ILA in brief: business & general aviation

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Light show

Grob’s SPn light business jet made its first air show flight at ILA. The all-composite aircraft is on track for approval in mid-2007 and distributor ExecuJet plans to launch in North America later this year, where it is in “advanced discussions” with potential sales and service outlets.

‘Harmful’ spend

“Stovepipe” spending by European governments on their own research and technology (R&T) projects is harming the region’s industry, says Tom Enders, president of European trade body ASD. The EADS co-chief executive says maintaining separate R&T channels “permeates duplication, subtracts vital funds from key technology investments and deprives Europe of the benefits of innovation through healthy competition”.

Business opening

ExecuJet has opened the first fixed-base operation for business aircraft at Berlin’s Shonefeld airport. The facility is housed within the building of Bombardier maintenance provider Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services, of which ExecuJet owns 20%.

Avionics deal

Thales has signed a deal with Russia’s ZAO Transas and Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant JSC to develop the avionics system for the Kazan Mi-38 medium multipurpose helicopter. The first Mi-38 is due to be delivered in 2008.

Sale relocation

Bombardier has relocated its European sales headquarters to London Farnborough airport. The site, operated by TAG Aviation, is already home to Bombardier’s European charter subsidiary, Skyjet International. Bombardier has also moved its Middle East and African sales operation and Skyjet Middle East office to Dubai. There it is located within ExecuJet’s new facility, which also houses a Bombardier authorised service facility and parts depot.