¦ Representatives from global passenger air carriers, air freight carriers and ground handling companies recently attended a “green“ ground support equipment (GSE) open house hosted by JBT AeroTech in Orlando, Florida. The open house featured presentations of JBT AeroTech’s environmentally friendly electric product line, updates from battery manufacturers and workshops on worldwide green initiatives. Live demonstrations were also conducted for the new Commander 15i electric 7-ton cargo loader and a diesel-to-electric conversion kit that enables earlier model Commander 15 loaders to meet new environmental requirements. JBT AeroTech has offered alternative fuel equipment for 27 years.
¦ AirT Inc. reported consolidated net earnings of $974,000 ($0.40 per diluted share) for fiscal 2009’s third quarter ending Dec. 31, 2008, compared to consolidated net earnings of $920,000 ($0.38 per diluted share) for the third quarter of fiscal 2008. The company also reported year-to-date earnings for the nine months of $3,636,000 ($1.50 per diluted share) compared to $2,084,000 ($0.85 per diluted share) for the similar fiscal 2008 period.
¦ IATA announced statistics for passenger traffic in December. Key points include: a decline in premium traffic in December to a level 13.3 percent lower than a year earlier, following November’s 11.5 percent decline; premium traffic across the North Atlantic was down 8.8 percent in December, down 19.7 percent across the Pacific and down 6.9 percent to South America; Asia continued to show the greatest weakness for premium travel, which was 25.1 percent down within the region; passenger numbers on economy tickets was down 5.3 percent in December, a little less than November’s 6 percent but due to pre-booking in less recession-striken times; the precipitous decline in premium travel during the last four months of 2008 meant the total for the year fell 2.8 percent; economy travel was up 0.9 percent and, since this forms more than 90 percent of total passenger numbers, led to total passenger numbers rising 0.5 percent in 2008; with job losses accelerating in January and consumer confidence falling further it looks as though even larger declines in air travel should be expected early this year.
¦ Bowman Studio Australia introduced the GS Induction Toolkit training DVD. Produced by Bowman Studio Australia as a joint venture with Australasian Aviation Ground Safety Council, the concept is designed to provide an overview for new staff, slotting their job into the overall airside workplace. The content is made up of 90 short video clips that run between half a minute and three minutes. The trainer can program a playlist of appropriate subjects. The training applies to all levels of operation. Experts in each of the subjects reviewed and signed off on the content before release. The global ground support community can preview the content on the Web.
¦ The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Diesel Emissions Reduction National Program has selected UPS for an award of $473,939 to reduce particulate matter generated by diesel engines at the company’s WorldportSM global all-points air hub. The EPA funding will be disbursed to the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, which in turn will distribute the money to the UPS Airlines. The grant will fund two projects to reduce particulate matter: the replacement of diesel engines in ground support cargo tugs and the extension of ground electricity to parked aircraft. In the first project, UPS will replace diesel engines in 92 tugs with much cleaner gasoline engines. Since the particulate matter emissions are nearly zero for the new engines, replacing the diesel engines will have the net effect of removing 5.3 tons of particulate matter per year from the air. In the second project, UPS will install electric units to power aircraft parked at Worldport, allowing them to avoid the use of 26 diesel generators.