Sales of private jets, especially large-cabin aircraft costing $26 million or more, are on the rise. The industry experienced a 48% drop in sales in 2012, according to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Sales of small to midsized planes, however, remain stalled as tight credit markets make it difficult to finance purchases.
Hawker Beechcraft filed a motion last week in bankruptcy court requesting permission for executive bonuses. Members of the senior leadership team could see bonuses up to 200% of their pay. "It's important that Hawker and their management be incentivized to perform as well as they can to either come out of bankruptcy with the healthiest company that they can have, or to create an entity now that's going to be worth more to a potential buyer," said bankruptcy attorney Eric Lomas.
Cessna is showing its workers a model of its latest jet, the Citation Latitude. "The whole company is behind this, morale is coming up and we're pretty excited about it," said Joe Hepburn, an executive at Cessna. The new jet is a midsize business jet with room for eight passengers.
An aviation job fair in Wichita, Kan., attracted hundreds of job applicants willing to relocate. "I really don't want to move but sometimes change is what you've got to do," said David George, an interior aircraft mechanic who has been unemployed for more than two years. Spirit, Boeing and Lockheed Martin hosted the job fair.
The Salina Airport Authority accepted airport grants from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Kansas Department of Transportation. The grants will fund a new fire station and three taxiways at Salina Municipal Airport in Salina, Kan. "It's really essential in developing the Salina Municipal Airport into a premier aviation facility for all of Kansans and also users from clear across North America," said Tim Rogers, director of Salina Airport Authority.