Industry News

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey is fighting to block a Bush administration plan to try to reduce flight delays around the country through an experimental auction of slots at its airports. The authority issued a legal notice stating it will not accept any flights at its three major airports — JFK, Newark Liberty Int’l, and LaGuardia — that are the target of slot auctions.
The agency claims that, as the airport manager, it has the right to disallow departures or arrivals that are issued by auction or similar process. Under the plan, DOT will require carriers at the three airports to auction off some of their existing slots over the next five years and possibly retire others, in combination with limits on the number of flights at peak hours at those airports.

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) completes the sale of the majority of its wholly owned fuel and line operations to BBA Aviation, parent of Signature Flight Support. The sale, announced in February, allows Hawker Beechcraft Services to greater concentrate on its core business – aircraft maintenance, repair, avionics, and modifications – and invest in the further expansion of its existing service centers, according to the company. The sale includes FBO operations at seven U.S. locations in Atlanta; Houston; San Antonio; Indianapolis; Tampa; Wichita; and Van Nuys, CA. HBC will retain its factory-owned HBS maintenance and customer support facilities located at these locations. Operations at Little Rock, Chester, England, and Toluca, Mexico are not affected.

Boston Logan Int’l Airport will be the first airport in the nation to use environmentally friendly asphalt on a runway repaving project, following a vote by Massport to spend $6.3 million on Runway 4R/22L to use so-called “warm mix’’ asphalt which is heated to between 250 and 275 degrees, some 75 to 50 degrees less than traditional “hot mix” asphalt. The difference results in the reduction of nearly 2,000 tons of carbon dioxide, A savings of about 200,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and produce an energy savings of some 26.4 billion BTUs. Another environmental benefit is up to 20 percent of the new asphalt will be made from recycled asphalt.

Briefings …

ACI — Airports Council Int’l, based in Geneva, reports that nearly 1.55 billion passengers arrived and departed from North American airports in 2007, a 3.5 percent increase from the previous year. In contrast, cargo decreased by 1.1 percent while total operations also decreased by 0.9 percent. Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l Airport stayed on top with over 89 million passengers, followed by Chicago O’Hare (76 million), and Los Angeles Int’l Airport (62 million). Memphis Int’l Airport remained the largest cargo airport, handling over 3.8 million metric tons.

Air Travel Consumer Report — by the U.S. DOT Bureau of Transportation Statistics says the 19 carriers reporting on-time performance recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 70.8 percent in June, higher than June 2007’s 68.1 percent but down from May 2008’s 79.0 percent.

Albany County Airport Authority — delays a decision for upgrading its food and beverage concessions for six locations at its terminal facility.

Allegiant Air — will offer nonstop service to Phoenix-Mesa from Great Falls, MT beginning Oct. 23 with introductory fares as low as $89 each way.

ALPA — Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l Airport and Ground Environment (AGE) Group selects Boston Logan Int’l Airport as the 2008 “Airport of the Year” at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. Group selected Logan because of the airport’s extensive efforts to reduce runway incursions and excursions through enhanced markings and technologies, its new physical improvements that reduce congestion and delays, its collaborative efforts to improve safety, and its multi-faceted approach to emergency exercises.

American airlines — is charged with violations by the Federal Aviation Administration, which accuses American of safety and drug-testing violations. Agency says the carrier returned two aircraft into service after pilots reported safety problems. The FAA says two MD-83 airliners were flown 58 times in violation of federal safety regulations. FAA is seeking more than $7 million in penalties from the airline.

AOPA — Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association will hold its annual Expo at the San Jose (CA) McEnery Convention Center November 6-8.

Avidyne Corp. — reports that an FAA Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for “Compatibility Mode” on its TWX670 Tactical Lightning Detection system is imminent. STC will allow the TWX670 to interface with a large number of displays produced by other manufacturers including many popular MFDs, GPSs, and EHSIs.

american science & engineering, inc. — a supplier of X-ray inspection solutions based at Billerica, MA, announces it has received SAFETY (Support Anti-terrorism by Fostering Effective Technology) Act Certification from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security for a range of cargo and parcel X-ray inspection products and associated services.

Boingo Wireless, — a provider of Wi-Fi based in Los Angeles, launches service at Dulles Int’l Airport and Ronald Reagan Airport in the Washington, D.C.

COXREELS® ­— introduces its new 300 Series exhaust hose reel designed to keep facilities free of toxic fumes;

Calgary Airport Authority — commences construction on a new 1,900-stall Parkade facility, initiating the first of several major ten-year development projects designed to keep pace with the more than 12.2 million annual travelers at the airport. This second, multi-level Parkade facility, scheduled for completion by December 2009, will increase the number of available parking stalls to more than 5,000. The $85M Parkade will also serve as the first of the new Parkades for the new East Concourse, which is currently in preliminary design to accommodate international passenger growth at YYC.

DAC International, Inc. — of Austin, TX announces the GEN-X Electronic Flight Bag System has been approved for Class 3 installation in a series of Bombardier Regional Jets.

Dfw int’l Airport — reports it may consider closing one of the airport’s terminals as it grapples to keep costs down in coming months. American Airlines, which operates a hub at D/FW and accounts for more than 80 percent of the facility’s flights, plans to cut 42 flights at D/FW. The airport plans to keep its $640 million annual budget flat despite an estimated $24 million increase in costs and $23 million in lost revenue from airline cutbacks; no layoffs are planned.
• DFW’s Board Finance Committee approves issuance of a request for proposal (RFP) for a Pet Hotel and Resort. The facility, to be located on the airport’s west side, and would cater to passengers’ pets as well as serve animal owners across the North Texas region.

Detroit Metro/wayne county Airport’s — North Terminal reports that a quarter of its 24 gates will not be leased when the new facility opens in September due to a cut in seating capacity by the airline industry. The gates could remain closed for “some time” as flights are cut and airlines move toward smaller planes to cope with the high cost of jet fuel.
• Meanwhile, DTW sets an all-time record for passenger traffic for the first six months of the year, topping June 2007 by 3.4 percent.

EAA — Experimental Aircraft Assn. reports final numbers for this year’s AirVenture: attendance of 540,000; more than 10,000 aircraft; and a total of 2,516 showplanes.

Eclipse Aviation — announces that Harbour Air of Vancouver, British Columbia, will be Eclipse’s first Designated Service Center for the Eclipse 500 in North America. Harbour Air will provide MRO support for Eclipse 500 operators in Western Canada, with the opportunity to expand into Eastern Canada and Alaska.

EVANSVILLE (IN) AIRPORT ­— is the first in the nation to get 3VR, a system that uses facial recognition to screen passengers.

Executive Jet® Manage-ment — a provider of worldwide private jet charter and aircraft management services based in Cincinnati, is approved as a Star Participant in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which OSHA created in 1982 to recognize and partner with businesses that show excellence in occupational safety and health.

FAA — issues an updated Airworthiness Directive for the Eclipse 500 fleet of aircraft, offering clarification on how the aircraft’s Throttle Quadrant Assembly (TQA) should be inspected. A.D. replaces the prior emergency A.D., which was issued by FAA on June 12, 2008. Under the new AD, Eclipse 500 aircraft tested under the previous AD can complete Eclipse TQA testing during their next scheduled aircraft maintenance visit or within the next 60 days.

Frasca Int’l — of Urbana, IL announces that Era Training Center at Ft. Worth receives Level 6 Qualification for its EC-135 Flight Simulation Training Device (FSTD). The EC-135 FSTD, along with a Bell 206 FSTD, are the first two Level 6 helicopter FSTDs under the FAA’s new FAR Part 60 rule.

GAMA — General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. reports second quarter industry billings continue at a record-setting pace of $12.1 billion, a 24.1 percent increase in the first half of 2008. Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 1,034 units compared to 1,226 units delivered in the first half of 2007, a 15.7 percent decrease. Turboprop shipments increased from 186 units in the first half last year to 222 units in 2008. Business jet shipments totaled 663 units in the first half of 2008, a 39.3 percent increase over the 476 units delivered in the second quarter of 2007.

Global Aviation, Inc. — a private, full-service aviation company based at Portland-Hillsboro Airport, is named a Bombardier-Business Aircraft authorized AOG/Line Maintenance Facility for Learjet 40, 45, and 60 aircraft models, the Challenger 604 and 605, as well as the Global family of aircraft.

Hawker Beechcraft Acqui-sition Company, LLC — reports increased orders, improved sales, and higher earnings during the three months ending June 29, 2008 as compared to the same period in 2007. Net bookings for the three months ending June 29, 2008 totaled $1.7 billion, resulting in a new record backlog of $7.4 billion at the end of the second quarter. Net sales for the three months ending June 29, 2008 were $1.02 million.

High Desert Helicopters — of Ogden, UT announces the availability of a new flight training scholarship, the “High Desert Helicopters Aviator Scholarship Program,” which will be awarded to three candidates annually based on demonstrated aptitude, professionalism, and financial need.

HMSHost Corporation, — in partnership with Atlanta firms Shellis Management Services and Trans Air Concessions, will offer high-end retail brands and local Atlanta retail at Hartsfield-Jackson Int’l Airport at four of ATL’s concourses. When construction is completed in 2009, it will include the first free-standing Bvlgari, Salvatore Ferragamo, Ermenegildo Zegna and Sean John stores offered in U.S. airports. The international boutiques will be joined by Kiehl’s, Swarovski, Lancome Beauty Lounge ,and LeSportsac.
• HMSHost is also awarded two 12-year food, beverage, and retail concessions contracts at Norman Y. Mineta San José Int’l Airport, part of the airport’s $1.3 billion Terminal Area Improvement Program. HMSHost and its local partners will bring 24 new restaurant brands and retail shops to the new Terminal B/North Concourse and remodeled Terminal A.

IATA — Int’l Air Transport Assn. releases international traffic data for June that shows a continued slowing of demand growth for air transport. Cargo contracted by 0.8 percent compared to June 2007; passenger demand growth fell to 3.8 percent, the lowest level since 2003. Passenger load factors dropped to 77.6 percent, 1.2 percentage points below the 78.8 percent recorded for June 2007.

Int’l Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers — (District Lodge 70, Local Lodges 733 and 2328) rejects a proposed labor contract with Hawker Beechcraft Corp., leading to an impasse in negotiations.

jimsair — a long-standing fixed base operation at San Diego Lindbergh Int’l Airport, is acquired by Houston-based Landmark Aviation, bringing Landmarks number of FBOs to 42 in the U.S. and Western Europe.

JFK Int’l Airport — welcomes the first scheduled flight of the Airbus A380 to the U.S., provided by Emerates Airlines.

Los Angeles City Council — reports that a multibillion-dollar plan to modernize Los Angeles Int’l Airport will proceed, at least for the short term.
• LAX also will test a pair of machines that let passengers keep their shoes on at security checkpoints. The machines, made by L-3 Communications, resemble a large turnstile and will scan shoes for explosives as air travelers pass through them.

Metropolitan Airports Commission (Minneapolis/St. Paul) ­— chairman calls on Delta Air Lines to present MAC and state leaders with a specific plan about what presence Delta intends to maintain in Minnesota after it acquires Northwest Airlines.

Miami Int’l Airport — selects Ericsson Federal to supply, deploy, and execute systems integration of a high-capacity digital communication and video surveillance system, including deployment and systems integration of an access control system and alarm system to secure more than 1,000 access points across the airport.

Million Air Dallas — now offers 13 aircraft for Part 135 charter: CitationJet 1 (3), CitationJet 2, Learjet 35A, Learjet 40XR, Citation III, Hawker 700, Hawker 800A, Hawker 800XP, Gulfstream III (2), and Challenger 604.

Mooney Airplane Co. — and Air Touring, Ltd., through its associates in Germany, display an Acclaim Type S at Europe’s version of the annual EAA AirVenture Fly-In that takes place in Oshkosh, WI.

Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of commerce — and Horry County, SC, in an effort to protect current domestic air service, announce the reduction of landing fees for a nine-month period, effective September 1, 2008. Landing fees will be eliminated for all non-U.S. routes. Landing fees will be reduced from $1.97 to $.50 per 1,000 lbs. landing weight, a 75 percent reduction. Myrtle Beach will offer carriers the option of paying $2 per available seat for common use terminal area fees and security fees, rather than the rate formula contained in the standard air carrier agreement. The plan allows an airline to calculate the not-to-exceed amount of fees paid to the airport in advance, rather than having the fee depend on the airline’s traffic, as well as overall airport traffic. Both formulas will be calculated, and carriers will be billed the lower of the two amounts.

NBAA -- National Business Aviation Assn. joins the Stop Oil Speculation Now (S.O.S. NOW) coalition, whose members include commercial airlines, other general aviation groups, and highway, agricultural, and other interests, urging the prompt passage of legislation that limits excessive speculation and encourages environmentally sound domestic production.

port authority of ny & nj — announces it will temporarily waive gate and landing fees at Stewart Int’l Airport, which it estimates will result in airline savings worth some $1 million over six months. Move comes after AirTran Airways announced it will stop serving Stewart in September, the loss of Skybus Airlines due to bankruptcy, and announced cutbacks in service by JetBlue and Delta. Port Authority estimates 725,000 travelers will use Stewart this year, down from about 915,000 in 2007.

RLM Software, — a provider of real-time flight information, officially becomes FlightView®.

Sacramento County Air-port System — launches a new website,, to provide the latest information about the new Central Terminal B construction project. Site includes the latest news, links to contractors, employment opportunities with The Big Build, architectural renderings, and a fly-through video of the new terminal.

Safegate Airport Systems — announces that its Safedock® advanced visual docking guidance system has been successfully installed and implemented at 92 gates at Dallas/Fort Worth Int’l Airport. The design-build contract was awarded to Trevino Mechanical Services last November and installation of the docking systems began in March 2008.

SAN DIEGO lindberg int’l airport — Ad Hoc Regional Airport Policy Committee develops a short-list of build-out alternatives for various passenger terminal configurations integrated with an Inter-modal Transit Center (ITC) and airfield concepts. One alternative envisions locating all terminal and ITC facilities on the north side of the runway, while the other two alternatives locate passenger facilities on both sides of the runway with the ITC on the north side.

Senators FRank Lauten-berg (d-nj) and James inhofe (r-ok) — introduce bipartisan legislation that would ensure good faith collective bargaining for FAA employees and provide for an impartial impasse resolution process. The bill would restart contract talks between FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Assn., with the process going to binding arbitration if negotiations are not successful at reaching agreement. The FAA Employee Retention Act (S.3416) seeks to protect federal employees’ collective bargaining rights by requiring either binding arbitration by a panel of arbitrators selected by both parties or allowing both parties, by mutual agreement, to adopt their own procedures for resolving collective bargaining disputes, ending an ongoing cycle of litigation over the correct procedure to resolve impasses under the current law; and second, making null and void any changes to work rules made by FAA without union agreement or employee ratification on or after July 10, 2005.

Spirit Airlines will offer daily service between Ft. Lauderdale and Bogota, Colombia.

Standard Aero, — a DAE Engineering company based in Winnepeg, breaks ground on an 80,000-sq.ft. facility expansion to accommodate increased CF34 engine throughputs.
• Standard Aero also signs two long-term maintenance repair and overhaul agreements with Aerolineas Mesoamericanas (ALMA) in Mexico to support its CRJ200 fleet — one for General Electric CF34-3B1® engines and one for 36-150 auxiliary power units. Agreements are eight-year (four + four one-year options) programs, including spare engines and technical and program management.

Tsa — may allow airports to ban firearms from terminals, parking lots, roads, and other airport areas where many states currently allow passengers to carry lethal weapons. TSA is weighing a request by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int’l Airport to modify its security program to impose an airport-wide ban on guns. It is the first such request to TSA from an airport. Federal law bars passengers from bringing weapons to or past airport checkpoints. But in many airports, state law allows passengers to carry guns and knives in unsecured areas such as a main terminal.

ultimate jetcharters— of North Canton, OH expands its charter fleet with its eleventh Dornier 328 Jet.

Universal Avion-ics Systems Corp. — of Tucson announces an agreement with Hawker Beechcraft Ltd. to provide digital flat-panel glass displays and flight management systems for a fleet of Hawker 125-700B series aircraft. Upgrade package replaces existing flight and engine analog instruments with Universal’s SBAS-capable UNS-1Fw FMSs, EFI-890R flat panel instrument displays, and Application Server Unit (ASU) with UCDT-III displays.