¦ Continental Airlines has received an award from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment Program in recognition of the airline’s use of an environmentally friendly, non-chromium surface pretreatment for its aircraft. Continental is the first commercial air carrier to use this technology on its aircraft, using a product called PreKote, produced by Pantheon Chemical. This is Continental’s second EPA award. The carrier has also been recognized by NASA and FORTUNE magazine for its environmental leadership.
¦ The Transportation Security Administration is launching a program that for the first time aims to screen all cargo on passenger airplanes. The effort begins this summer in major cities and could lead to longer delivery times for packages shipped through the air. It seeks to close a hole that allows millions of packages to be carried under passenger cabins without being checked for bombs. A law enacted last year requires that all passenger-plane cargo be screened, starting in 2010.
¦ Swissport Cargo Services extended its airfreight activities to Vienna Airport at the beginning of April. The new operation is set to handle some 25,000 tons of cargo a year, and the present warehouse capacity should be extended to more than 3,300 square meters by 2009. The first customers of the new Swissport Cargo Services operation include Lufthansa, Air France/KLM, Alitalia and DHL.
¦ Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Berlin’s airports will sell their stakes in ground handling company GlobeGround Berlin GmbH to WISAG Group, according to a statement by Lufthansa. No financial details were disclosed. The German flagship carrier holds a 49-percent stake in GlobeGround, while the Berlin airports hold the remaining shares, Lufthansa said. The deal is pending regulatory approval. GlobeGround will continue operations under WISAG, it said.
¦ FMC Technologies Inc. reported first quarter 2008 revenue of $1.3 billion, up 32 percent over the first quarter of 2007 with the growth coming from each of its four reporting segments. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations was $0.62, up 38 percent from $0.45 per diluted share in the prior-year quarter. The diluted earnings per share of $0.62 for the first quarter included a $0.01 per share charge associated with the intended spin-off of the FoodTech and Airport Systems businesses and a $0.06 per share charge associated with non-cash mark-to-market charges for foreign currency contracts. In the first quarter, inbound orders for the company totaled $1.4 billion, of which $1.2 billion was in Energy Systems. Backlog reached a record $5 billion, including a record $4.6 billion in Energy Systems. Operating profit in Energy Systems was strong, up 53 percent in Energy Production Systems and up 30 percent in Energy Processing Systems from the first quarter of 2007.
¦ Swissport will extend its present passenger services at Kiev Airport to ramp activities on June 1. The company has just won the corresponding Page 2 license for a 10-year period. The expansion underlines Swissport’s high ambitions for the Ukrainian market. The Swissport customer portfolio in Kiev includes home hub carrier Ukraine International and more than 20 other airlines.
¦ In 2008, Hannay Reels celebrates its diamond jubilee anniversary, marking 75 years of reel pride for the company. Since 1933, the Hannay family has owned and operated the world’s leading manufacturing facility of hose and cable reels. The formula for more than seven decades of success has included continual facility expansion, along with constant product developments in order to meet market needs and solve customers’ unique problems.
¦ A number of air carriers elected to adopt new ground handling solutions for their operations at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at the beginning of the year. Flybe, Asiana, Dallo, Egyptair, Ethiopian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air Transat and Lufthansa will all commence new partnerships with Swissport in the next two months (some of them in collaboration with WFS). The new agreements reflect the efforts currently being made by Star Alliance to bring as much of its members’ ground handling operations “under one roof” as possible.
¦ Swissport has also reported further commercial success and new business agreements at Athens Airport from April 1. Jet2.com, Albanian Airlines and Volare have all signed up to receive Swissport services at Athens. Monarch Airlines has entrusted all its ground handling to Swissport, not only in Athens but also on the four Greek islands served by the UK-based carrier.
¦ In an effort to further bolster airport security, the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and a number of representatives from key airports across the country are working to create, through a detailed concept of operations, a biometric-based solution for the next generation of aviation worker credentialing and access control. The effort — known as the Biometric Airport Security Identification Consortium (BASIC) — is aimed at utilizing the experience and expertise of the airport community to ensure that ongoing efforts to deploy biometric-based systems in airports come to fruition as quickly as possible in a manner that does not disrupt airport operations or diminish security.
¦ Snodgrass & Sons Construction has begun work on a new cargo building at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport. The building will replace the existing cargo building that will be demolished next year to make way for a new terminal. The 48,000-square-foot cargo building is scheduled for completion in early February. It will cost about $6 million and will be funded from airport revenue. The building is used by air cargo companies for storage of goods in transit and for offices.
¦ AA Cargo President Dave Brooks accepted the International Airline of the Year award, as well as additional recognition for a second place finish in the competition among US airlines for Best Domestic Carrier. The awards are determined by an annual survey of XLA members who use the services of carriers for their express deliveries around the world.
¦ eTug LLC today announced that GAT Airline Ground Support headquartered in Mobile, Ala., have purchased eTugs for several California operations. With fuel prices rising fast and California’s mandatory requirements to reduce emissions on the horizon, GAT decided to act now.
¦ Panasonic Computer Solutions Company introduced upgrades to its Panasonic Toughbook 19 rugged convertible tablet computer. The next generation Toughbook 19F convertible tablet PC joins Panasonic’s flagship Toughbook 30F clamshell notebook with its incorporation of the Core 2 Duo processor and expanded memory capabilities. The 5.1 lb Toughbook 19 also offers an optional integrated camera for use in inspection and incident documentation applications for which the convertible tablet has become widely deployed in military, government and commercial applications.
¦ A new airport animal facility has been launched by Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt, Germany. The new Frankfurt Animal Lounge near Gate 26 in the north of the airport offers a total floor space of 3,750 m2 for the departments for animal transports, which were previously dispersed around the airport complex.
¦ ASIG® announced that it has been awarded a new contract with US Airways to provide aircraft fueling service to the carrier’s 32 daily flights at Los Angeles International Airport.
¦ Ship it AOG announced it has signed a definitive agreement with Unitron LP to become a factory-authorized distributor for its new aircraft ground power products. Since 2002, Ship it AOG has worked closely with Unitron to sell and lease previously owned ground power units (GPUs). All products are factory-tested and repaired by Unitron prior to sale, with a warranty provided by Ship it AOG. Under the new agreement, Ship it AOG will market and warehouse Unitron’s 400 Hz GPUs and PwrKart™ frequency converters, dramatically reducing the lead time for delivery of product.
¦ Air Wisconsin Airlines Corporation announced an expanded agreement with United Airlines, which adds ramp services to the overwing (passenger) services. Air Wisconsin currently performs at United’s Washington Dulles (IAD) hub, and also increases from 23 to 27 the number of cities throughout the United States in which Air Wisconsin provides complete ground handling services for United Express flights. Effective April 1, in a continuation of its long-standing ground handling relationship with United, Air Wisconsin began providing baggage loading, aircraft servicing and aircraft deicing in addition to their existing ticket counter, check-in, gate and station operations services for more than 200 daily United Express flights at Dulles. Air Wisconsin will also provide complete United Express ground handling services at Myrtle Beach, SC (MYR), Birmingham, Ala. (BHM), Norfolk, Va. (ORF) and Saginaw, Mich. (MBS).
¦ Menzies Aviation announced the award of a further three-year contract with Thai Airways International for cargo handling at London Heathrow Airport. The contract commenced March 1, 2008 and includes full cargo handling and regional trucking. The airline operates two flights daily between Bangkok and London Heathrow using Boeing 747 aircraft. Thai Airways, a founder member and major carrier in the Star Alliance network, flies to more than 70 destinations worldwide in 36 countries.
¦ I.D. Systems Inc., a leading provider of wireless solutions for controlling, tracking and managing industrial vehicles, and Zetes Industries, the leading pan-European systems integrator of automatic identification technologies, announced that they have finalized an agreement under which Zetes will market I.D. Systems’ products and services throughout Europe.
¦ Cavotec MSL Holdings Ltd. (CCC) announced that it has acquired the Dabico Group, based in California, United States, a leading international manufacturer of airport ground support equipment. The transaction is effective as of April 23, 2008. From its US and UK-based manufacturing operations, Dabico engineers in-ground airport supply systems that provide safe and efficient delivery of aviation fuel and utilities to all types of commercial and military aircraft. Over the past 40 years, Dabico has supplied these systems to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and airports all over the world.
¦ Alien Technology, a leader in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Ultra High Frequency (UHF) products and services, and George Schmitt & Co., one of the largest producers of RFID enabled labels, announced that George Schmitt & Co. was awarded the contract for RFID-enabled baggage handling at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) using Alien’s Squiggle® tags.
¦ Menzies Aviation announced that on May 1, 2008, it commenced operations at Austin Bergstrom International Airport with JetBlue Airways as its launch customer. Austin Bergstom International Airport will become Menzies Aviation’s third station in Texas, and will complement its established operations at Dallas Fort-Worth and Houston international airports where it offers a full range of passenger, ramp and cargo operations. The company will now operate at 16 stations in the US.
¦ Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s cargo unit said it signed a memorandum of understanding to form a strategic cooperation with AiRUnion and Russia’s Krasnojarsk Airport. The companies aim to “create all operational and commercial prerequisites” to allow Lufthansa Cargo to use Krasnojarsk Airport in Siberia as a stopover point for flights to and from Asia, according to a statement. The modernization should be completed by the end of this year, Lufthansa Cargo said. Within five months after that time, Lufthansa Cargo plans to start regular flights via Krasnojarsk.
¦ I.D. Systems Inc. announced that it has acquired PowerKey, the industrial vehicle monitoring products division of International Electronics Inc., a manufacturer of access control and security equipment, for $500,000. Simultaneously, I.D. Systems has launched a new wireless product termed PowerKeyPLUS(tm) targeted at the entry-level segment of the industrial vehicle management market.PowerKeyPLUS(tm) emphasizes vehicle access control, safety checklists and impact sensing — the most popular functions for managing the inherent safety and maintenance issues associated with industrial vehicles.
People in the News
¦ The Transportation Security Administration has named Nancy Baggott as the federal security director for Long Beach Airport, Long Beach, Calif. Baggott has worked in the TSA’s Transportation Security Operations Center since 2003, most recently serving as command duty officer responsible for the operational coordination and crisis management response on a national scale. Prior to coming to TSA, Baggott worked as a FedEx senior manager for sort and ramp operations at Washington-Dulles International Airport where she was responsible for the 24/7 operational environment that moved more than 146 million pounds of freight and sorted more than 15 million packages each year.
¦ Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. announced two additions to its executive management team. Jim Young is the new vice president of distribution, sales and marketing. Young has more than 15 years of experience in the airline and travel industry, with a heavy emphasis on distribution. Also joining the company on May 1, 2008, is Tom Bacon. Bacon will be the new vice president of planning and revenue management, and he comes to Frontier with nearly 30 years of experience in the airline industry.
¦ proveo GmbH has appointed Holger Bergheim as a dedicated head of project management. Bergheim has 20 years of experience in the aviation IT vertical, due to his prior involvement with flight information display, flight information processing and resource management solutions.
¦ Alaska Air Group announced the election of Joe Sprague as vice president of Alaska Air Cargo and Ann Ardizzone as vice president of inflight services at Alaska Airlines. Alaska Air Group, based in Seattle, is the parent company of Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.
¦ JLG Industries Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company and a leading manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telescopic material handlers, announced the promotion of Rick Alton to the position of vice president and general manager for JLG’s Caterpillar Alliance Group. Alton began his career with JLG in 1996 as a product specialist. Since then, he has held a variety of positions including account manager, regional sales manager, and global sales and product support vice president for the CAG.