Resolution 753 introduction
IATA and Airlines for America have launched a year-long global campaign related to baggage tracking, with the goal of reducing mishandled bags in addition to increasing efficiency in baggage operations.
Annually, more than 4bn bags are carried by airlines globally although fewer than 0.43% do not actually arrive with their owners. The industry is determined to do even better and to that end has agreed on Resolution 753. By June 2018 airlines have committed to being able to track a bag when it is accepted at the airport, loaded on to an aircraft, transferred to the arrival system or put into the transfer system for carriage by another airline. Airlines should also be able to share this tracking information with interline carriers as needed.
“Arriving without a bag is a very frustrating experience for our customers. Over the last decade we have reduced mishandled baggage by 54% with improved processes. The next step is to realise the full benefits of baggage tracking to further improve performance. In the rare cases when a bag does not arrive with the passenger there will be much more information available to facilitate a quicker reunion. And the benefits don’t stop there. Tracking bags will enable proactive reporting, speed up aircraft readiness for departure, facilitate the automation of baggage processes and reduce fraud,” commented Andrew Price, IATA’s Global Head of Baggage.
Workers set to strike five US airports
Wage unrest is bubbling up again in the US airport sector.
A swathe of airport staff, including cabin cleaners, baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants, have threatened strike action this week at a number of US airports. JFK, Philadelphia, Newark, La Guardia and Denver are the targets and the action has been prompted by growing dissatisfaction with United Airlines and American Airlines.
The unrest has been occasioned by the reluctance of the latter to negotiate on wages; and dissatisfied staff have highlighted unfair labour practices arising from any attempts to unionise.
Citing having to work in a hostile environment, the affected staff are not alone: strike action over wage demands in various locations has been making the headlines regularly in the past 24 months.
New mini differential pressure gauge
A recent addition to Gammon Technical Products is the Mini Gammon Gauge: this is essentially a smaller version of the established Gammon Gauge. The Gammon Gauge is a popular tool for differential pressure reading and is used on aviation fuel filters in refineries, fuel terminals, airport fuel systems and refuelling vehicles.
Gammon Technical Products noted that there was a need for a smaller, even less expensive differential pressure indicator for more modest operations and so the Mini Gammon Gauge was developed.
Filtration standards for the refuelling industry, from the refinery to the aircraft, are set by the EI. They used to be set by the API, but because of litigation issues, the API turned this over to their UK counterpart, the Energy Institute.
The new Mini is aimed at the smallest airports, flowing no more than 125 gpm/400 lpm.
It is worth recording that Gammon did not include all the psi markings on the instrument, at the request of the EI. This latter desired the operators of these filters to change elements based on the colours, namely green, yellow, red, and not the psi indication. These, though, are available for non-aviation usage.
The answer to laptop bans?
The TSA’s latest baggage screening technology for checked baggage uses computed tomography to provide three-dimensional images of bags and their contents to detect possible threat items.
The TSA’s current screening technology for carry-on bags uses two-dimensional images at checkpoints. The 3D images provide a greater capability and as such, the TSA has been working with vendors to develop and reduce in size the CT 3D technology that could be installed at checkpoints: as they stand, the units are too big.
The technology derives from the medical sector and TSA is working with L3 Communications and Integrated Defense & Security Solutions to pilot this new CT 3D screening equipment at checkpoints. A limited pilot of the equipment got underway in one screening lane at Phoenix Sky Harbor International airport and one screening lane at Logan International airport beginning in the month of June 2017.
Mike England is National Spokesperson for the Transportation Security Administration.
“At this point we do not have an exact time table for the adoption of the new devices or whether they will some day eliminate current laptop and liquids protocols/restrictions. TSA will build specific requirements through these pilot programnes in the future, qualifying the machines for everyday use.”
PRM statistics not healthy
The Government Accountability Office has revealed that the number of complaints levied against airlines by disabled travellers has doubled in the space of ten years and now totals over 30,000 a year. The number of disability complaints filed with the department also rose in that same period, escalating from 511 to 944.
Since 2005, the department says that it has investigated 51 cases involving disabilities. In this context, enforcement actions have included warning letters or consent orders for corrective action.
These findings rather fly in the face of 12 of the airlines which were studied, all of which have been adamant that they have repeated training programmes for helping disadvantaged customers.
New venture could reduce fuel consumption
TM4 and Cummins have announced a joint venture towards developing a plug-in hybrid powertrain for Class 7/8 transit buses. This initiative is intended to reduce fuel consumption by at least 50% over conventional hybrid buses.
The project aims to provide transit authorities with a flexible, more efficient drivetrain and a long range zero emission capability for inner city routes.
As a world leader in electric powertrain development, TM4 equipped 5,000 buses in China last year. TM4’s expertise and real-road experience is seen as being instrumental in developing an optimised powertrain for plug-in transit buses.
With its particular expertise in internal combustion engines and related products, Cummins will be optimising the powertrain by selecting the engine with the best architecture to use as an electric commercial vehicle range extender, and using the engine to manage the charge level of the all-electric drive battery pack. The range extender will be integrated, using advanced vehicle controls, with the electrified powertrain and other applicable technologies.
Cargo acquisition by dnata
Ground handler dnata has announced that it has reached an agreement with Lynx Holdings to acquire its AirLogistix USA cargo handling operations at George Bush Intercontinental.
The 30,000 square foot facility will include the only dedicated perishable cargo facility at this airport. This state-of-the-art cargo handling centre is suitable for all perishable products, including pharmaceuticals, fruit, vegetables, fish and flowers; and it further underlines dnata’s advanced position in terms of perishable cargo handling.
In 2016, over 16,000 tonnes of perishable cargo were handled at this warehouse. In addition to this, the facility also has the capacity to handle up to 20,000 tonnes of regular air cargo.
As part of this transaction, AirLogistix USA and dnata have committed to open a similar facility at Dallas Fort Worth International in the summer of 2017. This second facility will be slightly bigger at 37,000 square feet, and again includes a dedicated perishables handling facility.
GAT gains equity investment
Private equity company Atlantic Street Capital has made a majority investment in GAT Airline Ground Support, a provider of handling services at various airports around the US.
Founded in 1965, GAT offers a portfolio of services at 37 airports: it provides ramp services, passenger handling and other ancillary services. Currently, it employs over 2,000 people. Atlantic Street Capital acquired its majority stake in GAT from the founding family. Boe Strange, Chief Executive Officer at GAT, will continue in the same position and remain a significant shareholder within the company.
Aviramp wins over American Airlines
Following a successful installation in Los Angeles, the first flight deploying an Aviramp took place on April 12. Passengers, handlers and airline staff were recorded as being very positive about the impact this boarding aid has delivered in just a short period of time. Most notable has been the quicker, streamlined boarding and deplaning processes, the improved levels of passenger safety and the all-inclusive, step-free passenger experience, which is viewed as an especial benefit for the PRM.
An American Airlines representative felt compelled to contact the Aviramp team after its deployment, summing it all up: “It was absolutely perfect; this is one fine piece of equipment – the boys over on the other side of the world certainly do it right. Well done all.”
ABC promotes Vince Ryan to VP Americas
AirBridgeCargo Airlines has promoted Vince Ryan to the post of Vice President, North and South America.Based in New York, he will continue the development of ABC’s growing business and network in the Americas, which already includes Boeing 747 freighter services connecting Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle to the airline’s global network over its Moscow hub.