Work begins on Clay Lacy’s $20m development at Waterbury-Oxford Airport

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Private aviation operator Clay Lacy is expanding its presence at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut having broken ground on its $20 million FBO facility.

“We’re breaking ground on what will be one of the finest FBOs and aviation facilities in the country,” said Brian Kirkdoffer, President and CEO of Clay Lacy Aviation. “It will expand and enhance all of the services that we provide. Oxford will be an incredible economic and employment engine, attracting and supporting the finest aircraft and flight operations in the world.”

The first 11-acre phase will feature a passenger terminal, executive offices and a 40,000 sq.ft. hangar. It will also result in 200 new high-paying jobs with an annual payroll in excess of $32 million and 420 indirect jobs during the construction process. The new full-service FBO and maintenance facility is expected to be completed in spring 2024.

Kevin Dillon, Executive Director, Connecticut Airport Authority, said: “Investments like this serve a very significant role in the overall economic development mission of the Connecticut Airport Authority. It elevates the stature and status of the airport and allows us to attract activity all over.”

All the facilities under construction will be built in accordance with Clay Lacy’s Sustainability Strategy and will be certified carbon neutral. The facilities include solar panel provisions, electric vehicle charging, electric aircraft charging, efficient building design and sustainable aviation fuel.

In addition to the construction of its new facility and to foster the next generation of aviation professionals, Clay Lacy Aviation has established an annual scholarship and internship programme with CT Aerotech, which operates a two-year Airframe Mechanics and Aircraft Maintenance Technology programme in Hartford, Connecticut.

As part of its commitment, Clay Lacy will provide $16,000 in annual scholarships and $10,500 in on-the-job internships.

“We’ve established a great pipeline to support Connecticut and its economy,” said John Ryan, Principal, CT Aerotech of the partnership and internships with Clay Lacy. “This scholarship programme just further strengthens that resolve to put people here in Connecticut to work and get these jobs.”

Van Nuys Airport reopens runway following six-month reconstruction project

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California’s dedicated business and general aviation hub, Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles has reopened one of its runway’s following six months of reconstruction and refurbishment work.

The $13.1 million project saw the entire 4,000 ft long runway being rebuilt, with new LED lighting, airfield signage and surface markings and a run-up safety area being installed. The base of the runway was made of 100% recyclable materials.

“As one of the busiest general aviation airports in the country, Van Nuys Airport is proud to provide our tenants and visitors with facilities that will enhance safety and efficiency for decades to come,” Justin Erbacci, CEO for Los Angeles World Airports, told reporters.

Meanwhile, Curt Castagna, President of the Van Nuys Airport Association, said: “LAWA’s investment in this runway asset, together with the commitment of its tenant business partners at VNY who are leading efforts to introduce environmental improvements, maximises the airport’s status as a leading centre for new industry pilots, jobs and positive economic benefits to the city of Los Angeles.”

A celebration ceremony was held at the airport on Monday 8 August.

London Biggin Hill hosts careers open day to attract new employees

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London Biggin Hill Airport is hosting a Careers Open Day on 12 August to provide an opportunity for prospective applicants to meet aviation professionals from across the airport and learn more about their roles as well as the current vacancies on offer.

Attendees will also be able to attend CV workshops, hear about interview top tips and have informal chats with colleagues and representatives from the business aviation hub’s resident aerospace companies, including Bombardier and Castle Air.

“We are currently recruiting for a range of aviation roles at London Biggin Hill,”said David Winstanley, CEO at London Biggin Hill. “This is an opportunity for anyone interested in beginning or developing a career in aviation to learn more about the industry, and also about our business.

“London Biggin Hill is on a path to growth as we look to become London’s pre-eminent business aviation airport and leading centre for aviation, technology and enterprise. We look forward to sharing more about how you can join us on this exciting journey, and welcoming visitors to the airport.”

Farnborough appoints contracts for design and build of new £55m hangar

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Dedicated business aviation hub, Farnborough Airport in the UK has appointed contractors McLaughlin & Harvey and Gebler Tooth for the design and construction of its new £55m 175,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art and sustainably designed hangar development, Domus III.

The airport has been working closely with the contractors to create a plan that will increase hangar space by more than 70% while complementing the airport’s existing award-winning facilities and helping the airport prepare for the growing presence of the next generation of business jets.

In line with the airport’s other hangar facilities, which have been rated by BREEAM, the world’s leading sustainability assessment for infrastructure and buildings, the new hangar is expected to achieve some of the highest environmental standards. It will feature translucent automated doors, which will stretch the entire length of the building, to optimise natural light and reducing lighting usage. Aircraft will b able to manouevre easily thanks to the unhindered access provided by the door design, which will also help mitigate unnecessary emissions from aircraft handling activities.

“We want to be known as a global showcase for airport sustainability and the new hangar has been meticulously designed with this in mind,” said Simon Geere, Farnborough Airport’s CEO. “This investment will also provide a substantial boost for employment and economic growth in the region, whilst continuing our journey in providing the very best-in-class facilities to our customers at Europe’s number one business aviation airport.”

Construction of the new hangar is due to commence in August 2022 with completion scheduled for Q1 2024 with David Tooth, Founding Director of Gebler Tooth, David Tooth concluding: “We are delighted to be involved in this significant development at Farnborough Airport. Our team has worked closely with the airport and contractors teams to date to reach this stage and we are excited to see the project through to completion.”

FIA2022: Gulfstream’s G800 touches down at Farnborough on first international flight

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This weeks’ Farnborough Airshow has seen the all-new ultralong-range Gulfstream G800 touch down at Farnborough Airport after making its first international flight from Savannah.

“To take the G800 on this trans-Atlantic trip so close to first flight is extraordinary,” said Mark Burns, President Gulfstream. “The Gulfstream Farnborough Service Center is one of our newest and most modern, and it’s fitting that the G800 has made its international debut here.”

Since it opened two years in 2020, Gulfstream’s Farnborough facility has grown to more than 200 employees and earned 30 foreign regulatory approvals. The 225,000-sq.ft. facility accommodates up to 13 of Gulfstream’s larger aircraft, including the G650ER, G700 and G800, and offers maintenance, repair and overhaul services, as well as interior refurbishments and aftermarket modifications.

The BizAv aircraft company also announced on 19 July that the Gulfstream G650 and G650ER have been certified for steep approach landing operations by the European Union Aviation Safety Administration (EASA), unlcoking the ability for European operators of the utlralong-range aircraft to access even more airports around the world.

“We are pleased to be able to increase flexibility for our G650 and G650ER European operators by giving them access to  such airports as London City near the city’s financial district and even more remote airfields throughout Europe,” said Burns. “The G650 family’s high-speed performance advantage paired with this new certification will expand opportunities for our customers with more options for remote destinations.”

FIA2022: Farnborough’s roadmap to net-zero builds on airport’s pioneering legacy

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According to Farnborough Airport CEO, Simon Geere, the dedicated business aviation hub wants its “sustainability credentials to define who we are.” Geere was talking during a press briefing at this year’s Farnborough Airshow on Monday 18 July.

The airport launched its Net-Zero Roadmap  ahead of this week’s airshow throwing down the gauntlet to its competitors and customers by establishing an ambitious target of achieving net-zero by 2030. Titled ‘Roadmap to Net Zero by 2030 – Where will you be?” the airport is committing to be net-zero across its contollable (scope 1 & 2) emissions by 2030, if not sooner, “because that’s the earliest we think we can get there,” Geere told Regional Gateway.

In the two week run up to the airshow the airport also became the first in the world to offer sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the same price as standard Jet A-1 fuel for a trial period. The airport has seen a significant increase in requests for SAF refuellings as a result of its trial. With SAF production and purchase costs currently a significant hurdle to its wider adoption across the aviation sector, Geere is hoping its lower cost SAF trial will put the spotlight on the importance of reducing the costs of SAF and signalling its intent to be a catalyst for change across the wider aviation industry.

“When it comes to supporting the decarbonisation of the aviation industry, we want to lead the way at Farnborough Airport, which is why we have set ourselves one of the most ambitious targets in the industry, by committing to be net zero across our controllable emissions by 2030 or sooner. Put simply, we want our customers to increasingly choose Farnborough Airport because of our sustainability credentials, alongside our market leading state-of-the-art facilities and our exceptional levels of customer care,” said Geere.

The roadmap’s pathway to achieving net-zero emissions by 2030 covers the reduction of emissions from buildings, the airfield and on-site operational vehicles. By 2035, it has also committed to targeting a reduction of its controllable emissions and those it has partial influence by over 40%. This includes emissions from the landing and take-off (LTO) cycle of aircraft up to 3,000 ft and surface access emissions generated by passenger journeys to and from the airport. The airport is also currently working on ensuring the majority of its ground vehicles are powered by Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), reducing emissions by up to 90%.

Adding that the BizAv hub’s carbon footprint is smaller than that of a typical regional or UK hub airport, not only on an absolute level but also on an emissions per Air Traffic Movement (ATM) basis, Geere did concede this has primarily been achieved because the airport is catering for smaller jets with lower passenger numbers. It’s total emissions per ATM are less than 13% of a typical regional airport.

“We know where we want to be,” concluded Geere. “We are building on Farnborough’s historic and pioneering legacy and ensuring a growing and sustainble legacy the next generation can be proud of and we want to set the benchmark for environmental performance within our sector.”

Huron Regional Airport welcomes Revv Aviation as FBO operator

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Huron Regional Airport in South Dakota is the latest location to be added to Revv Aviation’s FBO network. Huron is now the seventh FBO and the ninth operating location for the Revv family. Existing employees will be retained by Revv and additional staff will be added to the team as required.

“What Revv is doing in the Midwest is unique in that the company wants to revitalise small town airports and encourage people to visit and utilise their local air transportation centres,” said Larry Cooper, Huron Regional Airport Manager commenting on the new partnership. “Revv and CL Enterprises [Revv’s parent company] understand the economic vitality that local airports provide communities, and they plan to build upon that.”

Other FBOs in the Revv portfolio include: Aurora and Schaumburg in Illinois; Janesville in Wisonconsin; Muscatine, Davenport and Council Bluffs in Iowa. Revv also operates flight schools in Sioux City, Iowa and at Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Nebraska.

The operator’s CEO and President Guy Lieser sees great value at the Huron location. “It’s got a 7,200 ft by 100-ft wide runway with a 5,000-ft crosswind runway. Huron can handle any size aircraft,” he said. “We want to bring all of Revv’s services to Huron: maintenance, avionics, flight school and charter. Our PT-6 engine maintenance team is already expanding to Huron, which houses more than 30 crop dusters that require this type of service. There is also a good market for charter services in Huron, especially during the six-month pheasant hunting season.”

Lieser was joined by Peter Limberger, CEO and Chairman of CL Enterprises, who said: “As the new tenant of the FBO, we are encouraged by the warm welcome and are looking forward to many years of cooperation and being able to contribute to the economic development of the airport, the city and the region.”

Elite Jets extends lease with Naples Airport

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Private jet operator Elite Jets has extended its lease with the Naples Airport Authority in Florida to extend its existing luxury charter service through 2050.

Since its founding in 2015, Elite Jets has grown to include a private terminal at Naples Airport, which consists of three adjacent hangars. The company serves affluent business and leisure travellers with a fleet that includes four Embraer Phenom 300s and one Embraer Legacy 500, luxury jets that serve destinations across North, Central and Central America, as well as the Caribbean. The company also owns a Bell 407 helicopter available for sightseeing and travel across South Florida. In addition, the company provides management services for a Gulfstream G550 jet capable of long-haul flights to Europe and Asia.

Commenting on the extended lease, Elite Jets President, Mark London said: “Naples Airport is a tremendous asset for Collier County residents and visitors and its impact on our local economy and way of life is immeasurable.” He also noted that the new lease signifies the private jet operator’s commitment to continue serving Collier County for many years to come, “both from an aviation standpoint and as a community partner to the nonprofits that make Southwest Florida such a great place to live.”

Meanwhile, Executive Vice President, Stephen Myers, CAM said that as a lifelong resident he recognised the benefit of having access to the airport. “Elite Jets is proud to extend Naples Airport’s vision of creating an exceptional airport experience with our mission of providing an exceptional travel experience.”

Liverpool John Lennon’s Ravenair partners with Jetfly for UK flying

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Fractional ownership and aircraft management company, Jetfly, which is headquartered in Luxembourg and operates a 50-strong Pilatus fleet is now offering its UK members domestic flights on newly registered PC-12NG (G-OJFA) aircraft thanks to a new partnership with UK PC-12 business aviation operator Ravenair, which is based out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

“This convenient arrangement with Ravenair provides more flexibility for Jetfly members, who can now fly from the UK to the EU, intra UK and intra EU through the Luxembourg-headquartered Jetfly Group,” said Sales Director UK, Jonathan Clough.

To help meet increased demand for flights from destinations such as Fairoaks Airport to Jersey, Oxford to Cornwall and Goodwood Aerodrome to the Isle of Man, two more Jetfly PC-12s are expected to join Ravenair’s UK Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in due course.

Jetfly has four fully trained UK pilots already supporting G-OJFA and is training more in line with G-registry rules as demand escalates.

“The UK coming out of the EU and EASA at the beginning of the year presented us with some interesting licensing challenges and restrictions flying UK domestic routes,” noted Clough.

“Joining the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) last summer helped us navigate relations with the UK CAA and we were able to successfully work through the UK AOC process with Ravenair. It’s important to engage with and be a part of the UK general aviation community,” he added.

Capable of using runways as short as 2,485 feet and able to operate from tarmac, dirt, gravel and grass surfaces the Pilatus PC-12 can access over 3,000 airports and small airfields in Europe, giving passengers a unique level of access for business and leisure trips. Jetfly members typically use the aircraft for golf, horse racing, yachting, skiing, shooting and classic car sports.

Signature partners with PS to elevate airport experience at Hartsfield-Jackson

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Private terminal operator, Signature Aviation, is collaborating with PS, the private luxury terminal service for commercial clients to provide an enhanced airport experience at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport.

The long-term lease agreement will see PS establish a second purpose-built private terminal in one of Signature’s two buildings at the Atlanta hub. The new terminal will provide private aviation customers with privacy, security and luxury. The PS experience includes beautifully designed spaces to recharge and unwind, chauffeured transportation to and from the aircraft door, private TSA and customs screening, state-of-the-art amenities, and an extensive menu of cocktails and chef-prepared meals available for both departures and arrivals.

Derek DeCross, SVP for Global Customer Engagement at Signature Aviation commented on his excitement for the partnership saying the collaboration celebrates two companies committed to providing exceptional customer experiences for travellers. “We are excited to bring this unique experience to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport and continue our mission to leverage our world-class infrastructure to reimagine and reinvent the travel experience,” he remarked.

Meanwhile, Joshua Gausman, co-CEO of PS added: “The city of Atlanta is one of the few places where a PS terminal will be a perfect fit, and we’re excited to work closely with Signature here and in other key cities around the world. Our members often fly private and choose Signature, so creating ways to make commercial flight connections faster and easier makes sense.”

Gausman was joined by his co-CEO, Amina Belouizdad, who commented: “We have a lot of opportunity ahead to provide premium travellers from around the world with our unique PS experience and we are incredibly honoured to collaborate with Signature as PS continues to expand into other markets. With this joint effort, we have no doubt that we will continue to transform the industry through our unique value proposition and commitment to exceptional service, especially during a time when people are more attune to privacy and safety while travelling.”