Scottsdale Air Center Joins Avfuel Network
Avfuel Corporation recently announced that luxury FBO Scottsdale Air Center of Scottsdale, Arizona, joining the Avfuel network of high quality branded FBOs. The alliance means that Scottsdale AirCenter will now be awarding AVTRIP pilot-rewards points on each qualifying fuel purchase. The Arizona FBO also now offers the Avfuel Contract Fuel program. Scottsdale Air Center is a full-service fixed-base operation that serves the greater Phoenix area with comprehensive aviation support including attentive customer care and ground services. The state-of-the-art facility offers resort-like amenities and strives to cater to both passenger and pilot needs. Generous hangar space of 175,000 square feet can accommodate aircraft up to and including a G-V.
Eurocopter’s ‘Quiet’ Helicopter
Eurocopter recently unveiled its new “Blue Edge” and “Blue Pulse” technology that significantly reduces the noise generated by a helicopter blade. Tested on an EC155 helicopter, the Blue Edge blade itself created a three to four decibel drop in noise. Eurocopter dramatically redesigned the design, creating what might best be described as a seagull-wing shaped bend at the blade's tip. It then layered active “Blue Pulse” technology on top of the Blue Edge design. Blue Pulse adjusts three trailing edge flap modules 15 to 40 times per second via piezoelectric motors. The flaps move to reduce the effect of blade/vortex interaction. That interaction occurs as a trailing blade encounters the vortex of the preceding blade, causing an audible "slap." Adjusting the interaction dramatically reduces the slap.
Congress to Change FAA Airport Access Policy
Bills are now under consideration in both the House and Senate to amend a recent FAA policy that restricts airport access. The Community Airport Access and Protection Act of 2010 addresses the FAA's decision to greatly limit access at most public airports. “Please contact your senators and representatives to support these bills,” Dr. Brent Blue recently wrote to the aviation media and organizations. Blue founded a group called Through the Fence to organize opposition to the policy. “No data, studies, or non-FAA-personnel's opinion went into the new order, which was issued last September without any input from the public or advocacy groups,” adds Blue. Through the Fence is encouraging all pilots and others interested in general aviation airports to contact their senators and representatives to support this legislation.
Canada Boosts BizAv Oversight
The Canadian government is clawing back safety oversight and administration of the business aircraft industry in response to criticism by the country's Transportation Safety Board . In fact, the TSB recently cited “lack of oversight of a business jet operator's Safety Management System” as a contributing factor in a runway accident involving a Bombardier Global 5000 in Fox Harbour, Nova Scotia in 2007. Since 2005, SMS oversight of some operators has been handled by the Canadian Business Aviation Association and the TSB said it regarded the government's lack of involvement in that process as a “serious problem.” In March, the government apparently took that advice to heart and brought those functions back under Transport Canada's responsibility. The government won't take over the functions until April of 2011 to allow for a smooth transition period.
U.K. Group Calls for BizAv Fuel Tax
A British environmental group says business aircraft should pay a fuel tax currently charged to airline passengers. The Campaign for Better Transport says the tax should be imposed for environmental reasons, claiming that business aircraft passengers create as much as 30 times the pollution, per capita, as airline passengers .In the organization's aviation blog, the writers call on the government to close the so-called “loophole” and note that 67,000 fuel tax-free business aviation flights occurred last year. Although bizav is a soft target for the environmental movement, pronouncements such as this might carry a bit more weight as the U.K. headed to the polls near our publishing deadline.