant is scheduled for March and plans are afoot to expand the ground floor of the terminal with panoramic glass verandas and a spacious conference room, while the second floor will also be renovated and will feature new facades. Reconstruction is expected to be complete by the end of 2022.

A helipad is also planned to open this year and will be located outside the airfield – but on the FBO site 50 metres from the terminal building.

Maldives Airports Company unveils first phase of VIP terminal at Velana Airport

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Lounge operations have commenced at Velana International Airport’s new Maamahi Executive Lounge, following the completion of phase one of the VIP terminal building.

The four-storey VIP terminal facility is being developed as a two-phase project with world-renowned architect, Yuji Yamazaki. Designed to deliver a luxurious experience encapsulating the spirit and style of the Maldives, the interior design was overseen by AECOM while Beijing Urban Construction Group was tasked with construction.

Phase one of the VIP terminal is housed on the ground floor and is dedicated to VVIP services. It is approximately 3,200 sq m and once the total project is complete it will provide 6,800 sq m of space.

The second phase of the project will see two more floors being developed with construction work due to start in early 2022. Services on these two floors will be dedicated to VIP customers.

London Oxford Airport upgrades fire and rescue services category

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Following the reintroduction of replacement fire tenders, allowing for associated changes in manned resources at London Oxford Airport, the business aviation hub has upgraded its rescue and fire fighting services (RFSS) to Category 6.

“This latest development is testament to our investment in and dedication to safety and service, particularly as movements in large cabin private jets at the airport continue to grow,” said Will Curtis, London Oxford Airport’s Managing Director.

Prior to the upgrade, customers had to pre-book and pay for an upgrade from the standard Category 4 RFFS, which required notice. The service is now available as a standard airport service without any additional charge and on immediate demand.

The airport has welcomed an increased number of long-range and ultra-long-range business jets over the past 12 months, with Oxford Airport offering a convenient and hassle-free option for access to the UK capital, as well as the Thames Valley region. For these large business jet operators, the airport now offers a viable alternative for flights diverted from elsewhere for weather-related or other reasons.

London Oxford experienced an increase in business jet movements in 2021, which were up 33% on 2020 movements. The last 12 months proved to be the airport’s best on record for 15 years, netting a total of 66,000 aircraft movements and 10,000 passengers handled through its OxfordJet FBO.

James Dillon-Godfray, London Oxford Airport’s Head of Business Development, said: “Our popularity as an alternative London airport is partly due to our excellent operating hours – available from 06:00 to midnight, seven days a week. This new assured Category 6 capability gives aircraft operators and flight planning organisations even greater confidence that access is assured for their larger aircraft types – all the time.”

Capable of handling regional airliner types such as the Embraer E195 with 100-plus seats on charters through its FBO, plus Boeing BBJ (B737) and Airbus Corporate Jets ACJ320 series bizliners, including the new TwoTwenty (A220 derivative), the enhanced fire cover can facilitate them year-round.

“With business aviation activity 38% up compared with pre-pandemic levels, London Oxford Airport is well positioned to support the prerequisite demand for leading bizjet operators for routine, no-hesitation access,” added James Dillon-Godfray. “As the airport evolves, we will continue to grow our capabilities to ensure we maintain our industry-leading standards across the board.”

Facilities were bolstered with the November opening of Hangar 15, a 63,000 sq ft (6,000 m2), 140 metre long hangar, suitable for up to six more Bombardier Global or Gulfstream-sized aircraft.

Cutter Aviation acquires Georgetown FBO

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The US-based family-owned and operated FBO and aviation services company Cutter Aviation has acquired AeroJet FBO at Georgetown Municipal Airport in Texas.

The Georgetown facility is the fifth FBO in Cutter’s network. It includes a comfortable passenger terminal with 14,000 sq. ft. of office area and 74,000 sq. ft. of hangar space that can accommodate aircraft up to a G450, conference rooms, pilot lounge with snooze room, flight-planning area, crew car, and concierge service.

“We are thrilled to be part of Georgetown’s community and to increase our presence in the Southwest.” Said Will Cutter, President and CEO of Cutter Aviation. “We look forward to welcoming local based clients as well as transient clients and providing them the same level of service we are known for at our other locations. Also, be on the lookout for new and exciting announcements in the upcoming weeks about our Georgetown facility.”

Located within Williamson County, which has been ranked as one of the fastest-growing counties in the country Georgetown Airport offers a gateway for some of the largest companies in the world moving to the area. This strategic location is just 30 miles north of Downtown Austin, Texas.

Milan Linate Airport now refuelling with SAF

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Italy’s Milan Linate Airport, which is operated by Milano Prime and SEA Prime, became the first Italian business aviation airport to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the end of December 2021.

The SAF supplied to the airport is produced by Eni and allows a typical reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of more than 90% compared to traditional fossil fuel. Sirio SpA, which operates aircraft maintenance and management services at the business aviation hub carried out the first refuelling of Jet A1 + Eni SAF on its fleet of business jets on 22 December. It is now SEA Prime’s objective to make the supply of SAF widely available to all business aviation operators refuelling at its Milan Linate facility.

SEA Group’s sustainability strategy and efforts to reduce direct and indirect CO2 emissions within its airports has already seen the group achieve 4+ Transition certifification from the Airport Carbon Accreditation programme. The most recent actions implemented by the SEA Group, such as the replacement of passenger shuttles and operational vehicles with new electric vehicles and the future construction at Malpensa of a first green hydrogen plant, characterise the strategies of the Milan airports of Linate and Malpensa towards achieving the Net Zero goal by 2030.

In addition, a recent agreement with Skyports, which specialises in the design and management of vertiports, for the construction of a platform for electric aircraft suitable for urban mobility is also a further step in this direction.

“We are really glad to have reached a new milestone for Milano Prime. The decarbonisation of our sector is certainly a priority for SEA Prime and for the SEA Group as evidenced by all the initiatives implemented to date and we trust that availability of SAF in Italy will increase to respond to the ever-increasing demand from business aviation operators who want to achieve sustainability objectives,” declared Chiara Dorigotti, Chief Executive Officer of SEA Prime.

“This is just the beginning of aviation sustainability solutions and a starting point towards direct emission reduction, ” added Sirio CEO, Tom Engelhard. “We will continue to be at the forefront of projects supporting sustainable flying, both now and into the future.”

VolkerFitzpatrick awarded runway refurb contrat for Gloucestershire Airport

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Gloucestershire Airport has appointed VolkerFitzpatrick, one of the UK’s leading engineering and construction companies, to deliver a Civil Aviation Authority (CCA) approved upgrade to Gloucestershire Airport in 2022.

The work will be carried out in four phases, with the primary focus being the resurfacing of the crosswind and main runways. There will also be new runway lighting and upgrades to signage and drainage, as well as the installation of below ground infrastructure in readiness for a new radar system.

One of the airport’s three runways will remain open while works are carried out, albeit operating at reduced capacity. When all work is complete, the airport’s existing ‘north/south’ runway will permanently close to make way for the development of the new business park, CGX Connect.

Starting in January 2022, the first phase will see the crosswind runway resurfaced with work taking place through the night to avoid any disruption to operations. Phases two and three will follow in Spring 2022, with work taking place during the day and throughout the night. This phase will see the resurfacing of the main runway, new runway lighting installed, upgrades to signage and draining, and the installation of below ground infrastructure.

Phase four will be the testing and commissioning phase of the project in readiness for anticipated completion and resumption of normal operations by Summer 2022.

“We’re well versed in working on projects like this, having completed similar works at Glasgow, Birmingham and Gatwick Airports. These upgrades will place Gloucestershire Airport firmly at the top end of aviation standards and technology, which will help unlock numerous opportunities and benefits for the airport and surrounding area,” commented Kevin Berry, VolkerFitzpatrick Operations Director.

“These are transformational times for Gloucestershire Airport,” continued Karen Taylor, Gloucestershire Airport Managing Director. “These upgrades are essential to the continued smooth running of operations and, along with CGX Connect, will really elevate the quality and status of the airport, along with its profile as a ‘gateway for growth’ for all those significant developments being brought forward across the region.

Ridge & Partners LLP will work alongside VolkerFitzpatrick, providing project and commercial management services for the runway upgrade. Justin Wright, Senior Project Manager at Ridge & Partners LLP explained how the work will be carried out.

Gainesville Regional Airport welcomes new GA tenant

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Florida’s Gainesville Regional Airport has welcomed  Consortia Aerospace Group (formerly Chippewa Aerospace Group) as a new general aviation (GA) tenant.

Headquartered in Conway, SC, the engineering service firm established its base at Gainesville on 16 November in the former Silver Airways/ Eclipse Aviation building, occupying a modern, 61,000 sq.ft. maintenance hangar and adjacent 8,300 sq.ft. hangar, which formerly belonged to Automated Flight Service Station (AFSS).

Since the departure of Silver Airways in 2015, Gainesville Airport officials has been actively searching for a comprehensive tenant for the facilities. Airport CEO, Allan Penksa, remarked, “As a leading engineering service firms in the aerospace industry, Consortia Aerospace Group is making an investment in our area that will not only bring jobs, but new opportunities in the vibrant aviation and aerospace research and development industry to our region.” This, he added, will be a “great economic benefit to both the surrounding community and to the airport.”

Meanwhile, Julie Myers, Consortia Aerospace CEO added: “The location and the assets in this community are an ideal location for us to continue to provide our services to a wide variety of domestic and foreign aerospace companies, commercial and business aviation companies and private aircraft owners.”

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to welcome new Gulfstream aircraft service centre

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Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation plans to construct a new 225,000 sq. ft. maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (Gateway Airport).

Describing Phoenix-Mesa as an ideal location for Gulfstream’s latest MRO facility, Derek Zimmerman, President, Gulfstream Customer Support commented: “Not only is it an established airport for business aviation operators, its infrastructure and size provide a great location for both Gulfstream and our customers. The state of Arizona, the city of Mesa and the airport authority have been incredibly welcoming and supportive of our efforts to expand our service capabilities. In addition, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Arizona State University and local school districts have been involved with us since the beginning to offer certificate, degree and training programmes that will translate directly to careers at Gulfstream. The new facility and the job creation that will follow is great news for our customers, our employees and the community.”

Gulfstream is investing $70m in the new facility, which will offer a broad range of services and add additional capacity for customers in the western United States. The facility at Gateway Airport will be Gulfstream’s first in Arizona and inline with the company’s sustainability goals will feature a sustainable, modern design.

City of Mesa Mayor and Chairman of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority (PMGAA), John Giles, added that “the arrival of Gulfstream is further proof that Gateway Airport is one of the best locations in North America for MRO and other aerospace facilities. The hundreds of high-wage jobs and educational partnerships that will be generated with this facility will have a profound impact on the entire region.”

Meanwhile, PMGAA Executive Director/ CEO, Biran O’Neill,  said the arrival of Gulfstream represents the largest private investment in the airport’s history. “Gateway Airport has proven to be an ideal location for MRO facilities, and Gulfstream’s announcement further validates our position as a global industry leader.”

Served by five commercial airlines offering nonstop service to more than 60 domestic and international destinations, Gateway Airport boasts around one thousand acres of aeronautical and non-aeronautical land available for development.

Carver Aero FBOs in Wisconsin and Chicago join Avfuel’s branded network

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Two new Carver Aero FBOs- Janesville Jet Center at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport and Lumanair Aviation Services at Illinois’ Aurora Municipal Airport have joined Avfuel’s branded network. The agreement extends the partnership between the companies as Avfuel also provides branded fuel supply services to Carver Aero’s Iowa locations in Council Bluffs, Davenport and Muscatine.

The acquisitions of the Wisconsin and Chicago FBOs mark Carver Aero’s first expansion outside of Iowa, fulfilling its business strategy to support communities throughout the Midwest.

“Avfuel is proud to partner with Carver Aero’s customer-focused team and is honoured to raise its sign at each of Carver Aero’s premier FBO locations,” said Joel Hirst, Avfuel’s Senior Vice President of Sales. “The addition of Janesville and Aurora to the Avfuel network provides exceptional service options in key Midwestern locations for Avfuel’s flight department customers.”

Meanwhile, Carver Aero’s CEO, Guy Lieser, underlined that the FBO operator’s goal is to “bring back the wonder of personal aviation – from piloting aircraft to providing living wage careers in maintenance, avionics and line services in small towns throughout the Midwest.” He also added that, “We strive to make the municipal airport relevant to the communities in which we operate because many people are unaware that these are their airfields and they can accommodate the business and personal needs of everyday people.”

Carver Aero acquired Wisconsin’s Janesville Jet Center in July, with the acquisition including the 2,725 sq. ft. FBO terminal, featuring a pilot’s lounge, dining area, A/V-equipped conference room, WiFi and a flight planning room. In addition, a 7,700 sq.ft. adjoining hangar capable of accommodating up to a Lear 60 or Citation XL was included in the purchase.

The Chicago facility at Aurora Municipal Airport was announced in August and included a two-storey, 30,000 sq. ft. FBO terminal building, which in addition to FBO operations includes a flight school, two office suites, 20 offices, a line service office and three break rooms. The FBO is one of two on-field facilities at the Illinois hub.
Carver Aero has six additional hangars on the airfield ranging in size from 6,400 sq. ft. to 39,000 sq. ft. housing a further 15 offices, conference rooms and a sport pilot training school. With the hangars, Carver Aero is able to accommodate aircraft up to a Gulfstream IV.