Buyers' Guide

July 29, 2015
Gogo Business Aviation provides communications and broadband equipment.
If you updated your cabin electronics more than a few weeks ago, it's probably already on the way to becoming outdated. That's how fast the technology is changing. For the latest in cabin-management systems, Internet connectivity and more, consult the manufacturers in this directory. 
July 29, 2015
Upgrading medium and large corporate jets to comply with new FAA mandates could cost $10,000 to $100,000. (Illustration: John Lewis)
January 1, 2020—that’s the deadline set by the U.S. FAA for most aircraft to be equipped with position-locating equipment known as ADS-B Out (Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast Out). ADS-B lets an aircraft determine its position using GPS signals, then broadcasts this data periodically to air traffic control.
July 26, 2015
A charter or fractional provider's insurance can cause problems for customers. (Illustration: John Lewis)
If you’re a charter customer or fractional owner, your net worth may well exceed that of your flight provider. That would make you the deep pocket with the most to lose in an accident, yet you have no role in selecting the provider’s insurer or drafting its coverage terms. So how can you protect yourself? By performing the most dreaded task in all of aviation—reading the insurance policy—and by keeping these tips in mind:
July 21, 2015
Our 2015 directory of leading lift providers
July 19, 2015
Travelers who want to fly privately but can’t or don’t want to opt for full aircraft ownership have typically enjoyed three options: charter, jet cards and fractional shares. Choosing among them can be challenging, and now you have other alternatives to ponder as well, including lease arrangements, membership clubs and purchase-support programs. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these options.
July 13, 2015
Falcon 5X
Here comes the widest conventional bizjet cabin in the sky. Dassault revealed its long-anticipated large-cabin twin, the 5X, in late 2013.
July 1, 2015
AirFlite Aviation Services
Our survey identifies top performers worldwide. Fixed-base operations (aka FBOs) deliver essential business aviation services such as fueling, deicing and aircraft shelter, as well as waiting areas for passengers and crew. Some FBOs also feature audiovisual-equipped conference rooms, business centers, snacks and concierge services, while many provide pilots and crews with flight-planning facilities; rooms for resting, showering and movie watching; and courtesy cars. For the past 34 years, BJT sister publication Aviation International News has conducted an annual survey to determine which FBOs offer the best customer experience. Those who do the reviewing are a specially selected segment of AIN’s readership—the pilots, flight-department managers, dispatchers and others who have the most interaction with these facilities. For its 2015 survey , the magazine received more than 12,000 evaluations of FBOs in 90 countries. AIN asked respondents to rate facilities they’d used over the past year from 1 to 10 in the following five categories: Line service—competence of the workers who meet the airplane on the ramp and service it. Passenger amenities—quality of lounges and conference rooms and availability of ground transportation. Pilot amenities—availability and quality of pilots’ lounges, flight-planning facilities, snooze rooms, crew showers, entertainment and recreation offerings and complementary crew cars.   Facilities—cleanliness, comfort, upkeep and convenience of the location. Customer service—professionalism of customer-service reps, their familiarity with the local area and their assistance with reservations and catering arrangements.  This year, two FBOs share top honors in the Americas with an overall score of 9.5: AirFlite Aviation Services at Southern California’s Long Beach Airport, which earned the highest score for the second consecutive year; and J.A. Air Center at Chicago-area Aurora Municipal Airport.  Toyota-owned AirFlite, which tallied top scores in three of the five categories, has occupied the same meticulously maintained building for 23 years and has long participated in Ritz-Carlton’s customer-service training program. The facility’s general manager is also a pilot in Toyota’s flight department, which allows him to view the FBO from a customer perspective. J.A. Air Center has been a top performer in the survey for seven years and has earned a 9.5 score for the past three. Manager Randy Fank believes there are no mysteries when it comes to delivering quality service. “Take care of the customers in the back of the airplane and get them on their way,” he says. “Then you take care of the customers in the front of the airplane. You’ve got to go in there with a good attitude and take every day the same.” European service providers continue to dominate the international part of the FBO survey, which also covers the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Nine of the top 10 locations to garner enough reviews to be ranked are in the UK, France or Switzerland. The lone exception is the Hong Kong Business Aviation Centre.  While scores for the international facilities tend to lag those of the longer-established premier North American operations, the gap has been closing. For the first time in the survey’s history, more than one location in Europe scored 9.0 or higher this year.  TAG Aviation at the UK’s Farnborough Airport, which has made the list for nine straight years, earned a 9.1 score in each of the past three. Tag owns the dedicated London-area business aviation airport, which handled nearly 25,000 aircraft movements last year. The company’s FBO there received top scores for both passenger and crew amenities and the 9.4 score for its facilities was the highest ranking in any category in this year’s international survey.
July 1, 2015
Haeco Aircraft Engineering has created this cabin with a sushi bar.
Completions centers are getting creative about interiors
July 1, 2015
Traveling with the airlines these days often means paying extra for a ho-hum sandwich and bag of chips, but mealtime can be the highlight of a private flight for foodies. The bizav caterers listed here offer a wide range of options, including many that compare to what you’d enjoy in the world’s finest restaurants. 
July 1, 2015
wall of video monitors
About 89 percent of preowned-aircraft buyers and sellers work with brokers, according to Amstat, a business aviation market research firm. The question is, why don’t the other 11 percent? Without professional representation, you’ll likely get less than you could have when selling and pay more than you should have when buying. Not using a broker could cost you many times whatever you’d save by not paying his commission. Here are five ways a broker can bring value to the deal for both buyers and sellers: 1. Identifying the right aircraft. Brokers research and analyze your travel patterns, passenger loads, preferences, financial wherewithal and other factors to create a mission profile and identify models that meet your needs. They know details about cabin layouts and cockpits, and which aircraft are overvalued and undervalued. Only after a brokerage identifies targets does it consider the inventory, and if suitable candidates aren’t on the market, it will contact owners to find ones who might consider selling. 2. Striking the best bargain. Pricing an aircraft correctly is important for sellers, and recognizing a properly priced model is critical for buyers. But assessing the market can be tough. Though asking prices are publicly disclosed, sale prices aren’t. And because relatively few aircraft change hands in comparison with the number available, it’s difficult to determine market direction for specific models. Even value publications such as Vref and Aircraft Bluebook typically lag the market. Brokers can help by applying historical data to determine comparative values and because their industry contacts give them access to the details of many transactions. 3. Minimizing your time in the market. Every day an aircraft sits on the market, or that you haven’t acquired the airplane you need, costs you money and reduces your opportunities. Brokers minimize time on market for sellers with marketing campaigns and sales strategies that get noticed by agents of qualified buyers. Meanwhile, buyers don’t waste time on deadend deals, and worthwhile transactions are efficiently negotiated and consummated. In fact, brokers often buy or sell aircraft that are never publicly listed for sale. Without a broker, you won’t have access to this “off market.” 4. Facilitating international transactions. The business aviation market has gone global in recent years, with almost half of new aircraft delivered outside the U.S. That means your best candidate aircraft or sales prospect could be almost anywhere, and the transaction may require approvals from regulatory authorities and financial institutions across multiple borders. Just establishing clear title of an aircraft can be challenging in many parts of the world. Without a broker’s knowledge of international transactions, registration requirements and onsite contacts, these deals could never get done. 5. Adding long-term value. A broker’s contributions needn’t end once a deal closes. With aircraft failing to retain their historical residual values, brokers can provide post-purchase asset-management services aimed at maximizing your return on investment. For example, they can offer market intelligence, including transaction reports of relevant sales, buying trends and projections. This data can help you determine what upgrades to install in the aircraft or the best time to sell it.




“Time is our most precious commodity, and there are conveniences that wealth brings to essentially get you more time. —retired Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, explaining why he commutes via private jet from his Seattle home to watch games of the Los Angeles Clippers, the basketball team he bought last year for $2 billion. ”

-retired Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer