United, Continental Announce Merger; Houston to lose Headquarters
United and Continental Airlines agree to form the world’s largest airline in a deal estimated at $3 billion. The new airline would surpass Delta Air Lines in size and have flights reaching from Shanghai to South America. The airline, to be called United, will be run by current Continental CEO Jeffery Smisek. United CEO Glenn Tilton will remain as non-executive chairman for up to two years. It will be based in United’s hometown of Chicago and its biggest hub will be Houston, which will lose the Continental headquarters.
Gwinnett Explores Privatization
FAA has granted Gwinnett County (GA) one of two slots remaining in its airport privatization program. FAA’s decision clears the way for Gwinnett to market Briscoe Field to private firms interested in developing it. FAA spokesperson Marcia Adams says Gwinnett County must now decide on a buyer, then begin the process of drawing up a final application. There is no time limit for the final application.
TSA nomination - Round three
President Obama nominates his third person to head the TSA — FBI deputy director John Pistole. Obama previously nominated retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Harding and Los Angeles World Airports security chief Erroll Southers to head the agency, but both nominees withdrew. Pistole, a 27-year FBI veteran, has served as deputy director since October 2004.
LAX Unveils Renewed Bradley Terminal
Renovations and security upgrades at Los Angeles International Airport’s (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal are complete. Clark/McCarthy, a joint venture, finished the $575 million, LEED Silver-certified improvements, including a new in-line baggage screening system.
ACI-NA — Airports Council Int’l–North America commends U.S. DOT for its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that broadens the airline passenger protections under the DOT rule which became effective on April 29. NPRM proposes to increase compensation for passengers bumped from flights; require that airlines provide passengers more information, flexibility, and protection when purchasing tickets; and mandate coordination of airline contingency plans for ramp delays.
Airport Concession Consultants, Inc. — is named FAA’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise of the Year.
Air Rutter Iint’l — based at Long Beach (CA) Airport, changes its name to JetFlite International. The aircraft management and charter operator also expands its services with a new operating base at Republic Airport (FRG) in Farmingdale, NY.
All Weather, Inc. — of Sacra-mento reports that FAA has awarded a small-business set-aside contract to AWI to replace all of the approximately 2,300 aging Integrated Display Systems. Contract value is $66.4 million over six years.
ASPEN AVIONICS — relocates its corporate headquarters at Albuquerque’s TechCommons Business Center from a 6,000-sq. ft. facility to a 23,000-sq. ft. building. Company is nearing certification its new Evolution Flight Display system.
Avantair — opens its Operations Control Center at its headquarters at the Clearwater/St. Petersburg Airport.
Bird-B-Gone,Inc. — a manufacturer of bird control products, adds an ornithologist to help customers tackle bird problems; http://www.birdbgone.com/ask-the-expert/blog.
Blue Sky in Flight Catering — expands its gourmet food service to Teterboro Airport New Jersey.
Boston Logan Iint’l Airport — sees the return of daily seasonal service to Paris on American Airlines.
Canadian — Federal government launches a $95.7 million program tightening security measures for air cargo. Over the next five years it will tighten screening practices of packages transported by air and of the companies that ship them.
CBC — Canada’s national public broadcaster, rolls out its CBC News Express to five major airports across Canada.
City of Worcester (MA) — agrees to sell its airport to the Massachusetts Port Authority for $17 million, effective July 1; price tag includes cash payments and permanent land transfers.
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