December 2011/January 2012 News In Brief

Dec. 21, 2011

Calendar of Events

Jan. 15-18

NBAA 23rd Annual Schedulers & Dispatchers Conference 

San Diego, CA

Jan. 19-20

National Aviation Maintenance Symposium

Ann Arbor, MI

March 7-9

Cygnus Aviation Expo

Las Vegas, NV

Business Buzz

EU Wants More Ground Support

The European Union proposed further opening markets for ground services where competition is still restricted, such as baggage handling and refueling, by increasing the minimum number of ground handling operators available to airlines to three from two.

"It is absolutely right that we allow a sensible and socially acceptable level of competition in ground services, 30 years after opening the market for airlines," the German airlines association BDF said in a statement.

More than three-quarters of all ground services at German airports are provided by the airports or their subsidiaries, said BDF, while the market share of the six major third-party ground handling companies, who employ a total of 4,000 people, remained rather small.

Bejing Airport Expected To Be World's Busiest: Beijing Airport is set to overtake Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson as the world's busiest airport, according to the Center for Pacific Aviation. In the recent monthly aviation trends from another airline analyst, OAG Aviation, only 400,000 monthly seats now separate Atlanta and Beijing, with the organization suggesting that Beijing is set to become the world's largest airport in 2012.

Worst May Be Over For Business Jets: The worst of the downturn in the business jet market is over, according to a new forecast by Forecast International. The market for business jet production is expected to show some minor improvement next year, signaling the start of a gradual -- but potentially long-lasting -- market recovery, the forecast said. The forecast projects demand for 10,907 business jets valued at $230.3 billion in the 10 years from 2011 to 2020. Next year, production is expected to total 728 planes.

IATA Blames Oil For Profit Declines: Global aviation earnings will likely decline to $3.5 billion in 2012 but those could turn into steep losses exceeding $8.3 billion if the eurozone crisis veers toward catastrophe, according a report by the International Air Transport Association. For 2011, the industry says it anticipates that surging oil and fuel prices will clip its profits at $6.9 billion — less than half of its $15.8 billion in 2010 profits. In other news, IATA announced global traffic results for October. Cargo demand was 4.7 percent below the same month in 2010 while passenger traffic showed a 3.6 percent rise over previous year levels.

Two Airlines Win Slots At LGA: JetBlue and the Canadian airline WestJet beat out five other companies in an auction for the slots at LaGuardia. Each airline will get eight daily flights there. JetBlue already has a small number of flights at LaGuardia, but the flights will be the first for WestJet. In otherJetBlue news, the airliner will launch service at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in May. The New York-based airline said it will fly three flights daily each way between DFW and Boston. The new service comes as DFW's largest carrier, American Airlines, has entered bankruptcy. American has 85 percent of the flights out of DFW.

Lufthansa To Fly A380 To IAH: The Houston Airport System will welcome its first double-deck A380 at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in August, when Lufthansa upgrades the aircraft on its Houston to Frankfurt service. Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport will be Lufthansa's fourth A380 market served in the United States.

Iberia Uses Single-Engine Taxiing At ORD

Iberia Airlines launched a single-engine taxi program in December at O'Hare International Airport to reduce aircraft emissions and conserve fuel. Iberia uses the four-engine Airbus A340 aircraft at O'Hare. Upon landing, the pilot shuts down two engines immediately after exiting the runway. Based on an average of nine minutes its planes spend taxiing after landings, Iberia estimates that it will save 352 pounds (160 kilograms) of fuel on the A340-300 model and 524 pounds (238 kilograms) of fuel on the A340-600 model per flight.

The Chicago Department of Aviation also encourages towing aircraft between the gate and runways to reduce emissions and fuel consumption. Additionally, included in the O'Hare Modernization Program are new high-speed exit taxiways to minimize taxiing distance and idling aircraft.

Senator Proposes Baggage Legislation: Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu proposed legislation that would allow airline passengers to check one bag for free on each flight. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano recently suggested that airlines let passengers check one bag for free to reduce the number of carry-on bags packed into overhead bins. She said carry-on bags slow the screening process and increase the screening cost nationwide by $260 million a year.

Delta Down, US Airways Up: Delta Air Lines traffic for November dropped 1.9 percent from the same month in 2010 as the carrier trimmed capacity by 4.1 percent. International traffic on the U.S. carrier slid 7.3 percent, while domestic traffic rose 1.4 percent. Load factor also increased for November to 81.4 percent. US Airways reported a 3.1 percent rise in traffic for November as the carrier trimmed capacity by 0.8 percent for the month. The carrier's load factor rose to 83.4 percent. US Airways also increased its passenger revenue per available seat mile to 13 percent.

U.S Airline Employment Rises: United States airlines employed 388,641 workers in September, a jump of 10,965 workers, or a 2.9 percent increase compared with September 2010, according the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The bureau reported that the September airline employment level was the highest since April 2009 and the 10th consecutive monthly increase in employment levels from the same month of the previous year.

New Name For Aviation Trade Group: The trade association for the leading U.S. airlines today unveiled its new name – Airlines for America – as well as its new tagline and visual identity that better represents the industry's vital role of literally connecting the United States to the global economy. The group formerly known as the Air Transport Association of America will carry the name Airlines for America (A4A) with the tagline of "We Connect the World." "In the 75-year history of our association, we have supported America's airlines as they changed travel, trade and tourism across the United States and became today's indispensable facilitators of the global economy, now transporting more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic," said A4A CEO and President Nicholas E. Calio. "As the U.S. looks to compete in growth markets overseas and increase exports and create jobs across the country, our airlines will play an even greater role. A4A is acutely aware of the progress and competitive advantages taking place in international markets to build and leverage commercial aviation to support growth. Our focus is to work cooperatively with the administration and Congress to create a tax and regulatory environment that enables U.S. airlines to provide the service needed to compete globally."

Alaska Air Take American's Spot On Dow Jones: Alaska Air Group Inc. was picked to replace AMR Corp. in the Dow Jones Transportation Average after the parent of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy. In other company news, the airline recently launched its Flying Green program, which involves 75 passenger flights powered by a 20 percent biofuel blend of used cooking oil.

Qatar Expands Cargo Routes: Qatar Airways has launched dedicated freight routes to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Toronto Pearson International Airport from its Doha hub via Luxembourg. Previously, the only North American city served by Qatar Airways' cargo division was Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Report Says EU's Emissions Plan Will Have "Almost Zero Impact:" A report by UBS Investment Research, an arm of the Swiss bank UBS, says the European Union's emissions trading scheme will have "almost zero impact" on cutting carbon emissions, despite costing European Union consumers an estimated $287 billion. The report also cautions that the European carbon market may be heading for a crash.

Russian Airport To Stock Deicing Reserves: Russia's Transportation Ministry has ordered the country's airports to have 10-day reserves of deicing chemicals for the autumn-winter period. Also under the ruling, the airports are to register the quantity and quality of their deicing fluids, as well as inform the Federal Air Transport Agency about any decrease in the deicing reserves. In late December 2010, a severe sleet storm in Moscow caused a collapse in the operations Moscow's Domodedovo and Sheremetyevo airports.


Flightcom To Supply Southwest: Southwest Airlines will become the first U.S. airline to require ramp workers to wear wireless headsets. Flightcom equipment will be used at all Southwest Airlines' gates at its 73 destinations across the United States. The Flightcom hands-free wireless aircraft pushback system continuously connects one or more wing walkers with the tractor operator during aircraft movement, allowing the operator to concentrate on correct and efficient maneuvering. The system enables instant voice communication between team members in the case of danger or a change in movement so ground teams are not dependent only on traditional visual hand signals or wands. The tractor operator wirelessly communicates with the aircraft pilot through a portable system, which also permits all team members to hear the pilot.

Sage Expands Delta Service: Sage Parts has entered into a new contract with Delta Air Lines in which Sage will dispense replacement parts for ground support equipment at major Delta airport hubs in Minneapolis, Memphis and Detroit. Those three locations join Sage's current operation at Delta's Atlanta hub, which has been providing parts for Delta GSE since 2002.

FAA Awards Sustainable Fuel Contracts: FAA is awarding $7.7 million in contracts to eight companies to help advance alternative, environmentally-friendly, sustainable sources for commercial jet fuel. The eight companies selected for the contracts will help FAA develop and approve alternative, sustainably-sourced "drop-in" jet fuels that can be used without changing aircraft engine systems or airport fueling infrastructure.

JBT Aerotech Wins Contract At CVG

JBT Corp. announced that its JBT AeroTech business has been awarded a contract in excess of $7 million to supply gate equipment for the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The contract includes the supply of 10 refurbished Jetway passenger boarding bridges, 16 JetAire air handling units, and other site-related refurbishment work.

According to a release, JBT AeroTech's gate equipment is part of the overall $31 million Terminal 3 Consolidation/Concourse 'A' Reactivation Project intended to modernize the existing facilities and position the airport for future growth.

JBT said it anticipates installation of the gate equipment to be completed by the third quarter of 2012.

MUC's AeroGround Signs Up Airlines: AeroGround, the ground-handling subsidiary of FMG, the Munich Airport operating company, has entered into long-term deals with more than 20 airline customers over the past few months. AeroGround's largest customer is Lufthansa, which entered into a six-year agreement for handling services at Munich Airport at the beginning of the year.

Lufthansa To Help Iraqi Airports: Lufthansa Consulting will evaluate the ground handling requirements at Baghdad InternationalAirport, the capital's main airport and the country's main international gateway as well as at the international airports in Basra and Mosul. Phase One of the project will offer recommendations for improvements in all the relevant fields of ground handling operations. In Phase Two, Lufthansa Consulting will be responsible for managing the tender procedure and for tendering the ground handling licenses for the three airports to international ground handling companies. The overall project aim is to ensure the airports' operational readiness by 2012.

Airport Terminal Services Announces Contracts

ATS recently announcing the following contracts:

  • ATS opened its 38th location to handle passenger services for Lufthansa at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, including handing customer service inside the airline's Senator Lounge.
  • ATS began full ground handling including passenger and ramp services to Air India at Toronto – L.B. Pearson International Airport.
  • In a hometown win for the St. Louis-based company, Frontier Airlines awarded ramp operations at Lambert – St. Louis International Airport.
  • ATS assumed ramp handling at Portland International Airport for Spirit Airlines, which launched two daily nonstop flights between Portland, OR and Las Vegas.
  • Finally, ATS added cargo staffing services on behalf of Air France at Montreal - Trudeau International Airport.

Trade Groups Singn Trend Sharing Program: The American and Caribbean Air Transport Association and International Air Transport Association signed  the ALTA-IATA Trend Sharing Program, a joint effort to analyze, track and improve safety risks in the region while focusing resources on the key areas of concern.

SAN Receives VALE Funds To Cut Emissions: San Diego International Airport has received a $2 million VALE grant that will be applied to 10 jet ports currently under construction and will be used to purchase 400HZ power lines to each port and external air-conditioning units.

ASIG Starts Two New Contracts: ASIG® commenced ground handling services for TAM Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport, Terminal 4. ASIG is providing ground handling, cargo transportation, cabin cleaning and aircraft deicing services for TAM's 20 weekly wide-body flights. Also, ASIG renewed its agreement with Emirates to provide passenger handling services on behalf of the carrier at London Heathrow Airport. ASIG processes approximately 500,000 outbound passengers a year for Emirates at LHR.

People In The News

Bosserman Aviation Equipment, Inc. has hired Gustavo Corzo as its new director of international sales and Kali Price as its customer service manager. Corzo has more than 14 years of aviation experience and will be responsible for all aspects of international sales. Price will be responsible for updating customers on order status and completion, following up with customers and fielding technical support calls. She also schedules warranty repairs and handles warranty parts returns. (PICTURES)

Jerry Crump joins Somerset Capital Group, Ltd., as vice president of new business devopment for GSE. Previously, Crump had been director of purchasing for Swissport USA.

FCX Systems hired Scott Twining as an executive sales associate. Twining has more than 30 years of quality experience and extensive expertise related to the sales, marketing, technical support, project management, and design of GSE equipment. Most recently, he was employed by JBT Aerotech/Jetway Systems with prior employment by ITW Hobart Ground Power, Sundstrand Aerospace, and Associated Electronics. (PICTURE)

ATS hired John Drpich as its new director of business development. Drpich has 29 years in international wide-body airport operations with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Integrated Deicing Services hired Bryan F. McCreary as vice president of fluid and business development. McCreary spent the past eight years with Clariant Corp. as its North American business manager. (PICTURES)

Toyota Material Handling North America has expanded its executive team: Brett Wood has been promoted to executive vice president of TMHNA. In his new role, Wood will lead several strategic TMHNA assignments in sales, marketing and operations to accelerate synergies among company brands. Jeff Rufener will take the helm as president of Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. Rufener joins Toyota after most recently serving as vice president of marketing for Mitsubishi Caterpillar Forklift America Inc. (PICTURES) In other company news, Toyota's manufacturing plant in Columbus, IN, received the Indiana Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in the category "Five Years of Continuous Improvement." This is the third time the award has been bestowed on the plant for implementing exemplary environmental projects with measurable results.

Global Aviation Services LLC promoted Scott Strong as director of maintenance. Strong will be responsible for leading and managing the company's maintenance operations. His responsibilities also include the planning and development of the many programs that support our shop operations; QMS/ISO 9001:2008, shop and technical training, audit and compliance, and shop safety program. Strong also writes the "Maintenance Matters" column for Ground Support Worldwide. (PICTURE)

Dr. William B. Johnson, chief scientific and technical advisor for human factors in aviation maintenance for FAA, and frequent contributor to Ground Support Worldwide, was awarded the 2011 Whittle Safety Award from the International Federation of Airworthiness. The award is the highest and most prestigious award the federation can confer to recognize an advance in aviation safety. (PICTURE)

Correction: We did not identify the following two men correctly in the October issue

(HAVE PIC) West Star Aviation, Inc. appointed Jeff Messmer as operations manager at its newest facility at Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Chesterfield, MO. In his new position at West Star Aviation, Messmer will be responsible for all maintenance, avionics and customer service and support operations at SUS.

(HAVE PIC) Leighton "Lee" M. Yohannan was named co-CEO of Rampmaster. Yohannan is currently director emeritus and founder of LiquidHub, a systems integrator and technology strategy consultancy with revenues of more than $60 million in annual sales. Previously he was owner and CEO of The Reohr Group, Inc., a $55 million global technology consultancy.