March 2013 News

Major Events in 2014

March 25-26

Aviation ProsLIVE

Las Vegas, NV


March 27-30

IATA Ground Handling Conference

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


April 14-16

GSE Buyers & Ramp-Ops Conference

Dublin, Ireland


May 18-21

86th Annual AAAE Annual Conference & Exposition

San Antonio, TX



$6.65 Million Awarded Over Ramp Worker’s Death

More than four years after John Bruce, 64, took a fatal fall at a military base in Kuwait, a jury awarded the family of the Arlington Heights, IL, man $6.65 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Jurors in the civil case reached their decision against government contractor CAV International Inc. on Feb. 14 after a 10-day trial.

In October 2009, Bruce was working as a ramp serviceman for United Airlines at Al-Mubarak Air Base in Kuwait. He was on a raised belt loader handling cargo from a 747 when a CAV employee moved it, causing Bruce to fall about 12 feet.

The impact caused significant brain injury. After surgery, doctors overseas declared Bruce brain-dead. He was flown home and taken off life support six days later at a hospital.

The lawsuit claimed the CAV employee was talking with others and distracted when he moved the loader while Bruce was still on it, and that the company was negligent because it failed to properly train or supervise that employee.

Bruce had worked for years as a liaison for United on charter flights for the military as well as for several Chicago sports teams.


WFS wins international cargo handler award: Worldwide Flight Services has been voted “International Cargo Ground Handler of the Year” in the International Awards for Excellence presented at the Air Cargo India conference and exhibition. Award winners across a variety of industry sector categories were voted for in a poll of the 42,000 readers of STAT Times.


New contractors to hire Delta workers: Delta Air Lines says no workers will lose jobs in April when it switches contractors for regional jet cabin cleaning and ground handling work at Detroit Metro Airport. The airline has commitments from its new contractors, Menzies Aviation and Prospect Airport Services, to rehire 741 workers after DAL Global Services, a Delta subsidiary, lost the contract.


Airlines attempt year’s first fare hikes: Delta Air Lines initiated the industry’s first hike in mid-February by raising domestic tickets $10 per round-trip flight, but only for high-priced tickets booked at the last minute. United Airlines, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways matched the Delta hike the following day, according to the fare-tracking site Farecompare. Meanwhile, American Airlines and US Airways launched a $22 fare hike for round-trip flights between the U.S. and Canada. United and Air Canada matched the hike, but Delta refused to raise its fares for flights across the border. Farecompare reported that United and Air Canada are rolling back the hike.


Frontier adds two Cleveland routes after United de-hub: Frontier Airlines has become the first carrier to announce new service to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport since United Airlines announced its decision to withdraw its hub earlier this month. The carrier will add year-round, nonstop service to Orlando and seasonal nonstop service to Seattle starting in June.


Airline consumer complaints down: Complaints against airlines filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s during 2013 were down 14.1 percent from 2012. The department received 13,168 complaints last year.


MEM makes plans after de-hub: Memphis International Airport presented plans to spend $3 million tearing down a fourth of its gates and $111 million upgrading much of what remains, following news that Delta Air Lines would end hub operations. The project is expected to begin later this year and wrap up in 2020 or 2021.


Southwest logs worst on-time performance: A little more than half of Southwest Airlines’ flights arrived on time in December as bad weather and operational problems in Chicago hurt the airline’s flight schedule, making it the worst on-time performer among U.S. carriers. But all U.S. airlines had trouble with tardiness last month as they reported an on-time arrival rate of 68.9 percent, down from 76.6 percent in December 2012.


Pilots often head to wrong airports: An AP analysis found that pilots on at least 150 U.S. commercial flights since the 1990s have either landed at the wrong airport or started to land and realized their mistake in time. Many such incidents occur at night, with pilots reporting they were attracted by the runway lights of the first airport they saw during descent. Some pilots said they disregarded navigation equipment that showed their planes slightly off course because the information didn’t match what they were seeing out their windows — a runway straight ahead.


United marks a first: United Airlines became the first carrier to operate a commercial flight using an aircraft equipped with new fuel-saving Split Scimitar Winglets made by a Boeing subsidiary. The new winglets, which add a wing-tip piece curving downward as well as upward, received approval earlier this month by the FAA.


New Deals

Menzies Aviation started cargo warehouse handling in January for Etihad Cargo at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The carrier expects to bring in around 45,000 tonnes of cargo per year and is currently flying into Amsterdam five times per week. In addition, Menzies will perform the cargo handling for the carrier’s daily passenger flight.


JBT AeroTech has been awarded a contract valued in excess of $5 million for the supply of gate equipment to O.R. Tambo International Airport.


ASIG has acquired Skytanking USA, Inc. The aviation fuel services business employs more than 350 employees and owns more than 800 pieces of refueling-related assets. The company, which is headquartered in South Florida, has operations at 14 U.S. airports, six of which represent new markets for ASIG.


Signature Flight Support has agreed to buy Metro Flight Services at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. Metro Flight Services provides fueling, ground handling and FBO services to commercial airlines and business and general aviation operators. Signature will provide all FBO services while sister company ASIG will continue to provide commercial fueling and ground handling services.


Southwest Airlines has contracted for the surface management module of Passur’s Integrated Traffic Management at 35 US airports across its network to streamline turn times, reduce fuel burn and enhance on time performance.


SATS Ltd. received the first-ever IATA certification for its SATS Coolport at Changi Airport. Last year, the facility handled more than 15,200 tonnes of pharmaceuticals. The IATA certification will give pharmaceutical companies the guarantee of excellence in service and ease in conducting audits on SATS Coolport; and in turn, the airport will become an even more attractive pharmaceutical air freight hub.


FBO PrivatPort, affiliated with Swissport Executive Aviation, received the license to deliver a full range of services at Zurich International Airport. The new FBO license completes the network in Switzerland and includes all three of the country’s main Swiss airports, including Geneva and Basel.



Henry Balensifer III joined LEKTRO as its new government relations and communications manager. Balensifer will lead the company’s public relations and marketing projects from LEKTRO’s corporate headquarters in Warrenton, OR.


Continental Tire the Americas, LLC has appointed new management to its Commercial Vehicle Tire group. Fedérico Jiménez will be responsible for managing sales and marketing for the commercial specialty tire business in the Americas. Previous to this role, Jiménez managed key accounts for ports for commercial specialty tires on a global scale. Marco Rabe has been named director of truck tire technologies for the Americas. Rabe joins the commercial vehicle tire unit from Continental’s North American passenger and light truck quality unit.