By Qiang Xiaoji
Shanghai Deer Jet Co, a subsidiary of HNA Group, China's fourth largest commercial aviation group, has won permission from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to provide business aviation services, the Oriental Morning Post reported.
Business aviation service is attractive to high-end customers, as it allows them to decide their own routes and departure times and can cover remote areas, compared with general commercial flights. The service is still administered by a uniformed aviation safety system.
Deer Jet owns two Hawker 800XP jets, which it will use for high-end customers. The jets provide meeting areas, bars, restrooms, sound equipments, DVDs, satellite telephones and Internet access, which enable passengers to work during the flight.
In recent years, many airline companies have eyed the great potential in the business aviation market.
But China's business aviation industry is still in its infant stage. Only four domestic companies — Deer Jet, Air China Business Jet, Shanghai Airlines, and Shandong Rainbow Business Aircraft Co — operate business jet services with no more than 30 planes, mainly in Beijing and Shanghai, and over 80 percent of the flights are on international routes.
Most of the companies have mediocre performances and some have seen long-time losses.
Ma Xulun, general manager of Shanghai-based China Eastern Airlines, China's third largest carrier by fleet size, said they provide aviation services for other companies' jets, but have no plan to introduce their own business jets within the next two years.
China Eastern is set to increase its Shanghai market share to 50 percent from the current 35 percent after taking over Shanghai Airlines. Shareholders of both companies approved the proposed merger last month.
Hawker Beechcraft will close its Salina plant and move the work, the company is informing employees today.
“We were informed today that the decision has been made to close the Salina facility,” Machinists union District 70 president Steve Rooney said this morning. “The union will be in discussions with the company to see if there’s things we can do to help save and preserve jobs in Kansas.”
A timeline is not known, Rooney said.
The union wants to meet with the company to determine the possibility of moving a significant number of the jobs to Wichita, Rooney said.
Hawker Beechcraft employs about 240 people in Salina, down from about 500 a year ago. The plant builds wings, spar assemblies and other subassemblies.
Hawker Beechcraft CEO Bill Boisture said in an interview last month that the company likely would close the plant and move the work to Wichita.
A news conference has been scheduled at the Salina Airport Authority’s terminal building today at 1:30 p.m. Tim Rogers, the airport’s executive director will address the media on behalf of the City of Salina, Saline County, Salina Area Chamber of Commerce and the Salina Airport Authority.
by Molly McMillin
A 15-year, $120 million tax credit from Ohio will support General Electric Co.’s plan to invest more than $100 million in capital improvements during the next several years at its GE Aviation complex in suburban Cincinnati, including demolishing some buildings that date to around World War II, GE said Thursday, Nov. 5.
Company officials said they are also talking with the University of Cincinnati about having the university establish an aerospace research facility on GE Aviation’s 400-acre complex along Interstate 75 in Evendale, north of Cincinnati. The university and GE have collaborated for years on aerospace research projects, and UC co-op students have received job training during employment at GE Evendale.
Gov. Ted Strickland joined officials of GE and the university for the announcement Thursday afternoon.
In July, the Ohio Department of Development helped lay groundwork for the plan by granting GE a 50 percent job retention tax credit, valued at $120 million. Its terms require GE to retain at least 5,000 jobs in suburban Cincinnati for 18 years. GE officials said they expect to have a larger work force than that at the company’s modernized complex.
“Our goal is to transform our Evendale headquarters into a technology centerpiece for decades to come,” said David Joyce, president and chief executive officer of GE Aviation.
The village of Evendale, where GE is located, is providing a $1 million grant to support the modernization and building renovation. Demolishing old, energy-inefficient buildings, improving newer ones and investing in energy conservation projects there will help GE streamline its operations and reduce operating costs, company officials said.
In September, the governor designated Dayton a state-endorsed hub of aerospace innovation and technology.
GE, along with rival aviation engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce, is a partner with the Air Force Research Laboratory in a research and development project to develop military jet engines that will be more fuel-efficient and able to operate more effectively under differing atmospheric pressures.
- John Nolan
The Kansas City Aviation Department is nearing completion on a $70 million refurbishment program at Kansas City Downtown Airport. The effort, begun in 2005, includes a $28 million project to raze and resurface both airport runways; $20 million to bulldoze 40 old hangars and replace them with 96 new hangars; $17 million for runway safety projects; and construction of a $1 million general aviation terminal, which includes a pilots’ lounge and large waiting room capable of accommodating up to 66 people, a self-fueling facility, and an outdoor aircraft wash bay.
In September, the state of Missouri awarded $3.5 million in economic incentives for construction of a new terminal building, hangars, and other facilities for Hangar 10, an FBO that opened a temporary facility on the field in May.
“It is becoming increasingly rare to find large U.S. cities with serviceable airports in the heart of downtown,” said Missouri Gov. Jeremiah W. “Jay” Nixon at a groundbreaking event held at the airport Sept. 28. “As companies turn more and more to private aircraft and charters to do business, a significantly upgraded Downtown Airport will be perfectly situated to take advantage of an array of exciting economic opportunities, to the benefit of Kansas City and the state of Missouri.”
“Downtown Airport is less than five minutes from the heart of downtown Kansas City, which is in the midst of a major renaissance,” noted Kansas City Aviation Director Mark VanLoh.
When completed, Hangar 10 will include three aircraft hangars totaling 56,000 square feet and a 28,000-square-foot executive aviation terminal with office space, lounges, pilot rest area, overnight rooms, a fitness center, and meeting space.
Executive Beechcraft also operates an FBO at the airport, which it has operated since 1938. It recently completed an extensive refurbishment of its facility, including the pilots’ lounge, conference, and meeting rooms; the main reception and lounge areas got new carpeting, furniture, and countertops.
In August 1927, just months after his historic solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, Charles B. Lindbergh landed on a dusty strip of land along a bend in the Missouri River—dedicating what is now one of the nation’s great inner-city airports. Kansas City Downtown Airport has served as home to Howard Hughes’ Trans Western (and later Trans World) Airlines; it was the city’s primary commercial and GA airport until Kansas City International Airport opened in 1972. Since then it has become a major business aviation center because of its proximity to downtown Kansas City, Mo.
- Mike Collins