EBACE Convention News 2023

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Pearl Family - leading from the front. Sustainable growth that goes the distance.



Pearl Family – leading from the front. Sustainable growth that goes the distance.

EBACE Booth #X98


Protestors breached security at Switzerland’s Geneva Airport at about 11:30 a.m. Yesterday, knocking down fencing around the EBACE 2023 static park and handcuffing themselves to business jets on display. The protesters wore fluorescent-green safety vests marked with the “ban private jets” statement that they chanted as they rushed past airport police.

Some of the protesters were stopped and held on the ground by police, while others made it into the static park. Seven protestors handcuffed

themselves to a Gulfstream on static display, with three attached to the nose gear and four on the jet’s cabin entry door handrails, while others secured themselves to some other aircraft.

“This is a completely unacceptable form of protest,” Ed Bolen and Juergen Wiese—the leaders of EBACE organizers NBAA and EBAA, respectively—said in a joint statement. “We condemn the action, and the threat it has posed to the safety and security of exhibiting companies and EBACE attendees, and others at Geneva Airport.

“Moreover, today’s disruption ignores the fact continues on page 45

AIRCRAFT Program Progress

Garmin Autoland added to Denali | 10


Down Then Up

Global Jet Capital bullish on deliveries | 21


More Hangars Please

Sirio adds mx hangar in Milan | 32


60 Years of Falcons

The French airframer is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Falcon 20 | 40

DAY 2 may 24, 2023 ainonline.com DAVID M c INTOSH

Advanced air mobility readies for Olympic feat

Air mobility is on the cusp of gold. Next year, the nascent sector is set to achieve a milestone with plans to provide all-electric air mobility service for the Olympic Games in Paris. A partnership of companies and authorities is collaborating to pave the way for the service that will be based on Volocopter’s VoloCity air taxi. Hiring of pilots is due to begin before year-end, and further Volocopter services are planned to follow in Rome in 2024 and Osaka for Expo 2025.

These plans—along with other schemes underway—mark a major transition for the advanced air mobility (AAM) sector as it moves along the path from PowerPoint presentations, through prototyping, to commercial service. The path remains problematic in some areas and will not see a dramatic rise immediately, but the successful demonstration of services will not only build public acceptance but also build trust in further investment.

One key desire is to demystify the regulatory process, which many potential investors have problems in understanding. However, the inevitable rise in the AAM sector has been propelled by early interest from several major airlines. The traditional commercial aviation sector recognizes that AAM is another in a series of major developments that have shaped airline travel and realizes that it is important to be in at the beginning to help shape the sector.

The argument for electric-powered AAM is compelling: the drive for decarbonization— largely based on synthetic aviation fuel—will not answer all of the aviation industry’s needs. All-electric power is more than adequate to answer near-term urban/suburban short-range requirements and even regional range requirements out to 400 to 500 km. Long-range travel would most likely not be transformed until other power sources, such as hydrogen, become proven, which may not happen until the 2040s.

The technology exists already—opined one speaker at Tuesday’s EBACE Newsmaker’s Lunch—to replace 90 percent of the existing short-range turbine helicopter fleet, while also adding accessibility to more landing sites due to community-friendly noise levels, and reduced space and infrastructure requirements.

Most of the world’s urban areas are ideally suited to AAM solutions, but in some the need is more pressing than in others. Cities such as Säo Paulo and Delhi are showing great interest given the lack of land for larger aviation infrastructure and congested ground transportation routes. The two main U.S. cities—Los Angeles and New York—also fall into this category, particularly in relation to linking business districts to airports. Hong Kong, too, is another prime candidate.

One element of AAM that still requires more harmonization is the question of pilot licensing and rating. A factor here is that the various OEMs have adopted differing approaches to control systems. In traditional aircraft, the cockpit and controls generally follow a similar approach across the OEMs, but that is not the case in the AAM sector, making a cover-all license more difficult to define. z

Challenge accepted

Bombardier’s Challenger 3500 is making its EBACE debut this this week at Geneva Airport. The super-midsize twinjet—the latest entry in the Challenger 300 series—entered service in the third quarter last year. Its cabin recently won the “Best of the Best” honor in the Red Dot Awards for Product Design. “We are proud to open the door of the Challenger 3500 aircraft to our European customers for the very first time,” said Jean-Christophe Gallagher, Bombardier’s executive v-p of aircraft sales and defense. C.E.

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Our ongoing investment in business aviation is unmatched in the industry. Beyond a constant evolution of the world’s most advanced training tools and technologies, we’re also adding muchneeded capacity and increasing accessibility with facilities like our new Central Europe Business Aviation Training Centre, scheduled to open next year in Vienna, Austria. More than a mere regional frst for CAE, it’s further evidence of the bold action we are taking to be closer to where our customers operate their aircraft, as part of our commitment to business aviation’s future worldwide.

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OEMs, aftermarket go green on business jets

If you’re looking for proof of sustainability in business aviation this week at EBACE 2023, look no further than the cabins of the aircraft in the static display at Geneva Airport and the interior components presented by completion and refurbishment specialists exhibiting at Palexpo.

While the industry’s focus on sustainability developed relatively recently, cabin interiors have relied on sustainable materials and renewable resources “for decades,” said Christi Tannahill, senior v-p, customer experience, at Textron Aviation (Booth T26, Static Display AD_07). She cited the wool, cotton, linen, silk, mohair, bamboo, and leather commonly used to outfit business aircraft cabins, all of which are sustainable and renewable.

Now manufacturers and interior specialists are redoubling their efforts to make cabins even greener, lowering the aircraft’s carbon footprint over their lifetimes, while showcasing what designers and engineers can achieve on the path to carbon neutrality.

The Global and Challenger business jet cabins made by Canada’s Bombardier (Booth K40, Static Display AD_09) feature “a range of upcycled and engineered soft goods made from reclaimed or natural fibers,” said Laurence Casia, Bombardier’s manager of industrial design and cabin innovation. Many of the items featured are on the airframer’s super-midsize Challenger 3500, which entered service last year.

Gulfstream Aerospace ’s (Booth S120, Static Display AD_08) business jet cabins are likewise outfitted with materials “derived from renewable resources,” said company president Mark Burns, while interior components are also largely recyclable. Honeycomb aluminum used in cabin structures can go directly to smelters, for example, while fabrics and carpeting become industrial

raw materials. But, Burns added, “Part of our approach to reducing environmental impact at Gulfstream is to design aircraft that have long service lives to mitigate the need to consume resources to build replacement aircraft.”

That’s a point echoed by other OEMs and underscored by the average age of in-service jets, which exceeded 18 years in 2022— another benchmark of sustainability.

Dassault Falcon (Booth Z72, Static Display AD_02) cabins also incorporate fabrics, wood, vegetal-tanned leathers, and other renewable and environmentally friendly materials throughout. Additionally, the Falcon 10X, slated to enter service in 2025, is designed with modular interior elements to enhance sustainable maintenance. “If there’s an issue with a cabinet, for example, it’s easy to repair or modify without having to replace substantial interior components,” said Vadim Felzer, head of the company’s global communications.

Dassault’s colors, materials, and finishing design studio recently created a unique palette of materials that include undyed wool carpet designs, featuring colors of the natural world: shades of light and dark beige, as well as other subtle earth tones, that in their raw beauty may vary slightly from one batch to another. Dassault emphasizes the subtle contrasts through a unique weaving technique and is the first aircraft manufacturer to offer this pattern alternative for new cabin installations.

Textron (Booth T26, Static Display AD_07), which manufactures Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell aircraft, introduced a demonstrator aircraft for the refreshed midsize Cessna Citation XLS Gen2 last year at EBACE that featured an “eco-friendly interior” with organic, natural, and biodegradable fabrics and leathers, along with a reconstituted veneer. Explaining these options “helps customers discover how they can create their dream interior, while also being eco-conscious,” said Tannahill.

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Bombardier Challenger 3500 Falcon with wool carpet and marquetry Dassault’s Falcon 10X cabin mockup Gulfstream’s cabin test demonstrator Textron Aviation Citation XLS Gen2

Meanwhile, manufacturers report that “more private aviation customers are becoming aware of sustainable materials and requesting them when it comes to cabin design,” said Casia at Bombardier. Moreover, that demand comes “from customers around the world,” Tannahill said.

Indeed, the increasing application of sustainable natural fibers and more common woods is creating “a new aesthetic that appeals to many customers,” said Felzer at Dassault. “They feel good about the material choices and love the feeling and overall cabin environment that natural materials make possible.”

Moreover, these cabins prove that “sustainability doesn’t mean having to make any compromises,” said Casia, noting that rapidly renewable wood options for cabin surfaces and locally sourced fiber-based materials “are as comfortable and luxurious as they are sustainable.” Equally important for sustainability, they are “often more durable and lightweight” than the materials they replace, he said, helping lower fuel consumption.

“Sustainability, quality, and craftsmanship are without a doubt compatible,” echoed Gulfstream’s Burns. “Natural materials at their best are typically also the finest.”

Demand for sustainability is also seen in the VIP custom interior market. Airbus Corporate Helicopters (Booth Z52, Static Display AD_03), sibling of the VIP airframer Airbus Corporate Jets, last year delivered an ACH145 light twin outfitted with a “fully vegan” interior. The leather elements are replaced by synthetic Ultraleather, which looks, feels, and wears like leather—though it’s not as easy to work. Said ACH head Frederic Lemos, “We found a practical way

Lufthansa Technik’s AeroFlax, a flaxbased replacement material for sidewalls and ceiling panels, offers a 20 percent weight savings over glass or carbon.

to meet our customer’s desires, which also looks superb.”

The ACH145 buyer, German entrepreneur Urs Brunner, is married to ethical fashion pioneer Daniela Brunner. Her label uses no animal products in its offerings and donates all profits toward animal welfare.

At its Basel, Switzerland completions center, Jet Aviation (Booth E50) is “offering our customers a range of sustainable choices” and integrating “more sustainable materials into VVIP cabin design,” said v-p of completions sales and marketing Matthew Woollaston. Monuments, fixtures, furnishings, and finishes are all fair game for greening.

The company’s recent “Mink” VIP cabin concept includes table marquetry made of marble offcuts, complementing natural fiber fabrics and flooring made from recycled materials. Jet Aviation has also focused on creating lighter cabins, reducing emissions by cutting fuel burn, and its engineering and production teams are exploring advanced composite materials for interior applications. In the fall, Jet Aviation redelivered its lightest and quietest aircraft to date as it seeks “balance between creating the optimal sound experience and reducing cabin weight for our customers.”

For the forthcoming BBJ777X, which will have the largest interior of any production aircraft aimed at the business aviation market, U.S.-based Boeing completion specialist Greenpoint Technologies (Booth A72) recently introduced the “Zen” interior design concept, featuring many sustainable and biophilic design elements.

Throughout the interior, glass-enclosed jewel box gardens equipped with atmospheric

Greenpoint Technologies created its “Zen” interior design for the massive space available inside the VIP version of the Boeing 777X. Plants help provide a healthier atmosphere.

climate control house organic plants and pebbles. Bringing such elements inside the cabin can increase awareness of sustainability and sustainable material options, according to Greenpoint, while creating “a healthier cabin and meditative environment that encourages connection with nature.”

The Zen interior concept also features reclaimed walnut veneer, natural recycled fabrics, and leather engineered to be lightweight and have a low environmental impact; the leather is one example of formerly “unsuitable, unsustainable, or unattainable” materials that have been transformed by technology into “increasingly lightweight and eco-friendly” choices for cabin interiors, the company said.

MRO and completion specialist Lufthansa Technik (Booth H72), which has recently introduced innovations including ultra-thin curved OLED screens that save weight and energy, has added sustainable materials to its list of VIP interiors options. AeroFlax, among the latest from the German company, is a flaxbased replacement material for glass or carbon fiber parts such as sidewalls and ceiling panels, offering a 20 percent weight savings over glass or carbon, along with low density and desirable mechanical properties for use in aircraft interiors.

Not only are sustainable interiors better for the environment, but they can also cost less thanks to the minimal processing and lower shipping costs of renewable and locally sourced materials. But the real payback is “avoiding emissions and waste, through judicious choices of more sustainable materials, which will ultimately benefit us and our planet,” Bombardier’s Casia concluded. z

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Beechcraft Denali delayed to 2025, adding Garmin Autoland capability

According to Textron Aviation (Booth T26, Stand AD_07), certification and service entry of its Beechcraft Denali will be further delayed until 2025, following the planned certification of the aircraft’s GE Catalyst engine in late 2024. The Wichita airframer also announced that it has selected Garmin’s emergency Autoland as a standard feature for the $6.450 million turboprop single.

“Autoland is a great addition based on customer feedback,” said Textron Aviation senior v-p of global sales and flight operations Lannie O’Bannion. “We’re adding peace of mind to the Garmin G3000 cockpit with Autoland.”

The Denali is the first Textron Aviation aircraft selected for Garmin’s Autoland. “We’re excited to talk about Autoland on a Textron Aviation product finally,” said Garmin senior director of aviation sales and marketing Dan Lind. “It makes perfect sense to have the latest and greatest safety features possible [on the Denali].”

Autoland automatically lands the airplane at a suitable airport in case the pilot is incapacitated and it can be activated by a button to the right of the flight control panel under the glareshield or automatically if the pilot becomes unresponsive.

At NBAA-BACE in October, Textron Aviation said Denali certification would take place in the second half of 2024. After its first flight on Nov. 21, 2021, certification was pegged for 2023. Textron Aviation unveiled the Denali at EAA AirVenture in July 2016 and at the time planned for first flight in 2018.

The Denali is a clean-sheet design, as is its GE Aerospace Avio Aero Catalyst engine. Delivering 1,300 shp, the Catalyst is Fadec-controlled using a single power and propeller control. Textron Aviation is providing the Denali’s McCauley five-blade, full-feathering, and reverse-pitch composite propeller.

With a pressure ratio of 16:1, higher than that of typical engines in this class, the Catalyst burns 20 percent less fuel and delivers 10 percent more power, according to Paul Corkery, general manager of Avio Aero turboprop engines. So far, 26 Catalyst engines—four in flight testing—have accumulated more than 5,400 hours on the ground and in the air. Three Denali test aircraft have logged 1,300 hours over 540 flights. “It’s running great,” he said. “We’re very pleased with the performance.”

GE Aviation chief engineer and general manager Christopher Lorence explained the reasons for the engine certification delays, including new requirements for icing and super-cooled droplet testing and larger bird tests. “It’s taking a lot of capacity to do [this],” he said. “A lot has changed [in terms of] certification regulations. We’re almost three-quarters of the way through the test plan.” So far, 1,500 hours of certification testing, 16 of 22 certification tests, and 25 of 37 component tests have been completed, and certification reports for those are done,

according to Lorence.

Corkery also cited supply-chain challenges in the Catalyst delays. “We had lots of supply challenges and headwinds,” he said. “This is the first new centerline engine in this class in decades. It’s a rigorous certification process, and this has moved us to late 2024.”

“We’re quietly making an incredible amount of progress,” said Textron Aviation chief test pilot Dustin Smisor. Flight testing has included hot-weather flights in Yuma, Arizona, and cold-weather testing in Iqaluit, Canada. “We’re very pleased with all the work put into designing this engine. It’s been extremely solid and reliable. We as test pilots go well above and beyond what normal pilots go through.”

This includes testing in-flight shutdowns, rapid accelerations and decelerations of power, and other extremes. “We have been super pleased with the reliability of this engine. Seeing this fuel efficiency, I’ve had to re-gauge myself because it doesn’t burn a lot of fuel,” he said. z

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The Beechcraft Denali during cold-weather flight testing over Iqaluit, Canada.

Bombardier has added one million sq ft of MRO facilities in the past two years and hired 300 technicians.

Bombardier goes big on MRO

Bombardier, which brought four major maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities online and broke ground on another in 2022, is already starting to see a return on those efforts. The company opened facilities in Miami and Melbourne, Australia, and expanded operations in London and Singapore last year, and more are coming.

Also in 2022, the manufacturer broke ground on a 100,000-sq-ft service center in Abu Dhabi that is slated to come online in 2025. “It’s a massive investment we’ve made into our future,” said Paul Sislian, executive v-p of Bombardier aftermarket services and strategy.

Bombardier (Booth K40, Stand AD_09) has invested hundreds of millions in its strategy to “bring our jets home.” The Canadian manufacturer of the super-midsize Challenger and ultra-long-range Global families has increased its MRO facilities footprint worldwide by one million sq ft in the past two years. It’s also been on a hiring spree, adding 300 technicians, with plans for 300 more.

This growth comes from a strategy laid out about six years ago. “In 2017, we set the vision as a company of this is who we want to become, and then we set the journey of the whole team driving toward there,” Sislian said. “It was a pinnacle strategy to Bombardier because it sent a clear message to the industry and mostly to our customers that we are here and we want to make sure that we take care of our customers and we add value.”

He noted that there are 5,000 Bombardier business jets in service. “We have to make

sure that we properly serve our customers,” Sislian said. “It’s a life cycle, the relationship we have with them.” To back that sentiment up, he added that Bombardier needs to have the right infrastructure.

This is key because the company’s aircraft have become larger with the addition of the Global 7500, which sports a 112-foot-long fuselage, 104-foot wingspan, and 27-foot height. With the expansion at Biggin Hill, Bombardier now has one of its largest service centers based in the London area and the ability to fit 14 Global 7500s at a time. Sislian noted that not many MROs can do that. However, Miami Opa-locka has that same capability and the Singapore center was quadrupled in size.

While not ready to detail the company’s plans, Sislian made it clear that Bombardier is continuing to explore growth opportunities. “As far as I’m concerned, it’s an evolution,” he said. “There’s no destination—you’ve just got to keep going.”

Along with the company’s plans are big ambitions for returns—doubling services revenues from $1 billion in 2020 to $2 billion in 2025. Bombardier is already seeing the fruits of its efforts, bringing in $424 million from its services in the first quarter alone—a 17 percent year-over-year increase.

“We are not surprised but happy that the reaction that we’re getting from the market is commensurate with what we are trying to achieve,” Sislian said. The company has clear goals for market share of Bombardier aircraft service, wanting to jump from 36 to 50 percent.

Beyond market share and ensuring capacity for its flagship Globals, Bombardier sees other

advantages to servicing its own aircraft. One is the new products it develops as a result and another is the ability to transition from reactive to predictive maintenance to stay ahead of the aircraft’s servicing needs.

“We can actually get feeds from an airplane that’s flying of what’s going on with a certain system,” he said. “That way, when the aircraft lands, we can have the right part, the right person with the right tool or the right support already positioned. I firmly believe that we’re at the embryonic stages of that as an industry.”

While the company continues to look for opportunities, perhaps in new areas, Sislian said, Bombardier faces the same constraint as the rest of the industry—a workforce shortage. “Do I think that we have enough brick-and-mortar capacity presently to meet the demand? The answer is yes. Do I think that we’re going to need to grow our brick-and-mortar over the next five years? Yes. But do I think that we have enough human capacity? Not yet.”

Bombardier is working with local officials and schools in the regions it enters to develop a talent pipeline, which will help the company increase capacity within the same square footage. Having its own centers helps to address the supply-chain issue, Sislian said. “Obviously, having your own MROs, you have a little more control over that,” he explained. “There’s a very, very close coordination between the MRO needs and our supply-chain capability.” Bombardier is able to balance its inventory between its original equipment manufacturing and MROs. “If parts are in scarce resources, then having your own MROs allows you to be able to move the materials to best suit the customers,” he said. z

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Global Jet plots course for multi-market growth

Business aviation services provider Global Jet (Booth Z98) is returning to EBACE in a bullish mood, thanks to robust performance across each of its core markets. After a successful start to 2023, Geneva-headquartered Global Jet said it is “stronger than ever,” with healthy demand for its aircraft charter, management, sales and acquisitions, and design and completion businesses.

Over the past year, Global Jet’s charter fleet has grown at an exponential rate, with the addition of 10 business jets, including an Airbus ACJ319neo. Added in March, this bizliner reinforces Global Jet’s strong position in the high-end business jet charter market. Outfitted by Jet Aviation Basel, the 19-passenger, 6,000-nm-range ACJ319neo provides “ample space and possibilities for private clients to enjoy every minute of the journey.”

Other models added to Global Jet’s charter lineup over the past 12 months include a BBJ; Gulfstream G550 and G650ER; Bombardier Global Express XRS and two Global 6000s; Dassault Falcon 7X; Embraer Phenom 300; and Pilatus PC-24.

Global Jet said the Pilatus jet’s impressive short-takeoff and landing performance is major draw for the European charter market. To maximize its appeal, the firm recently obtained approval for the managed PC-24 to operate from the 1,267-meter (4,157-foot)

runway at Andorra-La Seu d’Urgell Airport in northeast Spain, where it is based.

Meanwhile, the company’s charter and brokerage division is performing well, with flight requests and bookings showing a healthy increase year-on-year. “The expectations and trends for this summer look promising,” it noted.

This optimistic outlook is supported by the imminent opening of a charter sales office in Dubai to serve the burgeoning Gulf region.

perceptive buyers “play to Global Jet’s core strengths,” according to the head of sales and acquisitions Hardy Sohanpal, who added they are “focused on quality rather than the urgency to get a deal done.”

Deals are now pending on 80 percent of Global Jet’s sales portfolio, including some “off market” aircraft, the company noted. These include a couple of Falcon 7Xs, a Global XRS, and a corporate-owned G650. Demand for “pedigree aircraft” is up, said Global Jet business development director Yann Nado, who noted that “buyers prefer to access aircraft from tried and trusted sources.”

Market intelligence is playing an equally critical role for buyers and sellers of preowned aircraft. In the bull markets of 2021 and 2022,

Elsewhere, Global Jet’s aircraft sales and acquisitions division is holding strong, but the company suggests the “frantic” post-Covid boom of overinflated price tags and sparse inventories is coming to an end. But there is “still positive news” in this sector, it added.

Global Jet pointed to the emergence of a “more discerning type of buyer, armed with post-pandemic flying experience and looking for the highest levels of quality.” These

sellers could name their prices and terms. Now, Sohanpal said, it is a balance of pricing conservatively to maximize the value combined with a time-limited presence on the market. “Having a trusted peer network to openly discuss price expectations, so these advisors can feel confident, is an important factor in a successful sale or acquisition,” he noted.

Meanwhile, Global Jet has added five business jets to its managed fleet since the start of the year, bringing the total to 55 aircraft. A further eight examples will be added to the managed lineup over the coming months, including a G700, two Global 7500s, Global XRS, Bombardier Challenger 300, and Embraer Praetor 600.

The G700 and one of the Global 7500s are now undergoing completion at AMAC Aerospace’s Basel facility, with both projects managed and overseen by Global Jet. AMAC and Global are also at the final delivery stage with a BBJ Max 8. z

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Global Jet’s Pilatus PC-24 is just one of the many jets added to its fleet during the past year. With the capability of landing on shorter runways, the PC-24 is a popular choice for European trips. Global Jet is adding two Bombardier Global 7500s to its management fleet, one of which is undergoing completion at AMAC Aerospace in Basel, Switzerland.

Azzera launches one stop sustainability shop

A year after launching at EBACE 2022, Azzera (Booth O59) has returned to the 2023 show this week to unveil its business aircraft carbon offsetting and compliance-management platform. The company is inviting operators to beta test the platform ahead of a commercial launch later this year.

zero”—has partnered with flight scheduling software company Skylegs, which will supply the data needed to calculate emissions from each flight.

“We have been building the platform over the last 12 months and the [minimum viable platform] is being unveiled at EBACE with Skylegs as our launch partner,” said Mahajan. “We’re working with them for an API

has already generated considerable interest. In fact, Azzera was recently accepted into a Canadian government program called Innovation Solutions and the firm is now in talks with Transport Canada to use the platform for testing. Mahajan describes this development as “incredibly exciting,” adding that “if Transport Canada can advocate our platform for Corsia, or for operators to use for compliance and emissions management, that’s our nirvana.”

Other achievements for Azzera include an invitation last year to join the Climate Fintech (financial technology) Incubator program run by Zurich-based Tenity (formerly F10). “This has given a lot of exposure and structure to the company, and helped us to build a network, generate interest in the platform, and become investment ready,” said Mahajan.

In the fourth quarter, Azzera is seeking to raise between $3 million and $5 million in seed funding, which will be used to support the company’s expansion. “We will scale up to begin with in our key markets of Europe and Canada,” she said.

Dubbed the Azzera market exchange, the fully integrated, subscription-based platform calculates the CO2 emissions of an aircraft or fleet of aircraft. It then segregates these emissions into the various “compliance markets” where each flight is operating—notably the European Union and the UK’s Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and the in-development, ICAO-led Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (Corsia), set for introduction in 2027.

Business aircraft operators are notified if they have exceeded an emission threshold and are instructed to purchase carbon credits, compliance credits, and/or sustainable aviation fuel credits (SAFC) to mitigate these emissions. A range of carbon offset offerings can be acquired on the platform’s retail marketplace, all of which have been “rigorously assessed and approved by Azzera’s team of experts,” the company explained.

Company co-founder and chief executive Puja Mahajan described the platform as a “one-stop shop to manage emissions compliance and mitigation.” Azzera—Italian for “to

integration with their software, and existing Skylegs users will have access to our platform immediately.”

Other scheduling software providers will be added as the platform grows. “We’re going to partner with as many as we can to increase our market base and global reach,” said Mahajan.

Azzera will begin beta testing the cloudbased software-as-a-service platform after EBACE and has set its sights on a commercial launch in the third quarter. “We are looking for around 10 to 20 business aircraft operators to give feedback over the next few months—to tell us what works well with the platform and what can be improved,” explained Mahajan.

The company also offers carbon credits for the voluntary marketplace, which Mahajan encourages aircraft owners to consider. “Even if aircraft are under the compliance threshold for emissions, owners and operators still have an obligation to do something for humanity and figure out how they can reduce their environmental impact,” she noted.

Preparation for the launch has been intense, Mahajan added, and the platform

While aviation is its focus for now, the company aims to be the leading platform for emissions management across the transportation fields, including shipping and trucking. “The scope is endless,” noted Mahajan. “We are concentrating on creating a really great product for the aviation industry first, but the platform will be scalable to other transportation markets.” z


EASA has published proposed noise limitatons that would apply to the newgeneraton of electric vertcal takeof and landing (eVTOL) urban transports. The proposals would cover eVTOL aircraf specifcally equipped with multple, vertcal, non-tltng, evenly distributed rotors. The proposed specifcatons are intended to fll a regulatory gap and use the internatonally harmonized noise certfcaton standards applicable to heavy helicopters as a startng point. In additon, a hover noise level has been developed to aid in the assessment of operatons in the vicinity of vertports. Comments on the proposal are due by June 15, 2023.

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“We have been building the platform over the last 12 months and the [minimum viable platform] is being unveiled at EBACE with Skylegs as our launch partner,”
Azzera co-founder and chief executive Puja Mahajan
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Conforming Global 8000 makes its first flight

The first fully-configured Global 8000 made its inaugural flight last week, Bombardier announced on Monday at EBACE 2023. The aircraft, which was formerly FTV-5 in the Global 7500 program and the same airframe that went supersonic during the early stages of Global 8000 flight testing, has been configured as FTV-1 in the Global 8000 program. On its first day of flight testing in the full configuration, the large-cabin twinjet flew more than seven hours without incident, reflecting the maturity of the program.

Stephen McCullough, Bombardier’s senior v-p of engineering and product development, noted its superlatives. “This is an aircraft with Mmo of Mach 0.94, the highest in the industry,” he said. “This is an aircraft that can fly 8,000 nautical miles, the highest in our industry,” he said. McCullough also noted that for passenger comfort, the Global 8000 will have a cabin altitude of 2,900 feet when flying at 41,000 feet—the lowest in the industry.

Launched at last year’s EBACE, the Global 8000 is the same size as its 7500 sibling, with a four-zone cabin and the option for an executive cabin introduced last year at NBAA-BACE. The range improvements in the 8000 come largely from an optimization of the empty weight and the resultant ability to carry more fuel in the existing tanks.

The OEM is anticipating certification for the 8000 in the second half of 2025. At that point, Bombardier (Booth K40, Static AD_09) will issue an optional service bulletin for the 7500 that will allow it to be retrofitted with the 8000’s performance enhancements. Downtime needed for the retrofit is expected to be less than a week. z

CAE expanding global training center locations

As one of the world’s largest training and simulator providers, CAE (Booth P98) already operates more than 300 of its own full-flight simulators (FFSs) in 70-plus locations. CAE’s announcement on Monday at EBACE concerning the creation of a new training center in Vienna, Austria, highlights the company’s push to expand its training capacity in the business aviation sector. While the Vienna center will increase capacity in Europe, CAE is also expanding in other regions.

Recently, a new center opened in Singapore with a Gulfstream G650 simulator, and additional services are to be added soon. The company’s Las Vegas facility is now operational providing instruction on the Gulfstream IV, V, G550, and G650; Bombardier Global 7500; and Embraer ERJ-145 and Phenom 300. A new facility is going live in the late third quarter at the Simcom Lake Nona training center in Orlando, Florida. This 12-bay training center will have G650, Bombardier Challenger 350,

and Phenom 300 full-flight simulators, but also adds a Challenger 3500 sim and two for the Embraer Praetor 600.

A notable development is the creation of a new center alongside the Gulfstream campus in Savannah, Georgia. Here, CAE will station its first full-flight simulator for the G280 and also conduct maintenance training on a range of Gulfstreams. The latter will include the use of virtual reality, which the company has been developing for some time as a tool in technician training for specific aircraft and systems.

CAE continues to support new business aircraft types as they enter service. Following the implementation last year of the company’s first Falcon 8X simulator at its Burgess Hill center in southern England, the world’s only Falcon 6X full-flight simulator is now operational at the same location. A second Global 6500 sim is due to enter service in Dubai next month, while Global 7500 flight training devices are scheduled for operation in Dubai and Montreal in the third quarter. z

18 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com
CAE is building a new training center at the Gulfstream campus in Savannah, Georgia.

Lilium Jet shows how pioneers will fly

The business aviation community got its first glimpse at what it will be like to travel in nascent eVTOL aircraft, with a full-scale mockup of the Lilium Jet cabin unveiled this week at EBACE 2023. The German manufacturer (Booth D32) is exhibiting an example of the Pioneer Edition, which features a clubfour seating configuration with more space than the standard six-seater Shuttle version.

Lilium plans to build just 50 Pioneer Edition aircraft, with charter operators eVolare and Air-Dynamic now accounting for 25 between them. This version of the all-electric Lilium Jet, which features 30 ducted fans in its canard and wings, is expected to be delivered by early 2026.

Externally, the most eye-catching feature of the cabin is a pair of large windows giving passengers a panoramic view without craning their

necks. Inside, the color and strength of the lighting can be adjusted and owners can decorate a large leather ceiling panel to their taste.

“It’s their personal canvas,” Alberto Caruso, Lilium’s head of design and brand, told AIN Customers can also specify the design and materials used for the lower section of the cabin console and features such as leather pockets in the cabin walls to store magazines and other items.

The Lilium Jet fuselage is longer than those of helicopters currently used for private aviation and somewhat resembles a light business jet in scale.

An aisle between the two sets of seats gives each passenger a generous amount of personal space. Noise levels in the cabin are expected to be below 80 dBA.

The aircraft’s batteries are stored in cavities on each side of the fuselage. At current levels of energy and power density, the aircraft’s

range will be limited to 155 miles. However, Lilium expects to be able to change these out within a few years for new batteries that would extend the range to almost 190 miles.

The Pioneer Edition eVTOL vehicle is priced at around $10 million, depending on which customization options buyers chose. The six-seat Shuttle model sells for $7 million, with the Premium version priced at around $8 million. z

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The Lilium Jet cabin preserves personal space.

Jetex’s ‘milestone year’ sees revenues soar

Jetex’s global annual revenues rose more than 50 percent in 2022, and the company is present in 50 locations, with 37 terminals and 2,100 airports providing Jetex fuel supplies around the world, founder and CEO Adel Mardini said on the eve of EBACE 2023.

Jetex has rounded out its fleet of FBOs in the Gulf Cooperation Council by winning the mandate in April to run two FBOs at Abu Dhabi Al Bateen Executive Airport—the Royal Terminal and a VVIP facility. Abu Dhabi-based aviation officials said the company’s experience in managing FBOs would improve service at the airport.

“We will be the official FBO operator at Al Bateen Executive Airport, the region’s only airport fully dedicated to private aviation,” Mardini told AIN. “Jetex Abu Dhabi marks a milestone for our brand and confirms our commitment to the region.”

A full refit of the facilities means that he plans to launch the Abu Dhabi installations before year-end. “Handover will start as soon as possible,” Mardini said.

Meanwhile, the company is on the cusp of major progress in Saudi Arabia, which has been developing rapidly as it aims to grow as a global aviation hub. Jetex plans to take over facilities in Riyadh and Jeddah and construct new ones in Al Ula and Neom. “The masterplan for the new King Salman International Airport in Riyadh includes FBO facilities and we look forward to taking the Jetex brand there,” Mardini said. “We also applied for Jeddah, Al Ula, and Neom—being in Saudi Arabia is…essential for the regional growth of the company.”

Elsewhere in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jetex already operates in Oman at Muscat, where its team provides a full range of services, and Salalah. Mardini also awaits the issuance of an FBO tender in Kuwait, which is expected next month.

Meanwhile, Jetex continues to seek progress in Asia. It has an operations center in China,

where it has 12 employees. “It would be great to see a Jetex private terminal in China one day,” Mardini said. “There is definitely room for growth in Asia-Pacific, especially in Indonesia.”

He estimates that in 2021 there were 3.2 million business aviation flights globally. “In 2022, there were 4.1 million—an increase of 39 percent.”

In 2018 and 2019, Jetex saw 43,000 flights going through its network. Then they dipped in 2020 before rising to more than 71,000 last year. “For 2023, my forecast is to facilitate more than 85,000 flights globally,” Mardini said.

more than 800 staff,” he said. “We continue to recruit to support our international expansion.”

With the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference—COP 28—taking place in Dubai at the end of the year, companies in the Middle East are looking to burnish their green credentials. As an example of its commitment to decarbonization, Jetex is working with Rolls-Royce to upgrade its car fleet in Dubai. “We are now working with Rolls-Royce to replace our fleet with electric cars, which will be noiseless and clean,” Mardini said.

“Rolls-Royce aims to present its first fully electric motor car later this year.”

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) remains unavailable at Middle Eastern airports. Mardini said it was difficult to obtain commitments from customers to buy SAF. “As SAF is more than twice as expensive as conventional

Jetex plans to hire additional personnel to meet demand for its handling and FBO services, which are expected to serve more than 85,000 flights this year.

The Jetex Annual Review 2022 said 514 private jets were based in the Middle East and 476 in Africa. “The Middle East fleet is growing—after Covid-19, more owners want to base their aircraft here,” he said.

Last year, Jetex said it handled more than 11,000 flights at the VIP Terminal at Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW) in Dubai, Mardini added. With a total of five players in the Dubai market recording 15,000 movements, he calculates that the other four FBOs handled 4,000 flights. “That translates into a [local] market share of 73 percent for Jetex.

“I expect the number of movements at OMDW to grow by 10 to 15 percent in 2023,” Mardini noted. “In the first quarter, we recorded a 10 percent increase, as we handled 3,700 flights.”

Jetex’s employee headcount stood at 729 employees at the end of 2022. “Today, we have

fuel, we need a stronger commitment to it from our customers,” he commented.

However, together with its partners, Jetex hopes to introduce SAF to the Middle East market in time for the COP 28 meeting in Dubai, when he expects around 600 movements at its Dubai facilities. However, Jetex’s partnership with Neste in Finland has borne fruit by allowing it to provide SAF to customers at Helsinki. The SAF offered there by Jetex is made from waste and residue raw materials, he said, providing an immediate solution for reducing direct carbon emissions.

“At Jetex, we want to help decarbonize the aviation industry; we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders to explore viable options to help scale up SAF more broadly,” Mardini said. “As demand grows, so will supply.” z

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Forecast predicts bizjet pullback then climb

In its third annual Business Jet Market Forecast—released on Monday at EBACE 2023— Global Jet Capital expects continued growth for the next five years in preowned business jet transactions and new deliveries. But that is tempered by what it characterizes as a “leveling off from the unprecedented demand that our industry experienced post-pandemic.”

The news isn’t bad for the business aviation market, according to chief marketing officer Andrew Farrant. “Most OEMs have strong backlogs and should see improvements in supply-chain challenges that limited deliveries in 2022 and so far in 2023. Preowned transactions continue to return to rates more in line with historical trends and are expected to pick up in 2024 and beyond to reflect increasing demand from new aircraft models.”

In 2023, the forecast expects new and preowned transaction unit volume to drop 2.6 percent while transaction dollar volume should climb by 1 percent. This is due to more demand for larger jets and new-production jet deliveries growing 6.3 percent and dollar volume by 12.2 percent in 2023, according to Global Jet Capital (Booth X90).

On the preowned side in 2023, unit volume is projected to drop 4.8 percent and dollar volume 8.5 percent.

The forecast through 2027 predicts a reemergence of historic trends of steady growth, with transactions—new and preowned—growing at 2.9 percent per year and dollar volume up 3.1 percent. “Between 2023 and 2027, we forecast new aircraft will represent 51.5 percent of the total value of the market, about on par with the last five years,” the forecast noted. New aircraft deliveries should reach 893 in 2027, up from 712 in 2022, with all

jet categories seeing an increase, led by heavy jets at 282. Very light jets will account for 202, light jets 210, and medium jets 199.

From the peak of 3,243 preowned transactions in 2021, unit volume is expected to grow again from a 2023 low of 2,635 to 3,129 in 2027.

“The last couple of years have been kind of exceptional,” said Global Jet Capital CEO Vivek Kaushal. He admitted that the Global Jet Capital model missed forecasting what happened during and after the Covid pandemic. “If the model predicted what happened in the last couple of years, I would be worried that we have some strange kind of model,” he said. But overall, “the model has back-tested very well each year.”

While prices for materials remain high and maintenance costs continue to climb, people are still buying business aircraft. “Our view on the market is what we’re seeing is a natural pullback,” he said, “something that is a reflection of

the exceptional time the industry has enjoyed for 2021 and 2022. We’re gradually and systematically retreating from those peaks.”

Unlike the wild runup to the 2007 to 2009 recession, when banks loaned money on aircraft with ever-increasing values and with a high amount of leverage, Kaushal said, “That didn’t happen this time.” Banks are much more conservative and buyers aren’t trying to over-leverage their aircraft purchases.

With the influx of many new entrants to business aviation, there will be some buyers who elect to sell and their aircraft will come onto the market. “But if we look at the pace of aircraft that came on the market in 2009, we’re not seeing them come on the market like that now,” he said. “Fundamental drivers” such as the overall expansion in the user base and pent-up demand will help maintain a strong level of activity. “A lot of wealthy people want to use private aviation to travel,” he added.

Aircraft manufacturers are also being more disciplined about manufacturing to meet the needs of the marketplace and not overbuilding, Kaushal explained. “They’ve done a tremendous job managing through the supply chain challenges.”

Overall, he concluded, “This is a more kind of a natural pullback, and the industry is going to have to work through it. I get the sense that everybody is taking it in stride, so there’s not any kind of stress.” z

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Global Jet Capital’s forecast predicts a return to growth in new and preowned aircraft markets. Global Jet Capital CEO Vivek Kaushal

Old is new again with Bombardier CPO plan

For the first time since Bombardier initiated its Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) aircraft program in 2021, the airframer has one of the examples on display at an airshow. In its EBACE 2023 static display (AD_09) this week, the Canadian OEM is showing off a 2012 vintage Challenger 605 that has been factoryrefurbished through the program.

While some third-party companies have offered remanufactured aircraft programs in the past, Bombardier (Booth K40) is the first manufacturer to do so. “What we have done is created a brand new category of preowned aircraft,” said Paul Sislian, executive v-p for

aftermarket services and strategy. “The way we have done that is by offering a full turnkey solution that offers complete peace of mind to our customers.”

With 18 aircraft delivered thus far—including a selection of Challenger 300s, 604s, 605s, and Globals—CPO aircraft are now listed as a distinct category by aircraft appraisal analysts such as Aircraft Bluebook, Vref, and AircraftPost. In terms of value, those aircraft are being compared to versions five years newer.

According to Sislian, the most important factor in purchasing a candidate 10- to 15-year-old aircraft for the CPO program is pedigree. Once reacquired, the aircraft undergoes a complete configuration check and a Level 3 inspection.

Satcom Direct adding auto carbon reporting

Satcom Direct will soon add an automated carbon reporting module to its SD Pro operating system and is demonstrating the new tool at EBACE. The company (Booth T106) expects the module’s first-phase functionality to be ready by August.

The tool uses real-time data generated by the company’s FlightDeck Freedom datalink service, which accurately measures fuel burn. It uses that data to calculate carbon emissions based on the type and amount of fuel burned, including the blend ratio of sustainable aviation fuel. Operators are then presented with validated emissions data that can be parsed by an individual aircraft,

a single flight, or an entire fleet.

The data is run through calculations developed to comply with regulatory standards on carbon emission reporting. The resulting reports give operators a variety of metrics, including the amount of carbon dioxide generated, where it was emitted, and how this volume compares to previous trips. The information is presented graphically and can be used to generate carbon certificates, transactional records for purchased credits, and authenticated tracking information, thus streamlining the computations necessary for mandatory and voluntary emission reporting and offsetting.

A 2012 vintage Challenger 605, which has been fully restored as part of Bombardier’s Certified Pre-Owned aircraft program, is on display this week at EBACE in Geneva.

The aircraft then receives new paint and a complete interior refurbishment, including upgrading to the latest technologies in cabin management and connectivity. Avionics are updated as well—the Challenger 605 on display this week at EBACE features Collins Pro Line 21 Advanced avionics and Ka-band satcom. Like all of the CPO program aircraft, this Challenger has its engines and APU enrolled in care programs. The process is so extensive, Sislian said, that “when customers come in, they feel like they are in a brand new aircraft.” He added that all the CPO aircraft come with “an exclusive one-year warranty, tip-to-tail. We also put the aircraft on Smart Parts, which means you have a corrosion warranty.” z

Further, it will allow users to view their CO2 emissions and access associated certificates and records. Via SD Pro’s carbon offsetting platform Patch, operators can purchase o ff set credits through qualified registries with a choice of more than 140 verified offset projects.

“With the industry pledging to be carbon neutral by 2050, we recognize that aircraft operators need to monitor each flight’s environmental impact,” explained company founder and CEO Jim Jensen. “We’ve developed this new tool to help them streamline the calculations and provide seamless access to offset options and give them control over their own reporting and carbon strategy.”

He noted the tool will be particularly useful for those operating under environmental social governance and the evolving CORSIA compliance guidelines. “We know the industry will welcome the simplicity and convenience.” C.E.

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JetNet iQ forecast sees 13,000 new bizcraft

Approximately 13,000 turbine business aircraft are projected to be delivered over the next decade, according to the latest JetNet iQ industry forecast released yesterday morning at EBACE 2023. Presented by JetNet’s Rolland Vincent and Paul Cardarelli, the outlook calls for shipments of 8,637 jets and 4,265 turboprops by the end of 2032. At that point, the global fleet should tally approximately 44,500 aircraft, based on an anticipated 7,000 aircraft retirements.

Vincent, JetNet iQ’s (Booth M71) creator and director, noted that while the macroeconomic outlook is dampening enthusiasm, “the business aviation industry has been absolutely firing on all cylinders. We have super demand for our products and services.” The five major business jet OEMs all have book-to-bills above 1:1, he noted. “What we don’t have is super supply and we haven’t had [that] for some time.”

While airframer backlogs have returned to two-year-plus waits, associated business aircraft deliveries have not yet rebounded to their preCovid levels due to lingering supply chain issues. “Whether you’re a service provider or a product provider, an airframer, or an engine company, you’re running into service issues,” explained Vincent. “Whether they’re not answering the phones, not delivering to the production line, or not showing up when you expect it to be backed

EBACE opens with innovation goals

up, this is not changing. Maybe we’ve solved 80 or 90 percent of the market issues, but every airplane needs every part to go out the door.”

As well, the preowned aircraft inventory across virtually all segments is rebounding from the recent record lows.

As part of its quarterly industry surveys, JetNet iQ attempts to gauge market sentiment among respondents. In this latest survey, the global responses showed the numbers of those who thought the market had not yet reached its low point and those who believe it is on an upswing were nearly equal at around 46 percent each, with just 7.5 percent indicating the market was at its low point.

Vincent noted that North America led in pessimism, with more than half saying they believe the market will decline further. “This is the first time we have seen this,” he said. “Owners and operators are the customers in the room. They’re not feeling very optimistic right now, and what we’re going to say about that is that slows down order activity and transaction activity for a little while.”

Considering current market conditions, Vincent said JetNet iQ is “keeping the forecast fairly muted for the next two to three years.” Even so, the company’s outlook calls for deliveries to accelerate after 2025 given plans for production ramp, new products coming to market, and notyet-announced products in the works. z

High achievement, breakthrough technology, diversity, and advances in sustainability took center stage in the inspiring keynote opener of EBACE 2023 on Tuesday featuring motorsports legends Toto and Susie Wolff and entrepreneur and solar power innovator Raphaël Domjan.

After EBAA chairman Juergen Wiese welcomed attendees to “Europe’s greatest and largest and most exciting business aviation gathering,” Giovanni Russo, COO of Geneva Airport, a partner in the annual EBAA gathering, reported that business aviation comprises 20 percent of the airport’s traffic. The airport is aiming to be net-zero carbon emissions by 2037, he said, recounting investments in sustainability the airport has made that will make that possible.

“For business aviation, it’s essential to adhere to sustainability,” he added. “This will convince people that you are an essential element of the global economy.”

Wiese also noted the recent, unexpected passing of EBAA secretary general Athar Hussain Khan, to whose memory this year’s EBACE is dedicated.

NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen took the stage to welcome Toto and Susie Wolff, whose remarks reflected the close connection between aviation and auto racing, as well as the challenges both industries face in seeking sustainability and a new generation of professionals in their quests for success.

Toto heads the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team, which with eight consecutive world championships is literally a case study (Harvard Business School) of excellence and team performance in any business or endeavor.

“Perfection is not something that you can ever achieve—it doesn’t exist, but it’s something that you can work toward,” Toto said. “And that has continues on page 45

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Your success is our inspiration. Every investment we make—in advanced technology, sustainability innovation, precision manufacturing and worldwide customer support—is an investment in you.

SAF availablity rising slowly in Europe

While sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) may provide the best near-term solution for the decarbonization of aviation, it is still an industry very much in the early phases of development. In fact, the first commercially produced SAF ocurred less than a decade ago.

“It’s in its infancy,” noted Daniel Coertzer, CEO of the Geneva-based international division of Titan Aviation Fuels (Booth S88). “The first SAF was sold just a few years ago. We cannot yet take over or compete with the jet fuel business that has been in place since the Second World War.”

Indeed, despite SAF currently representing a minute percentage of the overall jet-fuel supply, it is an industry that is growing, but with numerous demands being placed upon it in the form of targets and mandates. In Europe, mandates on the use of SAF have been imposed in France, Sweden, and Norway, while the UK plans to make SAF 10 percent of the jet fuel consumed by 2030. Further EU-wide programs under consideration call for all flights originating from larger airports in the EU to carry a minimum amount of SAF.

“The mandates are slightly different but they have the same output, which is they are encouraging the uptake [of SAF] because you have one of two choices: you either purchase physical SAF or you pay a penalty, effectively,” said Matthew Whitton, World Fuel Services (Booth A37) v-p of land and aviation supply for Europe.

According to industry tracker and sustainability consultancy 4Air (Booth Y111), SAF is now available consistently for business and general aviation customers at 17 airports in Europe: eight in the UK, including Farnborough, Biggin Hill, and Luton airports; three in France, including Paris Le Bourget; four in Italy; and at Amsterdam Schiphol and Vienna International airports.

U.S.-based distributor AEG Fuels (Booth G46)—which has a larger SAF distribution

footprint in Europe than it does in the U.S.— noted educating the users is key. “We’ve seen this problem with some locations is that they get SAF and they can’t move it because nobody knows how to buy it,” said Marc Ramthun, managing director of business aviation sales and supply. “We have this great product but if no one can find it, it doesn’t do anybody any good.”

This week at EBACE, World Fuel Services announced a new deal with SAF producer Neste that will increase the number of European airports World Fuel provides with SAF from 13 to 40. The U.S.-based company predicts a 20-fold increase in its SAF deliveries this year versus 2022.

for the mandates to carry them forward.”

Business aviation’s use of SAF also faces additional hurdles in competition with commercial carriers, which have existing offtake agreements for large quantities of fuel. “Demand is high relative to the supply of the product,” said Whitton. While there are some existing carveouts for business aviation SAF supplies, “it’s been difficult to find the molecules,” Whitton told AIN.

Another factor is cost. According to sources, blended SAF can cost $2 or more per gallon than jet-A. For an ultra-long-range jet, that could add $800 to hourly operational costs.

“A lot of people would love to use [SAF], but it is just not viable in making them competitive in the pricing,” said Coetzer. “If they quote a charter and they must use set fuel [pricing], the guy that doesn’t use set fuel can come in at a much better rate.”

As the production of SAF increases, that pricing delta will decrease and put SAF pric-

“We are excited to have created a framework that enables us to more reliably provide our customers across Europe with SAF in a timely and expedient manner,” said Duncan Story, World Fuel’s v-p of aviation supply for the region. “We are confident this agreement and deeper collaboration with Neste will serve to accelerate our ability to support customers in their decarbonization ambitions across the globe.”

Yet, some indicate SAF supplies in Europe are still rather constrained in comparison to the U.S.

“Anticipation over the Refuel EU mandates has suppliers holding onto fuel to help them meet those future blending requirements or at least until they have some better clarity around them,” said 4Air president Kennedy Ricci. “It also has some operators holding back to wait

ing more on par with that of conventional fuel. The major fuel companies continue to channel their e ff orts into enhancing their current facilities and developing new ones to increase output. “I think that all of them are really preparing to invest their money, and they know that that’s the future,” Coetzer added.

Following the much-anticipated expansion of its Singapore SAF refinery, Neste is in the process of upgrading and expanding its Rotterdam facility, which will greatly augment its SAF output by 2026. Sustainable fuel producer Cepsa recently announced a partnership to establish a major refinery in Spain that is expected to come online in 2026 with an output of 500,000 tons a year. z

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London Biggin Hill Airport is one of less than 20 facilities in Europe to offer sustainable aviation fuel to business aviation customers.

Textron Aviation rolls out 100th Longitude

Since entering service in 2019, Textron Aviation’s super-midsize Longitude, the Wichitabased company’s largest in-production business jet, has now reached the mark of 100 units manufactured. The aircraft manufacturer (Booth T26, Static AD_07) recently rolled it out and, after completion, the jet will be delivered to its new owner later this year.

NetJets is a fleet operator of the Longitude, having placed an order and options for 175 of the model in 2018.

The super-midsize Longitude is powered by a pair of Honeywell HTF7700L turbofan engines and features the Garmin G5000 avionics suite with autothrottles and emergency-descent mode. Range is 3,500 nm and full fuel payload 1,600 pounds, while maximum cruise speed is 483 knots. Fully berthable seats in the Longitude’s flatfloor, six-foot tall cabin are available in a standard double-club configuration. The aircraft can be configured with up to 12 passenger seats.

“The Citation Longitude has redefined its category with class-leading performance, efficiency, and an unrivaled cabin experience,” said Textron Aviation president and CEO Ron Draper. “A milestone like this wouldn’t be possible without the owners and operators who love to fly our aircraft or the extraordinary workforce that designs, builds, and maintains this legendary aircraft.” z

Foil, paint specialists put creativity to work

Business aircraft livery creator Happy Design Studio (Booth W105) has joined forces with aircraft painting and foil decal specialists to offer an end-to-end service for the creation and implementation of exterior designs. Having collaborated on previous projects, such as the award-winning Carboneum Experience applied to a Bombardier Global 6000 and subsequently on a Global 5500, Happy Design has partnered with German business jet MRO and painting company General Atomics AeroTec Systems at Oberpfaffenhofen and French decorative foil specialist Adhetec in Tarbes. The three companies are jointly exhibiting this week at EBACE.

Combining the experience and knowledge across all stages of the process has streamlined the operation to the point where livery applications can now be conducted in around 60 percent of the time normally needed. There

also are cost savings, while downtime can be minimized by combining the paint work with other maintenance tasks.

The most exciting prospect, however, is the release of creativity and the ability to accurately apply finishes that the team brings, Happy Design owner Didier Wolff told AIN. Designs increasingly feature a combination of paint and foil, with the latter offering the possibility of being able to change liveries by overlaying existing finishes. The foil also offers the same level of durability as paint.

Adhetec has the unique ability to produce decals by projecting the desired imagery onto 3D models. The resulting stencils preserve the desired design effect while accommodating airframe curvatures, such as the cylindrical nature of fuselages and tapering tail sections. The use of foils also has benefits in terms of fleet applications, with the ability to produce similar decals in bulk. z

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The super-midsize Citation Longitude is Textron Aviation’s largest jet. With maximum cruise speed of 483 knots, the Longitude can fly 3,500 nm and has a full-fuel payload of 1,600 pounds. Happy Design Studio artists pulled out the creative stops to design this Global paint scheme.

MedAire granted EU approval for digital kit

European aircraft operators can now use MedAire’s Digital Assessment Kit (DAK) to quickly assess the condition of passengers who become unwell during flights. The company this week announced that the equipment has earned the European Union’s CE approval, certifying that it meets safety, health, and environmental requirements.

will get the information needed by physicians even if it is not applied in the perfect position on the patient’s chest.

Meanwhile, MedAire announced last week that it expanded the business and general aviation desk at its London Assistance Center to provide the same level of support as it delivers from its Global Response Center in Phoenix. The company announced the upgrade on Thursday, saying it was done to meet increased demand from aircraft operators for support across different regions of the world and to take account of time zones.

The new desk in the UK capital will support business and general aviation customers with both medical and safety-related issues while they are traveling. This service includes on-demand access to aviation medical professionals and security experts.

MedAire’s Digital Assessment Kit sends medical information to doctors on the ground to assess patients while in flight.

make the right decisions when traveling. The data spans more than 2,000 airports worldwide. The MedAire360 portal now also gives all users access to the My Routes feature that allows flight departments to input their flight plans to easily view all relevant alerts, incidents, and associated medical and security threats. My Routes connects the MedAire and International SOS data catalogs.

The DAK consists of a blood pressure monitor cuff, 12-lead ECG recorder, digital glucometer, pulse oximeter, and contactless thermometer. According to MedAire president Bill Dolny, the equipment greatly improves the way medical emergencies are dealt with by allowing flight crew to transmit critical data to the company’s assistance centers immediately so that when they place calls to doctors on the ground they receive the right guidance as to how best to respond to the patient’s needs.

“From our experience, we know that the more information you have, the more accurate your assessment is,” explained Dr. Paolo Alves, MedAire’s global medical director of aviation health. “This is about how to collect data in a meaningful structured way, and with the DAK we have refined the way assessments are done. We don’t need streaming data for that.”

Flight crews operate the DAK via an app that guides them through the process of collecting data. The equipment has features to help non-medical staff to get the best possible data in challenging circumstances, such as a large sticker pad for the ECG recorder that

At EBACE, MedAire (Booth X42) is introducing two additional features for its MedAire360 safety information service. The new Airport Alert History feature now provides access to alerts dating back to 2015, identifying risk patterns, trends, and potential threats to help crew

“We have 200 to 300 security professionals worldwide assessing risks all the time, and we make sure we give flight departments the information that is most relevant to them,” Dolny explained. “We have given security teams more tools to use, such as adding a flight-tracking tool to plot the path of a trip.” z

Rolls-Royce expands European services

Engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce (Booth X98) has added two additional European authorized service centers (ASCs) to its global support network: AMAC Aerospace Switzerland (Booth C72) in Basel and AeroDienst (Booth T82) in Nuremberg, Germany. Both centers will support the BR710A2-20 engines that power various models of the Bombardier Global business jet family.

“We welcome our new authorized service center partners in Basel and Nuremberg, which are reinforcing our support infrastructure in Europe,” said Robert

Werner, Rolls-Royce’s v-p of aircraft availability for business aviation. “Through our collaboration with the world’s most experienced maintenance providers, we ensure industry-leading service levels for our CorporateCare customers.”

CorporateCare is Rolls-Royce’s engine maintenance management offer, providing customers with faster response times and streamlined administration around the world. The company has more than 75 ASCs, representing what it claims is the largest global service network in the industry. D.D.

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MedAire has expanded its international services.

Biggin Hill traffic climbs over pre-Covid levels

Biggin Hill Airport (Booth Q82) isn’t content to be the third-most-popular destination for London-area-bound business aircraft traffic. The former military air base, 19 km (12 miles) from central London, logged a record-breaking 22,000 movements last year and is investing in infrastructure to attract more growth.

Last year’s traffic smashed the airport’s previous record of 18,500 takeoffs and landings in 2019. It also represented around a fifth of the VIP traffic across the competitive London gateway niche.

The surge resulted largely from the pandemic and the boom in first-time users of business aviation who chose the safety of private cabins and terminals over crowded airliners and airports. Many of those first-timers have become full converts to business aircraft travel, which is helping to sustain healthy traffic numbers at the site.

“While the movements for the first three months of 2023 were slightly down on last year, the tally is still well above pre-pandemic levels,” said Biggin Hill chief commercial director Robert Walters. “The airlines—regardless of whether they get back to capacity—are nowhere near as good as business aviation. This level of activity is the new normal.”

For Walters, there is another reason the privately owned airport is thriving. Biggin Hill has been investing heavily in its infrastructure with the aim of becoming what he describes as “London’s full-service, pre-eminent business aviation airport.”

Biggin Hill’s anchor tenant is Bombardier, which opened an expansion to its company-owned service center—making it the largest base outside North America—last year, following a two-year construction project. Located on the east side of the airport, the setup consists of 650,000 sq ft of apron space and a 250,000-sq-ft hangar that can house 14 ultra-long-range Global 7500s at once.

Other key tenants at Biggin Hill include

motor-racing giant Formula 1; helicopter operator and maintenance provider Castle Air, which also operates a VIP helicopter shuttle from the site to central London; charter and management company Zenith; Pilatus Aircraft distributor and service center Oriens; completions and MRO firm JetMS; and Jetex, which took over the FBO at Biggin Hill in February from Signature Flight Support.

Biggin Hill opened the four-star, 56-room hotel, dubbed The Landing, on March 6 and it is already proving “very popular,” Walters said. Located on the south side of the airport, the hotel caters largely to flight crews, maintenance technicians, and other professionals visiting the airport. So handy is it for arriving pilots that Biggin Hill has come up with the slogan, “Touch down to head down in 10 minutes.” An annual occupancy rate of between 80 and 90 percent is anticipated.

Other infrastructure projects include upgrading the main airport entrance and revamping the main terminal building. “Covid delayed our timetable for the new FBO, but we have dusted off the plans and are working through the project with an expectation to have it completed in the next 24 months,” said Walters.

Biggin Hill also wants to build a technical college on the site to deliver a steady stream of local, qualified personnel to its tenant companies and provide high-value employment opportunities to the community. “If we can have two or three generations of the same family working on the site, growing up locally, going to the college, getting a job with

a company at the airport, and having a life cycle of jobs here, that’s the most powerful glue that we could ever create to cement the success of the whole site,” Walters explained.

The main stumbling blocks to development are funding and sourcing an educational provider. Biggin Hill secured £6.5 million ($8 million) in local government funding for the college before the pandemic, but the money was withdrawn and repurposed during the lockdown. “We may have to consider a publicprivate funding route this time, but it is vital that we demonstrate to potential investors that there’s enough demand for the college to justify the expenditure,” he said.

Looking ahead, Biggin Hill has set aside land on the east side of the airport for electric aircraft. “We want to be at the forefront of the next generation of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft by supporting the urban air mobility [UAM] industry and utilizing the benefits of these exciting sustainable models on the doorstep of London with the potential to create a huge new community of travelers,” said Walters.

Linked to the airport’s sustainability agenda are plans to erect a solar farm on the airfield. This will generate clean energy to power the envisioned UAM operation, including aircraft charging points, and Walters expects any excess energy from the plant will power the airport, making the site self-sufficient.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is also at the heart of the green agenda at Biggin Hill, which has been continuously stocking a 35 percent SAF blend from Air BP since 2021. However, Walters described the take-up as “disappointing” and said he hopes to launch an initiative with Air BP in the coming months to stimulate demand. For now, he argued, SAF is “going to take away one of the big sticks the environmental lobby has been using to beat up business aviation. Increased take-up is essential.” z

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Biggin Hill opened The Landing, a four-star, 56-room hotel, on March 6.

Greenpoint goes Zen with VIP 777X cabin

Greenpoint Technologies (Booth A72) is presenting at EBACE a 1/20th-scale Boeing Business Jets BBJ 777X model showcasing its Zen interior concept, a design offering “an exclusive retreat for the sophisticated jet setter seeking a profound connection with nature,” the U.S. completion center said.

Taking inspiration from the graceful flow of a Japanese Zen garden, Greenpoint designers incorporated organic elements including biophilic features and sustainable, natural materials to cultivate a serene and harmonious environment. The result, the company said, “is a modern and technologically advanced

aircraft cabin epitomizing tranquility.”

“The Zen interior delivers luxury and relaxation in flight, seamlessly integrating connectivity and bespoke details that elevate it beyond traditional business jets,” said senior design director Annika Svore Wicklund. Notably, the design is short-listed for the Private Jet Design Concept Award in this year’s International Yacht & Aviation Awards.

Offering the most interior space of any civil aircraft, “the design possibilities are limitless” with the 777X, said Wicklund. Meanwhile, the VIP and head-of-state completions market has shown renewed strength recently.

“Over the past year, we witnessed a steady recovery and restored confidence in the VIP completion and refurbishment markets, and a significant increase in head-of-state programs,” said Chad Thorne, v-p of sales and marketing.

Underscoring that trend, clients have recently awarded Greenpoint two VIP 787-9 green completions, a BBJ refurbishment, and multiple head-of-state programs. Capitalizing on the growing demand, Greenpoint’s design team “continues to develop custom interior concepts catering to the unique requirements of our diverse clientele,” Thorne said. z

Honeywell tech driving UAM design

It’s been three years since Honeywell Aerospace took a leap into the advanced air mobility market with the launch of a new division dedicated entirely to uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM). Since its inception, the new division has raked in more than $7 billion in contracts from aircraft manufacturers looking to incorporate Honeywell’s technologies into their new products.

Honeywell (Booths D31 and F72) will be supplying key components for a number of new aircraft, including eVTOL air taxis and cargo drones. For example, it will provide the actuation system and thermal management

system for Archer Aviation’s four-passenger Midnight eVTOL air taxi and the electric propulsion system for Lilium’s (Booth D32) sevenpassenger Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft.

Honeywell’s Anthem integrated flight deck will be installed in several electric aircraft models, including the Lilium Jet, Vertical Aerospace’s four-seat VX4 eVTOL, and the five-seat SA-1 eVTOL being developed by Supernal, Hyundai’s UAM subsidiary. Pipistrel, which was acquired by Textron (Booth T26) last year, has chosen Honeywell’s compact fly-by-wire system, attitude heading reference system, and air data modules for its Nuuva family of cargo UAVs.

“We are supporting these customers through development and hitting key

milestones and deliverables for them, whether that be joint development phase work or preliminary design review and critical design review types of activities,” Taylor Alberstadt, senior director of sales and marketing at Honeywell’s UAS/UAM division, told AIN

Honeywell is also developing core technologies around those types of UAS and UAM systems while simultaneously cultivating entirely new systems, like highly autonomous flight controls and ground control stations for remotely piloted and autonomous aircraft.

A core component of Honeywell’s autonomous flight technology is its IntuVue RDR84K radar, with detect-and-avoid capabilities and automated landing-zone detection. z

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With one-stopshop capabilities, Flying Colours offers customers from Europe the option to have maintenance, interiors, paint, and landing gear overhaul without having to visit multiple maintenance facilities.

Flying Colours seeing bounce in MRO demand

More European operators seeking a single source for MRO services are heading to North America, Canada-based Flying Colours (Booth F40) said this week at EBACE 2023.

“Aircraft on the ground are not earning their keep, which is why carrying out multiple workstreams simultaneously from a single supplier is a major attraction for European owners,” said Flying Colours executive v-p Eric Gillespie. “The fact that we have all the services required to complete the work under one roof, technicians with thousands of hours of experience, and a modern paint shop is a real draw.”

In addition to a shortage of servicing options in Europe, economic factors play into the decision to go to North America for aircraft work. “The strength of the UK and European currencies also make the trip across the pond financially worth it,” Gillespie said. “The owner appreciates the value working with us brings to his operations, in terms of capabilities and finances.”

The transatlantic MRO trend is exemplified by a Europe-based Bombardier Challenger 605 slated for induction in the fourth quarter for maintenance, paint, interior upgrades, and

Collins debuts

Certus 700 satcom

Collins Aerospace launched the Iridium Certus 700 IRT NX satcom, a high-speed cabin connectivity solution for business aircraft of all sizes, and Bombardier will be the first customer to install it in new and existing aircraft beginning in the second half of this year, the company announced on Tuesday at EBACE.

“This is a game-changing solution for the business aviation market, and we are proud to see our long history of collaboration on connectivity services continuing with Bombardier,” said Nate Boelkins, v-p and general manager of business and regional avionics at Collins Aerospace (Booth V72).

landing gear overhaul at Flying Colours’ facility in Peterborough, Ontario.

The work scope includes an extensive 16-year, 192-month inspection and landing gear overhaul. And while the aircraft is down, the 12-, 24-, 36-, and 96-month items will be performed, along with any recommended service bulletins and airworthiness directives that may be due.

The owner and Flying Colours are now defining the interior refresh. “Minor wood repair work, an updated divan covering, and a new carpet are all under discussion,” said Gillespie. “Externally the aircraft will receive a full fuselage strip and paint as a bright white paint effect will be complemented with feature gray and blue stripes along the fuselage, up the airplane tail, and across the rudder.” Maintenance, interiors, and exterior work will be conducted in parallel, which significantly reduces downtime and maximizes the budget. Work is expected to require about 10 weeks.

The company is currently in discussion with three European large jet operators and anticipates “welcoming their airframes later this year.” That number could rise following EBACE. “We always return from Geneva with new business,” Gillespie concluded. z

Powered by the Iridium Next global satellite network, the lightweight and low-cost Certus satcom system o ers reliable pole-to-pole connectivity with initial data rates of up to 704 kbps. Eventually, it should achieve speeds of up to 1 Mbps, according to Collins.

The higher 700-kpbs data rate allows passengers to browse the internet, send emails and instant messages, and make voice calls in the air, but it doesn’t support high-bandwidth applications like videoconferencing. It o ers all the Certus features, including safety services and segregated cockpit and cabin communications. It also supports Future Air Navigation System (FANS) and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) requirements.

“Applications range from complementing existing Ku/Ka-band service in large cabins to introducing cabin internet to small and medium-size aircraft,” said Clotilde Enel-Réhel, executive director of programs at Collin Aerospace’s Connected Aviation Solutions business unit. “This new cabin connectivity solution provides a cost-e ective level of connectivity that makes it an attractive option for all business jet operators.” H.W.

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Sirio opens mx hangar for Flexjet in Milan

Aircraft management and maintenance group Sirio recently launched operations in a new hangar at Milan Linate Airport that will provide support for sister company Flexjet Europe. The new facility is the 11th hangar in the Italian airport’s business aviation complex, almost doubling the size of Sirio’s infrastructure there to 10,625 sq m (114,000 sq ft).

The Hangar X facility was designed and built by SEA Prime, which runs the business and general aviation facilities at both of Milan’s airports, Linate and Malpensa. The new building expands the total available hangar space owned and operated by the company at Linate to 30,000 square meters.

The purpose-built structure will allow SEA Prime’s tenant Sirio to expand and consolidate its capacity under one roof, providing covered parking for Flexjet aircraft and line

maintenance. The building features underfloor heating and a crane, as well as benefitting from natural light on all four sides of the building.

Sirio was established as a maintenance organization in 1993 and is approved to support 11 different types of business aircraft made by Bombardier, Embraer, Dassault, and Gulfstream. The Flexjet fleet consists of a mix of Embraer Praetor 600 and Gulfstream G650 jets. In addition to the Milan location, the operator also has bases at Farnborough Airport in the UK and in Malta.

In addition to its support for the Flexjet fleet, Sirio works for third-party operators with more than 40 specialist staff on its team. Between 2021 and 2022, it increased the number of maintenance man-hours worked from 11,500 to 20,000.

Attending an opening ceremony in Milan, Kenn Ricci—principal of Directional Capital, which is the parent company of both Sirio and

Honeywell Aspire 350 notches certification

Honeywell’s Aspire 350 satellite communications system has achieved Iridium network certification, which means it now has access to the Iridium Certus platform, the company announced on Tuesday at EBACE 2023.

The Iridium Certus network, which runs on Iridium’s global satellite constellation, delivers download speeds of up to 704 kbps. Honeywell

partnered with Iridium in 2019 to become a valueadded manufacturer of aviation terminals operating on the Iridium Next satellite network, and the company has been testing the new terminals under Iridium’s oversight.

“Aspire 350 builds upon the success of our legacy satellite communications systems, providing both secure voice and data services for

Flexjet—said maintenance is the business aviation industry’s linchpin. “For Flexjet, having expansive, industry-leading maintenance support within the same group differentiates us based on safety, reliability, and efficiency, allowing us greater control over our fleet and dispatch reliability,” he said. “This follows our model in the U.S. where we have a fully dedicated in-house maintenance resource for Flexjet following the acquisition of Constant Aviation this year. Together this gives our global organization the largest maintenance support structure in business aviation.”

SEA Prime (Bootha W78) said the investment in new facilities is in response to growing numbers of business aircraft. “SEA Prime’s investment follows the double-digit business aviation growth in 2022 of 20 percent versus 2021, which continues in the first quarter of 2023, and meets the increasing demand for premium hangar space,” said company CEO Chiara Dorigotti.

The new hangar was built to the latest BREEAM standards for environmental sustainability. The building was categorized as “excellent” with a score of 84.7 percent for sustainability features, such as wastewater recovery, recycling processes, and solar energy panels across the entire roof. z

the aircraft cockpit as well as connectivity for the aircraft cabin, all at data speeds faster than our previous generation products,” said Mark Goodman, senior director of product management at Honeywell Aerospace (Booths D31, F72).

According to Honeywell, Aspire 350 provides high-speed, reliable in-flight connectivity at a lower cost than other legacy systems. The terminals are lightweight and easy to install, the company noted. H.W.

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Sirio’s new maintenance hangar at Milan Linate Airport built by SEA Prime will benefit sister company Flexjet Europe.

Farnborough Airport is dedicated to bizav

For decades, Farnborough Airport (Booth Q89) was universally recognized as the birthplace of British aviation—Samuel Cody flew the first powered aircraft from the site in 1908, for example—and as the location for the eponymous, biennial international air show.

Today, the facility, located 55 kilometers (35 miles) southwest of London, is globally regarded as the leading dedicated business aviation airport in the UK and one of the world’s preeminent gateways for executive aircraft. It has topped the ranking in AIN’s annual survey for best FBO outside the Americas for more than a decade.

Farnborough Airport’s destiny as a leading VIP hub was realized by previous owner TAG Aviation. The Swiss business aviation services provider took over the airport’s leasehold in 2003 and set about transforming the former military airfield into an impressive commercial venture. TAG acquired the freehold to the site from the UK Ministry of Defence in 2007.

The company’s multimillion-dollar investment in the facility has included renovating and expanding the main airport terminal building; erecting several hangars for

maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) and aircraft storage; extending the runway to accommodate VIP airliners; expanding taxiways; and installing an instrument landing system and air traffic control tower. TAG also built a five-star hotel on the perimeter of the airport called the Aviator, which since opening in 2008 has proved popular with visiting business aircraft crews.

The airport’s appeal among VIP travelers was immediate. Farnborough recorded 16,449 movements in its first full year of commercial operation in 2003, climbing year-on-year to hit 28,399 takeoffs and landings in 2007. Movements fluctuated over the following decade before climbing to 30,731 in 2018 and 32,366 in 2019, when it was sold to Australian company Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets.

“We acquired the airport a few months before the Covid pandemic struck,” said Simon Geere, chief executive of Farnborough Airport. “While movements fell below the 2019 peak in 2020 [19,952] and 2021 [26,000], we benefited hugely from the post-Covid bounce, which saw travelers turn to business aviation in large numbers, and many for the first time.”

This resulted in an all-time movement record at Farnborough in 2022 of 33,120,

representing nearly a third of business aircraft traffic at London-area airports, noted Geere. Luton came in second with 27 percent, followed by Biggin Hill with 22 percent, Stansted with 10 percent, Northolt with 7 percent, and London City Airport with 4 percent.

Geere suggests that the pandemic has altered the nature of business aircraft travel with hybrid, flexible, and remote work changing travel patterns and behaviors and disrupting the traditional weekday/weekend patterns of travel.

“Back in 2009 when the planning application was submitted [to Rushmore Borough Council], weekend movements were set at 8,900—around 18 percent of our annual ceiling of 50,000 takeoffs and landings,” said Geere.

Since Covid, air traffic demand has been proportionately similar across all seven days, with weekends and public holidays now representing nearly 30 percent of the airport’s annual traffic. “If this pattern continues, our weekend allocation could be swallowed up,” he explained.

While eager to stress that no plans exist to raise Farnborough’s annual 50,000-movement ceiling, Geere suggested that some flexibility may be required to accommodate the new traffic spread. “Thankfully, the airport is well within its noise base budget contour,” he insisted. “So, we need to have a conversation with the borough council and the local community about reviewing the planning constraint to best support the airport going forward.”

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This must be addressed, he argued, if Farnborough is to support its aspirations and maintain its position as the number-one business aviation hub in the UK. The situation could be hastened by the resurgence of commercial airline travel, as large regional hubs such as Luton and Stansted begin to prioritize airline traffic—a consistent and lucrative revenue stream for them—over ad hoc business aircraft flights.

“Farnborough is an essential part of the nation’s airport and aviation infrastructure, so it is vital that we help to free up capacity at the major airports and support the growth of UK business aviation and the economy,” said Geere.

Farnborough Airport has attracted a large line of leading aviation companies to the site, including Dassault, FlightSafety International, Gama Aviation, Flexjet, VistaJet, and Gulfstream. The latter company opened its 225,000sq-ft European service center there in 2020.

“We serve an array of customers from global corporations and foreign governments to entrepreneurs and medical services providers, and have a based fleet of 63 business aircraft,” said Geere.

“Our customers use business aviation as it is a convenient, flexible, time-sensitive, and

the demand for extra aircraft parking. There are two additional pieces of land available on the north and the south of the airfield, Geere noted, which could house extra maintenance capacity. “We’ve certainly got the space to encourage more MROs to come to Farnborough,” he said.

Sustainability is also a key component of the airport’s strategy, with a pledge to be net-zero “for those emissions we control” by 2030 or sooner. “We are putting sustainability at the heart of everything,” said Geere.

Farnborough Airport is adding more hangar and ramp space and could accommodate additional maintenance facilities as more buildings are constructed.

“It will take time for the industry to fully embrace SAF—and there are logistical, price, and supply issues today—but maybe as a responsible airport, part of our long-term strategy should be limiting our fuel [offering] to SAF,” said Geere.

Farnborough Airport is also “positively changing its brand and values” to be more consumer-driven, he added. “We want to be an aspirational travel brand that people want to be associated with.” To help achieve this goal, Farnborough has introduced a rolling program of brand partnerships at the airport with iconic, highly desirable names that can showcase their brands and products at prime locations throughout the site.

secure mode of transport,” he noted. “Farnborough is already the number-one business aviation destination in the UK, so our goal is to be a world leader in this area, setting the standards for premium air travel connectivity, top-class facilities, and exceptional customer care.”

Farnborough Airport broke ground in mid-2022 on a 175,000-sq-ft hanger complex, branded Domus III, which is scheduled to open early next year, joining the site’s already considerable 240,000-sq-ft of hangar space. The apron will also be expanded following

“Our role serving business aviation is one thing, but our role in society is equally important,” he added. “We want to be a catalyst for change going forward.”

Driving demand for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) at the airport is a significant part of Farnborough’s green strategy. Last year, the airport launched a three-week initiative offering a 38 percent SAF blend for the same price as jet-A1. Geere noted that the scheme didn’t “move the dial a great deal” in terms of the total fuel dispensed in 2022, but it raised awareness about SAF among customers and operators.

Yachting brokerage Edmiston is the inaugural brand partner. It signed an 18-month deal last year to display its luxury branding at key airport landmarks—notably, the radar tower and entrance—and at various “touchpoints” throughout the passenger’s journey, including the redesigned departure lounge.

Iconic British car manufacturer Aston Martin entered a four-week partnership with Farnborough Airport to showcase its latest luxury vehicle, the DBX707 SUV, to high-end passengers traversing the facility.

“We would also like to bring the likes of Cartier, Rolex, and Bentley to the airport as part of their national campaigns,” said Geere. “They will want to be associated with Farnborough Airport, we will want to be associated with them, and we can start to raise the profile within our consumer markets.” z

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“We serve an array of customers from global corporations and foreign governments to entrepreneurs and medical services providers.”
Simon Geere, chief executive of Farnborough Airport

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European charter ops are ready for business

Summer means peak charter season in Europe, but last year that season witnessed a shortage of aircraft, landing slots, and parking spaces. Operators, brokers, and support professionals report that the charter community is better prepared for the onslaught this year, and those exhibiting at EBACE 2023 are eager to discuss needs and solutions with attendees. Indeed, whatever the charter mission or location, whatever the season, the access answer can likely be found at the Geneva Palexpo show venue this week.

Supply-wise, data “indicates that the pool of aircraft available for charter has increased,” B2B booking platform Avinode Group (Booth F62) told AIN, and the number of charter aircraft marketed through its site has risen 5 percent since last summer, the Swedish company said.

Operators are “increasing fleet size where they can” to meet anticipated demand, echoed a spokesperson at UK-based global brokerage Air Partner, and new jet card and block charter programs are adding to access options. Additionally, some operators have introduced recently acquired light jets and turboprops— aircraft well suited to European routes—to their charter fleets, bolstering capacity for lower-cost access.

Switzerland-based Global Jet (Booth Z98), for example, added five aircraft to its charter fleet in recent months, ranging from an Embraer Phenom 300 and Pilatus PC-24 at the light end to a pair of Bombardier Global 6000s—one with a three-zone cabin with extensive entertainment systems, the other a 14-passenger executive configuration—as well as a Boeing 737-700 VIP airliner.

Bremen, Germany-based Atlas Air Service (Booth M61) operates Cessna Citation, Embraer, Gulfstream G150 and G280, and Hawker 400 business jets; and Beechcraft King Air, Daher TBM, and Pilatus PC-12 turboprops. Its charter aircraft are based in five locations in Germany and Switzerland, and with recently acquired MRO subsidiaries in Augsburg, Germany, and Altenrhein, Switzerland, Atlas now offers a full suite of business aviation services.

Switzerland-based charter-management firm Sparfell (Booth T51) has some 30 jets, including an Embraer Phenom 100, Legacys, and Praetor 600; Cessna Citation CJ2+; Bombardier Challenger 300/350s and Globals; Gulfstream G650ER; and Dassault Falcon 7X. Its network of partner providers offers access to many more.

Summer Looks Hot for Air Charter

But demand is keeping pace with the increased supply. Despite a cooling of charter activity early this year seen in some tracking data, “The summer months are ahead of

where they were in 2022,” said an Avinode spokesperson. “Based on the early demand in Europe, I wouldn’t be surprised if the summer months outperform current industry expectations.”

In the wake of its acquisition last year by U.S. charter and access program provider Wheels Up, Air Partner expects to see more demand from U.S. customers coming through its new parent company this summer, in addition to its own customer base. To prepare, Air Partner has been “investing

in our operator relationships,” which will be “vital” to deal with “anticipated demand and slot and airport capacity restrictions,” the company said. It cited Ibiza, Majorca, and Malaga in Spain; Faro, Portugal; Olbia, Italy; Mykonos, Greece; and Nice, France, as top destinations.

Last summer, high demand and a spike in fuel costs drove big increases in hourly rates. Air Partner anticipates comparable costs this summer, despite lower fuel prices.

“For a light jet to operate from Farnborough [in the UK] to Ibiza on the first weekend of the school holidays in July, you would be looking at a rate of between £15k and £20k [$18,666 and $24,895; €16,970 and €22,630],” the company said. “That’s not necessarily what you would end up paying if you left it to the last minute.”

Many charter customers discovered Eastern Europe in 2021 when it remained open to vaccinated travelers while much of the rest of the continent was closed by Covid. As it reopened last summer, Western Europe received the brunt of Continental demand. Still, travelers may head east again this year, said Gareth Danker, a director at Prague-based support provider Euro Jet

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Air Partner is preparing for an influx of U.S. customers following its acquisition by Wheels Up. Two Atlas Air Service Citation Latitudes parked at the company’s ramp in Bremen, Germany.

Intercontinental (Boot h L98).

“A lot of people got their fix dealing with the crowds and the expense of flying to the south of France and the Italian Riviera last summer,” Danker said. He suggested that this year, “More people may say, ‘Let’s go back to Eastern Europe, let’s go back to Croatia and Montenegro.’”

Euro Jet provides ground handling, flight permits, landing permits, and parking services at some 170 airports in 30 countries, and over the past two years has opened and renovated crew lounges in Belgrade, Serbia, and Pristina, Kosovo. The company is now renovating its flagship lounge in Prague, Czech Republic, and has added office space in Rzeszow, Poland, the center for flights carrying people and cargo to Ukraine.

to find a program that matches their needs. VistaJet International (Booth H98, Static Display AD_01) recently introduced its VJ25 program to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Aimed at travelers with flexible schedules flying 25 to 49 hours per year and offered as a three-year subscription, VJ25 provides guaranteed on-demand access to the Vista fleet of more than 360 aircraft worldwide, including its flagship ultra-long-range Bombardier Global 7500. Fixed hourly rates apply 325 days per year, with dynamic rates on 40 high-demand days.

After buying Jet Edge in the U.S. and Germany’s Air Hamburg, Vista Global’s worldwide business aviation fleet grew by 117 aircraft.

group’s business in Europe was up 29 percent year-over-year, across both the VistaJet and XO online brokerage brands, Dubai, UAE-based Vist a said.

ABS Jets (Booth Z109) serves Eastern Europe with nine midsize and heavy business jets from its headquarters at Václav Havel Airport in Prague and Bratislava Airport in Slovakia. With a safety culture overseen by its quality and safety department, ABS Jets is IS-BAH Stage 3 registered.

Turkey’s long-established Pan Aviation recently introduced Pan Jet charter service (Booth P49). Established in the 1990s, Pan has been providing air ambulance and other charter services under its own air operator certificate (AOC) since 2003 and today flies an aeromedical-configured Cessna Citation Bravo. Pan Jet’s charter will focus on providing business, personal, and family travel from its base at Ankara Esenboga Airport.

Programs To Match Customer Needs

Meanwhile, operators and brokers are offering a variety of access options, providing customers with more choices and chances

Last year, Vista—with the acquisitions of Germany’s Air Hamburg and Jet Edge in the U.S.—added a net 117 aircraft to its fleet. It has access to more than 2,100 additional alliance partner jets. Also in 2022, the

Global business aviation services provider Jet Aviation (Booth E50) operates a charter fleet of more than 100 business aircraft and has “access to thousands more,” all available through its on-demand, block charter, and jet card offerings. Jet Aviation’s new Freedom Access plan combines the best of its block charter and jet card features, which include global guaranteed availability and roundtrip discounts.

In preparation for the summer season, Jet Aviation has worked “closely with our [managed aircraft] customers and partners to expand our fleet and make even more

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EuroJet provides services at more than 170 airports in 30 countries.
Vista Global saw 29 percent year-over-year growth in its European business in 2022. The Dubai-based company recently added the VJ25 fixed-rate hourly program in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

choices available,” the company told AIN , and last fall the Swiss company added a BBJ to its charte r fleet.

Since its founding in the chairman’s former basement in 1990, UK-based Air Charter Service (ACS; Booth S30) has grown into a global brokerage with more than 500 on staff, arranging some 23,000 charter flights annually. Its Empyrean Jet Card provides worldwide access and o ff ers three pricing plans: market, based on dynamic pricing; gold, based on capped dynamic pricing; and platinum, block charter at a set per-hour rate. Deposited funds are held in a third-party bank account, ensuring financial security, and ACS’s dedicated concierge service is available 24/7.

Brokers report that some operators, swamped by demand and requests for quotes, declined to take on additional business last summer but are now “keen to chase the business that is out there,” as Air Partner said.

One critical downside for providers is that “fraud and cybercrime increase during peak seasons,” said Avinode, as criminals try to exploit the increased pressure faced by charter sales and finance teams, as well as temporary staff. Greater security measures and automation may be in order “if the charter company’s payment routines rely too much on manual processes,” the company said, noting that Avinode’s Paynode platform provides such transaction security.

help with the summer surge via auto-quoting, allowing operators to reply more quickly with accurate quotes.

“Obviously, you cannot have two times more people on the payroll the whole year to cope with the demand of four months,” said MySky co-founder and global strategy director Chris Marich. The software’s quoting engine is informed by dynamic pricing algorithms, and the product also serves as “a revenue management tool” that supports customized revenue strategies, enabling customers to “maximize the profit they can turn on the aircraft,” Marich said.

The Swiss company has some 300 customers with 700 aircraft using its software. The quoting engine is currently available only for Europe, but MySky has announced plans to bring it to the Middle East and Africa.

Ground Support

Serving behind the scenes, ground support services provide the personnel and the contacts that aviation relies on for the final—and first— mile. With their regional expertise, the handling services exhibiting this week in Geneva can also address travel questions and needs, whether from charter professionals, aircraft owners, or business aviation customers.

General Aviation Service (Booth E44) has been synonymous with flight handling services in Spain almost since its founding in 1979 and operates FBOs in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Granada, Girona, and Ibiza. The company is staffed by some 100 service professionals.

flight support in Egypt and UAE, with offices at every airport in both countries and an extensive network of supervisory agents throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Mediterranean Aviation Services (Booth M90), headquartered in Dubai, offers trip planning, air charter, flight permitting, and ground handling worldwide. Founded in 2005, it offers a network of operational partners and exclusive contracts with major fuel and aviation service providers to ensure customers high quality and value.

Some technology companies also provide software and other services for business aviation designed to answer digital processing needs. In fact, MySky (Booth B80) offers cost and control software developed for charter operations, and its new MySky Quote can

Latvia’s Flight Consulting Group (Booth I54) offers comprehensive flight support, ground handling, and charter arrangements, and has support contracts with some 100 business jets. In its more than 20 years of business, the company has served more than 135,000 flights at 2,600 airports in 140 countries. Its subsidiary FCG OPS also provides international trip support, and dispatch and ground handling services at more than 40 airports in the region. For traffic heading to Latvia, FBO Riga, another holding, operates a state-of-the-art business aviation center at Riga International Airport.

AN Aviation Services (Booth O82), founded in 1991, specializes in ground handling and

Flight support specialist UAS International Trip Support (Booth A29), established in 2000, has been used by heads of state, VVIPs, Fortune Global 500 companies, and business jet operators worldwide. It has a presence in more than 30 countries and embraces “game-changing technology solutions designed specifically for business aviation” to enhance operations and service delivery. In December, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia-based charter operator Alpha Star named UAS its preferred partner. z

38 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com
UAS Americas Raises the Bar for International Trip Support UAS International Trip Support focuses on business aviation clients in more than 30 countries. The MySky charter quoting platform can speed delivery of more accurate trip quotes. The last mile of any business aviation trip is the province of FBOs and handling companies.
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60 years of Falcons define the evolution of bizjets

May 4 marked the 60th anniversary of the inaugural flight of the Mystère 20, Dassault Aviation’s first business jet and the first member of what would become the Falcon jet family. Every decade since, Paris-based Dassault (Booth Z72, Static AD_02) has introduced a new Falcon, each raising the bar for performance, comfort, and efficiency. More than 2,700 Falcons have been delivered worldwide.

The Falcon family’s patriarch, aircraft designer Marcel Bloch, born in 1892, was among the welcoming throng at Paris Le Bourget Airport when Charles Lindbergh concluded his nonstop transatlantic flight in 1927. Interned in Buchenwald during World War II for refusing to collaborate on aircraft production under the Nazi-occupation government, Marcel adopted the surname Dassault—the nom de guerre of his elder brother, who served in the French Resistance—after his liberation from the concentration camp.

In 1961, as head of the eponymous military and commercial aircraft manufacturer he’d formed after the war, Dassault approved the development of the Mystère 20, which was based on the company’s transonic Dassault Mystère IV fighter-bomber and powered by a pair of rear-mounted Pratt & Whitney JT12A-8 turbojet engines (changed to General Electric

CF700 turbofans for the production model). His son, Serge Dassault (later company president and chairman), came to the NBAA Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the following year bearing photos of the wooden mockup of a proposed business jet and reported receiving an “encouraging” response. Concurrently, U.S.-based Pan American Airways was quietly planning an executive aviation division and seeking the right aircraft to inaugurate service.

Surely, Dassault must have been pleased when Lindbergh himself birthed the business aircraft family following the1963 debut flight with an order on the airline’s behalf for the first tranche of 160 copies of what would be renamed, in 1966, the Falcon 20. Federal Express (now FedEx) also chose the Falcon 20 to launch its overnight package delivery service in 1973.

With demand growing in the U.S. in the early 1970s for a longer-range aircraft, Dassault stretched the Falcon 20 airframe and developed the Falcon 50 trijet, which first flew in 1976, powered by three Garrett TFE731-3 engines. Typically configured for eight to 10 passengers in a twozone cabin, with a top speed of Mach 0.86 and range of some 3,400 nm with IFR reserves, the Falcon 50 could cross the North Atlantic or the continental U.S.

The first civil aircraft to incorporate supercritical wings, the Falcon 50 featured a revolutionary airfoil that improved transonic performance and high-lift characteristics, providing better handling in high-speed flight, as well as superior short and hot-and-high field capability.

While new models have been in constant development throughout the Falcons’ history, so have updates to in-production aircraft. The Falcon 20, for example, begat the Falcon 200 and smaller Falcon10/100, among other derivatives. The Falcon 50 itself was upgraded to the 50EX in the mid-1990s and remained in production until 2007.

The 1980s brought demand for true intercontinental-range aircraft, and Dassault answered with the Falcon 900, introduced at the 1983 Paris Air Show. A clean-sheet, 12to 14-passenger trijet, it offered a 4,000-nm range and a wider, longer fuselage than on the Falcon20/50 models.

Among the program’s innovations were design and manufacturing processes that incorporated the Dassault Systemes CATIA computer-aided design technology, allowing engineers to fine-tune and produce its structural and aerodynamic features with outstanding accuracy. In addition, the cockpit featured digital avionics and composite materials in every application possible, saving significant weight.

Later derivatives include the 900B/C; 900EX EASy (Enhanced Avionics System), featuring a Honeywell Primus Epic all-glass

40 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com
Serge Dassault oversaw the birth of the Falcons. Charles Lindbergh, fourth from right, views the prototype Mystère 20 on the day it made its first flight, May 4, 1963. Among the Pan Am and Dassault officials was project manager Rene Lemaire (far right).

flight deck with synthetic vision; and 900LX, the current production model, with three Honeywell TFE371-60 engines, high-Mach blended winglets, and a 4,750-nm range.

In the 1990s, having met long-range-market needs, Dassault shortened the 900’s fuselage while retaining the advances introduced in the series to create the shorter-range Falcon 2000 twinjet, which first flew in 1993. The first executive aircraft designed on a computer, the comfortable, efficient, and economical 10-passenger jet, powered by two CFE738-1-1B turbofans, boasted a transcontinental range of about 3,000 nm with eight passengers at Mach 0.80.

The series was updated with the 2000EX in 2002, powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada PW308C turbofan engines and featuring an EASy flight deck and a range of 3,878 nm; and the 2000LX in 2009, the current production version, which incorporates blended winglets and offers some 4,000 nm of range.

Meanwhile, the new century called for ultra-long-range global access, and at the 2001 Paris Air Show Dassault announced the Falcon 7X. A 12- to 16-passenger trijet with a range of 5,950 nm, it first flew in 2005, powered by three P&WC 307A engines. The first fully fly-by-wire business jet, incorporating Dassault’s proprietary digital flight control system, the 7X featured a new wing that helped give it a maximum speed of Mach 0.90 while maintaining a 3,950-foot cabin altitude at 41,000 feet in an interior hushed by advanced sound-dampening.

In 2009, the 7X was certified to fly into and out of London City, demonstrating its ability to access some of the world’s most

challenging airports, a certification all in-production Falcons have now earned.

The follow-on Falcon 8X, which first flew in 2009, introduced a longer, and longerrange (6,450-nm) version of the 7X that is up to 20 percent more fuel efficient than any other ultra-long-range aircraft, according to Dassault. The 8X introduced FalconEye, the first combined vision system head-up display, to the flight deck. The three-zone cabin can be outfitted with an aft shower and crew rest provisions forward, and environmental systems can be controlled by a mobile app, while Ka-band high-speed broadband keeps passengers connected globally.

As aircraft ranges stretched, customers sought more space and the comforts of home onboard. The Falcon 5X, launched in 2013, was to be the blueprint for the next generation of Falcons. Though Dassault

canceled the program due to development issues with the proposed Safran Silvercrest engines, the 5X airframe design was subsequently stretched and paired with two P&WC PW612D turbofans to create the 5,500-nm Falcon 6X, a big jet with Mach 0.90 top speed that was unveiled in 2018 and is slated to enter service this year.

Dubbed the first “ultra-widebody” business jet, the twinjet 6X will feature the widest and tallest purpose-built business jet cabin (eight feet six inches by six feet six inches), with a galley skylight—another first—and a mood lighting system to help passengers adjust to changes in time zones while traveling. Yet despite its size, the 6X retains the Falcon’s famous short-field and hot-and-high operational agility.

Waiting in the wings is the Falcon 10X, due to enter service in 2025. It will feature an even wider and taller cabin—nine feet one inch by six feet eight inches—and a 7,500-nm range, a maximum speed of Mach 0.925, and a landing distance of 2,500 feet. Flying on a new, highspeed carbon-fiber composite wing, another Falcon first, it will also be the first RollsRoyce-powered Falcon with purpose-built Pearl 10X engines.

The 10X’s cabin—which will maintain a 3,000-foot altitude while the jet is cruising at 41,000 feet—will be configurable into up to four zones of custom length. Thirty-eight windows, which will be 50 percent larger than any in the current fleet, will flood the cabin space with light. z

ainonline.com • May 24, 2023 • EBACE Convention News 41
Next up, Dassault’s largest business jet, the Falcon 10X powered by Rolls-Royce Pearl engines and featuring a composite wing and single throttle system. Entry into service is planned in 2025. Still popular, the twin-engine, super-midsize Falcon 2000 saw a number of variants, including the 2000EX introduced in 2002, with range of 3,878 nm and room for up to 10 passengers.

Flying the faster Kodiak 900

The Kodiak 900, intruduced last year, doesn’t replace the original Kodiak 100— now in Series III configuration—but offers buyers a new option in the utility turboprop lineup. Those who want to be able to mount large wheels and tires for the roughest airstrips or floats will want to stick with the 100 model, while buyers who want to go faster and carry more while retaining the ability to land on fairly rough strips might find the model 900 most attractive. The 900, already FAA certified at its introduction in July, is priced at $3.487 million. EASA approval came on April 3, and at the time there were 28 Kodiak 900s on order. Daher hopes to make inroads in Europe with the 900’s EASA certification in hand.

It’s easy to see the extra 3.9-foot-long fuselage when comparing the two Kodiak models, but the wheel pants on the 900 are a clear differentiator. Looking more closely, an observer might notice that the cargo belly pod, an option on the 100 series, is integrated into the 900’s fuselage, providing a smooth aerodynamic flow from the aft end of the front cowling back to the rear fuselage.

The extra fuselage length expands cabin volume to 309 cu ft (up from the 100’s 248 cu ft), allowing eight seats to be arranged in double-club, front club/aft commuter, or all forward-facing. All passenger seats feature amenity panels with USB-A and -C ports, Lemo airplane-powered headset jacks, and cup- and phone holders.

The more powerful engine, integrated belly pod, wheel fairings, and improved airflow through the engine account for most of the 900’s speed increase, which is 210 ktas at 12,000 feet (without the radar pod), compared with 174 ktas in the 100. The new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-140A delivers 900 shp continuously while the 100’s PT6A-34 provides 750 shp for takeoff and 700 shp continuous. The five-blade composite Hartzell propeller on the 900 is quieter, but also because it runs at 1,900 rpm while the 100’s prop rpm is 2,200.

Other than the longer fuselage, structurally the two models are similar, sharing the same wing, tailcone, and empennage. Fuel capacity is nearly the same, at 322 gallons in the 900 and 320 in the 100.

The new wheel fairings are a significant contributor to the faster speed, and they are certified as secondary structure. Although the 900 can fly with or without the wheel pants, test pilots took off and landed on unimproved grass, dirt, and gravel strips with the pants installed.

The Kodiak’s Garmin G1000 NXi avionics didn’t change in the 900, but the autopilot control panel was moved to just below the glareshield, allowing engineers to open up some panel space to leave room for special missions radios.

With a mtow of 8,000 pounds, the Kodiak 900’s base useful load is 3,630 pounds, up

745 and 100 pounds respectively from the Kodiak 100. The 900 does need more runway, with a takeoff ground roll of 1,015 feet (versus 934 feet in the 100) and a landing ground roll of 1,460 feet (versus 765 feet).

Without the cargo pod, the Kodiak 100 can fly 1,132 nm at maximum-range cruise speed of 135 ktas at 12,000 feet, for 8.4 hours and burning 271 gallons with a 45-minute reserve. At maximum cruise speed of 174 ktas, range drops to 1,005 nm, consuming the same amount of fuel, and the flight takes 5.8 hours.

The Kodiak 900, at 12,000 feet and carrying the same amount of fuel, can fly a max-range flight at 156 ktas, covering 1,129 nm in 6.8 hours. Bumping up to a maximum cruise speed of 210 ktas, the 900 can go 969 nm in 4.3 hours.

Even with the higher weight and longer length, explained Mark Brown, Daher Kodiak chief demo pilot and marketing director, the 900 handles just like the 100, and I found this to be true.

With trims set and flaps 20, once lined up with Hillsboro, Oregon’s runway 31R, I advanced the torque to the high green. The Kodiak accelerated quickly, and I made one more small adjustment to the torque before it was time to lift the nose at 60 knots and rotate.

Climbing out to the west, I initially pitched for 85 knots then once the flaps were up, 120 knots. The 900 climbed 1,700

42 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com



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to 1,800 fpm at our light weight, a “big improvement from the 100,” he said.

Climbing to 11,000 feet, we saw 815 hp through 9,500 feet, and at 11,000 feet 800 hp. “That’s 100 more [hp] than the Kodiak 100 would be at sea level,” he said. Once level at 11,000 feet, the airspeed settled on 207 ktas at ISA +12 deg C, about 3-4 knots slower because of the optional weather radar and its pod on the right wing. Fuel flow was 423 pph.

The 900’s handling is responsive and stable. “If you trim it out it’s going to stay where you keep it,” he said. “Our guys did a lot of control surface testing at higher speeds because this was a new regime for the plane. So credit to the early engineers of the Kodiak 100, there’s very minimal changes that we had to do.”

For pilots who want to save on fuel, the 900 has a handy marker on the engine page that shows where to set power for economy cruise. Brown prefers to fly faster, however, and he does take advantage of the 900’s ability to generate more power at high altitudes where supplemental oxygen is required.

“We don’t feel a lot of people would go up there regularly,” he said, “but you have that ability if you need.” Dropping power to 400 hp, Brown demonstrated fuel burn down to the 200s (pph). For special missions work at 93-97 knots and 10 degrees flaps, he said, “With full tanks, this airplane will easily go to eight to nine hours of loiter time.”

We stayed in the low-speed regime, and Brown showed how easy it was to fly at 80 knots with 20 degrees flaps. The 900’s wing features the same discontinuous leading edge as the 100, which prevents the ailerons from stalling at slow speeds. “You can do 30- to 45-degree banked turns, this is what we call terrain flying. If you get into a pickle or you’re going to inspect a new airstrip, this is what we recommend, 20 deg flaps at 80 knots at a 40-degree turn. The radius is a quarter mile, so you can turn around in some really tight canyon-type scenarios.”

With full flaps deployed, we could feel

a little buffet. “That’s normal because the airflow is being disrupted from the horizontal [stabilizer] a little bit,” he said. “We only teach this in the pattern. It’s mostly drag and a little bit of lift and it lets you fly behind the power curve.” We slowed the 900 further, with airspeed in the 60s, and it remained rock solid. “Normal landing speed is in the 70s,” he said, “but if you’re coming in real short, you want to be as slow as possible. I like to show that [because] even at a landing speed of 70 knots you’ve got tons of margin. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to fall out of the sky.”

Brown demonstrated a clean stall, which was uneventful, then set power for zero thrust to show how even such a large airplane can glide and give the pilot plenty of

Approaching Hillsboro from the North, the tower set us up for a right downwind to 31R. On final approach with full flaps selected, I switched off the yaw damper and aimed for the runway. Speed was perfect, but as the 900 settled over the runway, I could feel it getting heavy and realized I should have added some aft trim. The 900 dropped firmly onto the runway, and I pulled the power lever into beta to slow down, then taxied to Hillsboro Aviation.

After 1.4 hours in the 900, I can see how easy it would be to transition not only from the Kodiak 100 but from other Garminequipped airplanes. The 900 delivers a lot of performance and utility, while bringing the Kodiak up to FAA Part 23 Amendment 63 standards (versus Amendment 55 for

With an extra 3.9 feet in fuselage length, the Kodiak 900 can easily accommodate eight seats in double club configuration. Seats are easily removable by pilots for carrying cargo.

time to troubleshoot and find a place to land. Reducing airspeed again, he demonstrated turning with the stall horn beeping and the control wheel all the way back.

“I still have full aileron control in a full stall. Then I relax back pressure, and I’m out of the stall. The aileron never loses control authority. The two things needed for a spin are full wing stall and complete loss of aileron control, and you can’t get that in the 900, just like the 100. You get all the benefits of speed but don’t lose the real magic from the wing of the Kodiak.”

Before returning to Hillsboro, I flew two steep turns, a good way to get familiar with the handling of a new airplane. The Kodiak 900 felt like it was on rails.

the 100). Daher is developing a 900-specific training program, but model 100 pilots will be able to complete a transition training program.

Surprisingly, most of the buyers of the 900 represent a new demographic and aren’t transitioning from the 100, according to Brown. “We’ve had a lot of people put down deposits that have said, ‘I’ve needed an airplane that can carry everything, I’m not in the $6 million market for a PC-12, and this is the perfect airplane I’ve been looking for. I wouldn’t have bought anything [slower than] 200 knots, but there wasn’t anything that fit that mission.’ We feel like we kind of hit a blue space with this airplane.” z

44 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com

EBACE flies

continued from page 1

that business aviation is deeply committed to climate action. This is an industry that has cut its carbon emissions by 40 percent over the past 40 years, is continually reducing emissions today, and is collectively focused on achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. We as an industry are open to constructive dialogue about the industry’s sustainability leadership, and we regret the protestors’ unfortunate decision to disregard an opportunity for that dialogue to take place.”

The airport was temporarily shut down at around 11:45 a.m. in response to the security breach, with takeoffs and landings briefly halted and aircraft having to hold and burn more fuel than would have been the case had the protests not happened. Static display visitors were not allowed to leave and had to wait about an hour before being released to get on buses back to the exhibit hall. Some visitors reported breathing fumes from pepper spray presumably used by the police against protesters.

In a written statement, Geneva Airport officials said that “due to an incursion on the tarmac air traffic was temporarily interrupted.” The statement said flights were allowed to resume progressively from around 12:40 p.m., with normal service restored by around 1:45 p.m. A spokeswoman for air traffic control agency Skyguide said protestors had not accessed the runway during the incident.

Police rounded up the protesters and loaded them on buses and drove them away from the airport. After releasing visitors, the airport closed the static display was cleared of all people before reopening shortly thereafter.

Innovation goals

continued from page 23

motivated us every single year.”

Susie, one of the first women to race on the Formula circuit, described herself as “passionate about trying to promote diversity” and is currently leading Formula 1 Academy, a startup endeavor that aims to bring more

According to a spokeswoman for Geneva police, around 80 protestors were on site. She did not confirm what legal action those detained might face for the breach of airport security. Geneva Airport was approached to comment further on the incident but did not respond by press time.

Environmental group Greenpeace claimed that 100 or so protestors had been involved in the demonstration. It said they came from some 17 different countries, and protest groups included Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion, and Scientist Rebellion.

Following the security breach, a major EBACE exhibitor canceled an event scheduled for that evening. A pre-planned and sanctioned protest activity had been scheduled for the same time, but the exhibitor didn’t cancel its plans until after the breach occurred.

Eric Schouten, CEO and founder of Dyami Security Services, provided NBAA and EBAA with a risk assessment about potential protests ahead of this year’s convention. The former Dutch intelligence services officer

women to the racing circuit.

“Formula 1 has never been as big as it is right now in the global awareness, and the biggest growing fan base is young females,” she noted.

The Mercedes team is also promoting inclusivity. “Diversity is going to increase performance,” Toto said. “We are a white male-dominated team, but we have given ourselves the goal of at least 25 percent of

Protesters at the EBACE static display yesterday in Geneva were believed to have delayed more than 20 flights and caused at least half a dozen to be diverted.

told AIN that he had expected an unofficial protest during the show but that he was surprised that so many protestors had been involved. He added because the protestors had come from so many different countries, it was harder to gather accurate intelligence and prepare security plans.

The task of assessing the threats posed by protest movements, Schouten said, has become more difficult because groups are aware they are being monitored and have become increasingly sophisticated in counter-intelligence measures. Giving the example of the recent disruption of the EBAA Air Ops event in Brussels and the invasion of the business aviation enclave on the east side of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, he warned that the industry has to be ready to react to further waves of protest.

Schouten advised NBAA and EBAA to facilitate an official protest during the EBACE show so that demonstrators feel that their concerns about the environment are heard. “It’s important to agree to give them a platform or they will go underground and that can be more dangerous,” he concluded. z

all new hires need to come from underrepresented groups. I think that’s something that is very important for us in order to stay competitive.” He noted that the team’s star driver, Louis Hamilton, is Black.

Toto also pointed out the similarities between Formula 1 and aviation, such as the high-performance, 100 percent sustainable fuel being developed for auto racing. J.W.

ainonline.com • May 24, 2023 • EBACE Convention News 45

Gulfstream sees G700 approval by year-end

Gulfstream Aerospace is now expecting certification of the G700 near the end of this year, president Mark Burns said at an EBACE 2023 media briefing on Monday that covered the U.S. airframer’s in-development programs, which also include the follow-on G800 and the G400. The company (Booth S120) more recently anticipated the G700, introduced at NBAA-BACE in 2019, to get FAA approval in the third quarter, but Burns said pandemicrelated issues, including staffing shortages at the regulatory agency, is causing the process to take “much longer than anticipated.”

Nonetheless, the G700 recently completed several certification test points during field

performance and flying qualities trials. Meanwhile, the G700 amassed more than 25 city-pair speed records on a world tour of two outfitted production aircraft last year and is continuing customer visits worldwide. That includes one just set on the flight to EBACE, arriving in Geneva from Mumbai, India, in 8 hours 34 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.90.

G800 certification is expected six to nine months after the G700; it’s exempted from many of the flight tests the larger sibling completed thanks to systems commonality. Burns noted five test aircraft were built for the G700 certification program and only two for the G800. “We’ve done all the heavy lifting on the 700,” he said. “I would hope that we can get G800 certification in the early part of 2024.”

Following those approvals, Gulfstream will “move right into G400” certification, Burns said. Four test aircraft are in that program. The company by then will have certified the G500, G600, G700, and G800—all since 2018. “That allows us to show the commonality of the airplanes with the regulators,” which should smooth the G400’s entry to service, he said.

Burns recounted a 2018 meeting with the EASA and FAA, in which the company asked for “the most stringent way that certifying the airplane would be so that on the same day we can get EASA and FAA certification.” Since then, he said, “we’ve been endeavoring to do exactly what they asked us to do, and our intent is to get simultaneous certification of the airplanes and our production certificate.”

But, Burns added, “We’re not the judge or the jury, so they get to decide when we finish.”

That G700 and 800 are on view this week at Gulfstream’s EBACE 2023 static display (Static AD_08), along with the entire lineup of in-production models: the G280, G500, G600, and G650ER. z

European regulator greenlights HondaJet Elite II

Honda Aircraft announced Tuesday that the HondaJet Elite II received type certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. The Elite II is being shown this week at EBACE for the first time.

The Elite II on the EBACE static display (AD_21) was flown from the company’s manufacturing headquarters in Greensboro, North Carolina, which was made easier thanks to the aircraft’s 1,547-nm range (NBAA IFR with four passengers). The flights to and from EBACE are using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) book-and-claim credits “to promote the deployment of SAF and support the industry’s commitment to carbon neutrality,” according to Honda Aircraft.

With seats for up to eight occupants, the Elite II is powered by two 2,050-pound thrust GE Honda Aero HF120 engines. Maximum cruise speed is 422 knots.

“Debuting our latest aircraft at EBACE marks an important milestone for everyone at Honda Aircraft, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to excellence,” said Honda Aircraft president and CEO Hideto Yamasaki. “The HondaJet Elite II continues our dedication to exceeding the expectations of customers worldwide by setting new standards in performance, e ciency, and comfort for the future of very light jets.”


46 EBACE Convention News • May 24, 2023 • ainonline.com
The G700 joined all of Gulfstream’s in-production jets on static display here in Geneva.

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