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Business Aviation Services ProvidersCurrent customers of BaseOps International will be able to look forward to utilising a new flight planning portal from June 2014. The company announced the forthcoming launch at the Geneva EBACE this week.

The web-based system will enable customers to plan routes and file the flight plans in addition to access NOTAMs and weather information, pre-order fuel and arrange aircraft handling, catering, hotels and even rental cars.

Web-based flight planning tools and services can assist military and business aircraft operators, providing secure and flexible solutions that are easily accessible from portable devices.

Other flight support services and flight planning tools providers, such as ARINC Direct for business aviation, bring packages that can be tailored to each individual customer, whether for a fleet of executive jets or for a single private aircraft.

Other Providers of iPad Applications for the CockpitThe iPad Mini with retina display will soon become a feature on the flight deck after being issued with a letter of Operational Suitability by the FAA for use with Jeppesens’ electronic flight bag (EFB).

‘We are pleased with the findings of the FAA evaluation team confirming the use of iPad mini and Jeppesen mobile EFB solutions,’ said Tim Huegel, director of Jeppesen Aviation Portfolio Management, ‘iPad mini and iPad mini with Retina display offer pilots the incredible detail and ease of use they need when leveraging our valuable data-driven apps and flight information in the cockpit’.

U.S. operators and air carriers must gain formal FAA authorisation for the use of electronic flight bag applications on the flight deck and Jeppesen will issue copies of the letter to those customers that express an interest in the use of the iPad Mini for specific use in their authorisation application.

Other providers of EFB solutions include ARINC Direct, recently acquired by avionics giant, Rockwell Collins. EFB solutions, such as iPad pilot apps, can minimise weight in the cockpit and bring a significant reduction of the pilot’s workload, offering sharing capabilities for flight information, changes to the flight plan and real-time weather updates, graphics and maps.

The advent of the iPad and now the iPad Mini on the flight deck moves the industry another step closer to the sought-after paperless cockpit.

Business Jet Connectivity ProvidersBombardier’s latest addition to the family is the Learjet 85, a beautiful single-aisle business jet with a capacity for up to 8 passengers. The aircraft will include Rockwell Collins’ award-winning Pro-Line Fusion avionics and the horizontal stabiliser trim system (HSTS) for superior flight deck connectivity.

The HSTS helps to control the pitch of the horizontal stabilizer, which can reduce drag and trim the aircraft to improve efficiency for the entire flight. With two placement point in the aircraft frame, safety is optimised, as the Learjet features thinner cabin walls to maximise space inside, improving passenger experience and comfort.

Pro Line Fusion is the latest award-winning offering from Rockwell Collins, featuring the largest LCD displays in the industry at 15.1 inch and a suite of capabilities including, but not limited to:

• Dual Flight Management System
• Localised Performance with Vertical Guidance
• Integrated Flight Information System,
• Synthetic vision
• Intuitive electronic checklists
• Electronic Circuit Breaker display and control

Bombardier’s Learjet 85 took its first flight this week in Wichita, Kansas and will be ready for the first deliveries in early 2015.

Boeing BBJ Max Business JetBoeing have kickstarted the launch of their latest business jet in the MAX family with an order for the BBJ MAX 8. The undisclosed client is an existing BBJ customer.

The latest jet is based upon the 737 MAX 8, with CFM International LEAP-1B engines and boasts a 14% improvement on fuel economy, which will give better long-range performance over its range of 6,325 nautical miles and Advanced Technology Winglets.

Capt. Steve Taylor, president of Boeing Business Jets said, “The BBJ MAX provides more room, longer range and emits fewer emissions than its nearest competition, making it an ideal choice for today’s BBJ customers.”

The BBJ MAX 8 will have the same size cabin as the BBJ2, at 19 ft longer and with three times the cargo capacity of today’s BBJ, while maintaining the reliability, lower cabin altitude and global support that current clients have grown accustomed to.

“We expect a large demand for the BBJ MAX, particularly for those BBJ owners who want to fly farther and more efficiently and still maintain the exceptional comfort of a BBJ,” Taylor said.

The first flight will be scheduled for 2016 and subsequent deliveries to the first commercial airline clients during 2017. The 737 MAX family has so far received over 1,900 orders from 37 global customers. The first BBJ MAX is to be delivered without an interior, to allow a completely personalised finish for the VIP interior at a centre of the customer’s choice.

Plans are in the pipeline for a BBJ MAX 7 and will also include a BBJ MAX 9, which will offer a 6,255 nautical mile range with the addition of a larger cabin.

Business Aviation Communications ProvidersBombardier’s brand new Learjet 75 will be revealed in the planned demonstration tour this month for the first time in Latin America. The beautiful new aircraft has an interior cabin design and technology based upon the Learjet 85 and is designed to carry eight passengers on a full fuel load. The maximum range of the aircraft is more than 2,000 nautical miles and with the addition of its modern design, it is hoped to help to grow the market in this region.

With its long-range capability, the Learjet 75 can fly passengers non-stop from Sao Paulo to Santiago and ensure comfort and accessibility for the duration. The business passenger has high expectations of communications in an aircraft and needs a high degree of connectivity for the ability to undertake business as effectively in the air as they do on the ground. Cabin services on the new Learjet 75 include a cabin management system with individual touchscreen monitors, full audio and video control.

The planned tour will begin with a static display in Toluca, Mexico at the Aero Expo and will also be shown at FIDAE in Santiago, Chile at the end of the month, showcasing at other events along the way in Mexico, Columbia, Panama, Brazil, Guatemala and Chile.

The new regional vice president of sales for Latin America Bombardier Business Aircraft, Stephane Leroy, said, “We are very proud to bring our new Learjet 75 to the region for the first time. This aircraft, with its fusion of modern design, Learjet heritage and top performance, was developed with the needs of our customers in mind. We are convinced that this new Learjet will not only maintain, but grow our market share in the region.”

Other Providers of Business Aviation ServicesConsiderable growth in the business aviation services sector has been highlighted by the announcement that Gogo plans to relocate its business aviation division, Aircell, to a larger facility in Broomfield, CO, later this year.

Aircell provides business aviation services, including in-flight entertainment and connectivity to private jet aircraft. With almost 200 employees, and plans to create more jobs, the company expect further growth over the next few years and hope that the new facility, housing more than double the space that they currently occupy, will suit their future expansion needs.

The business aviation services sector has experienced a surge in recent times, largely due to the competitive demands of the modern executive traveller. It is expected to offer seamless connectivity during the entire flight and with aircraft covering greater distances, it has been necessary for business operators to step up to the challenges of continuous connectivity.

Business aviation services providers, such as ARINC Direct, bring seamless connectivity to their customers with a unique partnership of Inmarsat and Iridium satellite communications networks. This partnership offers truly global coverage, even when traversing oceanic expanses and Polar Regions.

As demands continue to grow, the business aviation services sector is expected to become more and more competitive and will give rise to further expansion as the year passes. There are no visible signs of business slowing, and as regulatory conditions continue to add to the pressure, it is set to be an interesting year for business aviation services.

Business Aviation Communications Satellite ServicesThe scheduled shutdown of Aircell’s Airfone service will spell the end of business aviation’s use of Magnastar systems, but there are a number of roads that can be taken before deactivation takes place.

Although Airfone’s air-to-ground communications network will be over, Aircell is still offering discounts on many alternatives such as;

  • ATG2000
  • ATG4000
  • ATG5000 Gogo Biz

These systems will require upgrades to deliver Smartphone-based services to the tune of around $10,000.

If users have a satcom system, they will be able to continue using MagnaStar, with Teledyne Controls continuing to support MagnaStar as well.

Other business aviation communications companies, such as ExecJet Mobile and ARINC Direct can furnish aircraft with portable Iridium satellite communications equipment and software that can be used for essential flight deck comms, passenger communications and cabin services.

Costs for installations of these systems and software will be higher if the aircraft has no current Iridium transceiver in place.

The new ARINC Xplore device is due to be launched in spring 2014, but ExecJet BizJet mobile systems are available now. High numbers of aircraft operators are hurrying to replace equipment at hugely discounted prices as the shutdown becomes imminent.