June 20, 2013
By Jim Moore
A final round of fundraising has netted Icon Aircraft $60 million in investment capital to support “regulatory compliance” and ramp up production of the new A5, the Los Angeles-based company announced June 20.
“We are thrilled to have the support of such a distinguished and passionate group of investors,” said founder and CEO Kirk Hawkins in a news release. Icon raised those dollars from investors in North America, Europe, and, for the first time, Asia, the company noted. While not naming names, Icon reported the Asian investor is a multibillion-dollar conglomerate well established in China’s general aviation industry.
There has been no word, yet, from the FAA on Icon’s request for an exemption to the light sport aircraft weight limits. Icon cited safety benefits including a spin-resistant design in seeking a 250-pound increase to the LSA limit for amphibious aircraft. A competitor’s complaint to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has meanwhile triggered a congressional inquiry into the weight exemption request.
Icon has collected nearly 1,000 deposits on the A5, and Hawkins thanked those early buyers for their patience amid delays, according to the news release.
“This has been a longer and more challenging journey than even we had anticipated; that said, ICON is now in a great place,” Hawkins wrote. “For everyone who has kept the faith, remained a great wingman, and waited patiently for the A5, you’re going to get the most amazing sport aircraft ever created.”
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Light Sport Aircraft,
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) is pressing the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to offer pilots and aircraft owners more flexibility when it comes to the use of hangars at airports that have received federal funding.
The 2014 Kansas Aviation Expo will reach far beyond geographic boundaries when it celebrates the state’s proud tradition of aeronautical enterprise.
AOPA is asking the FAA to be more flexible when it comes to determining what constitutes acceptable use of airport hangars.
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