Thursday, November 19, 2009

Three Aerospace Companies Announce New Georgia Projects

Governor Sonny Perdue welcomed three economic development announcements made Monday from the Dubai Airshow that continue to strengthen Georgia’s reputation as a global center for the aviation industry.

“Each of these three announcements illustrate a key aspect of our economic development strategy – location of a new U.S. headquarters in Georgia, an existing company expanding its current workforce and an Atlanta-based business selling its products to overseas customers,” Governor Perdue said. “

Star Navigation Systems Group Ltd., a leading-edge aerospace technology company with a revolutionary new product, will establish its United States headquarters in Atlanta. The company will invest an estimated $1 million in its new location and will create up to 20 jobs over the next 36 months.

Zodiac Services Americas LLC is expanding its College Park location, adding up to 26 jobs by the end of 2010 to its current 120-member Georgia workforce. Zodiac Services Americas LLC is the U.S.-based customer services and support branch of Zodiac Aerospace and provides distribution of parts as well as repair and overhaul (MRO) functions for Zodiac Aerospace commercial aviation, helicopter, business and general aviation customers.

Also, Jetaire Group, an industry leader in complete avionics and electrical systems solutions, has completed its first sale of an innovative product that can keep auxiliary aircraft fuel tanks from igniting. Saudi Arabian major conglomerate Dallah Albaraka is the first company to receive and implement Jetaire’s ground breaking solution that reduces the complexity and cost for transport airplanes that must meet an FAA mandate (SFAR 88) to install such equipment by December 16, 2009.

Star Navigation

Star Navigation, based in Toronto, Canada, has developed the world’s first system to monitor in-flight data, analyze that data for potential problems and transmit the results to a ground operator in real time. This in-flight safety monitoring system, called STAR - ISMS TM represents a breakthrough in air safety technology. Airplane “black boxes,” as they are popularly known, provide historic, not real-time, data, whereas the STAR - ISMSTM continuously monitors selected avionics systems on the aircraft as it flies, instantly analyzes the data, and transmits that data and any incident alerts via satellite to the operator. It effectively acts as an early warning system, detecting the earliest signs of potential problems while an aircraft is still in flight.

From its Atlanta headquarters, the company will primarily target commercial and defense applications for its product, with a secondary focus on ancillary tracking and communications solutions for rotary wing and light commercial aircraft as well as marine uses.

“Georgia is ideally situated to help us market STAR - ISMS TM to our U.S., Central and South American markets, which are easily accessible through Hartsfield Atlanta Airport,” said Viraf Kapadia, chairman & CEO of Star Navigation Systems. “I look forward to building on the great relationships we’ve established with the Georgia business community as our company continues to build its presence here.”

The announcement followed a meeting between Mr. Kapadia and Governor Perdue at the Dubai Airshow. Governor Perdue is leading a Georgia delegation to the Dubai Airshow, the largest aviation event in the world’s fastest-growing region, to strengthen ties to both potential investors into the state and new customers for Georgia’s exporters.

Zodiac Services Americas LLC

The additional employment opportunities at Zodiac Services Americas LLC will take place in a 104,000-square-foot space the company has recently leased for an eight-year period at one of its two College Park facilities, each of which currently employ approximately sixty people. Zodiac Aerospace will work with the Georgia Department of Labor in the hiring process, which has already begun with the addition of six people in October 2009, and will continue through May 2010.

“We looked at other locations, but Georgia was the right choice to expand our client services and grow our business,” said Lou Perdoni, CEO Zodiac Services Americas, LLC. “The proximity Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport gives us to support our various client base is unbeatable, and will help increase our access to potential revenue sources.”

The Governor announced the expansion after meeting with Zodiac Aerospace Group Director Pierre-Antony Vastra. A delegation from the Georgia Allies, Georgia’s public-private partnership supporting economic development in the state, visited Zodiac Aerospace at its Paris headquarters in October.

Project Manager Carter Wood assisted Zodiac Aerospace with its expansion on behalf of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Jetaire Group

Jetaire has engineered and installed its product for the first time working with The Dallah Albaraka Group to modify a Boeing 727 with Rogerson auxiliary tanks.

Faisal Haddadin, Advisor to the Chairman of Dallah Flight Operations, said: “We were diligent in exploring a number of options for our modification, and the Jetaire solution exceeded the criteria as the most cost-effective and efficient that we have seen. By simultaneously satisfying our requirements and the regulatory mandates, Jetaire saved us both money and down time. Jetaire’s ability to deliver value, quality and exceed requirements was a major consideration for Dallah.”

The FAA’s Airworthiness Directive (AD) requires that all affected auxiliary fuel tanks, including most systems manufactured by ATS, PATS and Rogerson, be upgraded to meet new safety guidelines. Typical solutions address either Phase I, requiring significant reductions in ignition sources; Phase II, which mandates substantial reduction in flammability; or Phase III, which, requires additional lightning protection.

However, Jetaire has developed a more affordable, single-phased approach to the multiphase requirements, received its Supplemental Type Certification (STC), and moved beyond retrofitting into manufacturing. Its auxiliary fuel system is fully compliant with SFAR 88 requirements. The company’s solution addresses its customers’ need for extended range flights, simultaneous satisfaction of the AD’s three phases, cost efficiency in both money and time, the highest standard of protection, retention of passenger space and reduction of installation downtime.

“Jetaire understands the complex requirements of the directive, and our experts have created a seamless solution with no potential failure modes and a certified 14-year service life,” said Michael Williams, president of Jetaire and a member of the International Fire Protections Working Group. “Georgia’s business climate and resources have supported our company’s research and development of this solution, and provide a great marketing platform as well.”

In addition to a large number of certifications, Jetaire also holds 20 other Supplemental Type Certifications (STCs) for smoke detection and fire suppression in business and commercial aircraft. Jetaire is the first company to certify for commercial use an explosion suppressant currently used by the military to protect the most advanced tactical fighter aircraft. The company is now developing structural corrections to B737 aircraft that have PATS tanks requiring deactivation according to the FAA’s Airworthiness Directive.

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