News in Brief

Business Buzz American Airlines was fined $231,000 for 22 significant safety violations at O’Hare International Airport. The citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration included six repeat violations and a rare...

Business Buzz

American Airlines was fined $231,000 for 22 significant safety violations at O’Hare International Airport. The citations issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration included six repeat violations and a rare “willful” infraction. With a willful citation, OSHA is claiming an employer knew a safety problem existed that could kill or seriously injure a worker but didn’t correct it. In a statement, American said it “takes issue with some of OSHA’s findings, particularly the classification of one citation as willful. We anticipate having discussions with OSHA concerning these and other related issues.” The inspection was carried out between late January and late March and included two American hangars, a cargo building, a baggage room, ramp services, and ticket and gate services.

Congressional negotiators have agreed on a compromise bill that would phase in over three years a system requiring commercial cargo be checked by authorities before flights. Now federal inspectors would have to treat commercial cargo as they do passengers and their luggage — using a combination of x-ray machines, chemical-sniffing dogs and other measures to make sure terrorists aren’t trying to sneak aboard explosives or weapons via cargo holds. The Air Transport Association had previously expressed misgivings about any extensive plan to inspect all commercial cargo on passenger-airlines, saying it would impede commerce. But the ATA said in a statement, it’s initial review of the compromise bill, OK’d by Senate and House negotiators, indicates it can support the new system. The bill “prudently” creates a “multi layered” security system that won’t harm the free-flow of commerce, said James C. May, ATM’s president.

The Federal Aviation Administration has given Boeing Co. approval to let an Oregon company begin operating the fleet of gigantic cargo planes that are delivering large pieces of the 787 jet to the final assembly line. Evergreen International Airlines, a unit of McMinnville, Oregon-based Evergreen International Aviation Inc., will run and maintain Boeing’s fleet of Dreamlifters, modified 747s that in April began ferrying fuselage sections, wings and other large chunks of the first 787 Dreamliner from factories in Italy, Japan and South Carolina to Boeing’s wide body assembly plant here. The FAA certified Boeing’s Dreamlifter in June, but Evergreen had to prove it was capable of operating the aircraft. The company already has several Boeing 747s in its fleet but needed 747-400 certification.

In August US Airways fired 50 Philadelphia International Airport baggage handlers who falsified overtime records on the airline’s computerized timekeeping system. The airline accused the employees of obtaining managers’ computer passwords and altering records to make it look as if they had worked overtime when they did not, said spokeswoman Andrea Rader. US Airways said it hasn’t yet ascertained how much employees were paid for overtime they didn’t work. Rader said criminal charges could be filed against the workers.

NMC-Wollard was honored by the Defense Supply Center Richmond as one of the government’s best suppliers at an Automated Rest Value System award ceremony held during the center’s annual business conference in June. NMC-Wollard accepted the gold medal from the commander of the supply center, Navy Rear Adm. Mark Heinrich. The company supplies the MB4 tow tractor to the Department of Defense and other government agencies. Firms that qualify for the medal must meet stringent quality and delivery requirements established by the Defense Logistics Agency. The Automated Best Value computerized system collects a vendor’s past performance data and translates it into a numerous score, ranging from zero to 100.To be eligible, vendors must have shipped 10 or more contract lines for DSCR during a 12-month rating period.

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