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News & Updates

Airport Industry News: January 2014

Jan 24, 2014

Published biweekly –  available by annual subscription only (at a discounted rate through Brainseed) –

Managing Editor / Publisher: Martin Lamprecht

The articles compiled for Brainseed and made available here represent only a very small sample of news from some of the 8 modules of the biweekly newsletter which includes the modules: Airport Development (DEV), Airport Operations (OPS), Ground Support Equipment (GSE), Air Traffic Services (ATC), Consultant & Contractor (CON), Airport Information Technology (AIT) and Maintenance Base (MRO). An extensive Calendar of Events (CAL) is part of every subscription.



The Gulf Centre for Aviation Studies (GCAS), the training arm of Abu Dhabi Airports, was named Training and Education Provider of the Year at the 2013 Aviation Business Awards (ABA) in recognition of its focus and efforts in developing aviation professionals in the region. This marks the second time GCAS has won this prestigious award. The Aviation Business Awards is focused on celebrating achievements realized across the Middle East aerospace industry over the past 12 months. Aws Al Khanjari, General Manager of GCAS, commented: "This award serves as a validation of GCAS's focus on delivering tailor made aviation and airport training solutions and recognizes the hard work and dedication of GCAS's instructors and staff towards instilling a culture of excellence in all facets of training and development activities. It also highlights the importance of partnerships and collaboration in the industry. This award is also a result of the hard work and effort put together by all the partners who have worked closely with the GCAS team since its inception."

GCAS's aim is to work closely with other established training institutions and global organizations to provide the exchange of best practices, expertise and resources. GCAS is also committed to supporting the current and future aviation related manpower requirements of Abu Dhabi Airports as well as the region, by designing and delivering training programmes tailor-made to the growing requirements of the industry in the region.


Ground Handling News

One of Evergreen International Aviation Inc.'s last viable divisions closed abruptly on 29 December 2013. Evergreen EAGLE managers told customers they were ceasing operations, and no longer providing ground-handling services for major airlines at numerous U.S. airports. The closure came shortly after Evergreen CEO, Delford Smith, had told reporters that the subsidiary, Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprise Inc., was "doing fine". EAGLE's demise continues the collapse of Smith's McMinnville, OR-based aviation group as creditors drag its flagship Evergreen International Airlines Inc. into involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The ground handling enterprise had continued generating income even as Evergreen's cargo airline parked its aircraft and amassed debts and default judgments. Evergreen sold its helicopter division earlier in 2013 to pay down debt. EAGLE provided ground handling services at more than 35 U.S. domestic airports such as New York JFK, Chicago O'Hare, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Miami, and Anchorage.


Swissport has announced that the acquisition of Servisair from Derichebourg group was been completed on 23 December 2013. Financial terms were not disclosed. All required regulatory approvals were obtained before closing. With the closing, PAI Partners-owned Swissport now employs more than 55,000 personnel, and the company's network exceeds 255 stations in 46 countries. Per Utnegaard, Group President and CEO of Swissport International, said: "The acquisition is an essential part of Swissport's growth strategy. Our customers will benefit from the enlarged global network, the increased portfolio of value-added services, the combined operational excellence and the consistent service quality worldwide."


As part of on-going research and development into future technology options, Airbus has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with EGTS International, a joint venture company between Safran and Honeywell Aerospace, to further develop and evaluate an autonomous electric pushback and taxiing solution for the Airbus A320 family.  The agreement marks the selection of EGTS International's Electric Green Taxiing System to be evaluated as a new option on the A320 - referred to by Airbus as eTaxi. This option would allow the aircraft to push-back from the gate without a tug, taxi to the runway, and return to the gate after landing without operating the main engines. eTaxi will use the aircraft's Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) to power electric motors fitted to the main landing gear wheels. The architecture will include the ability for pilots to keep full control from the cockpit over their aircraft's speed and direction during taxi operations. Brian Wenig, EGTS Programme Vice President, Honeywell Aerospace, said: "Following our demonstration of the technology at [the 2013] Paris Airshow, this MoU marks the next critical milestone in the advancement of the Electric Green Taxiing System as an option for the Airbus A320 family, by securing Airbus' support in the development of the system. Airbus will provide extremely valuable insight to facilitate a seamless integration into the aircraft."

The eTaxi option will offer several operational and environmental benefits for the A320 family: Per trip, the projected fuel savings and CO2 reductions would be approximately 4%; it would contribute to significantly more efficient taxiing operations and save around 2 min on pushback; and taxiing-related carbon and nitrous oxide emissions would be cut by more than half.  


Airport Security

L-3 Security & Detection Systems has received an official award notice from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) to supply high-speed eXaminer® XLB explosives detection systems (EDS). The total value of the contract, including service, is approximately USD 60 million. L-3's eXaminer XLB is claimed to be the first certified dual-energy EDS specifically optimized for screening checked baggage in high-throughput airport environments. Capable of scanning more than 1,200 bags/hr in-line, it keeps baggage moving continuously through a 1-m wide scanner. "This latest award demonstrates our long-standing commitment to CATSA in providing the highest-performance solutions available to meet evolving needs," said Thomas Ripp, President of L-3 Security & Detection Systems. "Our eXaminer XLB provides superior availability, low false alarms, high bag clear rate and dual-energy capability for maximum screening effectiveness. We're continuing to invest in the platform to further anticipate the emerging threats and operational requirements within demanding airport environments." The eXaminer XLB generates high-resolution 3-D image data for explosives detection by combining helical CT with dual-energy imaging. Using 3-D Continuous Flow CT technology, the system generates high-resolution, medical-quality images in real time.


Moscow's two main international airports have announced a flat ban on all carry-on liquids as part of a mass security clampdown ahead of the Sochi Winter Games. Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo airports handle the vast majority of Russia's international air traffic and will receive the bulk of foreign fans arriving for the 7 to 23 February Olympic festivities on the shores of the Black Sea. Extending even to some prescribed medication and cosmetics, the unexpected ban - the latest in a string of tough security moves leading up to the Games - has sparked a furious online debate among Russians. Russia launched the security operation in an effort to reduce the threat of Islamist violence following the recent twin suicide strikes in the southern hub of Volgograd. The restrictions - adopted by the Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsiya) - will remain in force until 21 March 2014. 

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