News In Brief

Dec. 25, 2012

Calendar of Events

2013 Major GSE Show Dates

March 12-14

AviationPros LIVE

March 13-14

Las Vegas, NV

April 24-26

GSE Buyers Conference

Lisbon, Portugal

May 5-8

IATA Ground Handling Conference

Vancouver, Canada

Oct. 8-11

inter airport Europe

Munich, Germany

Oct. 22-24

NBAA Convention

Las Vegas, NV

Business Buzz (PICS)

Registration Opens For AviationPros LIVE

AviationPros LIVE, our annual conference and trade show that brings together the readers and advertisers of Ground Support Worldwide, and our sister publications Airport Business and AMT, will be held March 13-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The name of the show might be new, but as always attendees will have the chance to meet manufacturers and learn about the latest products and services on the exhibit floor, network during show events and take advantage of education seminars geared to ground support equipment.

This year, Ground Support Worldwide will host two seminars each on March 13:

  • Funding Options For Electric GSE, 11 a.m.-12 noon

Neal Wolfe, a senior consultant with LeighFisher, to discuss not VALE grants, but other state and local alternatives.

  • The State Of The Electric GSE Market, 2-3 p.m.

A panel discussion including GSE professionals from airlines and battery makers to talk about the results of a survey of Ground Support Worldwide readers on their buying trends for electric equipment.

Another draw for our readers is sure to be an expanded outdoor exhibit area, which will offer booths and plenty of room to demonstrate GSE.

Also, we’ll be announcing the winners of our Ground Support Leaders at the Opening Night Reception, 6 p.m., March 13. (For information on nominating someone, see the ad on page 15.)

Finally, the magazine turns 20 next February and we will mark the occasion at the show with a display of important milestones in the development of ground support equipment, including tractors, pushbacks, GPUs and deicers. We’re looking for any old images of equipment and stories to share. Send any information to Steve Smith at [email protected].

To register and for complete information on the show, go to

Commission Approves WFS, Aviapartner Merger (PIC)

The European Commission cleared the way for the proposed acquisition of Aviapartner by WFS.

The commission's investigation showed that the merged company would continue to face strong competition from ground handlers in all affected markets, that barriers to entry were generally rather low, thus, allowing for possible new entrants and that customers wielded significant buyer power.

Neither company's operations overlap for the provision of ramp, passenger and baggage handling services. As a result, the commission's competitive assessment focused on landside cargo handling, where the parties' activities overlap at five airports, Amsterdam-Schiphol, Basel-Mulhouse, Brussels National, Frankfurt/Main and Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle.

However, with the exception of Brussels National and Frankfurt/Main, the commission concluded that increments in market shares are very limited. At Brussels National, in particular, the commission said competition from other ground handlers, such as Swissport/Flightcare, would sufficiently restrain the merged company. In addition, no substantial barriers to entry were found and new warehousing space will soon be built.

ASIG Partners With American At Six U.S. Airports (PIC)

American Airlines selected ASIG to provide a variety of aviation fuel and ground handling services at six U.S. airports. These agreements represent a major outsourcing of airside services by American.

ASIG is American's new aircraft refueling provider at five airports including one of its main hubs at Chicago O’Hare International, where ASIG is already fueling its regional flights. The other four airports are Nashville International, Detroit Metro, San Diego International and San Francisco International. Both BNA and DTW also include the refueling of American’s regional flights.

In total, ASIG is providing aircraft refueling services to 250 flights per day at these airports. In addition, American has extended ASIG’s current refueling contracts at 24 airports for an additional 5 years, through 2017.

In related news, ASIG was also awarded a contract from American for ground handling, cabin cleaning and ground equipment maintenance services at Denver International Airport. This marks the first ground handling contract award that ASIG has received from American Airlines.

In other news, US Airways renewed ASIG's aircraft deicing contracts at eight U.S. airports, including ORD, Indianapolis International, DTW and Bradley International airports. This is the fourth consecutive renewal of this contract.

Menzies Makes Gains In The UK

Menzies Aviation handled its first United Airlines flight in Belfast International Airport in November. This is the first new United start up since the firm won a three-year contract with United for Belfast and Birmingham.

In other news, Menzies opened it sixth station in the UK at George Best Belfast City Airport for Aer Lingus on a new contract for three years. With currently six turns per day in the winter rising to 12 per day in the summer, Aer Lingus has further growth plans in Belfast City and Menzies will use the opportunity to strengthen its customer base at both Belfast airports.

SAS To Sell Ground Handling Unit: Scandinavian Airlines is looking for a buyer of its ground handling unit as it plans to cut 7,000 jobs and sell other assets. The airline, unprofitable since 2007, hopes the asset sales can raise $440 million.

Self-Service At WestJet: WestJet introduced self-serve baggage tagging for passengers flying to the United States from Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. WestJet is the first Canadian airline to introduce self-serve baggage tagging on nonstop transborder flights.

Flightcom Awarded Patent: Flightcom announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded the company a patent for its wireless ground support communication systems. The patent covers key features including connection to the aircraft, secure communication links among the flight and ground crew and Pilot Alert™ to ensure removal of the system before flight.

Continental's New Name: Continental renamed its Industrial Tires division to “Commercial Specialty Tires."

HACTL Wins Award: Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited was honored with the Enterprise Award at this year’s DHL/South China Morning Post Hong Kong Business Awards.  


Five-Year Deal For Menzies: Menzies Aviation announced a new five-year contract for ground handling services at 14 airports across the United States and Mexico with Alaska Air Group. In other news, Menzies secured a five-year contract with Emirates Sky Cargo for warehouse operations in Amsterdam.

Renewal for SATS: SATS Ltd. announced the renewal of its ground handling and inflight catering contracts at Singapore Changi Airport with Singapore Airlines. In other news, Air India SATS Airport Services Private Ltd announced the extension of its ground handling services partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways with the launch of the airline’s operations to Hyderabad International Airport.

Africa's First LCC: Swissport International has signed an agreement with Africa's first low-cost carrier Fastjet under which Swissport will provide ground services throughout the airline’s network. In other news, Swissport Algeria was awarded a five-year ground handling license for Oran International Airport Ahmed Ben Bella.

Servisar Delivers To American: Servisair Fuel Services began delivering fueling services for American Airlines at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The PHX operation represents the sixth location where American Airlines has selected Servisair for its into-plane fueling needs and is the 13th city in North America where Servisair provides into-plane and GSE fueling services.

United Renews With JetStream: United Airlines renewed its cabin cleaning service contract at its Denver hub with JetStream Ground Services, a business partner that has worked with United Airlines for more than 15 years in various locations throughout the United States.

Aviator To Handle KLC: Aviator Norway's subsidiary Røros Flyservice has been awarded a ground handling contractor for KLM Cityhopper flights at Ålesund Airport (AES)

JBT To Supply Gate Equipment: JBT AeroTech has been awarded a contract to supply gate equipment for a new terminal project at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Azerbaijan. The contract includes the supply of 13 new Jetway passenger boarding bridges, 13 JetAire PCA units, 19 JetPower 400Hz GPUs and other ancillary equipment.

Cavotec To Power Hangar: Cavotec will supply a complete air and electrical power solution for a United Airlines wide-body aircraft hangar at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Palmer Johnson Service in AZ, CO: Palmer Johnson Power Systems announced agreements with two service dealers to provide service in Arizona and Colorado. Rocky Mountain Powertrain in Denver and Western Industrial Equipment Service LLC in Phoenix operate fully equipped service trucks and in-house testing equipment to provide field service, on-site troubleshooting and diagnostics and unit testing to meet factory specifications.

Intentions For WheelTug: WheelTug plc announced a letter of intent with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to explore possibilities to install the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system on its aircraft fleet in the future. In other news, WheelTug announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Aircraft Wheel & Brake Division of Parker Aerospace, whereby Parker will be the exclusive supplier of wheels for the WheelTug system on the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737NG families of aircraft.

People In The News

Brian Piety (PIC) joined Page Industries as senior vice president with responsibility for all sales and marketing activities along with new product development. In addition to Page’s existing central system 400 Hz products, Piety will be adding other products to the company's mix, such as 400 Hz cables, PCA ducts and other ancillary GSE-related items. For the past 12 years Brian was Global Sales Manager for J&B Aviation after beginning his GSE career with Jetway Systems in 1991.

Joe Phelen (PIC) was promoted to executive vice president and will be responsible for Swissport International's ground handling and cargo operations in North America and Asia. Phelan has managed the ground handling and cargo departments in North America since April 2012, after joining Swissport at the start of this year. With the expansion of his role, Phelan also becomes a formal member of Swissport's Group Executive Management board, bringing more than 25 years of international logistics and transport industry experience. In related news, Juan José Andrés Alvez will be responsible for ground handling in Europe and Africa, as well as for ground handling and cargo for Latin America and Brazil. Currently, Juan José’s areas of responsibility are Europe, Middle East, Asia, Africa and Brazil. Additionally, Israel remains under his leadership. John Batten, executive vice President of global cargo, continues to be responsible for the cargo division on a global basis.

Troy Butler joined Schwarze Industries as human resources manager. Dale Glubrecht also joined the company as design engineering manager.

Gary Sass was named U.S. market manager for Continental Industrial Tires. Sass is based at the Fort Mill, SC headquarters. Jason Stickley also joined the company as business development manager.

Ken Bernard joined Matheson Flight Extenders as its station manager in Reno, NV.

Power Systems International Limited promoted Jon Hill to the position of managing director. Joining Hill on the board of directors are Ash Sharif as a director and Paul Berry as operations director. As a result, company founder Bernard Wallace has taken the position of executive chairman.

Frederick Roe joined Safegate Airport Systems as vice president of sales. Roe has 10 years of experience selling aviation business intelligence solutions. He will be responsible for business development in North America.

Swiss WorldCargo announced the following changes to its airfreight division: Lalin Sabuncuoglu-Janssen (PIC) will become vice president of operations to Europe and Africa. Ashwin Bhat (PIC) assumes additional responsibilities as vice president of operations in the Americas, Middle East and Asia. Jack Lampinski (PIC) remains a full member of the management team as senior director of the Americas. In related news, Susanne Wellauer (PIC) was appointed manager, Swiss Mail.

About the Author

Steve Smith | Editor