Canada has a long and rich aviation history by cometjunkie55

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									Business Aviation • Corporate Aviation

Business aviation
BY RICH GAGE

a Canadian success story

anada has a long and rich aviation history dating to the flight of the Silver Dart at Baddeck, Nova Scotia, in February 1909. From this beginning has emerged an aviation heritage that is indelibly linked to Canada and a vital component of the nation’s transportation system. Business aviation in Canada was built from a need to conduct business, stay connected and sustain communities. Business aviation, as a distinct sector of the Canadian aviation community, traces its roots back to late 1920, when Imperial Oil used two aircraft in oil exploration and personnel transport in the remote reaches of Northern Canada. From its humble beginnings over 80 years ago, business aviation has grown to become an integral part of Canada’s air transportation system and economy, and today embraces a diverse range of aircraft, operators and applications. Within Canada the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) is the voice for business aviation, and pursues safety, security, efficiency and environmental objectives regionally, nationally and internationally. For more than 46 years, it has nurtured and maintained a strong advocacy role, and for the past six years, developed and implemented a regulatory stewardship function as a shared responsibility with Transport Canada. It is the regulatory stewardship responsibility that distinguishes the CBAA from any other aviation organization in Canada. Globally and within Canada business aviation continues to exhibit sustained growth and is a key catalyst for economic escalation, providing employment to Canadians at many levels – the result being significant contributions to the local and national economy through manufacturing, sales, service, support, maintenance, repair and operational activities. Business aircraft have access to a greater number of smaller, regionally convenient airports than the commercial carriers that typically work through key “hub” airports. Regional fields also
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tend to be closer to the users’ destination and provide a vital air transport link to many communities not serviced by scheduled operators. In an age where “time” has become the coinage of the realm, business aviation complements typical hub-and-spoke schedules, and fully answers the need for time management, convenience and scheduling flexibility. The use of an aircraft as a business tool has enabled many firms to establish, manage and maintain a competitive edge in both the domestic and international marketplaces. At any given time, business aircraft may be transporting senior executives, management teams, employees on a sales trip, short notice delivery of parts and goods, taking a group charter overseas to represent Canada in an international event, or using an empty seat to ferry a child needing medical attention in another community. Globally orders for new aircraft are at record levels. The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) announced that aircraft shipments increased in 2007, setting another record high in industry billings. Worldwide economic growth, a strong export market, and increased use of general aviation for both business and personal use, all played a part in this outstanding achievement. Business aircraft led the growth with a 28.4 per cent increase in shipments worldwide in 2007 versus 2006. In actual aircraft numbers, an all-time high of 1,138 business jets were shipped in 2007. The very light jets (VLJs), defined as turbofan-powered airplanes weighing 10,000 pounds or less, offer one of the most exciting recent developments in aviation and will provide an entryinto the modern, efficient jet powered flight operations to those currently operating smaller piston or turboprop, general aviation type aircraft, and the concept buyer. Priced typically in USD $2 - 3

Business Aviation • Corporate Aviation

million range, these aircraft offer cabin space for four passengers and although they are the smallest of business jet aircraft on the market today, they can operate in the same airspace and control regions as their larger, more common counterparts. Names to watch for in this market include Cessna, Honda, Embraer, Eclipse and Diamond Aircraft. The advent of VLJs holds the promise of an air taxi transportation model, and already some entrepreneurs see the opportunity for an on-demand air taxi service as an ideal application for these aircraft. Several companies, particularly in the southern U.S., are already gearing up for this type of operation. Business aviation has a number of operating concepts that include chartering, owning and leasing, and fractional ownership. Chartering provides a good opportunity to ‘sample the wares’ and accordingly may offer access to an entire fleet rather than just one aircraft. The benefit of chartering is that it permits each flight to be tailored to the needs and interests of the client and further allows the opportunity to experience business aviation by picking your

Chartering provides a good opportunity to ‘sample the wares’ and accordingly may offer access to an entire fleet.

own schedule, avoiding airport congestion, and flying in complete privacy. There is little operational difference in owning or leasing an aircraft. Many organizations may lease for tax reasons. Shared or joint ownership by several parties also makes business aviation more affordable for the first-time owner and from there, with experience and time, may come the opportunity to increase the size of the aircraft or the percentage of ownership. In the coming years, we expect to see fractional ownership in a business model closer to that seen in the U.S. and Europe become a reality in Canada. Business aircraft operate in a fully integrated infrastructure that mirrors its airline counterparts, and one that Canada’s industry has played a big role in developing. Fixed based operations (FBOs) is a synonym for a terminal for business aviation and its core function is passenger transfer, flight crew support, and aircraft fuelling. Furthermore, some of the larger FBOs may provide aircraft sales and maintenance, as well as offer aircraft management and charter services. FBOs focus extensively on personal service. As one industry CEO once stated, “the FBO business is the biggest concierge desk in the world – all focused on servicing its clients to the best possible standard anywhere.” FBOs are often remotely located from main public-access terminals and are limited to wellknown and recognizable staff and clientele. In short, there is a

built-in security envelope that is supplemented by FBO and operator security protocols that protect and screen infrastructure and personnel respectively. Business aviation boosts a strong commitment to safety. By its very nature, it embraces a strong safety culture that is enhanced through ongoing leading-edge technical innovation and a strong commitment to safety management. In Canada, the business aviation community has endorsed and uses the concept of a safety management system (SMS) to proactively help mitigate aviation risks. In partnership with Transport Canada and the regulatory infrastructure, the Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) leads the way in advocating safety, security and efficiency for the business aviation community. CBAA represents the collective interests of the business aviation community and speaks for more than 500 companies and organizations that operate approximately 700 business aircraft. The organization is a founding member of the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), which has been awarded observer status at the General Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), providing business aviation with influential representation before this major aviation international forum. The CBAA also works closely with a range of national and international organizations, in particular the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) in Washington. CBAA and its members strongly believe in giving back to the community and Canada as a whole. In 2005, the CBAA set up an annual Flight Training Scholarship for a deserving air cadet. This financial award is one of only three scholarships presented by a non-government agency. The association also actively supports Hope Air, a non-profit volunteer organization that arranges air transport for Canadians who need medical treatment outside their home community (including family members who wish to travel with the patient). One of the things that always brings a sense of self-worth to any business or group is when a third party acknowledges their efforts. Such is the case this year for the CBAA. In recognition of their long and credible contribution to the development and management of business aviation in Canada, the CBAA was honoured by Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame with the Belt of Orion Award of Excellence. The award was founded by Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988 to honour organizations, groups, societies or associations who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of aviation in Canada. CBAA’s convention, tradeshow and static display, which is being held in Toronto June 16-19, will showcase more than 20 aircraft for viewing at its static display. This year’s event is shaping up to be the biggest ever with increasing international participation from the industry community. One of the expected highlights will be the first appearance to corporate Canada of Grob Aerospaces’ SPn, Very Light Jet (VLJ). The tradeshow and static display will be held in the Skyservice and Landmark facilities on Derry Road, at the Toronto Pearson International Airport. BiC

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