Highlights of Aviation Industry Expo 2010

Aviation Players HIt the Links
J&B Aviation Services held its 12th Annual ITW Golf Invitational on March 15, the day before the opening of Aviation Industry Expo. The event hosted 120 players that teed off at the Revere Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada.

The invitational included players from several sectors of aviation, including airports, airlines, suppliers, MROs and all branches of the U.S. military.

Awards were presented for several categories: first, second, third and fourth for Closest to the Pin, and a men’s and women’s Long Drive.

Brian Piety, global sales manager at J&B, says the event is held each year for a few reasons. “First, it is a way for the ITW GSE Group (J&B Aviation Services, Hobart, Trilectron) to show our appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their support,” he says.

“Second, it is a great opportunity for individuals from different, but related, airline backgrounds to get together in a fun environment and share ideas and possible synergies between organizations, along with beginning long-term relationships,” he continues, adding, “Lastly, it is the perfect time just prior to Aviation Industry Expo for the quantity and quality of participants to all be at one location which makes having this quality event, offered at no charge to the participants, a premier event not just for golfing, but for renewing and building relationships in our industry. When you get down to it, the reason for the Invitational is to have an enjoyable time at a quality event with key members of our airline community, which this event accomplishes.”

Demos on Demand
Across from the exhibition hall, Demos on Demand was again in full swing at Aviation Industry Expo. Accompanied by a company representative, attendees were given the opportunity to see products in action. Introduced in 2009, this year’s show had an increase in the number of Demos on Demand exhibitors.

Aviation Industry Expo Seminars
Airport Electrification: Research and Development
Speakers: Andra Rogers, senior project manager, Electric Transportation, Electric Power Research Institute; Ryan Gibson, principal, GSE Technical Services, Electric Power Research Institute

The seminar presented an overview of the work that the Electric Power Research Institute has done with GSE at airports. Some of the recent projects EPRI has been involved include converting container loaders to electric with a retrofit kit. “We thought this equipment was ideal for electrification. It really moved from point A to point B, and it sat there for awhile. It did a lot of work, but it wasn’t moving a lot. I believe that I saw that it idled 80 percent of the time,” Andra Rogers says, adding, “It’s been very successful.” Another recent development by EPRI has been a cost-evaluation tool that compares price and emissions of electric versus fossil-powered baggage tractors and additional types of GSE.

Alternative Technology for GSE
Speakers: Todd Allen, president, Allen Energy; Alison Dimond, consultant, Propane Education & Research Council; Robert L Freerks, director of product development, Rentech Inc.

Todd Allen discussed the technology for batteries and chargers for electric GSE. He discussed conventional lead-acid batteries currently available on the market, as well as fast-charge, fuel cells, ion lithium and thin-plate pure lead technology.

Alison Dimond discussed propane for the GSE industry, saying that the benefits include cost and emission savings. Products available for the aviation industry include forklifts, tugs and sweepers.

Robert Freerks discussed the fuels produced by Rentech Inc., including renewable synthetic diesel for GSE. The advantages of the drop-in renewable synthetic diesel fuel include lower emissions and long storage stability, he says. He also discussed the company’s project to produce the fuel at a facility in Rialto, California and supply it for GSE at LAX.

Tier 4 Considerations
Speaker: Robert Tonkin, industrial sales manager, Cummins Inc.

The seminar gave an overview of the Tier 4 regulation and the products available to meet the standard. With Tier 4 interim beginning in 2011 and the Tier 4 final regulation taking effect in 2014, Tonkin discussed technology in development by engine manufacturers. As for the impact of Tier 4 on the industry, he says, “You’re going to see the same or better machine operating capabilities … There is going to be changes in the fuels used, lubrication, and there will be a few additional maintenance practices that will have to be incorporated. There is also an operating cost-savings opportunity in the form of better fuel economy.”

ISAGO: IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations
Speaker: Joseph Suidan, assistant director, ISAGO Program Implementation & Auditing Dept.

The seminar gave an overview of the ISAGO program, which was designed for ground handling companies operating at airports. The key goals of the program are to reduce ground hazards, aircraft ground damage, personnel injuries, redundant audits and increase security. Suidan gave an overview of the audit process and gave an update on the status of the program. Since the program launch in February 2008, IATA has established a member pool of 40 airlines, trained 280 auditors from 90 different airlines and performed 150 audits. Suidan also spoke about the development of the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM), which is designed as a core set of standards for the industry.

Business Seminar: “Let Me Try Some of That Marketing!”
Speakers: Gerry Whitty, projects director, Cygnus Custom Marketing Group; Paula Williams, marketing consultant, Aviation Business Consultants International
Gerry Whitty spoke about ways companies can effectively build their marketing strategies and enhance their brand image. “You have to embrace the process of marketing to make it work for you,” he says. The process begins with understanding your guiding principles and creating a meaningful mission statement, he says. A company must also set objectives and goals. “This is one of the more important things too, because you have to be realistic,” he says. “Throughout the whole process, if you have a good handle on what your objectives and goals are, then you won’t set yourself up for disappointment.”

Paula Williams discussed how social media strategies can benefit a company in its marketing plan. She gave an overview of the available social media outlets, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and blogs, and how those tools can be best utilized. There are two keys to social media: great content and great relationships. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on social media or not; your customers are,” she says. “Social media is huge right now.”

Each session is available online for viewing at www.groundsupportworldwide.com/video.