Sports start and their aircraft
Just before the Masters golf tournament started, a business jet flew over the Augusta course. In it was Tiger Woods, though not to play!
The rich and famous all tend to have their own aircraft, and sports start are no exception. very often, people get to know who owns what aircraft. Thus, when a Gulfstream G550 jet flew low over Augusta National golf course, spectators knew that it was Tiger's arrival. As someone said, even if he could not play because of after-effects of surgery, he could not miss being there.
The aircraft concerned has registration N517QS. Built in 2008, it was delivered in 2009 to a company called GTW Corporation, based in Florida. It does not take too long to realise that GTW stands for Golf Tiger Woods! This is confirmed when one searches for information: the name "Woods" features in the schematic web of companies concerned.
In fact, Tiger Woods is also one of the fractional owners for the business jet company Netjets, which is well represented in Geneva. It is believed that when he had his marital affairs in the public eye the Netjets company was considering dropping his name from their list.
In general, these superstars almost always use a holding company for what are, in effect, aircraft almost exclusively for their own private use. However, these companies always then have an AOC (Air Operator's Certificate) to allow the airline to carry passengers.
In the Swiss legislation, according to the Swiss Federal Aviation Office OFAC, for any flight to be considered as commercial, it has to be operated for a profit and be open for anyone to be transported, rather than just a closed subset of people. In Geneva, any flight which is not a commercial one is not allowed to land or take off between 10pm and 6am. However, in an addendum, OFAC then specifies that any aircraft for which the operator has the AOC is automatically considered as being commercial!
In consequence, of the very many business jets which we see in Geneva, virtually every one can operate in the night session between 10pm and midnight because the operator will have this AOC. In other words, there are virtually no private jets which use Geneva. The various luxury business jets which transport the rich and super-rich are able to operate at night even though we know that there is no possible way that ordinary people could be on the aircraft.
The latest such one, and one of many to annoy residents living around Geneva airport, was a small Falcon 10, carrying at most 6 passengers, which took off at 11h15pm yesterday, 10 April, over Vernier. I can already quote the reply which will be given by the airport if I ask whether this was a commercial flight!