Major Events in 2014
September 7 - 10
ACI-NA Annual Conference & Exhibition
In a victory for Swissport International, a Kiev court in May dismissed Ukraine International Airlines’ claim over a majority stake in a joint-venture once shared by the ground service provider and the airline. The ruling further smooths the path for the Swissport to regain control over Swissport Ukraine, a ground handling unit presently rebranded as Interavia,that it lost to UIA in a corporate dispute that started in 2012. In other news, Swissport announced plans to move load control services to its existing “Central Load Control” locations over the coming years. This will allow Swissport to further combine and raise skills and system expertise in three core competence centers based in Manchester, Marrakesh and Sofia.
Elite Line Services launched a new, comprehensive web store, www.elsparts.com, to provide 24/7 access to more than 18,000 parts and accessories for material handling and airport baggage handling systems.
Virgin America is getting two airport gates at Dallas Love Field. The airline beat out Southwest Airlines Co. and Delta Air Lines Inc., which also coveted the gates. Eventually, Southwest will control 16 gates at the airport while Virgin and United Airlines will get two each.
The African Airlines Association has named air transport IT specialist, SITA, the Aviation ICT Service Provider of the Year for the second year running. The Aviation Suppliers and Stakeholders Award recognizes excellence in service delivery, innovation and competitiveness among the best service providers to the African aviation industry.
Going to bat for confused passengers, the government is proposing that airlines be required to disclose fees for basic items like checked bags, assigned seats and carry-on bags so consumers know the true cost of flying. Under new regulations proposed last month by the U.S. Transportation Department, detailed fee information would have to be provided wherever passengers buy tickets, whether online, on the phone or in person. Currently, airlines are only required to disclose bag fees, and even then they don’t have to provide an exact price.
As investors gathered for Alaska Airlines’ annual shareholder meeting in Anchorage, last month, public safety advocates informed investors of safety issues at one of the company’s major ground service providers, Menzies Aviation. In a letter to CEO Brad Tilden, SoCal COSH and SEIU, United Service Workers West, alerted the company to dangerous safety lapses following the death of a ramp worker at LAX:
• Three workers killed at work at LAX since 2006, including Cesar Valenzuela, who was killed driving a vehicle that had no safety restraints.
• Menzies workers at LAX reported as far back as 2012 that many of the company’s tugs lacked seat belts and, in some cases, functioning brakes and fuel gauges.
• In 2013, Menzies’ LAX operation was fined almost $95,000 for numerous health and safety violations, including two “serious” violations and one “willful serious” violation.
• In 2012, two former Menzies workers in Portland won a $332,000 settlement against Menzies; the workers had alleged the company fired them in retaliation for having filed a health and safety complaint that resulted in citations being issued against the company by a state agency.
Several thousand contract workers employed at the New York City area’s major airports voted to join a union after campaigning for better pay and benefits. About 4,000 workers, including baggage handlers, security officers, cabin and terminal cleaners, signed cards expressing their wish to join the 32BJ Service Employees International Union. About 12,000 contracted passenger service workers are employed at John F. Kennedy Airport, La Guardia and Newark Liberty. About 2,300 of them belong to other unions. Another 1,000 workers belong to 32BJ and are employed by other contractors with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the airports.
FBO operator Meridian once again received top honors for exceptional service according to three FBO surveys. Meridian Teterboro was voted No 1 FBO in the Northeast by FltPlan.com, and was the top ranked FBO at Teterboro Airport in both the AIN and Professional Pilot surveys.
Dnata continues to develop cargo infrastructure at its newest locations, having invested more than $13.4 million throughout the United Kingdom. The ground service provider has enhanced services at Glasgow, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle and Gatwick airports, and moving Manchester warehouse space to larger, refurbished facilities.
The Transportation Security Administration plans to apply its so-called risk-based security system to the screening of luggage. As part of a $2.2-billion plan over the next five years, the TSA says it wants to adopt a system that can identify the risk level of each bag based on information about its owner. The luggage of passengers deemed high risk would get a more thorough screening than other bags. Under the current TSA screening system, every bag gets the same level of scrutiny.
American Airlines expects to break ground by July to build a new center in North Texas to oversee daily flight operations of the combined American and US Airways. American is scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2015. The airline had announced earlier it would close the US Airways’ operations center in Pittsburgh.
AAR’s Nordisk Aviation Products received orders for more than 1,100 lightweight air cargo containers and pallets from China Southern Airlines. Nordisk’s ULDs are expected to provide the airline fuel savings of more than 1,100 tons of fuel a year and reduce carbon emissions by more than 3,500 tons.
Swissport International signed a five-year agreement with Saudi Airlines Cargo for the handling of the airlines’ operations at the two key European hubs at Brussels and Amsterdam, and announced the signing of a five-year Global Framework Agreement for worldwide ground handling services with Transaero Airlines. Both companies are looking forward to jointly expanding their global network.
Currently Transaero Airlines offers services on 200 domestic and international routes in Russia, Europe, Asia, the Americas and Africa.
Global Ground Support, was awarded a new contract to be the sole supplier of deicing trucks to the U.S. Air Force. The contract award is for two years with four additional one-year extension options that may be exercised by the USAF at a total contract value up to $38 million. The contract will follow Global’s current contract with the USAF that expires in July. Global has provided 485 deicers under USAF contracts over the past 15 years.
JLG recently appointed Palmer Johnson Power Systems as an Authorized Ground Support Service Provider for the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Palmer Johnson’s Minnesota service center becomes the seventh Palmer Johnson location awarded JLG Authorized Service Provider status. The Kansas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Madison, WI, locations are also authorized JLG Ground Support Service Providers.
E-Z-GO, a Textron Inc. company, acquired TUG Technologies Corporation. In addition to the design and manufacture of its products, TUG provides service for ground support equipment, operating a network of 18 service centers at airports nationwide. Post-acquisition, TUG’s products will continue to be manufactured at its Kennesaw facility by its workforce of more than 200 employees.
ASIG has completed the acquisition of the assets of Skytanking USA, Inc., an independent provider of aviation fuel handling services. Under the terms of the agreement, ASIG divested four of its airport fuel operations in Europe to Skytanking Holding GmbH of which Skytanking USA was a subsidiary. The acquisition brings a new line of business to ASIG – fuel facility maintenance and inspections for the U.S. military at 47 installations. The military fuel facility maintenance and inspections is a new line of business for ASIG.
LGS Handling, the aviation services subsidiary of the Louis travel group, has secured ground-handling services for Globus, the second biggest airline in Russia. Meanwhile, another group company, Louis Aviation, has been appointed cargo agent for the same airline. Globus operates daily flights from Moscow’s Domededovo to Larnaca airport, as well as three weekly flights to Paphos.
Following the successful strategic alliance agreement between Goldair Handling and AeroGround in September 2013, both parties are pleased to welcome a new alliance member, ground handling company Airline Assistance Switzerland. The partners are proud to announce Aegean Airlines as its launching customer of the network.
Menzies Aviation led a consortium that signed a 10-year ground handling and fueling contract in Iraq. In addition, the ground service provider says it has received “a significant new ground handling contract” outsourced by Delta Air Lines for its operations at its main hub at Detroit Airport to handle some 100,000 turns annually for 50 base aircraft. Over all in a mid-year report, Menzies says its ground handling turns were up 10 percent reflecting prior year acquisitions and contract wins. Cargo was up 3 percent.
JLG Industries, Inc., has promoted several company veterans and reorganized its ground support aftermarket organization to help ensure superior service. Brent Miller was named JLG Industries vice president – aftermarket sales, North America, and will lead sales and distribution efforts across the region. His responsibilities also include key accounts and the development of new channels to market in the region. Miller joined JLG in 2003 and most recently served as district sales manager in the southern central U.S. Todd Earley has been promoted to JLG Industries director of sales – remarketing. In this expanded position, Earley will have responsibility for used equipment sales and reconditioning services and manage rental fleet, service and repair, and the service provider network. Earley will oversee branch service managers and customer support representatives in JLG’s Houston, Riverside, CA, and Bedford, PA, facilities. Earley joined JLG in 2004 and was district sales manager – aftermarket sales, prior to his recent promotion. Mike Thomas has been promoted to JLG Industries service manager – North America. In his new position, Thomas will expand the JLG Service Provider program and drive revenue streams at the Houston, Riverside, and Bedford facilities. Thomas has held a variety of positions in manufacturing and ground support since joining JLG in 2005. Travis Myers, JLG Industries director, customer support and aftermarket development – North America, will now be responsible for all customer advocate support, the service contact center, and data management for support personnel activity in North America. Myers joined the company in 1996 and has held various roles in the aftermarket organization.
Airport Terminal Services announced the addition of Wendy Bateman as managing sales director. Bateman has an extensive background in sales, sales training and senior sales management. Prior to joining ATS, Bateman began her career in the health services and property management industries.
JBT Corporation announced that its Board of Directors has elected Thomas W. Giacomini as Chairman. Giacomini, the president and CEO of the corporation, replaces Charles H. Cannon, Jr., who retired as executive chairman.
The Board also confirmed the executive management team reporting to Giacomini, along with new corporate titles:
• Brian A. Deck – executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.
• David C. Burdakin – executive vice president and president, JBT AeroTech.
• James L. Marvin – executive vice president, general counsel and secretary.
• Mark K. Montague – executive vice president, human resources.
• Steve R. Smith – executive vice president and president, JBT FoodTech.
Consolidated Aviation Services announced that Gary Lupinacci has joined the company as vice president, security and government compliance. Lupinacci will be responsible for compliance with the TSA, U.S. Customs and Airport Authority regulations.
Graham Quate, safety and security manager at Christchurch International Airport announced his retirement after 36 years.
A former owner and operator of a Florida-based airline fuel supply service company was sentenced last month to serve 50 months in prison for participating in a scheme to defraud Illinois-based Ryan International Airlines, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Sean E. Wagner, the former owner and operator of Aviation Fuel International Inc., was sentenced in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida in West Palm Beach to serve 50 months in prison and to pay $202,856 in restitution.