NBAA-BACE 2021 Blog
Welcome to Corporate Jet Investor’s coverage of the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) 2021, happening in Las Vegas.
Sustainability is a key theme this year, as NBAA has carbon offset the event with 4AIR and arranged book-and-claim sustainable aviation fuel for anyone flying in. Below are some of the announcements made in and around the show.
If you have any stories coming out of the show, please email: [email protected] – Louisa Whyte, live blog editor
Jet Edge signs as Gogo 5G launch customer
Jet Edge International will be the launch customer for Gogo’s 5G network.
A majority of super-midsize and large cabin jets in Jet Edge’s fleet have already installed AVANCE L5. 50 will be upgraded to include Gogo’s 5G over the next two years.
Bill Papariella, CEO of Jet Edge, said: “After a thorough evaluation of other inflight connectivity services, we chose Gogo 5G – it was the obvious choice and we’re thrilled to offer it to our discerning clients.”
Increased demand for data-heavy services means that Gogo 5G will deliver high throughput with very low latency. Deployment of the 5G network has begun and the onboard hardware is in certification approval. The nationwide network is expected to launch in the second half of 2022.
Andy Geist, senior vice president of business development for Gogo. “With AVANCE L5 installed across most of its fleet, upgrading to 5G becomes a relatively quick and easy process.”
flyExclusive unveils two new MRO facilities
flyExclusive has unveiled two new MRO facilities providing premium maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) services in Eastern North Carolina.
A 24,000sqft electrostatic painting and coating shop and an aircraft interior renovation and refurbishment facility are now open. The firm’s fleet of more than 75 Cessna Citation and Gulfstream aircraft can now be maintained in-house, a first for a part 135 operator, said flyExclusive.
“We continue to invest in new capabilities that allow us to exceed our clients’ expectations for reliably excellent private jet experiences,” said Jim Segrave, founder, LGM Enterprises, parent company of flyExclusive. “flyExclusive is now the only Part 135 charter operator with the ability to paint our own aircraft, while our interior refurbishment capabilities enable us to tailor aircraft cabins to the highest standards of quality and luxury. No other operator in the world is able to exert this level of control over the look and feel of its fleet.”
The painting facility is the first of its kind in the Southeastern US and delivers aircraft exterior design services for both flyExclusive and other operators. The facility includes is made up of two 2,000sqft hangars with a full downdraft booth and filtration systems, climate-controlled conditions and enough hangar space to accommodate a Gulfstream G-IVSP aircraft.
Recently, the US operator broke ground on an additional 45,000sqft facility to expand its MRO capabilities for both electrostatic painting and coating and interior refurbishment. With construction expected to be completed in 2022, the new facility is expected to create more than 200 jobs for the eastern North Carolina region.
Constant Aviation adds three US AOG locations
Constant Aviation has added three new locations to its nationwide AOG (Aircraft on Ground) mobile response network. The new teams will deploy from Van Nuys, California; Bedford, Massachusetts and Sugarland, Texas, and bring Constant’s US AOG team bases to 27, a 28% growth in locations since 2020.
Constant Aviation’s AOG service has been expanding rapidly this year, said the firm, because of growing demand stemming from increased private aviation activity. During 2021, technicians have been called to more than 300 airports.
Paul Witt, Constant Aviation, vice president, AOG Operations, said: “One of the most attractive features of private jets is that they can fly out of 5,000 airports versus the 500 that serve commercial aircraft, enabling travellers to fly closer to their final destinations. However, many of these smaller airports lack much in the way of maintenance capabilities.”
Constant’s AOG mobile teams now support 86 aircraft models, and each AOG vehicle is fully equipped so aircraft can be serviced on location.
SmartSky adds AvMet to Skytelligence platform
SmartSky Networks has added AvMet Applications, a leading collaborator with the FAA’s NextGen Aviation Weather Division, to its Skytelligence platform.
The move will see AvMet offer its weather data and analysis to the aviation community. Developers and operators, both business and commercial, can now have selective, data driven access to hi-resolution historical weather event forecasts.
“Data-driven decision making is the future of aviation operations,” says AvMet Applications president, Mark Klopfenstein, “SmartSky’s Skytelligence provides an ideal platform for AvMet to bring our weather impact data solutions to the aviation community.”
Inmarsat announces 1,000th activation of Jet ConneX
Inmarsat announced its 1,000th installation and activation of inflight connectivity solution Jet Connex. The system has also completed five years in operation.
Jet Connex is powered by Inmarsat’s global Ka-band satellite network Global Xpress.
A recent survey commissioned by Inmarsat and Corporate Jet Investor found that 90% of those surveyed felt online activities will dominate principals’ time in the air, almost evenly split between business and leisure.
Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s head of business aviation, said business leaders cannot afford to be disconnected during times of turbulence and instability.
“The outlook is bright” he said. “We are investing in several upcoming next-generation satellites, plus significant enhancements to our ground stations, hardware and software, all backed by world-class cybersecurity.”
Early in 2021, SD installed its 500th terminal on an aircraft via the Jet ConneX network.
Honda reveals new concept aircraft HondaJet 2600
Honda Aircraft Company revealed a new concept called the HondaJet 2600. The HondaJet 2600 concept is in a different category from the HondaJet Elite S, the company said.
It claims the HondaJet 2600 will be the world’s first light jet capable of non-stop transcontinental flight across the US. The cabin can seat up to 11 occupants. This number is up from the Elite S’s six occupant capacity (including pilots).
The concept aircraft comes with a range of 2,625 nautical miles, a high speed cruise of 450 knots, a maximum altitude of 47,000 feet and some changes to fuel efficiency.
CEO Michimasa Fujino said: “With the HondaJet 2600 Concept, which enables efficient transcontinental flight, offers new level of cabin comfort and capacity, and dramatically reduces CO2 emssions, we are introducing a new generation of business jets.”
Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty announces new order from undisclosed customer in the US
Airbus Corporate Jets announced a new order – its first from the US – for the recently released ACJ TwoTwenty. This takes the total orders up to seven aircraft.
Aircraft management and cabin completions company Comlux will complete the cabin interior. Comlux has been appointed exclusive partner for the outfitting of the first 15 aircraft and has ordered two.
The cabin of the ACJ TwoTwenty can be customised to have over 100 different configurations, 3 inspiring ambiances and a bespoke design from renowned artist Cyril Kongo.
Heads of bizav associations renew net-zero carbon commitments
At the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA’s) 2021 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the heads of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and NBAA also said the industry would continue its goal of increasing fuel efficiency 2% per year between 2020 and 2030, on the road to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
These new ambitions build on the Business Aviation Commitment on Climate Change (BACCC) made in 2009, when the industry pledged to reduce carbon emissions 50% by 2050, increase fuel efficiency 2% per year from 2010 to 2020, and achieve carbon-neutral growth by 2020.
NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen said the industry was on track to “meet or exceed” these goals.
GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce said technology advancements – such as lighter materials, additive manufacturing, propulsion innovation, skin coatings and winglets – would be a key component to reaching the milestone. He added that efficient air traffic control infrastructure and improvements in avionics and data communications would also help.
IBAC director general Kurt Edwards pointed to the other main focus of the updated BACCC: increased production, availability and use of SAF, and adoption of new market-based initiatives.
Edwards said: “SAF and initiatives like carbon-offsets will continue to be a key piece of the puzzle in carbon-emissions reduction,”
Bunce added: “As higher blends of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) become approved for production, we will be able to further optimise fuel efficiency through technological advancements to achieve our environmental goals.”
JSSI to offer all Hourly Cost Maintenance clients Conklin & de Decker access
JSSI will offer complimentary access to the Conklin & de Decker Aircraft Operating Cost and Performance Guide for all its Hourly Cost Maintenance (HCM) programme clients. More than 10% of business jets are on the HCM programme.
The Guide, which is a digital, interactive aircraft comparison and evaluation tool, is now included in the updated MyJSSI flight-hour reporting portal. It provides clients helps clients understand real annual and hourly aircraft operating costs and performance for more than 500 aircraft.
Francisco Zozaya, senior vice president, global business development at JSSI said: “Whether considering an aircraft acquisition, disposal or benchmarking their existing aircraft’s cost and performance against alternatives in the market, this guide will allow our HCM clients to make informed decisions and thoroughly assess ownership implications at no additional cost.”
The MyJSSI portal now also allows clients to submit parts requests for non-covered aircraft, access additional products from Conklin & de Decker, or request an aircraft appraisal from JSSI Advisory Services.
You can try the Aircraft Operating Cost and Performance Guide here.
Viasat announces new Viasat Select
Viasat announced a new direct service model for business aviation Ka-band connectivity, called Viasat Select, on October 11th.
James Person, head of Sales and Development at Viasat told Corporate Jet Investor: “This adds two more dimensions: there is unlimited data allocation now and it gives the option for operators to get this directly from Viasat. It’s a wonderful combination of performance, flexibility and value.”
Customers can now look at buying an entry-level data plan at $2,795 per month, with unlimited speed and data. The most expensive option is just under $14,000.
Viasat Select offers regional plans for Europe and North America. “The entry-level starts at $2,795 and that gives them 15 gigabytes of data, which is fine for many operators who travel 30 hours a month. With the regional unlimited plan – both data and speed – that’s $9,995,” said Person.
The company has gathered some feedback from its existing customers, including Flexjet, which is using this on its Praetor aircraft in Europe.
Dassault displaying 10X cabin mockup
Dassault Aviation is displaying a full-scale cabin mockup of the new Falcon 10X at NBAA-BACE this week in Las Vegas. After the show, the mockup will remain in the US for individual customer tours.
Dassault Aviation chairman and CEO, Éric Trappier, said: “Because of its sheer size and imaginative layout, you’ll move about this cabin differently, much more easily, than in any competing business jet. The 10X will provide the ultimate in privacy and in collaborative workspace – indeed, it will be able to provide both at the same time.”
The 10X cabin is 6 ft , 8 in (2.03 m) tall and 9 ftt, 1 inc (2.77 m) wide, a larger cross section than some regional jets.
“The 10X will be the new benchmark in business aviation,” added Trappier. “We’re eager to see industry reaction at NBAA-BACE, we anticipate a very positive response.”
Sheltair Aviation and Avfuel supplying SAF to Embraer for BACE
Sheltair Aviation is providing Embraer with safe storage and handling services for Avfuel sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) ahead of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition.
Sheltair’s Melbourne, Florida (MLB) base has taken delivery of a truckload of Avfuel’s Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel on behalf of Embraer as part of the Brazilian firm’s recently-announced commitments to sustainability.
The load ensures that Embraer aircraft could fuel up with SAF before flying to its static display at BACE.
“Sheltair is honoured to support Embraer’s commitment to climate action with safe, dependable fuel handling and storage services for its SAF,” said James Toler, general manager at Sheltair MLB.
The SAF from Avfuel, which is produced by Neste, provides just over a 19t reduction in carbon emissions over its lifecycle per 8,000-gallon truckload compared with petroleum-based jet fuel.
Tamarack reveals its Tamarack Performance Smartwing
Aircraft modification company Tamarack Aerospace has released a new aftermarket winglet for civil and military aircraft – called Tamarack Performance Smartwing at NBAA-BACE 2021.
It is currently running demonstration and validation tests for the Smartwing – a new version of its existing Active Winglet load alleviation technology – on the King Air 200 series. The Smartwing adds about 8 ft of wingspan and helps to improve endurance and High/Hot takeoff performance. The King Airs could also expect increased climb capabilities.
Tamarack said the Smartwing modification is expected to replace the current King Air 200’s passive winglets, providing more significant fuel cost savings. Its Active Winglets have helped save up to 33% fuel burn on a fleet of about 150 Cessna Citation aircraft.
President Jacob Klinginsmith said: “Implementing new Tamarack sustainable technologies, like the Performance Smartwing into different aviation sectors, is a positive step toward sustainability efforts.”
Tamarack aims to modify the King Air 350 series for assessment soon. Read more about Tamarack’s approach to aviation sustainability in its 2021 white paper.
Jet East now using CORRIDOR ServiceEdge communiations platform
Cloud-based software solution CORRIDOR announced a new service called CORRIDOR ServiceEdge at Jet East, a Gama Aviation Company.
ServiceEdge provides a different experience to aircraft operator’s service centre experience. They can view content in real-time anywhere and on any device, as well as review quotes and monitor the status of ongoing jobs.
Jet East’s service centres have experienced a considerable increase in scheduled maintenance events, said Stephen Maiden, president and CEO of the company. “CORRIDOR ServiceEdge provides our customers the information they need, from aircraft arrival to return-to-service at any one of our nationwide service centres,” he added.
Mike Greig, general manager of CORRIDOR Aviation Software said: “By providing their valued customers with intuitive, real-time and transparent communications, images and documentation, they are well-positioned to ‘win the recovery’.”
ServiceEdge is integrated with CAMP Connect.
ServiceEdge at a glance:
– Real time communications – integrated ability to chat between service centre and customers
– Omni-channel at any time – communication can occur in and out of office, from any device
– Up-to-date progress status – operators can instantly and remotely track progress, view images from the service centre.
Jet Aviation expands managed fleet by 26 aircraft
Jet Aviation has expanded its managed fleet by 26 aircraft in the US between since the beginning of this year.
Of these, 11 aircraft – a mix of large and mid-sized aircraft – are available for charter. Jet Aviation has signed three aircraft to its newly authorized part 125 certificate.
David Best, Jet Aviation’s SVP of regional operations and general manager of the Americas said the company’s “goal is to make aircraft ownership simple”.
Jet Aviation currently manages some 300 aircraft globally with 180 of those in the Americas. The charter fleet totals about 70 aircraft, with access to thousands more, from business liner to mid-size cabin.
Leslie Cheshier, vice president of owner and charter services in the USA said: “We strive to provide a variety of air charter solutions including ad hoc charter, block access, card access, and our new freedom access program.”
Jet Aviation’s “Freedom Access Program” allows customers to interchange between block and card access according to their needs ensuring for guaranteed availability globally.