Rise Aviation breaks ground on new FBO terminal at North Texas Regional Airport

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Rise Aviation has broken ground on its new FBO terminal at North Texas Regional Airport (KGYI) in Sherman, Texas, which is slated to be complete in the first quarter of 2022.

Having originally offered FBO services as Lake Texoma Jet Center Rise Aviation acquired the existing FBO at North Texas Regional Airport in 2008. As growth accelerated from the DFW Metroplex north toward the North Texas hub, Rise Aviation began plans for a new modern facility to better serve the general aviation community. Rise then entered negotiations with the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority to acquire an additional leasehold for development of its state-of-the-art FBO facility.

Rise Aviation currently operates four hangar/ office facilities at North Texas Regional Airport totalling more than 67,000 sq. ft. of hangar space, 21,890 sq. ft. of office/ shop space and seven acres of aircraft ramp space. The new project will add 1.4 acres of leasehold and 10,721 sq. ft. terminal, which includes a large passenger lobby, crew lounge and seperate snooze room, a flight planning area, a vending area, leasable office space, an observation deck overlooking the runways, a large executive conference room, and the airport’s administrative offices.

“We are delighted to be underway with construction of our new FBO terminal at North Texas Regional Airport,” said George Schuler, Rise Aviation’s owner. “Rise looks forward to continue serving the users of North Texas Regional Airport with this new facility. As the North Texas area continues to grow, many businesses and investors who come to Grayson County with thoughts about relocating, building or investing here will arrive in a business aircraft and we are pleased Rise Aviation’s new facility at North Texas Regional Airport will be Grayson County’s front door to the world.”

Plans outlined to protect threatened UK airfields

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Outlining plans to save threatened UK airfields, the General Aviation Awareness Council (GAAC) has proposed a fourth category of land to the UK Government that would aid in balanced economic development – through the recognition of valuable ‘Infrastructure’.

According to GAAC, the lack of an ‘Infrastructure’ category airfields are instead deemed ‘Protected’ rendering them unable to evolve and become commercially viable, and leaving them vulnerable to housing developers. Published last August the UK Government’s Planning White Paper highlighted a proposal to create three ‘Zones’ to streamline the planning process and speed up provisions for new housing. The three zones included: Growth – areas suitable for substantial developmet; Renewal – areas suitable for development; Protected – restricted development. The GAAC suggested an amendment to include a further planning zone for Infrastructure – to include general aviation airfields.

With small airfields complementing future flight projects such as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), including commercial drone deliveries and air taxis, the Council highlights that more environmentally sustainable ‘green’ aircraft powered by electricity, hydrogen (or multi-fuels like used cotton) are either already UK licensed or about to be.

Aerodromes constitute “a huge resource – contributing to connectivity and transport needs, facilitating business aviation, flying training, STEM-related training and jobs, supporting emergency services and charities, offering recreational, leisure and sporting facilities,” said John Gilder, GAAC Vice-Chairman and Chairman of the APPG-GA’s Airfields Working Group. “Most importantly in the current context, they help ensure connectivity in key locations for future infrastructure needs – in the ‘transport, digital, energy and utility’ sectors. ”

After the government’s failure to confirm airfields as a specific use the perception that they were ‘brownfield’ sites made them an easy target for developers, said Gilder. “This created a major issue for the GA sector, even with the National Planning Policy Framework Review Amendments of 2018.”

He added that, “A combination of the demand for housing and the perception that airfields are underused, cheap land ripe for development due to a lack of planning protection has meant a large number of aerodrome sites have already been lost. Many others (50 plus) are under threat.”

Currently it is almost impossible to create a new airfield. “Therefore, the existing resources must be regarded as irreplaceable,” said the GAAC, adding, “There has never been clear planning policy determining how Local Plans should deal with most of the smaller GA aerodromes.”

In addition, a lack of knowledge among Local Authority planners exacerbates the situation. So, along with the new ‘Infrastructure’ category, the GAAC would like to see supporting guidance for planning officers.

The GAAC believes that current protection of GA aerodromes is inadequate and notes: “The CAA’s current guidance  is to lodge a ‘Safeguarding Map’ with the Local Planning Authority and agree for the aerodrome to be consulted on any planning applications which infringe the Map. However, other development which does not infringe the ‘Obstacle Limitations Surfaces’ on a Safeguarding Map  could have a major adverse impact on the safety and, therefore, viability of aerodrome operations. The recent extension of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle to aviaition activities is helpful but needs to go further.”

The GAAC would like to see strategically important aviation infrastructure sites supported by planning policy which “gives general protection and a general principle that additional related development should normally be allowed.”

Importantly, “any proposal to permanently remove the asset should require the proposer to adequately demonstrate the justification or otherwise for this. An Independent Planning Inspector would then be instructed to asses and adjudicate – based on viability, the degree of criticality within the overall network, and contribution to the local economy and local community.”

The GAAC also says there is “currently little consistency in the way GA aerodromes are treated in planning policy and administration. Inadequate understanding of the requirements and functions of GA aerodromes and their value to the community frequently leads to issues, and there are recurring anomalies around the application of planning policy and the necessity for operational safeguarding at airfields.” In addition, all airfields should have clear and consistent planning Permitted Development Rights and LPAs should be widely circulate that this is the case.

Pictured: Fairoaks Airfield, Surrey.

Gary Jet Center enters agreement with Cirrus to be an authorised service centre

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Based at the Gary/ Chicago International Airport in the US, Gary Jet Center (GJC) has entered into an agreement with Cirrus Aircraft to be an Authorised Service Centre (ASC) for the aircraft manufacturer.

As part of the agreement, GJC will have trained technicians on both the SR-Series piston aircraft and the Vision Jet, and will provide customers with a full range of aircraft maintenance on the Cirrus Aircraft. In addition to routine and annual Cirrus Aircraft maintenance, GJC will offer composite and paint repair, warranty support, Garmin and Avidyne avionics servicing, and air conditioning services.

“We are excited to be a part of the global network of Authorised Service Centers for Cirrus Aircraft,” said Jeff McLain, Director of Maintenance for GJC. “For nearly 30 years, Gary Jet Center has been performing maintenance on a variety of aircraft with our Part 145 Certificate, and to secure this relationship with Cirrus is a tremendous addition to our offerings. We look forward to providing exceptional service and support to Cirrus owners in the Chicagoland area and beyond.”

GJC’s team will have access to genuine Cirrus Aircraft parts, and will provide scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, including CAPS inspection and recertification, ADS-B incorporation and other modifications to the avionics suite. It will also offer an aircraft management package to ensure the owner’s Cirrus aircraft is available for dispatch, as well as compliant with all FAA and Cirrus maintenance schedules.

Signature Flight Support expands network with addition of Chantilly Air Jet Center

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Chantilly Air Jet Center, the newest full-service FBO serving the Washington, DC metro area has joined Signature Flight Support’s Signature Select network.

Based at the Manassas Regional Airport, Chantilly Air is an IS-BAH Stage 1 certified FBO. The 11,000 sq. ft. FBO terminal provides a range of amenities including a pilot lounge, snooze rooms and shower facilities. There is also a fitness centre for crew and passengers, as well as conference rooms and a refreshment galley. The greenfield facility also includes a 60,000 sq. ft. hangar and significant office space for rent, in addition to the provision of traditional FBO services, including fuelling, hangarage, a Part 145 repair station, as well as aircraft charter and fleet management.

Expressing his enthusiasm for joining the world’s largest network of FBOs, Tim Sullivan, COO Chantilly Air Jet Center said: “Chantilly Air is a family-owned entity that started in 1990. Building on our 30-year reputation as an aircraft charter and management provider, we look forward to becoming an FBO of choice for the metro DC area, as well as having a long and mutually beneficial partnership with the Signature network.”

Manasssas Regional Airport itself provides easy access to the I-66 and I-95 corridors, northern Virginia and downtown Washington, DC. It is the busiest general aviation gateway in the state of Virginia,and  is a towered airport with US Customs and Border Protection to accommodate international arrivals.

“We are pleased to welcome Chantilly Air to Signature Select and the global Signature Flight Support network,” said Mark Johnstone, CEO, Signature Aviation. “Chantilly Air’s reputation for ramp safety and adherence to industry best practices resonates with our own Signature Service Promise. I am confident their enrollment in the Signature Select programme will unlock significant mutual benefit for both of our customers and organisations.”

Base Operations at Page Field Airport ranked in top 5% of FBOs

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Base operations at Fort Myers’ Page Field Airport in Florida has been ranked in the top 5% of FBOs in an international survey conducted by Aviation International News.

“We appreciate being recognised as a top FBO for our outstanding commitment and delivery of services to our guests at Base Operations at Page Field,” said Ben Siegel, CPA, C.M., Executive Director of the Lee County Port Authority. “The Base Operations team always does a great job, but I have never been prouder of the way they have handled themselves and our business during these difficult times.”

Conducted annually, the FBO survey asks pilots, flight attendants and dispatchers to feedback on the level of customer care at individual business and general aviation service providers throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbean.

Lee County  Port Authority operates Southwest Florida International Airport and Page Field in Fort Myers, both of which are funded solely with revenue generated from their operations. Page Field provides services to corporate, commercial and private aviators through their business arm, Base Operations at Page Field, and accommodate more than 126,000 aircraft operations in 2020.

Jasper County Airport pushes ahead with runway development

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The Jasper County Airport Authority (JCAA) in Indiana has awarded Woolpert with a Master Services Agreement to provide master planning, environmental assessment, land acquisition, aviation design, geospatial obstruction and aeronautical surveys, and construction management and inspection for the Rensselaer hub, which is located around 80 miles south of Chicago.

The Jasper County Airport is a publicly owned, general aviation airport that serves local and transiting aircraft via one paved runway and one grass runway.

Woolpert’s Senior Aviation Project Manager, Curtis Brown, said “The goal of the airport master plan is to determine the most viable, cost-effective improvements to increase the volume and versatility of the airport. Woolpert will evaluate realigning and extending the primary runway to accomplish this mission.”

Recognising Woolpert’s expertise in master planning, runway extension programmes, geospatial aviation expertise and cross-market capabilities, as well as the firm’s regional expertise, Jasper County Airport Manager, Ray Seif, said he’s looking forward to working with the robust team to increase traffic and revenue for the county. Woolpert has partnered with NGC, a long time JCAA consultant.

“We’re extremely thankful for (NGC Vice Presicent) Ken Ross and the folks at NGC for helping to get us where we are today and we’re excited to see how far we can go with Woolpert’s guidance,” he added.

Atlantic Aviation expands presence at Montrose County Airport

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Atlantic Aviation has completed the acquisition of a 30,000 square-foot hangar, capable of housing a Gulfstream G650, at its Montrose County Airport (MTJ) in Colorado, US.

“With customers spending more time in the Rockies and the size of business aircraft increasing, the additional hangar space enhances our ability to serve the growing needs of the general aviation community at MTJ,” said Jay Hamby, Senior Vice President of the Mountain Region. “In addition to its existing amenities, Atlantic Aviation MTJ now features a total of 57,000 square feet of hangar space.”

To complement the new hangar, Atlantic is also constructing a state-of-the-art fuel farm at the Colorado hub that will add 52,000 gallons of capacity to its existing inventory. Expected to be in operation by the end of 2021, this new fuelling infrastructure will also help support one of the fastest growing airports in Colorado.

Commenting further on these new facilities, Hamby added: “We are pleased to be working closely with the Montrose County Airport Administration to complete these projects and to continue to support the growth of the greater Montrose community.”

Lynx FBO Network acquires new facility at Theodore Francis Green State Airport

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A portfolio company of The Sterling Group, Lynx FBO Network (known as Lynx) has acquired its ninth FBO location having purchased the FBO assets of Northstar Aviation at the Theodore Francis Green State Airport in Providence, Rhode Island.

“We are excited to further expand the Lynx FBO Network in the Northeast United States, and Providence will greatly enhance our East Coast presence. We look forward to working with the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, the local FBO team, and all stakeholders in continuing the great partnership Northstar Aviation has established over their tenure of more than 30 years at the airport,” said Chad Farischon, President and Partner of Lynx.

Meanwhile, Greg Elliot, a partner at The Sterling Group, described Providence as a “strategic location for Lynx that has been a top priority target for years. ” He added that, the team’s ability to “get this across the finish line during COVID shows our commitment and ability to continue to expand our network in any environment.”

Lynx is rapidly growing its network of FBOs in the general aviation industry with locations in Napa, California; Destin, Florida; Minneapolis (Anoka), Minnesota; Portland (Aurora), Oregon; Little Rock, Arkansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Morristown, New Jersey; and now Providence, Rhode Island. The FBO network’s vision is to build a values-based FBO network known for exceptional service and quality, a rewarding team member experience, and a commitment to continuing excellence.

Woolpert expands airport infrastructure services by acquiring JViation

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Jviation Inc, an airport planning, survey, architecture, engineering and construction management firm has been acquired by Woolpert in line with its vision of becoming the world’s leading architecture, engineering, geospatial and strategic consulting firm.

Jviation, which has more than 100 employees, serves general aviation and commercial service airports, as well as state aeronautics departments and airline and related aviation business partners. The acquisition strengthens Woolpert’s existing aviation service offerings and expands its geographic footprint in the western US. Headquartered in Denver, Jviation has offices in Colorado, California, Utah, Wyoming, Missouri and Ohio.

“The firm’s culture, size and complementary services and geographies make this the perfect fit for Jviation,” said Jviation principal JD Ingram.

By joining Woolpert, Jviation and its clients gain airport planning, engineering and architecture bench strength, in addition to innovative geospatial resources and expertise that include aerial and mobile lidar, subsurface utility engineering, unmanned aircraft systems, urban air mobility, and technology consulting. Jviation also gains access to Woolpert’s global architecture, engineering and geospatial markets and services.

Woolpert’s Senior Vice President and Infrastructure Sector Leader Tom Mochty, said the addition of Jviation reinforces Woolpert’s focus on industry excellence and strategic growth. “This acquisition gives our teams the ability to provide a greater depth and breadth of AEG service offerings, and it greatly enhances Woolpert’s position as an industry leader within the aviation market.”