Welcome to the Keystone Aviation Blog

Keystone Aviation is a premier provider of executive aircraft charter, aircraft sales and management and aircraft maintenance. The Keystone Aviation Blog is where we talk about all things general aviation. Keystone Aviation is a TAC Air company.

Aircraft Charter

At Keystone Aviation, we are committed to safety, service and reliability. We participate in numerous safety programs, pilot and crew training programs, customer service training, and third-party audits to ensure that every flight meets the highest industry safety standards.

Aircraft Maintenance

The Keystone Aviation maintenance department was established in 1997 to provide first-class maintenance services for the company’s growing charter fleet. Over the years the department has grown to a Class IV Repair Station with 23 factory trained A&P technicians servicing everything from small, single-engine piston to large, Boeing/Airbus class aircraft.

Aircraft Sales & Brokerage

Over the past 20 years, Keystone Aviation has sold or brokered over a half a billion dollars worth of aircraft, including everything from small single-engine piston to large corporate jets. Let us help you avoid the pitfalls associated with your next aircraft transaction.

Aircraft Management

Over our 20 year history, Keystone Aviation has successfully managed over 35 private jet aircraft for owners ranging from individuals to Fortune 100 companies. Let us show you how aircraft ownership should be.

Early Forms of Human Flight

From commercial aircraft to private jets, it is apparent that we are currently enjoying the progress made in aviation. However, before modern day aircraft came about, a number of inventions in the past attempted to make early forms of human flight possible. Let’s take a trip back in time and learn about the earlier forms of human flight.

Ornithopter – One of the world’s most famous artists, Leonardo da Vinci has had his share of interest in human flight with his famous drawings depicting bird-like machines intended for flying. One of his works, called the Ornithopter was never actually created, but influenced the design of the modern day helicopter.

Early Forms of Human FlightHot Air Balloons – The hot air balloon is the oldest form of successful human flight. It was invented by brothers Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier who used farm animals as their first passengers. The first manned flight occurred on November 21, 1783.  The balloon drifted for about 5 miles with a wood fire used for power.

Airships – These aircraft made flight possible by using lighter than air gasses (hydrogen/helium) and were steered through the air with the help of rudders and propellers. In 1785, one of the pioneers of the airship, Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully crossed the English Channel with a balloon equipped with flapping wings for propulsion, and a bird-like tail for steering.

Early Forms of Human Flight

Gliders – Developments made in aerodynamics brought about the birth of truly practical gliders in the 1800s. In 1891, German engineer Otto Lilienthal designed the first successful glider that could fly long distances.   Unfortunately, after more than 2,500 successful flights, Lilienthal was riding one of his inventions when a sudden, strong wind caused him to lose control and fall to the ground, resulting in his untimely demise.

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

The Traveler’s Handbook to Empty Leg Flights

If you are looking for a way to save on a private jet charter, then you should consider empty leg flights.

Empty Leg FlightsWhat is an empty leg flight?

Air charter operators usually fly customers round-trip. However, there are instances when a client doesn’t need to use both legs of the round-trip charter flight. These one-way scenarios create a situation where one of the legs of the round-trip flight booked by the original client is empty.

Charter companies often make these one-way empty flights available for other clients at a discounted price, resulting in a win-win situation for both the air charter companies and would-be clients. Keystone Aviation often goes one step further and refunds the original client a portion of their round-trip payment, creating a win-win-win situation.

How much can you save with an empty leg flight?

Things to note: You must be flexible with your flight schedule in order to fully benefit from an available empty leg. Since empty leg flights originate through another customer, if the original customer changes or cancels their flight, your empty leg will also be changed or even cancelled. Be aware, while air charter operators will generally give refunds for a cancelled flight, they usually do not offer a replacement flight in cases when the original flight is cancelled or changed.

Availability of empty leg flights varies considerably. It may be easier to find one if you are flying to a popular destination. Customers who fly to a destination frequently for either business or pleasure may also benefit because the routine nature of the travel may create the flexibility to take advantage of the savings. Also, air charter peak times, such as the holidays, may mean more availability of empty leg deals.

Empty Leg FlightsHow do I find available empty leg flights?

Many air charter operators will post available empty legs on their websites. Keystone Aviation offers a current list of its available empty legs at: Available Empty Legs

In order to keep customers informed when empty legs become available, Keystone Aviation sends direct email alerts for empty legs. You can go to Keystone Aviation’s website daily or weekly in order to monitor the empty legs in hopes of finding one that fits your schedule.  Or…you can let us know that you are interested in empty legs and when one becomes available, Keystone Aviation will send you an email directly to alert you that an empty leg has been added.

Empty leg flights are an efficient way to save on air charter expenses. If you cannot be flexible with your dates or times, then you may be better off booking a traditional charter flight instead. However, with flexibility, can come real savings for the fantastic experience that is private aviation.

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

6 Airplane Fun Facts

6 Airplane Fun Facts

Since everyone loves fun facts, here are a few interesting aviation facts.

The Wright Brothers

Airplane Fun Facts

Although aviation history and development can be credited to way before the Wright brothers, they are given credit for inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. This historical event happened on December 17, 1903.

Future Aircraft

Airplane Fun Facts

Airbus developers have their eyes set for the future, including some out of this world designs such as a see through plane where passengers can have an almost 360 degree view of what’s around them as they fly.

Most Expensive Private Jet

Airplane Fun Facts

A new Gulfstream G550 is priced 59.9 million US Dollars and is considered as the most expensive private jet to date. British billionaire Sir Philip Green is one of the proud owners of the G550.

World’s Fastest

Airplane Fun Facts

Official records point to the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird as the world’s fastest, manned jet aircraft. It can travel with a speed of 2,194 mph or 3,530 km/h. The record was set on July 28, 1976 near Beale Air Force Base, California, USA with Eldon W. Joersz and George T. Morgan Jr. as pilots.

Number of Flights Each Day

Airplane Fun Facts

Airports in the US alone cater to about 29,000 domestic and international flights each day (The Huffington Post). The cost and safety of aviation make it one of the most in-demand services of today.

Mercury and Airplanes

Under most circumstances it is prohibited to carry mercury on board a flight. This restriction is because a very small amount of mercury can cause serious damage to aluminum and most airplanes are made of aluminum.   Airplanes exposed to mercury are quarantined for further observation.

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

To Buy or Charter a Private Jet?

More and more businesses and individuals are realizing the efficiency and productivity benefits of private business aviation. But what method of private aviation would best fit your needs or the specific needs of your company; purchasing an aircraft or chartering one? The differences between ownership and chartering can be compared using the following questions:

  • How many hours are you estimating to fly per year?
  • What type of missions will be flown?
  • What will the average passenger count be on the aircraft?

The answers to these questions should be tailored to fit specific situations and needs, regardless of whether you are considering personal or business travel.

Whole Aircraft Ownership:

With whole aircraft ownership, you have complete control over the plane and crew. You know where the plane has flown, who has been on it, how many hours it has logged and when it was last inspected. As the owner, you have control over whom you hire to fly the plane and what their experience level is in that particular type of aircraft. The plane can be equipped the way you wish, to your specifications and you can be certain that the aircraft is maintained to your personal standards.

Advantages of whole aircraft ownership include:

  • Complete flexibility on scheduling, including usage on an ad-hoc, short-notice basis
  • Tax benefits associated with depreciation
  • Reduced operating costs, through generation of charter revenue (if you have elected to put the   aircraft on a charter certificate)
  • Opportunities for appreciation in the value of the aircraft
  • Variable operating costs can be defrayed by making the plane available for charter to third parties         (Doing so will not reduce flexibility or trip planning)
  • YOUR AIRPLANE, YOUR SCHEDULE!

Disadvantages of whole aircraft ownership include:

  • Large capital outlay
  • Cost inefficiencies for low utilization owners (usually fewer than 300 flight-hours per year)
  • Inflexibility on aircraft size/type
  • Requires personal supervision
  • Risk of market value fluctuations

Aircraft Charter:

Aircraft charter is attractive to individuals that frequently travel on short notice, must visit multiple locations within a short time frame, or for individuals who travel to areas that lack adequate commercial airline service. When you charter an aircraft, you have neither the responsibilities of aircraft ownership, nor the limitations on the size of aircraft available for your trip. You select the exact airplane you need for each trip, whether you have 4 or 20 people traveling. The price of your aircraft charter is going to vary depending on aircraft performance, size, passenger capacity and the duration of your flight.

Advantages of Aircraft Charter:

  • Flexibility in the choice of aircraft to best fit your trip
  • No large capital outlay
  • Avoid the risk of market value fluctuations

Disadvantages of Aircraft Charter:

  • Aircraft availability may be limited, especially for short-notice trips
  • Not as effective for one-way travel or long layovers
  • Personalized service varies from charter company to charter company

Your charter experience should be professional, personal and productive.

Aircraft ownership and aircraft charter offer you and your business a unique opportunity to maximize your time, efficiency and productivity, while giving you the freedom to enjoy the things that matter most to you.

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

Private Aviation Gives Life

Private Aviation Gives Life

Somewhere in America, an organ was just delivered to a recipient through the use of private aviation. While some view private aircraft charter as a luxury for the rich and famous, many companies around the country offer their available fleet for life-saving organ transplant flights. The human body has a combination of over 100 organs and body parts that can be utilized as a transplant to give someone a second chance at life. Lungs, kidneys, and hearts however have a critically short time frame from the time the donor has given their organs to the time the transplant recipient can successfully accept an organ.
The pilots and crew members of these transplant flights are keenly aware of the urgent nature of these flights. Transplant flights are routinely flown in the late hours of the evening and can often have a crew on duty for up to 14hours. The use of the private aircraft allows hospitals around the country to match recipients with donors, regardless of their location. One of these individuals may be your neighbor, your friend, or even your family.

Private Aviation Gives Life

Many organ donor flights are flown by a local Aircraft Charter Company. The primary supplier of organ donor flights in the state of Utah is Keystone Aviation. Keystone Aviation offers the use of its fleet (based on availability) to local transplant organizations. Within the last year, Keystone Aviation successfully completed numerous organ donor flights, including a flight to and from Honolulu, Hawaii to aid in the procurement of a life-saving organ for a Utah resident. The highly trained and skilled flight crews at Keystone Aviation are placed on what the flight department has called “organ donor standby duty.” These crews are able to be airborne within two hours of being notified of the flight. Every member of the team at Keystone Aviation works diligently until the organ and transplant team has arrived at its destination.
  • 110,586 people are waiting for an organ
  • 18 people will die in the USA each day waiting for an organ
  • 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives

The need for life-saving organs is great, and private aviation is here to assist. Together, private aviation and organ donors around the country are giving individuals in need a second chance at life.  For more information on this article or organ donation, visit www.organdonor.gov.

Aaron Mangone © has worked in the Aviation Industry since 2001 in positions that include Flight Coordinator, Pilot, and Charter Sales Manager. He Currently serves as the Charter Sales Manager at Keystone Aviation in Salt Lake City.

DISCLAIMER: Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

5 Questions for Air Charter Operators & Brokers

Convenience, productivity, and safety are important to you, so you’ve decided to charter an aircraft. Your internet search has identified a number of charter operators and brokers, but not all air charter providers are created equally. So how do you identify a reputable charter provider? There are 5 questions for air charter operators you should ask when getting a charter quote, that will make the process of chartering an aircraft more transparent and help you to make an informed buying decision.
Questions to ask when requesting a charter quote include:
5 Questions for Air Charter1.    Are you an aircraft operator or a broker? – This is an important, but often confusing distinction. The aircraft operator is actually flying the charter flight. A broker often acts as a “middle-man” between the consumer and the operator. Brokers can assist with the selection of an aircraft operator for your flight, but they usually charge a mark-up on the operator’s invoice in exchange for this service. The confusion lies in brokers who appear to be operators, especially in their advertisements. It’s important to know who you are dealing with when booking a flight, so ask the question and if they won’t give you a clear answer, call someone else.
2.    What is the FAA Air Carrier Certificate Name and Number? – Ask to see the operator’s air carrier certificate which will include the operator’s name and the certificate number. Also ask for verification that the aircraft you will be flying on is listed on that certificate. Making sure your aircraft operator is a legal, FAA certificated operator is an important safety and insurance consideration (see the article on illegal charter), so be sure your operator has an Air Carrier Certificate.
3.    What are the insurance limits for the aircraft to be chartered? – According to the National Business Aviation Association’s (NBAA) Aircraft Charter Consumer Guide, Hope Aviation Insurance has indicated that “many prospective jet charter clients look for a minimum limit of $50 million ($50,000,000.00) combined single limit, bodily injury to passengers and property damage liability.”   Depending on the number of passengers, the size of the aircraft, etc. your insurance needs may change. Contact your insurance broker to discuss the intricacies of insuring aircraft charter and your specific insurance needs.
4.    What is the crewmember experience level? – Pilots for a legal charter operator must have at least 1,200 hours of total flight time. You should know the total flight hours of the crew and, perhaps more importantly, how many hours each crewmember has in the make/model of the aircraft to be chartered. Industry auditors have recommendations about experience levels to look for with an aircraft crew. In addition, it’s helpful to know crew experience when comparing one operator to another.
5.    Is the operator independently audited? – Ask about the audit history and ratings for the operator.  Independent auditors typically review the operator’s standards, procedures and training. This type of independent verification is useful in identifying quality operators and in comparing operators to each other. Some of the most widely used independent audits are:
Air Charter Safety Foundation
The Air Charter Safety Foundation (ACSF) Industry Audit Standard is a revolutionary audit program that provides a comprehensive, independent review of an operator’s adherence to safety and security regulations. The ACSF Industry Audit Standard is the only audit that specifically evaluates compliance with Federal Aviation Administration Part 135 (and/or 91 Subpart K) regulations. A company that successfully completes the Industry Audit Standard gains a listing on the ACSF’s Industry Audit Standard Operator Registry.  Visit ACSF website
ARG/US (Aviation Research Group/US)
ARG/US rates air charter providers as follows: DNQ (does not qualify), Gold, Gold Plus and Platinum. According to www.argus.aero , “this rate-based scoring method is designed to provide a general peer to peer comparison of the relative safety histories of like-sized operators based on available data.”
Wyvern
Wyvern publishes the Pilot and Aircraft Safety Survey (PASS) report on request that indicates whether the operator, aircraft and crew for your flight meet either an industry safety standard or meet The Wyvern Standard. Those operators who pass Wyvern’s audit procedures become Wyvern “recommended.” Visit Wyvern website 
IBAC
The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) is a code of best practices designed to provide an international benchmark for safety and efficiency in business aircraft operations.  Certificates of Registration from the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) are issued to flight departments that have completed a third party industry audit by an IBAC Accredited Auditor. Visit IBAC website
6.   Other considerations – There are many other factors you may want to consider when booking a charter flight. Other resources include:
Aircraft charter is a fantastic choice for a variety of travel needs. Hopefully these tips will make buying aircraft charter a little easier and more understandable.
By Kimberly Page, © June, 2011.  Ms. Page has worked for Keystone Aviation since 1999 where she serves as Chief Financial Officer.  To send questions or comments  click here.
DISCLAIMER:  Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

Illegal Jet Charter Hurts Us All

Illegal Jet CharterThe risks of flying on an illegal jet charter are significant.

Why does it matter if your charter flight is operated by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorized air carrier? All aircraft operators are the same, right? Wrong.

Illegal charters are operated by an entity that is not an FAA authorized air carrier. One of the greatest risks of illegal charter to both the passengers and the aircraft owner is the potential loss of insurance coverage. Imagine having no insurance coverage for an aircraft flight! Aircraft insurance policies often include a clause that nullifies the aircraft and liability insurance if the aircraft is operated in violation of the policy provisions which describe the aircraft use. Violation of this clause could completely invalidate the policy’s coverage, leaving the passengers unprotected!

According to the National Air Transportation Association (NATA), other risks of illegal charters include:

Oversight – The FAA and the Transportation Security Administration have much more oversight of a legal charter operator compared to an illegal operator. This oversight creates a safer, more secure operation.

Accountability – The FAA holds the legal air carrier to a very high standard and has the ability to hold the operation accountable for their actions or omissions.

Training – Pilots of a legal charter operator engage in mandatory, recurring training. Pilots of illegal operations are subjected to less stringent training requirements.

Maintenance – Aircraft used in a legal charter operation must be maintained to strict standards, and only highly trained maintenance personnel may perform maintenance on these aircraft.

Drug and Alcohol Testing – Pilots and mechanics for legal charter operators must undergo pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing. Illegal operators typically do not test their employees at all.

Experience – Legal charter operators require their pilots to have a relatively high level of experience. Specifically, pilots must have at least 1,200 hours of total flight time. Illegal operators do not have to follow these same standards.

Insurance Coverage – In addition to the possible loss of insurance coverage mentioned above, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires a minimum level of insurance coverage in order to obtain an air carrier certificate. Illegal operators may not have adequate insurance to cover injuries or loss of life or property in the case of an accident.

Illegal Jet Charter

So how do you determine if your charter operator is legal? 

If the charter pricing sounds too good to be true, it probably is. According to the NATA, “legal operators incur relatively high overhead costs to maintain the aircraft, train and test crewmembers, and stay compliant with FAA and TSA regulations. Illegal operators are able to offer significantly lower prices, but at much greater risk.”

Ask for the operator’s air carrier certificate number and for verification that the aircraft you will be flying on is listed on that certificate.

Call your local FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) and inquire about the operator. The FSDO appropriate for your area can be found at: http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/field_offices/fsdo/

Aircraft charter is a fantastic alternative for many businesses and individuals, but doing it safely and legally is in the best interest of the industry and its customers. If you have questions about planning a charter flight, Give Keystone Aviation a call.

By Kimberly Page, © June, 2011.

Ms. Page has worked for Keystone Aviation since 1999 where she serves as Chief Financial Officer and oversees corporate risk assessment. To send questions or comments click here.

DISCLAIMER:  Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

Infographic: What Everybody Ought To Know About Baggage Fees

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

DISCLAIMER:  Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

Keystone Aviation’s Guide to the World’s Best Airports

There are approximately 44,000 airports around the world serving millions of travelers each day. While many are built with eye-candy architecture, only a few truly stand out and make waiting for your flight a slightly more bearable experience. This guide to the world’s best airports is based on the 2010 Skytrax World Airport Awards, based on millions of completed survey interviews. It’s interesting to note that no U.S. airports made the top 10 list last year.

10. Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand

A newcomer in the top 10, Suvarnabhumi Airport is an international airport in Bangkok, Thailand which opened September of 2006. Its name “Suvarnabhumi” was chosen by King Bhumibol Adulyadej which means “the golden kingdom”. In 2009, the airport catered to 40.5 million passengers making it the fifth busiest airport in Asia.

Fun fact:  Suvarnabhumi Airport currently has the world’s tallest control tower standing at 434 feet.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

9. Auckland International Airport, Mangere, New Zealand

Locally known as Mangere Airport, the Auckland International Airport ranked as the ninth best airport, a step higher from 2009’s results. Over 13 million passengers frequent the airport each year for both domestic and international flights. This number is expected to double by 2025.

Fun fact:  The airport has a capacity of approximately 45 flight movements per hour.

8. Beijing Capital International Airport, Beijing, China

Another entry from Asia, the Beijing Capital International Airport leaped from the 17th spot in 2009 to 8th in 2010. The airport was originally constructed in 1958 with one small terminal building which continues to stand today. Its most recent renovation in 2008 added Terminal 3 which is the second largest airport terminal in the world.

Fun fact: Beijing Capital’s Terminal 3 is also the third largest building in the world by area.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

7. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands

Seventh on the list is Netherlands’ Schiphol Airport. Officially known as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, this international airport is Europe’s fourth largest airport in terms of total passenger traffic with 45.3 million passengers in 2010. Schiphol has large shopping areas and even has its own mortuary.

Fun fact: Schiphol has also hosted weddings since 2006.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

6. Zurich Airport, Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich Airport came in sixth on the list for 2010, dropping 2 spots from the prior year.  A total of 22.1 million passengers travelled through this airport in 2008.

Fun fact: Zurich Airport has been consistently included in best airport lists and has been a recipient of numerous awards in recent years.

5. Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Sepang, Selangor, West Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur International Airport is one of Southeast Asia’s largest airports capable of handling 35 million passengers each year.  The airport site itself spans 100 square kilometers, making it one of the largest sites in the world as well.

Fun fact: Kuala Lumpur International Airport cost RM8.5 billion or US$3.5 billion to build .

Guide to the World's Best Airports

4. Munich Airport, Munich, Germany

Earning the fourth spot on the list is Munich Airport, formally known as Munich Franz Josef Strauss Airport. In1995,the airport served approximately 15 million passengers a year.  Thisnumber grew to more than 30 million in 2006. Despite these figures, Munich airport is only the second busiest airport in Germany in terms of passenger traffic;Frankfurt Airport is the busiest.

Fun fact: The airport has a “Visitors Park” for sight-seers.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

3. Hong Kong International Airport, Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong

Sliding down a spot, but still in the top 3, Hong Kong International Airport opened in 1998, succeeding the closed Kai Tak airport. In its 12 years of operation, the airport has won seven Skytrax World Airport Awards for customer satisfaction.

Fun fact: In 2009, Hong Kong International Airport became the second busiest airport in the world in terms of cargo traffic, handling 3,384,765 tons of cargo.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

2. Incheon International Airport, Incheon, South Korea

Awarded as the world’s best airport in 2009, Incheon International Airport (IIA) is the largest airport in South Korea. IIA has also received numerous awards including Airports Council International’s best airport in the world, winning consecutively since 2005 and has received a full 5-star rating from Skytrax. Amenities include a golf course, spa, private sleeping rooms, a casino, indoor gardens and a Museum of Korean Culture.

Fun fact: Only IIA, Hong Kong International Airport, and Singapore Changi Airport enjoy a 5-star rating from Skytrax.

1. Singapore Changi Airport, Changi, Singapore

Earning the title as world’s best airport for 2010, Changi Airport handled over 42 million passengers for the year making it the 5th busiest airport in Asia and 21st in the world in terms of passenger traffic. The airport currently serves 96 airlines with flights to 60 countries and territories worldwide.

Fun fact: Changi Airport has been known as one of the world’s best since its opening in 1981 and in 2009 alone, the airport has received 27 “Best” awards.

Guide to the World's Best Airports

All images courtesy of Wikipedia.

DISCLAIMER:  Statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, editors and publishers. While care has been taken in the compilation of this article to present up-to-date and accurate information, we cannot guarantee that inaccuracies will not occur. Keystone Aviation will not be held responsible for any claim, loss, damage or inconvenience caused as a result of any information within this article.

Eight Tips to Getting The Most Out Of Your Air Charter Dollars

Getting The Most Out Of Your Air Charter DollarsWheels-up at 7:35 a.m. Right on schedule. As the plane climbs through 12,000 feet you settle back into your seat with a hot cup of coffee and review your itinerary for the day: The shareholders meeting begins at 9:00 a.m. in Denver, back on the plane at 11:30 a.m. for lunch with your executive committee while enroute to Arizona, then a 2 o’clock in Scottsdale with your largest customer. If everything goes well, you’ll be back on the plane by 4:30 p.m. and home in time to make your daughter’s first lacrosse game.

More and more businesses are taking advantage of the benefits offered by private aircraft charter services. Flexibility, security and unparalleled comfort, give your business the competitive edge and agility to propel you on top…or to just keep you there. In this age of corporate belt tightening, you work hard to squeeze every last bit of productivity out of yourself, your employees and your travel budget. Here are eight ways to make sure you are getting your money’s worth out of your air charter.

1. Fill Up The Plane

The average midsize private/corporate jet holds eight passengers. Half of those seats fly empty on most chartered flights. When chartering, you pay for the whole plane. You might as well fill up those seats and reduce your per passenger trip costs. Consider taking an additional person or two to your meeting. Maybe take your sales manager along to scout out some prospective clients while you are in a different city for the day. You can even bring your spouse or child along to enjoy a day-trip out of town.

Example:  One of our customers, a local construction company, ended up winning a large building contract because they flew their entire production management team to the meeting with the potential customer.  Said their CEO, “For every question or concern that the customer had, we had the right person at the meeting to address it.  We never would have taken that many people if we didn’t have our own plane.  That plane is the reason we got the bid”.

2. Maximize In-Flight Productivity

Make the most of your time while in the air. Most private aircraft have adjustable seating. Turn your seats around in a club configuration and hold a meeting. (A meeting with a view, as I like to call it.) Better yet, order some catering and eat some lunch while you solve world peace. Catering doesn’t have to be a big, fancy thing. A simple box lunch or even a pizza can be just the ticket. Sometimes the best use of your time enroute will be to stretch out on the couch and catch a few Z’s. When you step off that plane, you will be refreshed and ready to tackle any issue that arises.

3. Pre-arrange Ground Transportation

Be sure to reserve your rental cars prior to departure. Many times you can request to have your vehicle delivered to your destination FBO (Fixed Base Operator) – or even pulled up to your plane when you land. This little convenience can be a huge time saver. Step off the plane, sign the rental agreement, and you are out of there!

4. Book One-day Trips

If at all possible, limit your travel to one day. Not only will you save money on overnight aircraft and pilot charges, you can also save hundreds, if not thousands, by avoiding extra car rental days, hotel rooms, meals, etc.

Note: Be sure to check with your charter operator to make sure your travel day will comply with pilot duty regulations.  The FAA requires your pilots to have sufficient rest between flights.

5. Multiple Legs

One of the great conveniences of private air travel is the ability to hit several stops all in one day. It would be virtually impossible to accomplish this feat with the airlines, but with charter, almost anything is possible. It is not uncommon to have our customers hit three or even four destinations, all in one day. No need to spend all week out on the road. Schedule multiple stops on your next trip and spend the rest of the week in your own office.

6. Remote Destinations

There are about 500 airports across the United States that are served by commercial airlines. In addition to these, there are approximately 4,500 smaller airports dotted across the country which private, or general aviation (GA), aircraft have access to.  If your destination is a small town or suburb with a population more than a few thousand, chances are, they have an airport where you can land. Need to go to Columbus, Nebraska? No need to fly to Omaha and then drive for another hour and forty minutes. Fly straight to Columbus!

7. Airport Meetings

Want to save even more time while traveling? Hold your next meeting at the airport!  Check with the FBO at your destination and see if they have a conference room that you can schedule for an hour or two. Sometimes there is a nominal fee for this amenity, but usually it’s free. No need for rental cars, driving directions or filling the car up before your return. Once you are done with your meeting, jump back on the plane and you’re off to your next destination.

8. Combination of the Above

Want to realize some serious productivity?  Employ several of the above ideas for your next business trip. With a little forethought, private aircraft charter can be a highly effective business tool.

By Richard G. Winwood, © November, 2010 Mr. Winwood has worked for Keystone Aviation since 1998.

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