Industry News - December 2013, January 2014

Dec. 27, 2013

Major Events In 2014

March 25-26

AviationPros LIVE

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

October 15-17

inter airport China

Beijing, China

October 21-23

NBAA 2014 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition

Orlando, FL

Nominations Now Open For Ground Support Leaders Awards

Ground Support Worldwide will honor three winners of its annual “Ground Support Leaders” awards, during the AviationPros LIVE’s Networking Event, 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 25, at The Sands Expo Convention Center, Las Vegas, NV.

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: This award goes “to the person who has demonstrated commitment to the industry through numerous years of dedicated service.” In 2013, we honored Bill Biermann, who championed the use of electric ground support equipment during a career that lasted six decades.
  • Team Leader: This award honors “an individual who has taken a leadership role with personnel.”  In 2013, we named Travis Blair, managing director, ground support/administration for American Eagle Airlines, who has developed personnel from the time he started with the airline as a GSE mechanic.
  • Product Leader: This award “celebrates the product, service and manufacturer making a difference in the industry.” In 2013, Tronair won for its Softcapture Jetporter designed to tow aircraft without straps, without touching any part of the nose landing gear and without the driver leaving his seat.

Nominations will accepted until Feb. 14, 2014. Click here for a nomination form.

Business Buzz

SeaTac passes wage increase: As supporters of a $15 minimum wage for workers in and around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport declared victory Nov. 27, opponents made clear the fight is far from over. Proposition 1 officially won by 77 votes out of 6,003. Opponents of the measure have called for a count by hand.

Dnata named Ground Handler Of The Year: For the sixth time, dnata was named the Ground Handling Provider of the Year at the Aviation Business Awards. The awards are organized by ITP, the publisher of Aviation Business magazine and

Joint debut At inter airport: Goldhofer Aktiengesellschaft  and Schopf Maschinenbau GmbH celebrated a special premiere at inter airport Europe 2013 with a joint debut as a premium manufacturer in the field of ground support equipment. In line with the motto "Goldhofer + Schopf = Performance2" the group presented a full and diverse offering as the market leader for one-stop shopping for GSE, including a whole series of new and innovative products.

Clariant joins European DJSI: Clariant became part of the European Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In order to be listed in the DJSI, the company had to record an outstanding and sustainable performance in the economic, environmental and social dimension.

Matheson sets five-year growth plan: Matheson Flight Extenders Division President Glen Gates announced at the Air Cargo America Conference that the company has established a five-year strategic plan beginning in 2014 designed to grow and diversify the business by more than 60 percent through 2019. The company plan includes acquiring new commercial customers in areas served by its 16-city network of air cargo terminals in the U.S. as well as by expanding existing relationships.

ASM unveils expansion plans: Dubai-based Aviation Services Management, the specialist in aviation services including ground handling, fueling and FBOs, unveiled expansion plans at the recent Dubai Air Show 2013. The company will target the key high growth private and commercial aviation markets of Africa, South America and South East Asia. The company was originally founded in the UK in 1998.

Jet Aviation readies for Super Bowl: Jet Aviation recently expanded its ramp at its FBO in Teterboro Airport by 70,000 square feet, bringing the total facility size to more than 1,600,000 square feet as it prepares for next year’s Super Bowl.

Airports fetch $9 billion: The Brazilian government on Friday received $9.14 billion in an auction for 51 percent stakes in the international airports of Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, cities that host next year's World Cup soccer games.

Your Porsche is waiting: Delta Air Lines expanded its successful customer Porsche vehicle pick-up service to Los Angeles International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Customers are greeted at the aircraft boarding door by a Delta representative who escorts them with their baggage to an awaiting vehicle and on to their connecting gate.


Menzies Aviation announced the following deals:

  • Secured a ground handling license at Namibia’s Hosea Kutako International Airport.
  • Selected by Malaysia Airlines to be its ground handler as the airline returns to Australia’s Darwin International Airport after a 120year absence.
  • Extended its cleaning contract with South African Airlink to including handling the airline's 19,000 annual ramp turnarounds at six domestic South African airports.
  • Expanded its relationship with Air China Cargo in North America following the award of its contract for the provision of cargo handling services at Vancouver International Airport. This award follows closely on the company's success in securing the full handling service for Air China at Houston Intercontinental Airport along with a successful renewal of cargo handling contracts at San Francisco International Airport and Los Angeles International Airport as well as an offline station in Seattle, WA.

Finnair awarded Aviator as ground handling provider at Norway’s Tromsø Airport for its winter schedule operations between Helsinki and Tromsø.

Worldwide Flight Services announced the following deals:

  • Won a three-year contract to provide a full range of ramp services, including aircraft pushback and towing as well as baggage loading and unloading for at Manchester International Airport.
  • Announced a deal with Brussels Airlines at Brussels Airport. The airline will use WFS for its entire cargo handling activities, including some 280 weekly flights.

Swissport Tanzania has added ground handling services at the Tanzania’s Songwe Airport as well as at Mtwara Airport as the number of flights to both airports has significantly increased in recent years following refurbishment and modernization.

Servisair and easyJet renewed a long-term ground handling contract at Liverpool John Lennon Airport and signed a long-term ground handling contract at Bristol Airport.

Rushlift will supply Virgin with a new fleet of GSE at Heathrow Airport. The contract is worth up to $6.4 million over seven years. The contract complements Rushlift’s recent acquisition of the American Airlines maintenance facility at Heathrow.

Dnata commenced airport handling operations at Clark International Airport in the Philippines. The announcement marks the company’s 75th airport location, and its second location in the Philippines.

TCR Belgium started a 10-year contract with Aviapartner at the Brussels Airport through sales and leaseback of all motorized equipment. The deal includes the take-over of 18 staff and an airside workshop.

Vestergaard has added three new, large operations to its Data Transmission System network:

  • N*ICE, the deicing operator at Frankfurt Airport, has fitted all its 58 Vestergaard Elephant® units with DTS.
  • British Airways is in the process of fitting its 24 units with DTS.
  • AéroMAG 2000/United Airlines in Newark Liberty International Airport will have DTS on the 10 units that are being delivered in the coming months.

AeroSafe Products has been awarded a contract by United Airlines to supply it with engine wash equipment, including AeroSafe’s Compressor Wash Units, patented Engine Wash Effluent Capture Systems and Engine Wash Probes.

Vanderlande Industries will install the new baggage handling system in Terminal 3 of Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport, Indonesia. The system is the fourth project for an automated baggage handling system in Indonesia for Vanderlande Industries, making it the leading supplier in Indonesia.

Xsight Systems announced the launch of its FOD system called FODetect at Boston Logan International Airport, the first airport in the United States to use an automated FOD detection system. FODetect is installed on Runway 09-27, the busiest departure runway at the airport.

FL Technics Jets has become the first authorized service center for Tronair's GSE in Eastern Europe, Russia and the CIS. FL Technics Jets was also appointed as an official distributor of Tronair's GSE products for the entire region.

People In The News

Hardy Bütschi was appointed Jet Aviation’s new vice president and general manager of the company’s maintenance and FBO operations in Dubai, effective January 2014. Bütschi is responsible for overseeing the company’s maintenance and FBO operations at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport, as well as at Al Bateen Executive Airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Previously, Bütschi oversaw the company’s operations in Saudi Arabia as vice president of Jet Aviation Saudi Arabia. Succeeding Bütschi is Alain Champonnois  who was named the new vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation’s FBO and line maintenance operations in Jeddah, Riyadh and Medina, Saudi Arabia, effective January 1, 2014.

Scott Perkins was named chief engineer at WheelTug plc. Perkins' has more than 25 years of aerospace experience and established Messier-Dowty where he led the technical development of the Boeing 787 landing gear

Linas Geguzis was appointed the new CEO of Baltic Ground Services Poland after serving as Baltic Ground Services’ chief production manager. Successfully operating since 2010, BGS Poland serves Lufthansa, Aeroflot, Aer Lingus and other major carriers at the Warsaw, Katowice and Krakow airports. The company is planning to significantly expand the scope of its products and services as well as extend the list of its clients by increasing the number of flights served by 40 percent in 2014.

Ola Strangeways was named the new managing director for Nordic Aero, which is part of Aviator Group. Strangeways was most recently operations director for Havas Europe and previously had extensive experience from SAS. Strangeways takes over from Paul Synnott who has had responsibility for both Nordic Aero in addition to his CEO responsibilities for Aviator Group. Synnott will now concentrate on his Group CEO role and focus on the strategic direction of the Aviator Group of companies.  In other company related news, Erik Strandgren and David Schubert were appointed to Aviator’s commercial team as it plans to establish new business areas with the aviation industry. Strandgren previously worked as KAM and route manager at Swedavia, and SN Brussels as director of ground handling. Schubert, is currently working with routes development for Stockholm City, and has previously worked as sales manager for Stockholm Port and Elite Hotels. Also, Margaretha Dahl Schröder was appointed as the chief people officer for the company and will have responsibility for human resources policy and strategy. Schröder was most recently traffic manager at Nobina Sweden (former Swebus), a public transportation company

Derek Foster was named station manager at Menzie Aviation’s Hosea Kutako International Airport operation after Menzies was awarded a ground handling license. Foster had been a safety manager for the ground handler’s South African operations.

Alex Kiamco, a service tech for Palmer Johnson Power Systems, was promoted to the company’s Los Angeles service manager job as Geoff Lord retires at year-end. After leaving the Army as a platoon sergeant in 1968 with both a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, Lord spent 45 years in in the industrial off-highway industry and joined the company in 2007. Kiamco came to Palmer Johnson in 2006 with experience in mechanical engineering. Since then, he has attended factory training with Twin Disc, John Deere Power Systems, Dana Spicer, JLG and TDI.

In celebration of long-time customer Jeff Baum’s recent induction into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame, Avfuel Corporation has established the Jeff Baum Scholarship, which will be geared toward candidates interested in pursuing a career in aviation business management. The scholarship will be available in January of 2014. Baum founded Wisconsin Aviation in 1981. The company has since grown to the state’s largest full-service FBO/aviation service provider and operates at Dane County Regional Airport; Watertown Municipal Airport; and Dodge County Airport.