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.

Infographic: What Everybody Ought To Know About Baggage Fees

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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.

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.