Direct from Inter Airport — Outlook 2006

I had the pleasure to speak with many GSE manufacturers, suppliers and distributors in Munich. Following is their take on the show and a brief industry outlook for 2006.


Charlatte GSE

Inter Airport Europe proved to be very worthwhile for the Charlatte Team. The global presence of customers substantiated its decision to introduce its prototype hybrid diesel/electric tow tractor.

Charlatte will use the Munich show as a springboard to introduce two new products to the airport ramp at the Aviation Industry Expo (AIE) in 2006, where it will present a new full size A/C powered belt loader as well as the value-priced TE208 (48) volt electric tractor for indoor and outdoor airport applications.

Farwest Aircraft Inc.

According to Farwest, even though its “big” show to exhibit tooling and equipment is and always has been the GSExpo at AIE in Las Vegas, the Inter Airport is a “must” place to be for any company planning to sell within the European marketplace and beyond. It is a great place to meet local customer contacts at one venue and to see what the competition is doing.

Farwest is anticipating and already experiencing an upswing in sales and airline business for the end of 2005 and the year 2006. It believes that this is fueled by additional maintenance demand of airlines and aircraft overhaul centers, as well as the introduction of new aircraft, such as the A380 and B787. The airline industry has entered an “up” cycle, which numerous statements from its top customers confirm.

FMC Technologies

Setting an unusual precedence for a large equipment manufacturer, FMC’s outdoor area did not include any of its products in Munich. It had a large tent with touch screen kiosks, large video screens and private meeting rooms.

FMC’s goal was to create an atmosphere that would support an information exchange theme. It focused on four messages: knowledge, innovation, safety and solutions; as value-added components on any purchase.

Another highlight in the FMC booth was the display of a 1/50th scale A380F on loan from Federal Express. Models of FMC’s Commander 15i and new Commander xr (extended reach) loaders surrounded the aircraft in servicing mode.

Fortbrand Services Inc.

Fortbrand Services attends Inter Airport primarily to visit with the European equipment manufacturers that it represents in North America (currently Patra Vammas of Finland & Fresia of Italy) meet with other suppliers and customers with whom it does business and try to identify new products to introduce into North America. It identified two products to conduct further due diligence with respect to its possible introduction into the North American market.

In 2006, it anticipates the needs of airlines, airport operators and service companies to preserve capital and enhance cash flow will continue presenting Fortbrand Services with additional leasing transactions and the opportunity to offer its GSE asset management skills and risk transfer capabilities to an increasing client base. Global Ground Support Global Ground Support attended the 2005 Inter Airport Europe showcasing its extended reach deicer (ER10600). The first ERD10600 was delivered to the United States Air Force in 2002 and more than 30 are currently in service worldwide. Global’s design was chosen by the Air Force because of its 75-foot (23M) height, enabling the Air Force to deice the horizontal stabilizers of the C-5 and C-17 Aircraft.

During the show, Global Ground Support had a chance to discuss new technological advancements and new product lines for 2006. Its ability to demonstrate the Global AirPlus system provided hands on exposure to a dramatic glycol reduction system in a time of escalating glycol prices and increasing environmental concerns. Global’s market continues to expand both domestically and internationally.

Goldhofer

A successful show for Goldhofer, many airlines and ground handling companies showed their interest in its new product, the towbarless aircraft tractor AST-1 X — designed and manufactured to handle aircraft from A300 to A380.

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