Greater automation at Los Angeles International
Los Angeles International has unveiled 40 new automated passport control kiosks at the Tom Bradley International Terminal to expedite the entry process for international passengers.
The new kiosks can be used by both American and Canadian citizens traveling from abroad, as well as travelers from 38 Visa waiver countries registered with the US Customs and Border Protection’s ESTA program. These facilities will allow passengers to submit their customs declaration forms and biographic information electronically, which will help in reducing time spent at the CBP office.
Passengers will also have an option to select one of 13 languages as they pass. Easy-to-follow instructions will help the scanning of passports, taking a photograph using the kiosk, answering questions and fingerprinting for non-US citizens.
Ebola: fears in New York
With Ebola making headlines around the world, it’s perhaps not surprising that aircraft grooming staff have concerns for their welfare. That concern manifested itself a few days ago in New York. There, around 200 Air Serv cabin cleaners set up a picket outside a LaGuardia airport terminal over health and safety issues.
Citing an unsafe working environment, one that puts them at risk from passenger by-products, they are looking to form a union. Part of their worry concerns the increasing pressures on them to clean an aircraft thoroughly in a very short period of time, something that they argue is unrealistic.
Charging opportunities abound
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport has just installed a total of six L1 PowerPost Level 1 electric vehicle charging stations from Telefonix, a developer of cord reel technology and manufacturer of the PowerPost commercial electric vehicle charging station product line.
The PowerPost EV charging line features beneficial advantages to airports that include patented retractable cord reel technology, low energy usage and EVSE compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act that can help airports become ADA-compliant.
“CVG strives to create a positive and efficient customer service experience for our passengers,” commented Candace McGraw, Chief Executive Officer, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport. “This is part of CVG’s commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”
In consequence, the station joins other major US airports that have installed L1 PowerPost commercial electric vehicle charging facilities, which include Denver International and Greensboro International.
More outsourcing on the cards
According to The Columbus Dispatch, United was seeking to make redundant some 100 workers at Port Columbus at the beginning of October, transferring their union jobs to outside vendor Airport Terminal Services who, it is alleged, will actually offer lower contract wages.
The move has been part of a series of United lay-offs at a dozen airports in the wake of cost-cutting measures; such initiatives have been common over the last year or so, as airlines have struggled to make a profit. Other airports where United will also be outsourcing union jobs include Buffalo, New York; Detroit and Charlotte, North Carolina: it is understood that these proposals will affect 600-700 workers.
Union worker wages typically range from US$12 an hour to US$25 an hour, but reports suggest that the new incumbent will be paying around US$8.75 an hour.
“This is a trend, as air carriers continue their quest to manage costs and operate profitably,” commented David Whitaker, the Columbus Regional Airport Authority’s Vice President of Business Development.
Currently, American, US Airways and Delta Air Lines all outsource to some degree their ramp and passenger services jobs at Port Columbus, he added. The shift echoes that of Europe, where the outsourcing of ground handling labor has reached high levels.
Cancun signs up JBT AeroTech
JBT Corporation has announced that it has been awarded nearly US$6m in contracts to supply airside gate equipment for the Terminal 3 expansion at Cancun, Mexico International airport and as retro-fit components for existing gates. The orders, placed by Oversys, include Jetway passenger boarding bridges, JetAire preconditioned air units and Jetpower 400 Hz ground power devices.
Tentative agreement reached
Alaska Airlines and the Association of Flight Attendants have announced that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract for the carrier’s 3,300 flight attendants.
Once the agreement is approved by the union’s leadership, Alaska Airlines’ flight attendants will conduct a ratification vote that is expected to be completed in December.
Under the Railway Labor Act, which governs collective bargaining agreements in the airline industry, contracts do not actually expire but become amendable instead. The previous contract became effective in 2010 and was amendable in May 2012.