¦ The International Air Transport Association announced its forecast for 2009 showing an industry loss of $2.5 billion. All regions, except the US, are expected to report larger losses in 2009 than in 2008. Industry revenues are expected to decline to $501 billion. This is a fall of $35 billion from the $536 billion in revenues forecasted for 2008. This drop in revenues is the first since the two consecutive years of decline in 2001 and 2002. Passenger traffic is expected to decline by 3 percent following growth of 2 percent in 2008. This is the first decline in passenger traffic since the 2.7 percent drop in 2001. Cargo traffic is expected to decline by 5 percent, following a drop of 1.5 percent in 2008. Prior to 2008, the last time that cargo declined was in 2001 when a 6 percent drop was recorded.
¦ An HSE research report on baggage loading was published based on the findings of a collaborative project at East Midlands Airport. The research project explores the health risks associated with manual loading of bags into the holds of narrow bodied aircraft. The report also examines the effectiveness of new technology, extending belt loaders (EBL), and provides an update on previous research and studies. The research was a collaborative project carried out with the cooperation of the airport, airlines, ground handlers, manufacturers of ground support equipment and workers’ representatives, with the aim of improving understanding of the risks and developing agreement on good practices.
¦ The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced results for November showing a 4.6 percent drop in international passenger traffic and a 13.5 percent drop in international cargo. International capacity dropped by 1.0 percent. The November international passenger load factors stood at 72.7 percent, which is a decline of about 3 percentage points over the same month last year.
¦ Advantech, a provider of embedded solutions and services, released two products for its Mobile Resource Management product lines. The VITA-350P, which is an ARM/Xscale, Windows CE embedded, Mobile Data Terminal, and the TREK-305R, which is a 5.7” TFT vehicle-mount display panel. The combination of VITA-350P and TREK-305R offers real-time tracking, as well as an efficient dispatch navigation and vehicle data collection system, designed for fleet owners and drivers alike.
¦ AirBridgeCargo Airlines has signed a major cargo handling contract with Aviapartner Cargo in Amsterdam Schiphol for the provision of full cargo and ramp handling services, effective Jan. 1, 2009. Aviapartner Cargo will provide AirBridgeCargo with a comprehensive range of services at the airport, including loading and unloading of aircraft, pushback and towing, headset, ground power, deicing, crew transport, freight transfer, flight documentation and planning, crew briefing, weight and balance, load-plan and load-sheet. Cargo handling services will incorporate warehousing, ULD build-up and breakdown, inventory control, documentation for import and export, customs clearance, tracing, and dangerous goods handling. It will also support ABC’s specialist requirements for the handling of vulnerable products, live animals and perishable shipments.
¦ Swissport International, an airport ground and cargo handling company, has signed a cooperation agreement with Lufthansa Cargo, one of the world’s leading air cargo carriers, to provide airfreight handling services for the partner airlines of the Lufthansa Cargo Group (incl. Jade Cargo) at Amsterdam Airport for the next three years. Swissport Cargo Services has been selected following an extensive tender process, and should commence its new operations March 1.
¦ DatcoMedia announced an agreement with Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines to launch a Web version of its GSE Express program for all GSE locations. Partnership with NAPA has developed a new ground support equipment software application to help organize customers’ GSE needs. DatcoMedia’s has used Microsoft® .NET technology to automate the daily routines for the GSE departments.
¦ Aviance announced the addition of Thai Airports Ground Services Co. Ltd. (TAGS) to its international ground handling alliance. TAGS was established in Thailand in July 1990 as a private sector enterprise motivated by a common desire to provide customers with the benefit of an alternative and highly focused, comprehensive ground handling service. Today TAGS has an affiliation with the Airports of Thailand Public Company Limited (AOT), which was corporatized from the former state-owned Airports Authority of Thailand (AAT) to a public limited company in September 2002.
¦ Global engineering group, Cavotec MSL, has secured an order for the delivery of 53 integrated ground support systems and associated equipment with Saudi Oger, one of the major construction companies in Saudi Arabia. The order includes 53 in-ground pit systems, of which five are pop-up pits — units that emerge from the tarmac when required, and retract flush with the apron surface after use — and 24 converters, and associated material. Cavotec’s in-ground systems supply aircraft with fuel, power, water and pre-conditioned air, eliminating the need for service vehicles, diesel generators, cables and hoses that typically cover much of the area around parked aircraft.
¦ Swissport International, a provider of airport ground services to the aviation sector, has concluded a multi-year collaboration agreement with South African Airways. Under the new accord, Swissport will provide ground handling services for some 60,000 flights a year of South Africa’s national carrier at Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London and George airports. The agreement will run from 2009 to 2014.
¦ Siemens announced it was awarded a contract from Southwest Airlines for the turnkey integration of the mechanical, electrical and software systems for the baggage handling system in Terminal 1/Node 5A at Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The new Node 5A system will increase screened-baggage throughput. The new system is expected to process up to 2,000 bags per hour with a four-machine matrix and will be an extension of the current Node 5 system.
¦ JBT Corporation announced that its JBT AeroTech business has been awarded a new airport services contract with the city of Houston, Texas. The three-year contract, with options for an additional two years, is expected to generate in excess of $7.5 million in revenue over the initial three years of the contract. JBT AeroTech will provide comprehensive gate and baggage handling maintenance services for the equipment that the Houston Airport System owns at George Bush International Airport/Houston (IAH) and at William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). JBT AeroTech will also implement a customized Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) in an effort to provide improved maintenance efficiency and reliability.
¦ Swissport International, a provider of ground services to the aviation sector, announced that it will be ceasing its ground handling operations in Singapore at the end of March 2009 for economic reasons and further focusing its activities on other Asian markets. Swissport said the business continuity for all Swissport customers during the transition period is secured and also fair severance arrangements have been devised for the employees affected.
¦ Global engineering group, Cavotec MSL, has won two orders for ground support systems and associated equipment from Shanghai Hongqiao International and Guangzhou Baiyun International airports in China, as part of the airports’ expansion programs. At Shanghai Hongqiao, Cavotec is supplying 57 coilers and 26 vault access covers as part of the airport’s expansion that includes a 250,000m² terminal building and a new 3,300-meter runway. Cavotec will deliver 28 coilers for the second phase of Baiyun’s Terminal 1 development program.
¦ JBT Corporation announced that JBT AeroTech has been awarded the maintenance service contract for John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. The contract is for three years and is expected to generate in excess of $13 million in revenue over the life of the contract. The contract also includes an option to extend for two additional one-year periods. The scope of the contract includes monitoring and maintaining all passenger boarding bridges, pre-conditioned air units, aircraft ground power units and baggage handling systems at the airport. JBT AeroTech, a former wholly owned FMC Technologies’ subsidiary, has been providing John Wayne Airport with maintenance and management services since 1992.
¦ AERO Specialties provided Signature Flight Support with a wide variety of ground support equipment for the presidential inauguration and the Super Bowl. AERO designed and built a special “Towbar Trolley” for the occasion, which allows a complete set of towbars and heads to be easily and quickly moved from one location to another. In addition to the Towbar Trolley, equipment that went to Dulles and Tampa included a lavatory service cart, potable water cart, all-wheel-drive aircraft tractor and diesel-powered GPU. The total value of the equipment package AERO provided to Signature was about $150,000.
People in the News
¦ Hydrogen Engine Center Inc., developer, manufacturer and distributor of turn-key alternative-fuel energy solutions for the industrial and power generation markets, announced that Jan Rowinski accepted the appointment as chairman of the Board of Directors for HEC Canada. The appointment comes as a result of Ted Hollinger’s resignation from all Board of Director positions within HEC and is effective immediately. Rowinski has been a member of the Canadian Board of Directors since May 2008 as successor to the late Dr. Tapan Bose. In July 2008, Rowinski was appointed to the HEC Iowa Board of Directors.
¦ Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation announced that Kenny Young has been promoted to the position of director of applications and planning, reporting directly to Managing Director of IT Jeff Main. In his new position, Young will be responsible for all application software development, software package selections, application management and IT systems planning at Air Wisconsin. In addition to the software and development and management aspects of his new position, Young will lead the systems planning process for the IT department.
¦ VT Services Inc., a provider of ground support equipment (GSE) fleet management, maintenance and training, announced the appointment of Pat Brown as the new business development director for North America. Brown will operate from the Alpharetta, Ga., headquarters of VT Services Inc. and brings with him a wealth of experience in the aviation industry — working for John Bean Technologies (formally FMC Technologies) for more than 21 years, with his last position as executive sales manager.
¦ Swissport International has appointed Peter Moser as executive vice president global human resources. Moser will assume the newly created position, in which he will also sit on group executive management, March 1, 2009.
¦ JLG Industries Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK], announced today that Donald F. Roy has been appointed to the role of senior vice president — manufacturing. In this role, Roy will be responsible for leading JLG operations and lean initiatives, as well as developing and executing JLG’s global manufacturing strategy.