Looking Forward to AIE

Jan. 2, 2008
The 2008 Aviation Industry Expo will feature an awards reception and educational seminars.

The annual Aviation Industry Expo, being held March 18-20 in Dallas, Texas, will showcase the best the industry has to offer.

Leaders of the Year awards
The expo will feature Leaders of the Year Awards. Geared toward the ground support industry, each award is for any and every aspect of the field, including ground service providers, commercial airline and military personnel, associations and individuals at manufacturers, suppliers and distributors. The awards will culminate at a cocktail reception where five individuals or companies will be recognized for outstanding performance.

The five categories open for nomination:
Team Leader — similar to the original Leader of the Year Award, this title is for an individual who has taken a leadership role with personnel.
Safety Award — for a person or company who has introduced a new method, procedure or product to improve industry safety records.
Kaizen Award — for a person or company who has implemented a new business philosophy about business workplace practices focusing on efficiency and improvement in productivity, performance or processes.
Engineer/Innovator Award — for a company or a person who has introduced a revolutionary product.
Green Award — for a person or a company who has introduced environmentally friendly equipment or processes.

Nominations can be submitted at groundsupportworldwide.com.

Prill to receive Lifetime Achievement Award
“It’s a Lifetime Achievement Award, and the first thing you have to do to get one of those is live a lifetime,” says George Prill. And live a lifetime he has, a man whose love of aviation has propelled him across the industry for more than 60 years.

In March, the 84-year-old will be on hand to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Aviation Industry Expo in honor of his extensive work in the field.

Prill’s foray into the aviation industry began as an aeronautical engineering graduate in 1942, working in ground support as a first job. He went on to a number of influential positions, including assistant administrator with the Federal Aviation Administration and chairman of the US Aerospace Industry Trade Advisory Committee. Prill also broke into publishing later in his career, launching GSE Today magazine to cover ground support equipment and services.

It was growing up in an era of flight pioneers and war heroes that made the choice of a career in aviation simple. “I was just crazy about planes,” he says. “It just never occurred to me to do anything else. I still regard anybody wanting to do anything else than work in the aviation industry as being a little odd.”

Living a lifetime in aviation, Prill has seen the changes of the industry first hand — holding dear aspects of the field few hold memory to, inlcuding the old ways of ground support. “Those days ground support consisted of a couple steps on a little, tiny step ladder,” he says. “A guy carried it out and put it down in front of the door. People got on and off of it, and that was it. The baggage was put onto a very small cart. ... You got up on top of the wing and stuck a nozzle in just like your car.”

Though Prill has lived a lifetime in the field, he has refused to slow down, remaining active with a consulting business, local politics and positions on the Galveston Airport Advisory Committee and the AIR-T board, which owns Global Ground Support. “The idea of just sitting around and saying I’m retired is frightening.”

Seminars at AIE
Aviation Industry Expo will offer educational seminars dedicated to the issues that matter most to ground support personnel.

Seminars will include topics such as:

Hydrogen Fuel Cells: Learn when cells will be available for GSE operations, what GSE vehicles will be the best candidates, and also about fuel cell types, refueling and storage considerations.

Electric Vehicles: Learn the latest about electric power technology, how airport infrastructures are upgrading to accommodate electric vehicles, and about battery charging techniques that can reduce energy.

Alternative Fuels: Learn about alternative fuels types, what types of vehicles accommodate the fuels, and about requirements for refueling

Fire Safety: Learn the requirements and precautions required of all ground support personnel when it comes to fire safety. The session will provide a look at FAA and National Fire Protection Association requirements, and some common-sense practices also will be highlighted.

Ramp Security: The Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations’ (CAPA) 2006 Aviation Security Report Card includes a number of weaknesses in airport security often found in GSE operations. The speaker will address these and other potential problems, and advise what GSE managers can do to make improvements.

Hazardous Materials Management: Learn about the materials that are regulated under EPA — gasoline, propane, oxygen canisters, batteries and solvents — and how to ensure that you are handling them properly.