Industry News

CHICAGO PETITIONS TO PRIVATIZE MIDWAY AIRPORT 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...

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.

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