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dassault-falcon8x.jpgFrench aircraft manufacturer, Dassault, has announced that its Falcon 8X business jet is now in the final stages of FAA and EASA certification.

After accumulating over 650 flight hours in 325 flights, the three 8x’s have almost completed the certification test requirements, and now begin to demonstrate performance and reliability in testing that will take them over Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America.

Dassault expect to begin making deliveries of the long-range jet aircraft this summer.

Other Contract Fuel Services ProvidersBusiness jet fuel prices can fluctuate significantly from region to region and this gives many longer-range aircraft the opportunity to take advantage of lower prices, refuelling or ‘topping up’ their tanks. There are big savings to be made when we consider that up to 70% of the average business aircraft operational costs consist of the fuel budget.

The term given to this practise is tankering.

FuelerLinx, a California-based fuel pricing software provider, have released an update to their subscription fuel-pricing service. The enhancements have been produced in conjunction with Danish-based Company, Aviation Cloud, who provide flight planning services. The improved calculator now delivers, via the addition of flight planning, real-time weather data, vertical profiles and regularly updated fuel prices.

“The concept of tankering has long been in the aviation handbook,” said Kevin Moller, CEO of California-based fuel pricing software provider FuelerLinx. “But the ability to achieve the greatest cost savings by tankering each time you plan a trip has never existed until now.”

“The tankering calculations have proved invaluable to our cost-saving efforts,” said Karen Brunsman, flight coordinator for FuelerLinx subscriber NextEra Energy, which operates a pair of Citations and Falcons. “It allows us to take the optimal amount of fuel at each stop for the least amount of money overall.”

In a time when operators must look to manage costs efficiently, the benefits of fast and reliable access to fuel pricing across the flight plan is certainly an advantage in the marketplace. Other providers of flight planning solutions offer integration with flight support services and provide fuel purchasing as a part of this service.

It is worth exploring the possibilities for the business aviation market.

Global Flight Support Services ProvidersThe entire aviation industry have scratched its proverbial head in the mysterious disappearance of flight MH370. It has led to a call from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for improvements to the 50-year old ‘black box’ system, using advancements in technology to produce a real-time flight tracking system.

According to ITU, there ‘should be a mechanism to ensure that aircraft can be tracked in real time using state-of-the-art cloud computing’.

The black box recorder is mandatory on all flights, to record vital aircraft data regarding flight operations, aircraft systems, performance parameters, magnetic heading, positioning and other critical information. It is today being argued that this information should be available in real-time, with no possibility of being manually disconnected or the need for the recorder to be physically located in the event of an incident.

There is little doubt that the strength of feeling is running high at this stage. The industry as a whole is being urged to find solutions for flight tracking that cannot be manipulated.

ARINC Direct Business Flight Support ServicesAs Rockwell Collins see the business aviation industry growing, it makes sense that after its acquisition of ARINC Inc was finalised late last year, that the business aviation division, ARINC Direct brands and Rockwell Collins applications would gel perfectly in the business flight support services sector.

Rockwell Collins formed the Information Management Services division in January, placing Jeff Sanderski in the senior vice president role. It is a worldwide operation with offices in London and Singapore in addition to the HQ in Annapolis and a further US office in Houston with a total of 2,200 employees.

Around 22% of the business for this division lies in business aviation – a figure that Mr Sanderski sees growing as more private jet aircraft continue to be fitted with Rockwell Collins/ARINC Direct applications, including air-ground voice and data, ground-ground networks and business flight support services.

Aviation Weather for Essential Flight Support ServicesIn a project sponsored by the National Science Foundation Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Meteorology Dept is planning to conduct a two-week flight safety research program with the University of Wyoming King Air.

The King Air is a research aircraft that provides atmospheric measurements and flight safety data.  Students from different courses will have direct involvement with instrument system training, flights; flight forecast simulations and will produce the follow-up analysis.

Flight co ordination research will be discussed in open seminars attended by the King Air pilot and scientist and will cover many topics from FAA regulations to forecasting requirements for flight safety data.

The students will maintain awareness of electronic sensor systems and the importance of mission-critical messaging for transmission of flight safety weather data.

Entire infrastructure can be based upon ensuring crucial data is delivered efficiently and swiftly to facilitate safe conduct of flights on a global scale.

Flight safety weather data monitoring forms a huge part of flight support services in commercial, military and business aviation.

It has recently been announced that the FAA have issued new requirements for International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) flight plans for all border crossings, even for flights within the U.S. airspace, VFR or IFR. Most GA operators will be able to operate within the US borders, but the FAA have still said that they would still prefer an ICAO flight plan to be issued.

The ICAO flight plan form, updated in November and implemented in March of this year in the Aeronautical Information Publication, is now required for any flight that crosses any International border or flies above 29,000 feet, operating with RSVM.  The changes were published in the Aeronautical Information Manual concurrently.