Industry News

Briefings ...

Arinc Direct — announces it will add computerized ETOPS route planning to its portfolio of flight support services for business aircraft, available by midyear.

ATA — Air Transport Association tells the Bush Administration that it opposes a unilateral decision by the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) to force airlines to obtain biometric information on departing foreign passengers. In a letter, ATA president James May writes, “DHS has informed us that it has decided, without consultation with the airline industry, to relieve itself of the responsibility of collecting biometric information upon departure and, instead, to direct airlines to do so.”

Aviation Merchant Services — of Atlanta signs an exclusive marketing agreement with Element Payment Services, a merchant services provider, whereby AMS will market credit card processing services to general aviation businesses nationwide;

Boston Logan Int’l Airport — officials are nearing a deal to move Continental Airlines over to the half-empty $500 million Delta Air Lines Terminal A, which could spur a shuffling of airline gates.
• Logan officials also plan a $112 million bond deal to upgrade the airport jet-fuel supply network and refinance old bonds. Some $15.6 million would be used to replace fuel lines in and around terminals B and C.

Canadian Airlines — and airports form a coalition to pressure Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon to adopt a biometric travel screening program that allows passengers to “fast track” through airport security.

City of Santa Monica’s — Airport Commission votes to cordon off nearly 1,200 feet of runway to enhance safety at Santa Monica Airport. The resolution follows an FAA suggestion that the city reduce, by half, the 900 feet of recommended safety area.

Comair — files a third-party complaint against Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, KY, site of a crash that killed 49 people. Complaint was filed in a lawsuit that was brought by the family of a victim in the Aug. 27 crash of Flight 5191 as the plane attempted to take off from the wrong runway. The complaint alleges the airport was negligent with airport construction, in providing inaccurate information about taxiways, and in having inadequate runway markings and lighting.

Dayjet — names former NASA chief strategist Dr. Bruce J. Holmes director, air systems research. Holmes will work with federal/state agencies to deploy next-generation technologies to expand the number of small airports DayJet can utilize with its ‘Per-Seat, On-Demand’ VLJ service.

Delaware County Lawmaker — seeks bipartisan support to create a regional authority to take control of Philadelphia and Lehigh Valley international airports. State Rep. Bryan Lentz, a freshman Democrat from Swarthmore, introduces a bill to establish the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Airport Authority.

Delta Air Lines — will give the Albany County (NY) Airport Authority shares in the carrier upon emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization to settle the airport’s claims against Delta for $237,691 and against its Comair subsidiary for $58,111.

Ebace 2007 — the 7th Annual European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition sets an attendance record with 11,267 attendees, a 15 percent increase over 2006. Meeting featured 354 exhibitors and some 60 business aircraft displayed.

Encore FBO, LLC — based in Houston adds Sun Western Flyers of Bullhead City, AZ, its fifth FBO acquisition since Nov., 2006. Locations include Addison, TX, Sioux Falls; SD, Dublin, Ireland and Paris.

Expressjet — begins non-stop service to New Orleans, Austin, and Kansas City.

Florida Community College — at Jacksonville (FCCJ) and the Jacksonville Aviation Authority plan to construct a $20 million Aircraft Coating Educational Facility at Cecil Field. JAA provided $10 million to FCCJ in support of the project, a sum matched by the legislature.

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood Int’l Airport — comes under fire by county commissioners who question why almost half of the $247 million borrowed for construction remains unspent. County must spend some $112 million by late 2009 and could face IRS charges topping $1 million for changing construction plans, according to reports. Projects to be built with the money: the next phase of realigning airport access roads and adding pedestrian bridges between the parking garages and the terminals.

HAI — Helicopter Association Int’l offers its 2007 Helicopter Annual, a comprehensive reference guide; free download at

Int’l Communications Group — of Newport News, VA announces that FAA has granted it Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) to produce and replace satellite communication systems on the Boeing 737-700 aircraft.

Jet Source — a full-service aviation firm at Carlsbad, CA, will build a second facility at Henderson, NV, scheduled to open in 2008, that will consist of two 35,000-sq. ft. hangars and an executive terminal.

Kansas City Aviation Dept. — opens its $90 million KCI Rental Car Facility for business, which consolidates ten rental car agencies into a single facility.

Long Beach (ca) City Council — considers authorizing the city to prepare a final design, along with a financing plan and space allocation details, for the airport terminal improvement project. If approved, a three-month bidding period will follow for a construction company to complete the project by April 2011.

McClellan-Palomar Airport — in Carlsbad, CA will replace various existing facilities with a new terminal in a $24 million facelift. San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approves a plan to use federal grants to combine ten smaller upgrades into a single large project.

Metropolitan Airports Commission — of Minneapolis-St. Paul gives final approval to a $239 million reduction in airport fees for Northwest Airlines in return for the airline keeping its hub and headquarters at MSP. Plan will lower fees for all airlines at MSP from 2006 to 2020; other airlines will pay $40 million less under the new rates.

Oakland Int’l Airport — begins a $300 million upgrade that includes expansion and redesign of the airport’s terminals, roads, and curbside areas.

Orlando Int’l Airport — plans to move ahead with the construction of a transportation hub, the first piece of a long-awaited south terminal complex. The facility, which will include buses, taxis, resort shuttles such as Disney’s Magical Express, and potentially rail, is estimated to cost at least $200 million. In time, the hub may include a hotel and conference center.

Orlando Sanford Int’l Airport — leases 4,020 square feet of industrial space at Airport Commerce Park to Sam’s Graphix, a sign manufacturer. Airport also awards five-year airport rental car concessions to Alamo/National, Hertz, Avis/Budget, Dollar/Thrifty, and Enterprise Leasing.

Raytheon Technical Services, LLC — a subsidiary of Raytheon Co., receives a contract valued up to $16.3 million to provide passenger and baggage screening services at two Florida commercial airports, Key West Int’l Airport and the Florida Keys Marathon Airport, under TSA’s Screening Partnership Program (SPP). Period of performance is four years, four months.

Sacramento Int’l Airport — and Air-Transport IT Services, Inc. (AirIT), a provider of airport/airline technologies, announces that new entrant ExpressJet Airlines will use the AirIT common use passenger processing system, EASE™.

Security Screeners — at Kansas City Int’l Airport vote, by a nearly two-to-one ratio, to join the International Union, Security, Police, Fire, Professionals of America. It was the third vote by the screeners.

SITA — a provider of IT business solutions and communication services, and Servisair, a global operator in aviation ground services, announce a working partnership to provide ground airport services in Europe and North America. 

Skybus Airlines — and Mercury Air Cargo, Inc., a subsidiary of Mercury Air Group Inc., announce a strategic partnership in which Mercury will provide marketing, sales, accounting, and operational oversight for all Skybus flights in the U.S. using the Mercury World Cargo brand.

• Skybus launches its new air carrier service, based in Columbus, OH, on May 22, with service to Burbank, CA; Portsmouth, NH; and Kansas City. Subsequent start-up service is expected for Richmond, VA; Fort Lauderdale; Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC; and Bellingham, WA. Skybus will fly Airbus A319’s.

Small Community Airlines, Inc. — based in Dallas, seeks to offer non-stop scheduled air service from Love Field, and owner Lewis McPherson challenges the city of Dallas cut a secret deal to stop the airline from competing at Dallas Love Field.

Springfield-Branson (MO) National Airport — is constructing a $116.9 million, 225,000-sq. ft. terminal, slated to open in May 2008. New structure will be nearly 50 percent larger than the existing terminal and was designed by RS&H, headquartered in Jacksonville.