October 6, 2008
By Thomas A. Horne
Piaggio Aero now has a third co-owner. Tata Limited acquired a one-third stake in Piaggio to join Ferrari and Di Masi as owners of the Italian company.
Tata Limited is a U.K. subsidiary of Inidan manufacturer Tata Sons—a company with 2007-2008 sales of $62.5 billion. According to Piaggio, Tata’s investment (a purchase of existing and new shares) is “founded on a belief...that the business aviation market will continue to expand significantly.”
Piaggio says that it expects to deliver 30 of its Avanti II twin turboprops in 2008, 38 in 2009, and 40 to 50 per year in 2010 and beyond. There are now 161 total aircraft in the worldwide Piaggio fleet; 100 are based in the United States.
In other news, Piaggio announced that Elliott Aviation of Moline, Ill., would be one of the airplane’s newest authorized service centers. Elliott has four locations in the Midwest. Currently, Piaggio has 15 service centers around the world.
Piaggio also said that it is selling its original factory north of Genoa, Italy, and building a brand-new factory in Villanova D’Albenga. The new factory should be completed in 2010.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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