No Plane No Gain

LIBAA News & Aviation Industry Updates

Business Aviation news from all over Long Island and the New York metropolitan area aviation companies, airports and government sources keeping you current on all the business aviation news that effects you and your company

Pro Star Aviation Welcomes NH Native, Matt Sargent back to the Granite State

Matt SargentIn preparation of ramping up their Challenger maintenance program at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) in Londonderry, NH, Pro Star Aviation proudly welcomes new hire, Matt Sargent to their ranks.  Matt, both eager and excited to start his journey with Pro Star, brings nearly thirty (30) years of dedicated corporate aviation maintenance experience with him.

According to Pro Star Aviation’s Director of Maintenance, Chris Mancini, “I’ve known Matt for many years and have great respect for his knowledge and workmanship. Hiring Matt is going to be a fantastic step forward for Pro Star Aviation and our ability to perform work on all models of Challenger aircraft.”

Well known throughout the Bombardier network for his extensive knowledge of the Challenger series aircraft, Matt began his career at that company’s Hartford facility when it was known as the Canadair Challenger Service Center. His expertise with the Challenger airframe  is both deep and wide; multiple years as an engine technician, airframe lead technician, capped off by sixteen years as structural lead technician supervising a crew of fourteen.

Entrusted with some of the Series’ largest-ever work packages, Matt has been instrumental in the wing demate and remate of several Challenger aircraft, complete overhaul of a Challenger 601, and removal and installation of Challenger 604 nose sections, among others. His work consisted of not only carrying out the physical work, but also drafting up work packages, quoting the job, and seeing it through to completion - always with an eye towards quality and customer service. One Senior Manager of Maintenance describes Matt as, “a man of his word and his commitment is golden.”

A proud veteran of the United States Navy and proud New Hampshire native, Matt will reside in Wolfeboro with his wife, daughter, and two rescue dogs. For Matt, getting the chance to return home to the Granite State and help grow the Challenger program at Pro Star, is a dream come true.


Pro Star Aviation specializes in business and corporate aircraft installations, maintenance and modifications. The company offers avionics service and installations; major alterations and repairs; STC development and certification service; AOG support and service; and Part 135 and 91 aircraft management service. Its main facility located at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) in Londonderry, NH, serves customers on-site and on-location throughout the Northeast United States.


East Hampton Airport: A Victory for Aviation, But Disputes Continue

At New York's East Hampton Airport (HTO) on Long Island, a lengthy legal fight has come down squarely on the side of NBAA and other aviation stakeholders, which had argued that the town's adoption of noise and access restrictions was a violation of federal law.


On Nov. 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision agreeing with NBAA that the Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) continues to apply to HTO. ANCA requires airports to engage in a detailed study and to obtain FAA approval for noise-based and other access restrictions before they can be implemented. View the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Decision. (PDF)

On Jan. 11, the U.S. District Court entered an injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the curfews and other restrictions at issue for HTO. View the injunction. (PDF)

"This ruling by the Second Circuit sets an important precedent for all public-use airports nationwide," said Alex Gertsen, NBAA director, airports and ground infrastructure. "Despite the town of East Hampton's stated intent to no longer accept federal Airport Improvement Program grants, the court's decision holds that ANCA – which was specifically adopted by Congress to prevent access restrictions from being imposed on a piecemeal basis by airports across the country – continues to apply to HTO."

East Hampton town officials have indicated that they plan on petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit appeals court decision, even though town Councilwoman Kathee Burke-Gonzalez has acknowledged it will be an uphill battle. NBAA's Gertsen agreed, noting that previous court decisions have all been consistent with the Second Circuit's interpretation of ANCA.

"We don't believe the Supreme Court will take on this issue," said Gertsen.

The controversy arose in April 2015, when East Hampton adopted three restrictions for aircraft operations at HTO: A year-round general curfew (11 p.m.-7 a.m.), a year-round extended curfew for "noisy" aircraft (8 p.m.-9 a.m.) and a summertime one-trip-per-week limit for the aircraft deemed by the town to be noisy. In June 2015, a federal district court judge preliminarily upheld the town ordinances instituting the mandatory nighttime curfew, as well as the extended curfew on noisy aircraft, which have been enforced since July 2015. However, the court preliminarily enjoined the town from imposing a one-trip-a-week restriction.

Dean Saucier, NBAA's Northeast regional representative reiterated that "regardless of the curfews and restrictions being in place by the town, aviation operators at HTO, in fact, have long respected the concerns of local residents and have made every attempt to fly neighborly." According to Saucier, the Eastern Region Helicopter Council (ERHC) has even developed new routes, based on noise monitors ERHC had previously installed to determine how to best approach and depart HTO, to avoid sensitive areas.

NBAA is advising operators who received summonses or paid fines in the past to contact the town of East Hampton town attorney's office at 631-324-8787 to discuss their case on an individual basis.

NBAA also filed an administrative complaint with the FAA, which separately challenges the restrictions on the basis of the town's grant-based obligations, and questions whether East Hampton has inappropriately used airport revenues to pay for its legal expenses in defending the restrictions it enacted. A decision on the complaint is anticipated later this year.

"The victory in the Second Circuit is an important step in the success of NBAA's efforts in protecting access to airports," said Gertsen. "We will continue to remain vigilant and will oppose efforts that seek to limit the utility of airports like HTO and seek to cripple the overall viability of the National Airspace System."


Long Island Groups’ Bumper Sticker Makes Clear: No Plane, No Gain

bumperstickerThe Long Island Business Aviation Association (LIBAA) and Long Island Professional Aircraft Maintenance Association (LIPAMA) have produced a bumper sticker to promote business aviation in the region.

Echoing imagery and a central message of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign – jointly sponsored by the National Business Aviation Association and the General Aviation Manufacturers Association – the bumper sticker depicts a business aviation plane on an American flag background and states, “Business Aviation is Good for America.”

The groups’ joint goal is to demonstrate the value of business aviation to New York’s Long Island, which is home to one commercial service airport – Long Island MacArthur Airport – and several general aviation airports and heliports.

“General aviation airports throughout the Island open up our communities to various commerce, and are beneficial to companies with headquarters located near these airports,” said Gene Portela, president and CEO of Corporate Service Supply & Manufacturing, and an LIBAA board member.

A 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers economic impact study found New York to be one of the top 10 states ranked by total number of jobs attributable to general aviation, with 37,800 jobs attributed to general aviation. General aviation adds $4.5 billion to the state’s gross domestic product, according to the report.

LIBAA and LIPAMA often work together to advocate for business aviation, and the associations have also worked with NBAA on various advocacy initiatives over the years.

“The two organizations get together quite frequently to support each other, hold joint meetings and events, to not only advance the causes of aviation locally on Long Island, but to promote business aviation and its intrinsic values to American industry nationwide,” said Portela. 


NetJets Executive Robert Molsbergen Comes on Board as President of ExcelAire

Robert Molsbergen ExcelAireRONKONKOMA, NY--(Marketwired - Aug 25, 2016) - Hawthorne Global Aviation Services today announced that Robert Molsbergen was named president of ExcelAire, its private jet charter and management company, headquartered at MacArthur Airport on Long Island. Molsbergen joins ExcelAire from NetJets, where he served as President of its Executive Jet Management (EJM) subsidiary and as COO of Global Aircraft Management.

While president of EJM, he was responsible for overseeing its aircraft management, charter management and on-demand charter services. At the same time, he held the position of Chief Operating Officer of Global Aircraft Management for NetJets, the worldwide leader in private jet aviation. Molsbergen also served as Chief Operating Officer of NetJets, reporting to the CEO of NetJets and was a member of the senior executive team there.

Before joining NetJets, Molsbergen was President of MD Helicopters of Mesa, Ariz., a manufacturer of commercial and military helicopter. In addition to MD Helicopters, he served as President of InnovationPlus and CEO and President of EMTS, both manufacturing companies.

"Robert brings deep private jet aviation leadership experience to ExcelAire, from his years at NetJets leading its EJM division and as COO of its Global Aircraft Management Group," said Bryon Burbage, President and CEO of Hawthorne Global Aviation Services. "ExcelAire is well positioned for our next phase of growth and are confident Robert has the knowledge and experience to successfully lead our management team and the ExcelAire business."

"I am thrilled to join the team here, as this is an incredible opportunity to help build ExcelAire, a private jet firm well-regarded for its unmatched levels of personalized service," said Molsbergen. "For private jet travelers, we have all of the elements to offer a successful private jet experience, from charter to hangerage, maintenance, FBO and management -- providing superior customer service in all aspects of our business."

At ExcelAire, in addition to leading the private jet charter and management business, he will also oversee the private jet maintenance and FBO operations at Hawthorne Global's Long Island MacArthur Airport facility.

A Hawthorne Global Aviation Services company, ExcelAire specializes in worldwide jet charters, aircraft management, maintenance, and sales. Further information about the ExcelAire fleet, including photos and individual aircraft specifications, is available at, or by calling 631-737-0477. 

About Hawthorne Global Aviation Services

Hawthorne Global Aviation Services is a premier provider of general aviation services, with a rich history in the industry dating back to 1932. Hawthorne operates four premier Fixed Based Operators (FBO) located at L.I. MacArthur Airport, NY (KISP); Cobb County International Airport in Atlanta, Ga. (KRYY), Chicago Executive Airport in Chicago, Ill. (KPWK) and Chippewa Valley Regional Airport in Eau Claire, Wis. (KEAU). It also has private jet charter and maintenance operations at MacArthur Airport, NY (KISP) and Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, Wis. (KEAU). For more information on Hawthorne Global Aviation Services, please visit 


Federal Funds Will Allow For Finishing Of Runway Repaving At Gabreski Airport

By Erin McKinley Publication: Southampton Press

The repaving of a pothole-riddled runway at Westhampton’s Francis S. Gabreski Airport is expected to be completed later this year following the recent awarding of a nearly $5 million federal grant for the work.The newly procured money will be used to finish resurfacing the 5,000-foot-long landing strip known as 15/33, one of three runways and the second busiest at Gabreski. Last year, a $2.4 million grant also from the Federal Aviation Administration allowed the work to begin and, thus far, about 40 percent of the runway—which is the shortest of the lot—is now repaved.The $4.83 million grant allocated this week should allow the repaving to resume in October, with the finish date set sometime for the spring.According to airport manager Anthony Ceglio, the project is needed because of severe cracking and potholes where pilots typically touch down. He noted that most runways need to repaved about every 20 years, explaining that they get a lot of use and, at times, abuse. The 15/33 runway was last repaved in 1991.“To get the grant and be able to finish the runway, it just completes the process and allows us to have a totally rehabilitated runway that is going to be safe, serviceable and in usable condition for years to come for the aviation community,” Mr. Ceglio said. “We have gotten about 25 years out of this runway, so we did pretty good, but it is past its usable life.”The airport, which is owned and operated by Suffolk County, is home to the Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing and hosts some 60,000 landings and takeoffs a year, a mix of both military and civilian flights. The federal grant has been awarded to Suffolk County.Mr. Ceglio said this week that the runway will be closed while the repaving is completed, meaning there will be fewer flights over Quogue and Quiogue starting in the fall. He added that the main runway, which is 9,000 feet long, was redone in 2012. There are currently no plans to redo the third runway.The $4.83 million grant was announced this week by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin. Both applauded the funding, saying it will continue to ensure the 106th Rescue Wing will be able to continue serving the community.“Keeping Gabreski Airport in top-notch shape is crucial to our region and the entire state,” Mr. Schumer said in a prepared statement. “With this federal funding, Gabreski Airport will be able to make the critical upgrades necessary to ensure its runway is cleared for takeoff and safe for the courageous service members of the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard.”


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