Industry News

Led by Mayor Richard Daley, the City of Chicago seeks to privatize the operation of Midway Airport, via a long-term lease, under the Federal Aviation Administration’s pilot privatization program. The city seeks a 50-year agreement which is expected to infuse some $3 billion to fund the city’s public pension plans and aging infrastructure.

The winning operator will be allowed to collect gate fees and revenues from the airport. In the agreement, the private operator is required to be at par with global standards in airport operations, safety, and security. Expected to participate in the bidding are airport operators and infrastructure investment-funds, including Ferrovial, Macquarie, Hochtief, Goldman Sachs, Aeroports De Paris, Morgan Stanley, Babcock & Brown, General Electric and Citigroup among others.

Adam Aircraft files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy “in the absence of additional funding for the company to continue operations.” The aircraft manufacturer, based in Arapahoe County, CO, lists assets of $1 million to $10 million and liabilities of $50 million to $100 million.

The company lists more than 800 creditors on its bankruptcy filing, including the city of Pueblo, the Colorado Department of Revenue, the Hyatt Regency Tech Center and Qwest. Individuals, including company founder Rick Adam, say the company owes them money as well.

Adam Aircraft had been selling a piston-driven aircraft and was on nearing FAA approval on a new very light jet.

Some in industry speculate that an investor could purchase the remaining assets and restart the development and production. Robert Olislagers, director of Centennial Airport where Adam Aircraft is based, is quoted in the Rocky Mountain News as saying “I expect some spirited bidding for what’s left over.”

Adam Aircraft’s lease with Centennial Airport has 35 years remaining, valued at $1.4 million. The airport is asking the court to terminate the lease.

Meanwhile, it’s reported that aviation companies around the country are interviewing former Adam Aircraft employees, citing an industry employee shortage.

Briefings ...

AAAE — American Association of Airport Executives contracts its Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC) to FLO Corporation as part of the company’s participation in the Registered Traveler (RT) program. FLO Corporation is the fifth RT vendor to sign an agreement with the TSC.

ACI-NA — Airports Council Inter-national – North America thanks Congress for passing H.R. 5270, which will allow Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grants to be distributed to U.S. airports under the current budget continuing resolution. The previous resolution enacted in early January failed to authorize grant distribution by FAA.

Airtrain jFK — and AirTrain Newark, the rail systems that connect mass transit in the New York metropolitan region to Kennedy Int’l and Newark Liberty Int’l airports, set new ridership benchmarks in 2007.
AirTrain JFK served more than 4.4 million paid passengers last year, an increase of about 12 percent over 2006. AirTrain Newark handled nearly 1.8 million paid passengers, an increase of about 13.5 percent over 2006.

Allegheny County (PA)Airport Authority — says a refinancing of bonds issued to fund the airport’s construction will lower debt service from $62 million to $52 million this year, resulting in lower fees charged to airlines. The authority also reduces $1 million in costs related to insurance. The $11 million in total savings will be passed on to the airlines, in accordance with terms of their leases. The authority reports that airport traffic declined 1.6 percent in 2007.

ASIG — wins a seven-year contract to provide full ground handling services to all carriers operating at John F. Kennedy Int’l Airport’s Terminal One. ASIG will provide ramp handling, tower coordination, bag room staffing, lavatory and water service, cargo and mail handling, aircraft deicing, and other services to all 16 airlines operating at Terminal One.

aviation resiliency project — launches at JFK Int’l Airport’s Terminal 4. The initiative is geared toward improving customer service by helping airline and airport workers to develop “resiliency skills” to handle the pressures of a busy air travel system.

bts — Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), part of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reports that the 20 airlines reporting on-time performance with DOT recorded an on-time arrival rate of 73.4 percent in 2007, down from their 75.4 percent mark in 2006.

Canadian Airports Council — urges the Minister of Finance to adopt the recommendation of the finance standing committee that would see legal changes allowing for the introduction of Arrivals Duty Free in Canada. CAC urges the minister to act on submissions made to the committee on airport rent and the Air Travelers’ Security Charge, which CAC maintains puts Canadian airports at a competitive disadvantage.

Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County (CA) Airport — officials want to make a pitch for more Marin travelers to use Santa Rosa as an alternative to flying from San Francisco or Oakland.

Cleveland Hopkins Int’l Airport — chooses BAA USA to become its developer of retail, food, and beverage concessions and establish an Airmall®. BAA has already established Airmalls at Pittsburgh Int’l, Baltimore/Washington Int’l Thurgood Marshall, and Boston Logan.
Continental connection — begins 18 weekly round-trip flights between Naples, Fla. and Tampa.

Dane County Regional airport — launches a new advertising campaign to increase the awareness of airline destination availability and emphasize the ease of use of local airport facilities.

dayjet — adds Naples, FL and Savannah, GA to its DayPort™ service network. Company projects the communities will receive a total annual economic impact in excess of $10 million each from the DayJet service within its first three years of operation.

Delaware North Com-panies — Travel Hospitality Services opens two new locations of the Tootsies Orchid Lounge at Nashville Int’l Airport. The bar and restaurant is an offshoot of the famous Nashville honky tonk.

Denver Int’l Airport — names Kim Day, an aviation consultant and former executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, its new aviation manager at Denver International Airport. Day succeeds Turner West, who is retiring.
• Denver’s parking garages are undergoing a four-phase moisture protection program implemented by Walker Restoration Consultants.

Embraer — selects Rosen Aviation, in partnership with Heads Up Technologies and Mid Continent Controls, as the standard in-flight entertainment system supplier for the Phenom 100 and 300 aircraft. The center-point of the system is the RosenView VX combo unit, a world-wide moving map, DVD player, and audio video switching system.

Emirates Airlines — begins daily nonstop service from Houston’s George Bush Int’l Airport to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

faa — Office of Airports releases its Environmental Desk Reference for Airport Actions, a companion to Order 5050.4B and which summarizes applicable special purpose laws in one location for convenience and quick reference;

flight school 2008 — an executive workshop for start-ups in air and space in conjunction with Imaginova, will take place June 4 to 6 in Boulder, CO. After the workshop, participants will have the opportunity to take a Zero-G flight;

Ft. Lauderdale-hollywood int’l airport — administrators are accused by Broward County auditors of skirting purchasing rules and trying to award business without a bid. Airport wanted Broward County commissioners earlier this week to expand an $8 million contract to redesign Terminal 4 and to separate an additional $1 million contract to oversee construction. County auditors accuse the airport of widespread purchasing mismanagement, saying deals are expanded to avoid bidding and that officials improperly influence the hiring of subcontractors. Airport executives and their superiors in county administration say it’s necessary because of construction and purchasing schedules.

Flightsafety foundation — will hold a panel discussion on criminal prosecutions in the wake of aircraft accidents at the European Aviation Safety Seminar March 10–12 in Bucharest, Romania. Seminar is co-presented with the European Regions Airline Association. EASS panel is moderated by FSF general counsel Kenneth Quinn, a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop and former chief counsel for FAA.

KAZ aviation — opens a full-service FBO at Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM). KAZ Aviation plans to open approximately ten additional fixed base operations throughout the U.S. over the next several years.

Hawker beechcraft acquisition company, llc — reports 150 business and general aviation aircraft deliveries for its fourth quarter and 430 for the year in 2007. Deliveries for the full year 2007 include those delivered by Raytheon Aircraft, the predecessor business to HBAC, in the first calendar quarter of the year.

  • HBAC appoints London-based Allaero Ltd. as an authorized parts distributor for Rapid Aircraft Parts Inventory and Distribution (RAPID), HBC’s factory-direct source for aircraft parts.
  • HBAC plans a $14 million investment at its Indianapolis Hawker Beechcraft Services aircraft maintenance and service facility at Indianapolis Int’l Airport, including a state-of-the-art maintenance center.
  • HBAC’s new light-midsize Hawker 750 is certified by FAA. — is named the first ARG/US Certified Broker by Aviation Research Group, U.S., Inc. (ARG/US), a third-party safety auditor for the aviation industry.
Kalamazoo/Battle Creek (MI) int’l airport — prevents losing its gift shop by waiving a tenant’s $6,000 annual rent, and will instead accept payment in the form of tickets and event space at the Air Zoo, which runs the store.

Kansas City Aviation Dept — pays tribute to Brown v. Board of Education as part of a Black History Month celebration. Special displays highlighting the historic site are located in enclosed glass display cases beneath the mezzanine staircases in the three terminals at the Kansas City Int’l Airport.

Lindbergh field — in San Diego continues its push to add ten gates in an upgrade of Terminal 2 on the airport’s west side, while also pursuing a long-term expansion that would add a new terminal and transportation center north of the runway. Terminal 2 expansion is expected to break ground within two years.

long beach (CA) airport — is cleared for expansion as a judge in Orange County tentatively rules that its noise and air pollution impacts on the surrounding community can be softened.

Los Angeles city commissioners — agree to settle a dispute with several major airlines over a fee hike imposed in 2006 to help pay for security costs at Los Angeles Int’l Airport terminals. The Board of Airport Commissioners approves an agreement to settle a joint lawsuit brought by American Airlines, Continental Airlines Inc., and United Airlines. The city also reaches separate settlements with Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp.

The airlines agree to pay their shares of an $11 million per year increase in terminal security costs. The airport will credit the airlines for roughly $20 million in payments the air carriers already had paid in protest. Airlines also agree to pay up to $218.7 million for construction of a new central utility plant at the airport.

More than 25 other domestic and international air carriers have lawsuits pending over the fee hikes.

ltu — selects ASIG® as its ground handler at JFK Int’l Airport to provide passenger handling services.

Mexicana Airlines — will operate three flights a week on the Mexico City – Edmonton route starting June 1.

nav canada — technology is being incorporated at the new 70-meter high control tower at Copenhagen Airport. Naviair, the Danish air navigation service provider, teamed up with NAV CANADA to adapt the Canadian-designed Extended Computer Display System (EXCDS), the advanced ‘paperless’ flight-data system, for Copenhagen. The Danish version of EXCDS is called NITOS — Naviair Integrated Tower Operating System.

Panama city - Bay County (FL) int’l airport — announces that a U.S. District Court has denied airport opponents’ motion to halt construction at the new Panama City - Bay County Int’l Airport. The new airport is being built on a 4,000-acre site in northwestern Bay County donated by The St. Joe Company.

reveal imaging technologies — announces its pilot programs for the CT-80XL automated explosives detection system (EDS) has successfully completed a TSA pilot at Jacksonville, FL and Denver, CO. Reveal Imaging was contracted by TSA to automate explosives detection and streamline the process of inspecting and handling oversized bags, including ski and golf equipment, which remains a manual process in airports.

sterling aviation — a business aircraft management and charter company headquartered at Milwaukee’s Mitchell Int’l Airport, with a base in development in Naples, FL, adds a 10-passenger jet focused on international missions.

stork fokker — and Midcoast Aviation sign an agreement for Midcoast to become the exclusive repair center in North and South America for the Falcon 7X aircraft. Under the agreement, Midcoast Aviation is authorized to perform warranty and non-warranty repairs. Stork Fokker designs and builds wing movables for the Falcon 7X under contract with Dassault Aviation.

Transportation consulting and management — is formed to provide the transportation industry with consulting and management services through all project stages. Senior managers have worked for several airlines and 58 airports on major capital improvement projects like the $1-billion New Indianapolis Airport Project and on smaller, short-duration consulting assignments. Richard Potosnak, program manager on the $1-billion New Indianapolis Airport Project, serves as president of the new Indianapolis-based company.

tennant — enters into a purchase agreement with Applied Sweepers, maker of Green Machines® brand cleaning equipment, in a deal valued at some $68 million.

Tucson Airport Author-ity — awards Millennium 3 Tech-nologies a contract for $1.47 million contract to upgrade the existing Parking and Revenue Control System at Tucson Int’l Airport. Project is being funded with TAA parking revenues and is expected to be completed by October 2008.

ultra diamonds — selects JFK Terminal 4 for its first New York airport location.

United airlines — returns daily nonstop service from Tucson to Washington Dulles on June 2.

Vector Aerospace Corp. — enters into a definitive purchase and sale agreement with The Secretary of State for Defence in the U.K. to acquire the Defence Aviation and Repair Agency Rotary Wing and Components businesses for 17 million pounds, subject to a working capital adjustment.

virgin blue airlines — prepares to launch its V Australia international subsidiary and will operate flights with Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, commencing in late 2008.

VivaAerobus — will start no-frills nonstop jet service May 1 from Austin to Cancún and Monterrey, Mexico. Carrier formally launches online travel booking. GE Commercial Aviation Services will operate VivaAerobus’s low-cost airport terminal at AUS, with one-way fares as low as $9.99 — plus taxes and fees —when purchased at least five weeks in advance.