FAA — Office of Airports recent appointments:
• Michael J. O’Donnell, A.A.E., currently the executive director of the South Carolina Division of Aeronautics, will become the Director of Airports safety and standards, succeeding Dave Bennett.
• Randy Fiertz is now the Director of the Office of Airport Compliance and Field Operations in the Office of Airports. He is presently Senior FAA Rep for South Asia.
• Frank SanMartin is named the manager of the Airports Financial Assistance Division.
gama — General Aviation Manufacturers Assn. reports first quarter billings were up 16.1 percent to $5.3 billion, an all-time high for the first quarter, while total shipments were down by 7.5 percent. Piston-powered airplane shipments totaled 399 units, a 28 percent decrease. Business jet shipments totaled 297 units in the first quarter, a 40.8 percent increase over the 211 units delivered in the first quarter of 2007.
gate gourmet — based in Zurich agrees to purchase airline catering units in five cities from Air Berlin and SCK Sky Catering Kitchen GmbH.
global aviation services — at Houston George Bush Intercontinental is named a Twin Commander service center.
hawker beechcraft corp. — receives European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for the Hawker 750; aircraft has also received type certifications in India, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.
• OEM reports it has bolstered the company’s backlog to a record $6.8 billion.
• Hawker Beechcraft also launches the Beechcraft Premier II light business jet, featuring a twin turbofan, swept wing, and state-of-the-art all-composite fuselage.
hmshost — based in Bethesda, MD, enters into a memorandum of understanding with the Dept. of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency to enhance business opportunities for Minority Business Enterprises in airports.
houston airport system — and its affiliate HAS Development Corp. enter into a partnership with the Texas Engineering Extension Service, a member of the Texas A&M University System, to establish an aircraft rescue & firefighting training facility at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).
huntsville int’l airport — and Memphis-based AirHost, Inc. open a new airport concessions area, adding Gevalia Coffee, McAlister’s Deli, Breyer’s Ice Cream, Arrezzio® pizza, and upscale pub — part of a $65 million expansion and renovation project at the Port of Huntsville.
jet aviation — based in Geneva signs a memorandum of understanding with Airod, a Malaysian aerospace maintenance/repair/overhaul firm, to jointly provide FBO, line maintenance, and AOG services at Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport in August.
jacksonville int’l — opens one side of its state-of-the-art Concourse A and continues reconstruction of the original terminal. By November, both sides of Concourse A will be operational, and the west side of Concourse C will open. The concourses, which cost some $170 million, contain a total of 20 gates.
jetblue — suspends plans to start serving LAX, citing the price of jet fuel.
jfk in’tl airport — institutes the Resiliency Edge, a training program designed to give workers tools to relieve pressures on themselves as they solve problems for travelers; developed by the Human Resiliency Institute at Fordham University.
king aerospace — Commer-cial Corp. of Ardmore, OK is approved for a General Authority of Civil Aviation Authorization/Repair Station Certificate. GACA manages and operates all international and domestic airports and aircraft in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
L.A. CITY COUNCIL — upholds the award of a $41.5 million contract to Fentress Architects to design the new Midfield Concourse and several new gates at the Tom Bradley Int’l Terminal at LAX. Council expresses its support of Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of LAX, who had been under scrutiny for the handling of contracts. A subsequent audit cleared Lindsey.
lambert-st. louis int’l — unveils a $16 million restaurant makeover plan, part of a seven-year, 11-month contract extension with HMSHost, which will introduce eight new food concepts with an emphasis on adding popular St. Louis food brands including Mosaic, Fitz’s and Imo’s Pizza. Deal requires city council approval.
MACQUARIE GROUP — headquartered in Australia, reportedly offers to pay Austin, TX $500 million to lease Austin-Bergstrom Int’l Airport via a privatization initiative under consideration.
The expansion would involve extending the east end of the concourse by a couple of hundred yards.
Neither Southwest nor US Airways can add flights as they would like until the disagreement ends.
The airport appears to be on track to serve more than 27 million passengers by year's end for the first time in five years.