April GSW 2012 News In Brief

April 20, 2012
Premierengineeringandmanufacturing 10017673


April 16-19

Global Aerospace Summit

Abu Dhabi, UAE


April 29-May 3

84th Annual AAAE Conference And Exposition

Phoenix, AZ


May 1-3

27th Annual Maintenance Management Conference

Nashville, TN


Business Buzz

EU Transportation Ministers Agree To Increase Competition At EU Airports

European transportation ministers agreed last month to a European Commission proposal that at least three ground handling companies must operate at all major European airports.

"Airports are facing a capacity crunch and three out of four flight delays are caused by problems on the ground, not in the air," said Siim Kallas, the commission's vice president for transport. "There is an urgent need to improve the quality and efficiency of ground handling services. The agreement strikes the right balance between giving airlines more choice of quality service providers while strengthening protection for workers in what is a very labor-intensive sector."

The Commission's proposals aim to ensure airlines have a greater choice of ground handling solutions, give airports more control over the coordination of ground handling services, and clarify the rules on the training and transfer of ground handling staff.

The proposal must still be voted by the European Parliament. The proposed regulation on ground handling services is the first of three legislative proposals for airports, which also include noise and slot regulations.

Premier Wins Top Honors From SWA's GSE Department

Premier Engineering & Manufacturing, Marinette, WI, was named Equipment Provider of the Year for 2011 by Southwest Airlines' GSE department.

"One of the main reasons Premier won the award was a new program we partnered on," said Larry Laney, director of ground support at the airline. "The company started a call center to provide direct oversight of the Premier deicing trucks in our contract cities. The program was a huge success, and we plan to expand it. They have been a great partner."

The award started in 2007 as an expansion of the GSE department's employee recognition program. The entire GSE staff nominates and then selects the winner based on criteria ranging from customer and parts support to training and warranty.

"When Southwest provided a three-year plan for right-sizing its fleet of deicers, Premier was better able plan for on-time deliveries," Jerry Derusha, Premier's president of sales explained. "At the same time, training and maintenance was going to be a challenge since a large fleet of new equipment would be placed in several new locations."

As a result, Southwest allowed Premier to train its operators and subcontractors not only in how to operate the deicers, but also how to maintain the equipment. The call center has reduced the amount of down time for the equipment as well as reduced the cost of repairs – and that Derusha said increases efficiency. LOGO - premierengineeringandmanufacturing_10017673.tif

Levine Leichtman Acquires Tronair

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm, announced last month that it partnered with management to complete the acquisition of Tronair, Inc.

According to Lauren Leichtman, co-founder and CEO of LLCP, "Tronair is the dominant brand in the GSE market with a strong track record of growth and profitability. Tronair is widely recognized in the market for its superior product quality and innovation, which has allowed the company to maintain excellent customer relationships. We are excited to partner with the CEO Ken Greene and the rest of the Tronair senior management team and look forward to the continued growth of the business."

Ken Greene, Tronair's CEO, commented: "The Tronair global team is excited about partnering with LLCP as the company seeks to further strengthen its market position and fuel its next stage of growth. LLCP has a long history of being a value-added partner to its portfolio companies and I look forward to leveraging their strategic, financial and M&A expertise." LOGO - tronairinc_10017882.psd

GSE Holdings Combines Three Divisions Into Hobart Ground Systems

GSE Holdings Inc. has combined the resources of several industry leading companies, but streamlined services into one cohesive front.

Rick Hansen, vice president and general manager of GSE Americas, announced last month the establishment of Hobart Ground Systems, a combination of Hobart Ground Power; Trilectron/Air-A-Plane; and ITW Military GSE and their engineering, design, sales and service teams.

"We are pleased to be working together to establish a more unified front for our customers," Hansen said. "Hobart Ground Systems has the track-record, expertise and background to provide improved solutions for our customers worldwide. Each of these formally separate companies has developed new products launching over the next few months. We have the talent to make this new and improved company the leader in power and PCA solutions to the industry." LOGO -  hgs_family_logobar_2_10682674.jpg

Servisair Not Guilty Of Safety Violations In Deicer's Death

Servisair was acquitted last month of two Canada Safety Code violations in the death of aircraft deicer Murgappa Naiker, who was not wearing his safety harness and lanyard when he fell 19 feet to his death in December 2009.

A judge ruled the ground handler did all it could to ensure the safety of its employees and had no idea the 17-year veteran deicer breached safety provisions.

"This is a case of very experienced employees deliberately failing to carry out the mandatory policy to wear full protection equipment when deicing aircraft," Judge Sharon Van de Veen said. "This policy was well known to the deicing personnel in this case and had been emphasized as part of ongoing training provided by the company."

Naiker, 52, fell from an open bucket to the tarmac at Calgary International Airport and suffered a fatal head injury. LOGO -  servisair_29774106_large_10682683.jpg

UPS Buys TNT Exprees NV For $6.8 Billion

United Parcel Service Inc. bought Netherlands-based TNT Express NV for $6.77 billion last month. Atlanta-based UPS is the world's largest delivery company, while TNT, headquartered in Hoofddorp, Netherlands, is the second-biggest express mail company in Europe behind DHL. The combination will have 475,000 employees worldwide and increase UPS's international sales to around 36 percent of its total from 26 percent at present.

UPS says it doesn't expect the deal to face serious opposition from antitrust authorities, as TNT has virtually no presence in the U.S., while the European express market is highly fragmented. The UPS-TNT combination will have a share of around 16 percent of the European market, according to TNT data, slightly behind DHL. UPS's biggest international rival, FedEx Corp., has a share of around 3 percent in Europe, behind British and French companies.

TUG, Corvus Sign MoU

TUG Technologies Corporation, a leading global manufacturer of aviation ground support equipment (GSE) and Corvus Energy, manufacturer of lithium polymer batteries , announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding whereby TUG will incorporate Corvus Energy's lithium GSE technology into TUG Technologies' portfolio of GSE products.

The two companies initially expect to collaborate by producing an electric version of TUG's popular MA series baggage tractor powered by Corvus Energy's lithium polymer-based drivetrain solutions. The lithium MA will be available for purchase this spring and will be followed by a lithium 660 belt loader this summer.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a market leader such as TUG," said Sean Puchalski, Corvus Energy's vice president of business development. "This partnership will allow us to access the market more rapidly with our zero emission, zero battery-maintenance GSE technology; being associated with such a high quality company as TUG Technologies is an honor and a responsibility we cherish worldwide." LOGOS  - logocorvusenergy_10682700.gif    tugtechbluentm_10624389.psd

Baggage 'Mis'handling Drops 23 Percent

Mild winter weather helped the nation's airlines post their best January on-time performance on record, according to a report from the Department of Transportation. The report said 84 percent of flights on the biggest airlines arrived on time in January. That's up from 76 percent in January 2011, and the best January since 1995.

There were no reports of U.S. flights stuck on the tarmac for three hours or more — or of international flights delayed for four hours or more.

Hawaiian Airlines reclaimed its traditional spot atop the on-time rankings, at 93 percent. AirTran Airways was next, followed by AirTran owner Southwest Airlines. Frontier Airlines had the worst on-time rating, at 78 percent.

Airlines benefited from fewer airport-snarling snowstorms. It was the fourth-warmest January on record, and snow cover in the lower 48 states was the third-lightest since 1967, according to government weather scientists.

Airlines seemed to be doing a better job handling baggage. The rate of mishandled bags fell 23 percent, to about three for every 1,000 passengers. American Eagle was the most likely to lose your bag, followed by two other regional carriers, ExpressJet and SkyWest.

Security Certification First: Aviapartner received the first Aviation Security certification from the Transported Asset Protection Association's Air Cargo Security Standards for its Brussels cargo site. Aviapartner Group will apply this standard to all of its cargo stations before the end of this year. TACSS is the first security standard that has been developed specifically for air cargo.

12th Year In Row: Swissport International has again been named Best Ground Handling Company by the Institute for Transport Management, taking the award for the 12th year in a row. The award is based on an annual survey by the UK-based institute to determine the best and most professional companies within the aviation and logistics fields. The survey included a series of interviews and polls conducted by the ITM, covering suppliers, airports, airlines and passengers. In other news, Swissport was named Ground Handler of the Year in the inaugural Air Transport News awards. Readers from among ATN's 42,000 subscribers in 161 countries, plus a panel of expert judges, determined the winner of the award.

Struggles To Stay Aloft: In a Bloomberg interview, Emirates chief predicted that rising fuel cost will likely ground airlines that are already struggling to stay aloft. "We can reel off a whole load of airlines that are teetering on the brink or are really gone. ... [A]nother eight or nine months, and we're going to see this industry in serious trouble," said Emirates President Tim Clark.

Aviation Employment Report: The Air Transport Action Group released an Oxford Economics analysis organization report that puts the total number of global jobs supported by the aviation industry at 56.6 million. Nearly 18 million are employed directly by industry and industry suppliers, 4.4 million by spending from industry employees, and the rest owing to tourism made possible by air transport. The gross domestic product of the global industry totals $2.2 trillion, or the equivalent of the 19th-largest economy in the world.

ICAO Narrows Emissions Options: The United Nations International Civil Aviation Organization has narrowed its options for implementing a global airline-industry carbon-emissions-reduction plan from 20 to four, the organization says. The options are "global mandatory offsetting, global mandatory offsetting complemented by a revenue-raising mechanism, a global emissions trading cap-and-trade and a global emissions-trading baseline and credit system," said Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, president of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization. The organization's 190 members could decide next year on a final plan.

Public Plea On EU Emissions: The European Union's plan to impose a tax on international airlines for their carbon emissions has run into fierce head winds, with the Obama administration joining China, India and other powers in a growing global drive to force the EU to back down.

Top European aviation companies this week issued a public plea for EU leaders to reverse course on the "emissions trading scheme," while Airbus said that the standoff has put into doubt major jet sale. Some private analysts say the bloc has picked a global trade fight that it cannot win.

IATA Sharply Reduces Profit Forecast: The International Air Transport Association has reduced its profit forecast for the airline industry in 2012 mainly due to steep increases in fuel prices and projects North American carriers will deliver a profit of $900 million this year, down from the previously forecast $1.7 billion. IATA added the global aviation industry could run up losses of more than $5 billion this year if oil prices spike. In related news, A4A says that "if the price of jet fuel were a dollar higher over the course of one year that would translate to about $17.5 billion more in operating expenses."

Biofuel Collaboration: Boeing, Airbus and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three manufacturers agreed to seek collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources.

Record Cargo At Huntsville: Huntsville International Airport announced that 206.04 million pounds of cargo passed through the airport during 2011, which represents a 32 percent increase year-over-year. This was the highest amount of freight ever handled at the airport and an overall increase of 18 percent above the previous record year set in 2007.


ATS Renews With WestJet: Airport Terminal Services renewed multiyear contracts with WestJet at Edmonton International Airport; Trudeau International Airport; and James Armstrong Richardson International Airport. These locations represent the original contracts ATS secured when it entered the Canadian market in 1999.

Servisair Starts Up Interjet: Servisair announced that Interjet has chosen the ground handler as its partner in Miami for the start up of new flights to Mexico City. Servisair provides customer service and ramp handling services to Interjet's 12 weekly 150-seat A320s at Miami. Servisair was also awarded Interjet's refueling contract for MIA.

Continental Partners With ASIG, Signature: Continental Tire the Americas, LLC announced a strategic supplier partnership with ASIG. It is now in full force with all 109 ASIG and Signature Flight Support locations in the United States.

Menzies Wins Business In South Africa: Menzies in South Africa has won Eritrean Airlines four weekly flights from Asmara via Entebbe to both Johannesburg and Cape Town. Menzies will handle Korongo Airlines, which will fly twice a week from Lubumbashi to Johannesburg. Both airlines' contracts include passenger services, ramp services, cargo and lounge services. In other news, Menzies' Shongololo Lounge at Johannesburg OR Tambo International Airport won the 2011 Priority Pass award for the Lounge of the Year – Africa and Middle East.

ASIG Cleans Cabins For Singapore: ASIG has commenced cabin cleaning services for Singapore Airlines at London Heathrow Airport. ASIG is servicing three wide-body daily flights, two A380s and a B777, on behalf of Singapore Airlines. With this new contract, ASIG is now cleaning six A380s daily at LHR.

Rental Car Business For Signature: National Car and Signature Flight Support have entered into a multiyear agreement to supply rental car and ground transportation solutions for Signature's global network of FBOs.

People In The News

SATS Ltd. appointed Tan Chuan Lye as its new president and CEO. Currently, Chuan Lye is the acting CEO and executive vice president, food solutions for SATS. In a career spanning 35 years, Chuan Lye has held managerial positions in SIA Ground Services and SATS Airport Services, and was responsible for both SIA and SATS' Changi Terminal 2 operations. PIC

ASIG announced that Pat Pearse, managing director, ASIG Europe, will head ASIG's growth and operations strategy for the Asia Pacific region. Pearse joined ASIG in 2010 and has since led ASIG Europe through a significant growth period which included the addition of seven new airport operations and the acquisition of a ground handling company, resulting in new lines of business. Pearse has more than 30 years of experience in airline operations having held senior leadership roles with British Airways, British Airways Regional Cargo and British Airways World Cargo.

The Australasian Aviation Ground Safety Council awarded Queensland Airports Ltd's Aviation Ground Handling with its 2011 Safety Award. Janelle Jamieson, health, safety and rehabilitation officer, focused on proper manual handling techniques and produced a DVD that will be used as part of the staff orientation process and also during recurrent training courses. PIC