January: Taylor-Dunn purchase of United Tractor.
February: Candover acquires Swissport.
March: Air BP forms a joint venture with Valley Oil Company, LLC, and will be called Air BP Aviation Services.
April: Sage Parts purchase of CREG International.
May: EasyJet acquires Go Airlines.
June: China Southern Airlines acquires 49 percent of China Postal Airlines.
July: ASIG acquires Ontario Aircraft Services (OAS).
August: Swissport International acquires all the activities of Cargo Service Center B.V.
September: Douglas Equipment is acquired by Aquarius Group.
September: Taylor-Dunn purchase of TIGER Mfg.
October: Deutsche Post attains full control of DHL International Ltd.
October: ITW GSE Group purchase of J&B Aviation Inc.
October: Swissport Cargo Services acquires the cargo handling activities of CS-Lux.
November: Skytanking Holding GmbH acquires Merlin Fuel NV.
The August 2000 report also predicted considerable growth in the regional aircraft market, more specifically, the 30 to 70 seat models of aircraft, with the most demand coming from North America and Europe. Regional aircraft has come on strong most recently, with Embraer's new jet family - 170/175/190/195, that offers 70 to 110 seat class of aircraft, as well as Bombardier's CRJ700, 70-seater aircraft and its new CRJ900, 90-seater aircraft, that in November 2002 received FAA type approval and is currently awaiting JAA approval.
One of the biggest headaches for ground support equipment manufacturers and equipment end-users has been that of a lack of standardization of aircraft, which in turn, results in having to manufacture, as well as purchase, several versions of the same theme to accommodate the many aircraft types on the runway. The new business model is that of the Southwests and Ryanairs of the world that have moved to one type of aircraft - Boeing 737s - for the entire fleet. Delta Air Lines is launching a yet-to-be-named low cost carrier that will feature a fleet of 36 B757s. This move may pave the way for more airlines to follow suit and streamline operations to one or two types of aircraft models.
A lack of standardization for equipment parts - sometimes within the same product line - concerns GSE customers. Many customers, especially airline GSE customers, are looking to streamline their GSE fleets and would like manufacturers to take a look at what can be standardized on equipment to reduce parts inventories and overall operational costs.
Man vs Machine
It's a fact - as technological power increases, the need for manpower decreases. Given the number of layoffs since September 11, 2001, these enhancements to equipment are coming on board at the right time to bring savings in labor and time costs, as well as increased safety.
RampSnake came on the scene earlier this year with a new baggage loader for narrow body aircraft. This equipment is designed to lessen the opportunities for back injuries and allows for one less handler to perform the loading and unloading tasks, saving on labor and potential injury to personnel.
United Parcel Service (UPS) has installed a new machine at its main sorting center in Louisville, Kentucky that is expected to handle increased demand over the holidays that will eliminate the need to hire seasonal workers this year - providing considerable savings to UPS in labor costs.
GSE customers, airline customers especially, have asked manufacturers for development of interchangeability of products in order to help them adhere to safety and environmental compliance requirements at airports, as well as to help reduce ramp congestion and labor costs.
Electric and other alternative-fueled vehicles will continue to be developed and used at airports worldwide to reduce emissions. A comprehensive study done for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1998, entitled Technical Support for Development of Airport Ground Support Equipment Emission Reductions, offers data on potential control strategies, GSE emissions and activity estimates, and more and is available for viewing or download (144 pages) from www.epa.gov.
The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) just released its special report The Environmental Effects of Civil Aircraft in Flight. The report offers the prediction from the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR) that air traffic at UK airports will grow at an average of 4.25 percent per annum, which is based on "unconstrained forecasts of the underlying demand for air travel" up to 2030 and is intended to cover all market segments. The Department's highest and lowest growth scenarios are for growth at 4.9 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively and barring any major restrictions or catastrophic events, these forecasts imply that British airports will be serving over one billion passengers per year by 2050. RCEP raises concerns that increased aviation emissions could possibly produce a climate change over time.
Bombardier Aerospace offers 24/7 technical support for operators of Bombardier Learjet, Challenger, and Global aircraft. For Learjet technical support: (316) 946-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org...