JBT acquires LEKTRO

JBT Corporation has announced that an agreement is now in place for the acquisition of LEKTRO, the

manufacturer and supplier of all-electric towbarless tow and pushback vehicles for the

business jet and commercial aviation market.

“We are excited to be part of JBT,” commented Eric Paulson, owner of LEKTRO. “Together, our companies will provide customers a global sales and support presence, a much broader portfolio of products and services and deeper engineering capabilities for future product development.”

LEKTRO’s family of all-electric towbarless vehicles is deemed a useful complement to JBT AeroTech’s

expanding line-up of diesel tow tractors and other GSE products that include de-icers, cargo loaders, beltloaders, mobile stairs, pre-conditioned air carts, and ground power units.

Located in Warrenton, Oregon, LEKTRO will join with JBT AeroTech’s GSE business unit to

provide a useful range of aviation solutions.

“LEKTRO’s reputation for great customer service and products that are easy to operate, easy to maintain, and highly reliable makes it an ideal fit for JBT AeroTech,” notes Dave Burdakin, EVP and President of JBT AeroTech.

With the leadership at LEKTRO remaining unchanged, the focus on products and service is set to continue under the aegis of JBT.

A sustainable future at Van Nuys

Van Nuys airport has just hosted “Business Jets Fuel Green: A Step Toward Sustainability,” a day-long event devoted to the use and awareness of sustainable alternative jet fuels. These include the latest formulations of jet fuel that come from renewable and sustainable sources.

Van NuysLos Angeles City Council member Nury Martinez and Los Angeles World Airports executives, including LAWA’s Chief Executive Officer Deborah Flint, joined a consortium of general aviation and business aviation advocates to promote the use of SAJF as part of a shared commitment to combating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from jet fuel.

The airport thus becomes the first general aviation airport in the US to offer SAJF on a trial basis, serving as a model for other general aviation airports.

For the event, each of the participating FBOs purchased 4,000 gallons of SAJF, demonstrating the business aviation industry’s commitment to the development and adoption of SAJF.

ATS honoured in Business Excellence Awards

Airport Terminal Services’ Vancouver team has been named a top finalist in the Richmond Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards. The awards recognise distinguished Richmond businesses in ten different categories and received over 200 nominations. ATS was one of the top three finalists in the “New Business of the Year” category.

The award criteria are to honour a new business that is achieving outstanding business
performance and shows promise for continued growth. ATS began ground handling operations in September 2017 and were quickly achieving customer objectives and YVRAA safety metrics. Final construction was completed on new office space including training room, employee facilities, operations control room and management offices in October. This investment was deemed to have shown ATS’ commitment to growth and employee engagement at Vancouver International airport.ATS

“The YVR team continues to make us proud,” says Sally Leible, ATS President and CEO. “To see our YVR team, led by Managing Director, Parv Bal, grow and develop a young operation and consistently meet KPIs while showing continuous improvement in employee morale and retention is an impeccable achievement. We have the perfect trifecta in YVR with a collaborative customer in WestJet and supportive team with YVR airport. We are thrilled the Richmond Chamber of Commerce was able to recognise and reward this phenomenal accomplishment.”

On the right scent

On November 27, 2018, the TSA opened the application period for companies to submit their application to become a CCSF-K9 provider. GK9PG received notification on December 7 that its Operational Implementation Plan met all of the programme requirements. With this Letter of Approval, the company’s CCSF-K9 Teams that have successfully completed the required Third-Party Certification will begin operations for GK9PG’s established clients immediately.

CanineBased on the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, 100% of everything that travels on a passenger aircraft inside the US must be screened. This is not a new requirement; however, more recent changes to the International Civil Aviation Organisation security standards removes the distinction between passenger and cargo operations. This shifts the screening requirement to all cargo transported via commercial air transportation. As a result, Homeland Security and the TSA have established the Third-Party Canine Screening or 3PK9 program to create and monitor Certified Cargo Screening Facility – K9 (CCSF-K9). Under this programme, private sector canine companies will be able to provide TSA-certified cargo screening canine teams to assist in meeting these new requirements.

3PK9 Teams are third party or private sector explosive detection canine teams. Each team comprises one canine handler and one assigned canine that must pass an annual TSA certification. 3PK9 Teams conduct cargo screening under 49 CFR part 1549. 3PK9 teams perform cargo screening operations as CCSF-K9s once they have been certified by TSA approved certifying organisation.

LEKTRO’s latest

Electric tug manufacturer LEKTRO has passed another milestone, delivering its 5,400th aircraft tug. The latest model went to Airbus at its manufacturing facility in Hamburg and the sale enhances further LEKTRO’s presence in the battery-powered GSE marketplace.

LEKTRO 1The sale was brokered by LEKTRO’s authorised dealer for Germany and Austria, Bartosch Airport Supply Services.

“It is an honour to provide ground handling solutions to Airbus in Hamburg,” commented Leo Bartosch, President of Bartosch Airport Supply Services. “We look forward to supporting Airbus whenever the need arises.”

The tug, a LEKTRO model AP8950SDB-AL-200, is the American company’s second largest pushback offering, and is capable of handling all single aisle Airbus aircraft up to and including the A321 Neo. The tug also features a new cabin design.

dnata begins operations at Los Angeles International

Los Angeles International has become the twentieth US airport in dnata’s network of ground handling operations.

The expansion represents an investment of US$8m in infrastructure and resources and creates 350 new jobs with the company. Serving six airlines, including Austrian Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines and Qantas, dnata will initially handle 4,600 flights a year.dnata launches operations at Los Angeles International Airport

David Barker, Chief Executive Officer of dnata USA, said: “We are thrilled to be launching operations at one of the world’s leading international airports. Adding Los Angeles International airport to our growing network underlines our strong commitment to the US market, where we have significantly expanded our operations through massive investments in our facilities and resources in the past two years. We see an opportunity to create a step change in service excellence for our customer airlines at this important gateway.”

Joerg Mnich, Vice President Commercial Airport Infrastructure, Lufthansa Group, said: “As a premium airline the Lufthansa Group Airline is excited to grow the North American relationship with dnata into another major hub like Los Angeles.With our very positive service experience from destinations like Boston, New York-JFK, San Diego and Tampa we are looking forward to providing first class service to our customers with our handling partner at Los Angeles International airport.”

Since its entry into the US market in 2016, dnata has invested a total of US$35m in its US operations and hired 1,000 additional employees to its regional team. Having won over 45 new contracts in the past 12 months, dnata now serves over 60 airlines in the US.

Solar power for Van Nuys

Van NuysLos Angeles World Airports has joined with local elected leaders and aviation executives to further embrace sustainable energy with the announcement of solar power generation at Van Nuys general aviation airport.

The airport’s business tenant, Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, showcased the recent operational launch of its solar rooftop and canopy installation, which is a first at the station, while six other business tenants also unveiled solar energy project commitments. This is the first instalment of a solar power generation project at a Los Angeles airport, although there are other projects in the pipeline, pending regulatory approvals.

Upon completion of all seven projects that have been presented, the airport will become one of California’s leading general aviation airports for solar energy production.

El Dorado shines through

El Dorado International airport is set to become the greenest terminal in South America, with an array of 10,000 solar panels which are destined to be fully operational in 2019. At the time of writing, installation of the panels had just begun. 

The panels, which will occupy an area the size of 20 Olympic swimming pools, are part of a wider plan intended make the airport the greenest in the region. It is thought that within the space of eight months some 12% of the airport’s energy requirements will be attributable to solar energy harvesting.

The airport, which is the third busiest passenger airport in the region, and was named in March as the best airport in South America in the annual World Airport Awards.

US self-bag-drop breakthrough at Denver airport

The ongoing renovation of Denver International airport is to see world’s largest installation of self-bag-drops, provided by self-service specialist Materna US.

The implementation of the Materna self-bag-drop systems is part of the US$650m Denver International airport’s Great Hall project that is under way. As part of the redevelopment of Jeppesen Terminal, Materna has been commissioned to provide 176 hybrid self-bag-drop units and 40 check-in kiosks by 2020.

This will make the airport the world’s largest self-bag-drop installation and the first major US airport to fully embrace the services. Denver airport is currently increasing its capacity significantly and investing in this technology will help to serve approximately 80m passengers per year in future, up from the 50m it was originally designed to handle.

The planned expansion also focuses on improving airport security and improving the passenger journey and experience.

Materna’s self-bag-drop solution comprises a classic agent counter combined with a self-bag-drop unit and scanner portal positioned over the conveyor to scan baggage tags. The scanner unit only accepts baggage of the correct size and weight, which will help to ensure safe baggage handling processes are followed. The kiosks are equipped with Materna’s common use (CUSS) platform that all carriers can use and some major airlines are already undergoing integration.

The customisable solution gives the airport and its passengers the highest level of flexibility in passenger handling, as it allows both self-service and personal service at the counter.

This project in the US is an important milestone for Materna’s global activities and those in North America in particular.

Materna has already successfully completed proof of concepts and full installations at numerous airports in the America, including Toronto, John Wayne airport, Montreal, Miami, Quebec and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International airport.

STS to offer GSE refurbishment

STS Aviation Group has announced the launch of STS GSE Services, a company based in Melbourne, Florida, will be dedicated to offering maintenance, refurbishment, spare parts and warranty services for the aircraft ground support equipment market.

Mark Smith, Group President of STS Aviation, will oversee the operations of STS GSE Services alongside Gabriel Girard, who has been promoted from his former role as Operations Manager for STS Mod Center to Director of Operations for STS GSE Services.

STS pic“As President of every company under STS’ Maintenance, Engineering and Modification Group, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to create synergies,” explains Smith. “Take STS Mod Center and STS Line Maintenance, for example. These two companies will now have a go-to company for GSE services, and that company will be internally housed under the STS Aviation Group umbrella. These types of synergies not only save us money, but we’re able to pass on those savings to all of our clients requiring GSE services.”

In addition to servicing aircraft ground support equipment at its aircraft hangar facility in Melbourne, the offshoot will be looking to repair GSE at STS’ growing network of line maintenance stations across the US and the Bahamas.

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