¦ 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.
¦ AeroVironment Inc. announced that it has introduced a new, turnkey program for delivering the benefits of its PosiCharge™ solution to customers operating electric material handling fleets in multi-shift operations. The Total Power Solution (ToPS) includes a selection of services, such as customized charger and battery configurations, asset leasing, guaranteed service and maintenance, and asset disposal, all in a one-stop program. Instead of working with multiple entities for chargers, batteries and support services, customers can now make a single monthly payment and have a single point of contact for all their electric material handling motive energy needs.
¦ Fraport AG reported its traffic results from January. Recording some 3.5 million passengers, Frankfurt Airport experienced a 10.4 percent traffic drop year-on-year. Cargo throughput shrank by 23.5 percent to 124,208 metric tons of airfreight and airmail. Aircraft movements dropped by 7 percent to 35,448 takeoffs and landings compared to January 2008, due partly to precautionary measures by certain airlines to temporarily reduce their flight schedules. The majority-owned airports of the Fraport Group largely recorded stable development in passenger traffic during January 2009. In particular, the important foreign airports of Antalya (AYT) in Turkey and Lima (LIM) in Peru registered continuing passenger growth of 8.3 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. Fraport’s two airports on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria changed positions during the usually slow winter period, with Burgas sliding by 35.5 percent and Varna surging ahead by 31.1 percent in January 2009.
¦ Advantech, an ePlatform service provider, announced its Compact Embedded Computer Chassis, the ARK-6000 Series, has had the honor of receiving two “2008 Innovative Products” awards, one at the China Industrial Control Website Annual Appraisal Ceremony, and the other at the China Automation Website Annual Appraisal. Featuring front I/O interfaces, a powerful embedded centralized platform, unique industrial design, and qualified thermal performance, the ARK-6000 Series was chosen for the outstanding usability that it presents to system integrators.
¦ During a speech before the National Aeronautic Association, Airports Council International– North America (ACI-NA) President Greg Principato announced the adoption of ambitious airport environmental goals to be achieved in the coming years. The goals included that ACI-NA member airports will strive to convert airport-owned and operated ground vehicles and GSE to low-emission vehicles with an industry-wide average goal of 50 percent of vehicle conversion by 2019. Also, half of ACI-NA member airports will strive to provide low emission vehicle support infrastructure by 2019.
¦ JLG Industries Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company, has developed an online Learning Management System to deliver training for JLG customers. In addition to taking online courses, customers can also maintain their training history for both on-line and classroom courses. JLG currently has four courses available online: basic electric, basic hydraulic; warranty fundamentals (warranty policy), service bench (warranty system).
¦ Electric Transportation Engineering Corporation (eTec), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECOtality Inc., a leader in clean electric transportation and storage technologies, announced the installation of 13 Minit-Charger fast-charge systems at Westchester County Airport. As Westchester County Airport transitions its ground support equipment from gasoline- and diesel-powered to pure electric-powered
systems, the 13 dual-port Minit-Charger systems will power the airport’s new fleet of 25 all-electric ground support vehicles that will cut noise and air pollution and substantially reduce fueling costs.Westchester County Airport funded the Minit-Charger installation without the use of any Westchester taxpayer funds through the primary assistance of the FAA Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) grant program and the New York State Department of Transportation Airport Services Bureau.
¦ AERO Specialties announced that it had completed a year-long towbar and head redesign project. The project introduced many new features to its line of business and regional aircraft heads and towbars, and the company said it was accomplished without significant price increases, or by sacrificing the interchangeability of its entire system with other manufacturers’. Improvements across the entire line of towbars and heads include: engraving the CE mark and part number directly into the product; bolstering potential stress-points on heads for heavier aircraft; adding additional safety decals and placards to all items; revising and bolstering operation manuals (available online); refining the manufacturing process for greater inventory control and constant in-stock status on all items.
¦ JBT Corporation announced
that its JBT AeroTech business
has been awarded contracts by China Southern Airlines for airport ground support equipment totaling $6.4 million. The order includes the supply of JBT AeroTech’s Commander 15i and 30i cargo loaders and Expediter towbarless pushback
and maintenance tow tractors. Equipment delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2009.
¦ Aviapartner announces the signature of two new handling contracts with Malev Hungarian Airlines and Aegean Airlines for Brussels. Since Feb. 16, Aviapartner has been handling Malev’s 14 weekly flights in Brussels, mostly operated with B737 aircraft. The contract covers full handling services, which include passenger services (check-in, boarding assistance, baggage tracing services, ticketing), aircraft handling (loading and unloading of baggage and freight, ground power, cleaning, water and sanitary services, freight and baggage transfer, headset, pushback and towing), and traffic operations (flight documentation, communication, crew briefing and flight supervision). As from the summer season 2009, Aviapartner will handle Aegean Airlines’ daily flight in Brussels, operated with 150-seater aircraft. The contract also covers full handling services.
¦ Phoenix International Ventures Inc. announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Phoenix Aerospace Inc., has received a $209,300 purchase order to supply ground equipment to a major aerospace corporation. Since December 1, 2008, the company has booked orders of over $1 million for ground support equipment for major aerospace companies.
People in the News
¦ Swissport International has appointed a new overall head of its South African operations: Lothar Kilchenmann, who served until recently as head of sales and marketing at Swissport Zurich, will assume his new duties as CEO of Swissport South Africa on May 1.
¦ Globaljet Corporation, a leading provider of professional charter management, announced today that aviation industry veteran Tim Spahr has been appointed to the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO).