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AIRCRAFT MANAGEMENT

An overview of EMEAA and BRIC

Two new acronyms have dominated recent conversations in Business Aviation – EMEAA (Europe-Middle East-Africa-Asia); and BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) - and yet business jet charter and management isn’t a new concept to some of these regions. It’s been a part of aviation in the Middle East since the early days of Arab Wings in the mid-1970s.

EMEAA and BRIC combined will represent more than 50% of the next decade’s forecasted aircraft deliveries according to Honeywell Aerospace and other knowledgeable industry forecasters. Essentially it’s the technical knowledge required today to operate and maintain business jets- along with the evolving international safety and regulatory environment that have made aircraft management more popular than ever before.

Using an aircraft management company comprised of experienced aviation professionals simplifies and expedites crewing and placing new aircraft into service- as well as provides significant operating cost savings.

Owners become part of a larger purchasing group for fuel- maintenance and pilot training- as well as have the option to generate revenue from outside charter. They also gain a skilled- experienced 24/7 scheduling and administrative support staff – a team that will ensure the owner’s compliance not only with local aviation regulations- but international ones as well.

While there are many locally-based aircraft management companies (Titan Aviation and Air Works in Bangalore and Mumbai- Royal Jet and ExecuJet in Dubai) several international companies (Jet Aviation and TAG among them) have established regional operations offices in many of these countries.

Meeting Local Needs
According to Rob Wells- President and CEO of TAG Aviation Holding- understanding the technical and regulatory requirements of the various EMEAA and BRIC aviation authorities is critical to meeting local aircraft owner requirements.

“It’s not only a question of compliance- but one of safety-” Wells highlighted. “For example- aviation authorities basing their structure on EASA (European) standards as opposed to the FAA (United States)- require a Continuous Airworthiness Monitoring Organization be in place for both private and commercial operations.

“EASA standards closely define aircraft maintenance processes and procedures- providing detailed structure for things like return-to-service after inspections.”

Jürg Reuthinger- Jet Aviation’ Senior Vice President for Aircraft Management – EMEAA & Asia- added- “Effectively meeting each owner’s business jet requirements goes well beyond the regulatory issues.

“While many EMEAA countries share either an FAA or EASA regulatory approach- we also have to recognize that each has its own cultural approach to aircraft ownership and cost management- and we must operate accordingly. Some owners are quite willing to make their aircraft available for charter- while others prefer not to – and can afford to take that approach.”

Wells and Reuthinger agree that providing a truly bespoke aircraft management service requires that they tailor each client relationship and contract to each owner’s individual travel- service and financial requirement.

“While client service and structure may be tailored-” Reuthinger added- “safety is not.” Whether the national regulations reflect the FAA or EASA rules- management companies will not compromise compliance to applicable safety standards. They ensure that each client understands the applicable government requirements as well as what is required to comply with the International Business Aviation Council’s International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) certification.

Today- most EU countries have implemented IS-BAO- and many have gone beyond with more sophisticated- numericbased risk assessment tools that provide a matrix for more structured thinking about risk (see pages 16-17 of this publication to read more on this topic).

Early Involvement
Involving the management company and its expertise early in the acquisition process yields several critical benefits for prospective owners- who will gain professional aviation assistance with key decisions regarding aircraft specification and completion (or in the case of pre-owned aircraft- the refurbishment process). It also will help establish the communications- understanding and trust required for smooth operations going forward.

The management company can help the owner select dedicated pilots- engineers (aircraft maintenance technicians) and flight attendants- and arrange for training and type-rating (qualifying a pilot to fly a certain aircraft model) if required. Proper crew selection is important for a variety of reasons. Some management companies provide a pool of pilots from which an owner can draw for any particular flight- and some – like Jet Aviation and TAG Aviation – provide the owner the option to retain dedicated crews to provide truly bespoke and personalized service.

Most owners retain an experienced aviation lawyer to review the aircraft management contract and make sure that the terms and conditions of the relationship meet their legal- fiscal and risk management requirements. The management company then begins paying salaries and operating expenses as incurred- and will invoice the owner monthly. (For that reason- most will require a deposit of one to three months’ operating expenses based on the estimated annual budget.)

As the business world becomes less parochial- and as markets become more international- so will regulations governing business jet operations move closer to a single- worldwide standard. Until that happens- aircraft charter and management companies must observe not only the cultural- but also the aviation regulatory differences between – and among – the EMEAA and BRIC countries.


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