Milano Prime partners with Sirio to preview new maintenance hangar

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Business aviation in Italy is showing steady signs of recovery following the global pandemic. Speaking during a press briefing at EBACE Connect on 17 May, SEA Prime, which manages the business and general aviation infrastructure at both Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports under the Milano Prime brand, noted that Italy had recorded +36.9% in terms of business and general aviation movements in the first four months of 2021.

Acknowledging the market  has not yet returned to 2019 levels, Chiara Dorigotti, CEO of SEA Prime did however reveal figures showing that private aviation traffic numbers are on trend to return to normal by next year. She also noted a +30.8%  increase in business and general aviation movements in the first four months of this year compared to 2020 and a three-digit increase in the first weeks of May, as she stated, “our airports never closed operations even during the hard lock down months in March and April 2020.”

The group hasn’t stopped pursuing its commercial initiatives over the last year and among the most important projects in terms of development for SEA Prime is the construction of a new 4,500 sq. m. hangar at Linate Prime. “Designed to accommodate all business jet models and architecturally consistent with the materials used in the Milano Prime terminals, it will meet the highest standards of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency,” said Dorigotti.

“The hangar, which we plan to deliver in 2020 has been designed for Sirio, part of the Directional Aviation Group, one of the main customers and partners of SEA Prime present at Milano Prime for more than 20 years and which, with the new hangar, will consolidate and expand its maintenance activity as an authorised service facility for Bombardier,” she continued.

Adding that its 20 years since Sirio rented its first hangar at Milano Linate Prime, Tom Engelhard, CEO of Sirio added, “we can now look forward to the next chapter with this state-of-the-art hangar! It will be a milestone for our maintenance organisation and all our clients, and allows us to further expand our portfolio of services.”

SEA Prime has also implemented various measures to ensure the safety of passengers and operators, including frequent sanitisation of spaces, social distancing, the use of paperless documentation and the possibility of carrying out COVID-19 swabs in both its terminals.

With sustainability a key focus across the sector as it looks to a post-pandemic landscape, SEA Prime also highlighted its new agreement with BMW for the supply of BMW i3 full electric cars for the follow-me service. In the absence of trade fairs, SEA Prime has also satisfied requests from manufacturers to organise static displays of aircraft at Linate Prime, which offers convenient access to Milan’s city centre.

In addition, the group revealed it has received positive feedback for the fast-track service at Malpensa Prime, which has been used during the pandemic by the Milanese as well as international sports teams to ensure a secure, private and discreet transit through the airport.

Sugar Land Regional Airport celebrates opening of Sky Harbour Group’s aviation campus

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Sky Harbour Group officially opened its new, private aviation campus at Houston’s Sugar Land Regional Airport on 19 May.

The opening of Sky Harbour’s facility at the Houston regional hub, will mark the first of the New York-based company’s planned four national private hangar locations. In addition to Houston, these include Nashville, Tennessee; Miami, Florida; Denver, Colorado, and more fields to come.

According to Sky Harbour, its line crew ensures the shortest time to wheels up at Sugar Land  by exclusively servicing Sky Harbour’s private hangar tenants. Each Sky Harbour hangar features temperature and humidity control, drive-in vehicle access, indoor and outdoor parking, and all features required for routine aircraft maintenance and inspection. Premium interior suites include private offices, lounges, kitchens, bathrooms, showers, laundry and crew facilities.

“We aim to be the best home base in aviation, bar none, maximising the value that owners derive from their aircraft,” said Sky Harbour CEO Tal Keinan.

Sky Harbour’s home-base hangar campus represents a strategic new paradigm. It exclusively serves aircraft that spend the majority of time at their home base. This is where they uplift most of their fuel and perform the bulk of their routine maintenance, servicing and cleaning. As such, Sky Harbour’s purpose-built facilities and best-in-class services are designed to deliver optimal outcomes for owners, operators and passengers.

Elmira-Corning Regional Airport’s newest FBO expands customer base

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As Elmira-Corning Regional Airport’s newest FBO, Premier Aviation has welcomed race-car traffic back to the regional hub as the nearby Watkins Glen International’s racing season revs up.

Racing traffic looking to land at the Elmira hub will enjoy an array of benefits, including no added fees, heightened privacy, extensive ramp space and ample secure parking.

“We believe in providing exceptional services out of exceptional amenities at competitive prices,” said Robert Cleary, Premier Aviation’s President. “We’re here as a new option for reliable aviation services for the racing community and are excited to welcome them back to KELM, just 23 minutes away from the speedway. We understand this customer base values speed, safety and efficiency, and we’re here with tailor-made services and rates to meet that need.”

As well as state-of-the-art facilities, Premier Aviation’s FBO features expansive modern passenger and pilot areas, a quiet room, conference room, hangar space and VIP and private ramp space. Fuel is supplied by Avfuel and there is also a de-icing service, catering, secure parking, a weather briefing room, crew snooze room, shower and catering services as well as car rental. Additionally, customers can make use of the 24/7 aircraft maintenance and on-call airline maintenance, as well as a new brake and wheel shop.

London Oxford Airport’s new development phase takes off

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As part of a new strategic plan, London Oxford Airport has begun construction work on a new development phase.

Central to the work is a 63,000 sq. ft. 140m long hangar with two bays including rear offices, stores and workshops, capable of accommodating up to six Bombardier Global, Gulfstream or Dassault Falcon Jet models, simultaneously. The hangar will be the airport’s 15th such facility and the first in a new zone of the airport to the north of the original site. Work is expected to be complete this autumn.

This latest development is part of the airport’s plan to progressively replace 80-year-old hangars with new, bespoke facilities, providing turnkey solutions for clients. Hangar 15 will be used predominantly by established tenants, many of whom currently reside in some of the airport’s older WWII facilities, along with a number of larger business aircraft for which there has been limited capacity at Oxford.

With demand for space consistently outpacing supply within the London region, the airport is committed to invest in infrastructure to accommodate more business and allow companies such as Airbus Helicopters, Volare Aviation and Jet Maintenance International (JMI) to expand. The airport is home to a number of aviation support businesses (MRO) offering maintenance, engineering, modification, design and operational support services. The new environmentally-efficient facilities will support existing aircraft and future next-gen aircraft, including eVTOL and hybrid/ electric models.

Additional infrastructural projects at the airport include a large area of new aircraft parking apron, as well as seven new ICAO/ EASA/ CAA-compliant helipads supporting Airbus Helicopters and the growing number of commercial AOC helicopter businesses at London Oxford, such as MyHeli. These complement operations with the co-owned Edmiston London Heliport, which supports up to 12,000 movements per year and the capital’s essential police and air ambulance flights.

The airport is also due to start work on a new fire station to be established in a central position on the airport to house its recently ordered three Angloco Scania 26 tonne fire tenders.

A new fuel farm will enable a quadrupling of the capacity of the original facility, while also providing valuable space for additional future static tankage for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

“In a post-pandemic economic environment, it’s critical that the UK ramps up its capabilities and capacity to provide growth and further employement, espeically in high-value, high-skilled and knowledge-based industrial sectors,” said Will Curtis, Managing Director. “Aerospace and aviation are set to rebound and business aviation is leading the charge, so timing  is crucial. Now we have put in the infrastructure for growth, we can build further facilities with relative ease and speed and further bolster employment opportunities – adding to the near on  1,000 employees based on site.”

Head of Business Development, James Dillon-Godfray, added: “We have long-established maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) businesses that need to expand. These new developments allow us to move people around the airport to facilitate that. We are also in dialogue with several new entitities about joining us in the next few years, for which this capacity is essential.”

Effective 17 May, the airport will be opening up to non-essential travel in accordance with the UK Government’s easing of COVID-related constraints. However, despite the constraints the airport saw a five-fold increase in business flights in April compared with 2020.

“Further announcements on additional developments will be made as the year progresses, marking a new stage in the airport’s evolution,” concluded Dillon-Godfray.

Avfuel welcomes first branded location in Central America

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Aviation fuel supplier Avfuel has expanded its operations by welcoming LAATS FBO at Guatemala La Aurora International Airport to its branded network.

As an Avfuel-branded location, LAATS FBO will gain access to Avfuel’s suite of operational solutions, including payment processing and leading trainer programmes. It also means the FBO’s customers will now be able to access rewards through AVTRIP.

Commenting on how the fuel supplier is proud to have expanded its presence into Central America, Joel Hirst, Avfuel’s Vice President of Sales said: “The entire LAATS FBO team – under the vision and leadership of CEO Mario Juarez – provides its customers with an exceptional level of support, aligning perfectly with the values behind the Avfuel brand.”

With more than 20 years of experience in the aviation industry, LAATS FBO is Guatemala’s leading ground service provider. It established the country’s first true FBO and hangar complex – with the airport’s only VIP lounge. The LAATS FBO facility provides a range of amenities including: relaxing lounges for both passengers and crew; a conference room; office space; a bistro bar and gourmet dining; complimentary snacks; a well-equipped business centre, as well as entertainment and media equipment and WiFi; and ramp access.  Arriving guests benefit from immigration and customs as well as dedicated concierge services, car rentals and limousine services as well as laundry services.

The FBO also offers aircraft handling and secure parking, fuel coordination, flight planning services, permits coordination, ground power units, line maintenance, aircraft cleaning and weather briefings. Furthermore, with a complete fleet of ground support equipment, the LAATS team is on hand to provide an array of specialised services, including presidential and diplomatic services, ambulance flights and charter flights.

“Every decision we make at LAATS FBO is made with our customers and our community in mind,” said Karen Nichols, LAATS FBO Manager. “We are optimistic that this new partnership with Avfuel will enable us to add to our repertoire of industry-leading services and further connect our local economy with global partners.”

FlightServ breaks ground on new corporate jet facility at Trenton Mercer Airport

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As the sole independent FBO at Trenton Mercer Airport in New Jersey, US, FlightServ has marked a milestone by breaking ground on its new corporate jet facility.

Set to open in summer 2022, the 110,000 sq. ft. complex is situated on 22 acres and will feature a modern FBO facility, build-to-suit office space and an 80,000 sq. ft. heated hangar to accommodate the FBO’s growing operations. The hangar includes 28-foot high doors, enabling the facility to house all private aircraft operations – including those with the latest models of Bombardier Global and Gulfstream jets.

The state-of-the art FBO facility will feature dedicated pilot and passenger lounges, crew snooze rooms, a catering kitchen and coffee making equipment. As a full-service FBO, FlightServ will continue to provide an array of quality services and amenities for visiting guests out of its new corporate jet facility, including fueling services for both Jet A-1 and Avgas with Avfuel, access to daily news, complete concierge services for ground transportation, catering and hotel accommodations, and renowned aircraft detailing.

“We couldn’t be more pleased for construction to be underway on our new FBO building and hangar,” said Robbie Hunger, FlightServ’s General Manager. “This corporate jet facility is an extension of our promise to provide an exceptional customer experience, guaranteed. With our existing first-rate services and upcoming first-rate accommodation, FlightServ is positioned to provide the ultimate gateway for Northeast business and leisure,” he continued.

The FBO’s convenient location in the state’s capital, directly in-between Teterboro and Northeast Philadelphia, means FlightServ is ideally placed for customers looking to access prominent businesses and the esteemed Princeton University without the congestion of Teterboro, Morristown, Newark and Philadelphia. FlightServ also provides transient overflow hangar space for the greater New York area.

Farnborough Airport welcomes award-winning On Air Dining to airport cafe

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Dedicated business aviation hub, Farnborough Airport, has welcomed On Air Dining and its award-winning inflight service to the airport’s cafe.

Airport staff, tenants, crew and passengers, can now tuck into premium quality breakfasts, as well as other meals, freshly-baked goods and beverages at the airport’s On Air Cafe.

On Air Dining’s produce is all locally sourced from artisanal farms throughout the UK, while 100% compostable or recyclable packaging makes the On Air Cafe a delicious and environmentally friendly choice.

Specially designed crew meal packages and a wide range of high quality grabo-and-go meals are ideal for last minute flights or additional passengers.