Meridian Air Charter Adds Challenger 605 to Fleet

A Challenger 605 (N605MM) is the latest addition to Meridian's Charter fleet.

A Challenger 605 (N605MM) is the latest addition to Meridian’s Charter fleet.

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based in Teterboro, NJ, is pleased to announce the addition of a Bombardier Challenger 605 (N605MM) to its growing fleet of private business jets. This large cabin aircraft was completed in 2008 and seats up to nine passengers. It will be based at Teterboro Airport (TEB), and is immediately available for charter (Certificate IMJA053F).

This aircraft was impeccably refurbished and repainted in December 2014, offering passengers a ‘like-new’ aircraft experience. This stunning private jet comes fully-equipped and loaded with amenities: leather club seating, conference tables, berthable divan, full galley with microwave and convection ovens, coffee machine, and private lavatory with sink. It also features the latest technology: Iridium satellite phone, Gogo Biz® high-speed wifi, bulkhead video monitors with Airshow® (3D moving maps), and a dual multi-media player.

Dennis O’Connell, President of Meridian Air Charter, says, “We are thrilled about adding this Challenger 605 to our charter fleet. When you are inside the cabin, you feel like you are in a brand new plane that has just rolled off the assembly line. This aircraft increases both the breadth and quality of our fleet offerings, and demonstrates the high level of commitment that we have to improving the flying experience of our clientele.”

The Challenger 605 is an evolution from its predecessor, the Challenger 604, offering best-in-class cabin comfort combined with its ability to operate cost effectively. Bombardier added numerous enhancements when it designed this model. In the cockpit, avionics include an impressive Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 with four large flat-panel displays. The cabin was enlarged with space-efficient interior wall panels to increase usable head-room and width for passengers. Even cabin windows were enlarged to allow 30% more light than previous Challenger 600 models.

Meridian currently manages a wide range of aircraft types that are available for private charter: Global 5000, Gulfstream G550, Gulfstream GIV-SP, Falcon 900EX EASy, Falcon 2000EX EASy, Challenger 605, Challenger 604, Challenger 601-3R, Challenger 601-3A, Gulfstream G200, Hawker 900XP, Hawker 800XP, Hawker 800SP, Citation XLS, Citation VII, and Citation Mustang. Other aircraft types can also be obtained through Meridian’s extensive network of qualified operators.

An aft view of the cabin shows the beautiful interior of this Challenger 605 (N605MM).

An aft view of the cabin shows the beautiful interior of this Challenger 605 (N605MM).

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Meridian Exhibits at NBAA Regional in West Palm Beach

Team Meridian at the NBAA Regional Forum in West Palm Beach. (l to r): Bob Platten, Kirk Stephen, Nora Jacob, and Andrew Ladouceur

Team Meridian at the NBAA Regional Forum in West Palm Beach. (l to r): Bob Platten, Kirk Stephen, Nora Jacob, and Andrew Ladouceur

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated in the first National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Regional Forum of 2015. The show was held at Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) in West Palm Beach, FL. The one-day event was held on Thursday, Feb. 19, which featured 128 indoor exhibits, 21 aircraft on static display, and attracted more than 2,000 attendees. The company sent four representatives from its Headquarters in Teterboro, NJ, including Andrew Ladouceur, VP of Charter Sales, Bob Platten, Aviation Sales Executive, Nora Jacob, Customer Service Representative, and Kirk Stephen, Marketing Manager.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio toured the static display and thanked NBAA for choosing West Palm Beach as a site for its 2015 regional forums. “I want to welcome the NBAA to West Palm Beach,” the mayor told attendees.“Aviation is very important for our city, and we are very proud of our airport. In fact, our airport is only five minutes from downtown, making it easy for business people to come to our city and not only do their job, but also enjoy downtown, which was voted the No.1 city in Florida for business and jobs.”

Steve Brown, NBAA’s chief operations officer, updated attendees on the Association’s efforts to support business aviation’s interests in Washington, DC and around the country, including in Florida. “We just filed a bill that will eliminate sales tax on planes purchased in Florida,” added NBAA Jenny Showalter, a director at Showalter Flying Service, and NBAA Member Company in Orlando, FL, and a member of the Florida Aviation Business Association.

One common thread throughout the presentations was the importance of NBAA and the work it does in support of the industry.

“Flight departments need to be more active in groups like this, said Jeff Ramsden, president of NBAA Member Company RamJet Aviation, Inc., of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. “They worry about advocacy and have the resources to help you take the necessary steps. We all need to stay connected.”

“We are a vital industry and everyone from the bottom up needs to advocate for what they do, stay connected and use the resources available,” added Showalter. To underscore that need, NBAA prominently displayed the voices and resources the association has produced, through the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, which educates policymakers and opinion leaders about the importance of business aviation to citizens, companies and communities across America. NBAA jointly sponsors the advocacy campaign, with the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

On hand at the forum was NBAA’s most recently produced advocacy resource, “Business Leaders on Business Aviation,” a highly popular booklet featuring 25 of the nation’s most respected business leaders detailing how business airplanes help their companies compete and succeed.

In addition to business aviation industry representatives, aviation students from Florida-based universities were on hand to attend a student session where they had the opportunity to meet and hear from successful industry experts in all facets of the business.

With much enthusiasm, these future pilots and business experts were able to tap into the information sessions and talk to experts for advice on their career objectives. Key players in the industry – from pilots, to aircraft brokers, and maintenance and repair operators – all expressed their enthusiasm for business aviation, reinforcing for the students that there are a variety of aviation career opportunities available.

Other topics discussed during the forum’s information sessions included updates on state and federal advocacy efforts, including strategies for managing Florida’s aircraft sales and use tax system; the latest in in-flight connectivity, and options for increasing insurance coverage, while reducing risk and minimizing liability when full-time business aviation pilots fly on their own time.

The next NBAA Regional Forum will be Thursday, June 25, at Teterboro Airport (TEB) in Teterboro, NJ. Meridian will be hosting an evening cocktail party on Wednesday, June 24, the night before the event. Look for more information coming soon.

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Meridian Exhibits at Record-Breaking Schedulers Conference

Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)

Team Meridian at the booth during the exhibition. (l to r: Anthony Banome, Estrella Reynoso, Edvina Floed, Mike Moore, Bob Platten, Andrea Politis, Greg Johnson, and Kirk Stephen)

Meridian, the award-winning private aviation company based at Teterboro Airport, proudly participated in the 2015 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2015) at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, CA. The annual conference was held from Tuesday, Feb. 3 through Friday, Feb. 6, with a record-breaking 2,700-plus attendees. The company sent nine representatives from its Headquarters in Teterboro, NJ, as well as three local representatives from the West Coast, including CEO Ken Forester.

This year’s conference featured a groundbreaking live-action business aviation emergency response drill, five days of in-depth educational opportunities, and a visit from former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta. The live emergency response simulation was staged during the first-ever Second-Day General Session. Blending live actors with video simulations, the immersive drill left many attendees reflecting on the effectiveness of their own emergency response plans.

“This has been an incredibly exciting and engaging show,” said Mike Nichols, NBAA’s vice president of operational excellence and professional development. “We’ve had packed session rooms, people taking every opportunity to share experiences with their peers from across the country and a powerfully captivating emergency simulation that brought the participating crowd to its feet.”

Mineta, an esteemed aviation leader who has also served as a congressman, the mayor of San Jose, as well as U.S. Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Secretary of Transportation, visited the conference on Thursday, Feb. 5, meeting NBAA staff and committee leaders while touring the exhibit floor. His visit was all the more fitting, with the conference held less than 3 miles from the airport that bears his name: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC).

“We’re very proud to have had former Secretary Mineta on hand to demonstrate his enthusiasm for our industry,” said Steve Brown, chief operating officer of NBAA. “Many of the attendees were inspired by his service and he, in turn, was clearly impressed with the professionalism of business aviation schedulers and dispatchers and the contributions attendees made to the local community.”

SDC2015 broke more than attendance records, with the conference’s annual Pay It Forward program collecting a record 1,452 suits, dresses, shirts and other business attire for Dress for Success and Sacred Heart San Jose. With a first-ever pedometer competition, based on steps walked across the show floor, the conference also raised $4,000 for the two local charities.

The educational program at SDC2015 was more dynamic than ever, with in-depth sessions on advanced topics such as personal use of aircraft, international aviation regulations and handling and Fit for Duty: Not Just for Flightcrews.

There were more than 450 exhibitors at the show, and NBAA unveiled a new category of its Flying Safety Awards: the Scheduler and Licensed Dispatcher Safety Award, which will be presented for the first time in 2016.

“This conference gets more dynamic, more informative and more rewarding every year,” said NBAA’s Jo Damato, NBAA’s director of educational development and strategy. “That’s all because of the active involvement of our attendees and the leadership of the Schedulers & Dispatchers Committee. This event always brings out the vitality and dedication of our community.”

This was the 26th year since the show’s debut in 1989. Meridian’s own Bob Platten has been there since the beginning. “I remember standing in a room with about 25 people from the industry, and we were asking ourselves, ‘What do we want this to be?’ Twenty-five years later, the educational component has expanded tremendously, attendance has grown to almost 3,000 people from companies based all over the world, and the networking opportunities are boundless. It’s really amazing to see how the show has evolved over the years, and I am really glad to be a part of this important event.”

Next year’s Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference (SDC2016) is scheduled for Jan. 19 to 22 in Tampa, FL.

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