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The Top 10 Business Aviation Stories in 2010

The year 2010 was one that was filled with up and down moments. On the upside, we saw Bombardier launch a new aircraft family. On the downside, manufacturers continued to deal with the aftereffects of the global recession. We take a look at the top stories, in no particular order, which affected business aviation worldwide. Business aviation pulled together in January to help with the massive relief effort after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake devastated Haiti. The National Business Aviation Association and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association joined together to help their members reach out and help a country in crisis. Also, we saw the emergence of the Sky Hope Network, created in the aftermath of the earthquake (profiled by us here), as well as the formalization of AERbridge (previously known as Corporate Aviation Responds in Emergency or CARE). We saw the end of the user fee debate after the Obama Administration’s FY 2011 budget dropped mention of them. Instead, business aviation and commercial aviation worked together to improve the air traffic control system for all. The industry applauded the House of Representatives and the Senate for creating General Aviation Caucuses designed to help inform members on the benefits of GA. The extension – twice – of the bonus depreciation bill for general aviation aircraft. The measure is expected to provide a boost to aircraft orders. The Transportation Security Administration decides to go back to the drawing board on its universally panned Large Air­craft Security Program. A new version of the proposal is still under review by the agency. General aviation forms a coalition to develop rec­ommendations for addressing lead in aviation gasoline after the Environmental Protection Agen­cy released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (AN­PRM) covering potential restrictions on the use of lead in aviation gaso­line. Hawker Beechcraft is on the cusp of making a decision that could see it moving operations out of Wichita, Kan., headquarters after the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers voted down a contract that would have cut more jobs, but kept the company in Kansas. Editor´s note: earlier today, Hawker Beechcraft and the state of Kansas completed a deal that will keep the manufacturer in Wichita. The temporary detaining of John and Martha King leads to better oversight of stolen planes and training for the Santa Barbara, Calif., police on how to handle that situation. The Honeywell forecast reports that business jet deliveries will not improve in 2011, and things may even get worse before they get better. “2011 will be another ‘bouncing along the bot­tom’ type of year,” says Rob Wilson, president of business and general aviation at Honeywell Aerospace. “It’s going to be a tight call whether it is going to be about the same output as 2010 or slightly lower.” The three major business aviation shows – the National Business Aviation Association in Atlanta, the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Geneva and the Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai – all posted improved attendee, exhibitor and static display numbers.

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