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EBAA welcomes ReFuelEU, urges for inclusion of Book & Claim

The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) welcomes the final agreement on RefuelEU 2021/0205, voted last week in the European Parliament plenary. The agreement marks the first-ever Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) mandate in the EU, but noticeably lacks a Book & Claim system. Regrettably, the final agreement does not include such a system, EBAA stated. Also, an included threshold for ‘Union airports’ at 800,000 passengers/year poses serious challenges for Business aviation, particularly with limited SAF availability at small airports. EBAA calls for a ramp-up of SAF production and propose that the revenues generated by the Emissions Trading System (ETS) for aviation should be earmarked to help manufacturers develop hybrid, electric, and hydrogen-powered engines. After the European Parliament’s approval, the Member States will also formally endorse the regulation, before it enters into force.

ReFuelEU Aviation sets targets for a minimum percentage of SAF to be used as a blend with jet fuel in air operations from 2025. This percentage will be gradually increased to stimulate increased production and uptake of SAF. By 2050, the aim is for 70% of all fuel supplied in EU Airports to be SAF, of which 35% would be synthetic aviation fuels that have a higher potential for reducing CO2emissions. The scope of the regulation covers at least 95% of total traffic departing from airports in the EU.


RTX provides update on Pratt & Whitney GTF fleet

According to information recently released by Pratt & Whitney, the ongoing geared turbofan inspection program will result in 600 to 700 additional shop visits for PW1100G-JM engines in the coming years and an average of 350 aircraft on ground (AOG) in the period 2024 to 2026.

As previously disclosed, Pratt & Whitney has determined that a rare condition in powder metal used to manufacture certain engine parts will require accelerated inspection of the PW1100G-JM (GTF) fleet, which powers the A320neo. On August 4, 2023, Pratt & Whitney issued a special instruction (SI), to operators of GTF powered A320 aircraft, requiring accelerated inspections and engine removals covering the initial tranche of operational engines, no later than September 15, 2023. Pratt & Whitney has also recently developed a fleet management plan for the remaining affected PW1100 GTF engines requiring a combination of a repetitive inspection protocol, at an interval of between approximately 2,800 and 3,800 cycles, and part life limits of between approximately 5,000 and 7,000 cycles, for high pressure turbine disks and high-pressure compressor disks.


FAA returns Mexico to highest aviation safety status

The Federal Aviation Administration returned Mexico’s aviation safety rating to the highest level following more than two years of close work between the civil aviation authorities in both countries. The FAA provided expertise and resources via technical assistance agreements to Mexico’s Agencia Federal de Aviacion Civil to resolve the safety issues that led to the downgrade.

The FAA downgraded Mexico’s International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) rating to Category 2 in May 2021 after finding the country did not meet ICAO safety standards. Under the IASA program, the FAA assesses the civil aviation authorities of all countries with air carriers that have applied to fly to the United States, currently conduct operations to the United States, or participate in code-sharing arrangements with U.S. airlines. The assessments determine whether international civil aviation authorities meet minimum ICAO safety standards, not FAA regulations.


People: Wheels Up appoints George N. Mattson as CEO

Victor CEOs Toby Edwards (left) and James Farley (right)

Wheels Up Experience Inc. last week announced George N. Mattson as its new Chief Executive Officer. The news is the latest leadership change for the company that last month received $500 million in an emergency bailout from Delta Air Lines and other investors. The company’s founder, Kenny Dichter, stepped down as CEO in May.

George N. Mattson brings 25 years of aviation experience to the role, as a strategic advisor, financier, business owner/operator and director. Mattson is a longstanding member of Delta Airlines Board of Directors. Wheels Up, which offers membership-based and on-demand private jet services, is a part of Delta's broad portfolio of partners. The relationship dates to 2020, when Delta Private Jets combined with Wheels Up.

George N. Mattson previously served as a partner and co-head of the Global Industrials Group in Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs & Co. from 2002 to 2012, during which time his responsibilities included oversight of the Transportation and Airline practices. Since 2014, he has been the lead investor and Chairman of Tropic Ocean Airways, the nation's second-largest operator of seaplanes. Tropic Ocean Airways is a Wheels Up partner. Mattson will be based in Atlanta, home to the recently opened Wheels Up state-of-the-art Member Operations Center, which centralizes all of the company's operational functions. Mattson's first official day is expected to be in early October.

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