Cargo emissions calculator is a first in the US
United Airlines, in partnership with Sustainable Travel International, has released an enhanced cargo emissions and offset calculator that is able to compute and present per capita carbon emissions for customers shipping via United Cargo. Currently, United is the only American carrier able to offer such a calculator to its customers.
Recognizing the emerging global trend for increased accountability and the need to report carbon footprint data to shippers, United’s user-friendly calculator provides information that is often now expected by its customers. Cargo customers can now easily input their place of origin and destination for each flight leg, along with the weight of their shipment, in order to calculate the total carbon footprint for their shipment, using United’s operational data.
Menzies extends Air China rapport
Menzies Aviation has expanded its relationship with Air China Cargo in the US, following the award of a contract for the provision of cargo handling services at Vancouver International airport. This award follows closely on the company’s success in securing the full handling service for Air China at Houston Intercontinental for Air China’s service on a new route that commenced in July 2013. In addition, Menzies has been successful in renewing its Air China Cargo handling contracts in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Technology permits limited electronics on board
The FAA has said that it is to relax existing regulations that restrict the inflight use of portable electronic devices, such as tablets, smart phones and electronic reading devices. In-flight cellular communication, which includes voice calls and electronic messaging, will still be prohibited, however.
In terms of international implications, the FAA rules will apply to all US registered carriers, whereas international airlines will be subject to regulatory oversight by their respective governments. Individual, national regulators will need to make their own evaluations in terms of this subject.
Labor agreement reached at United
At the end of October, United Airlines announced that its fleet service, passenger service, reservations and storekeeper workgroups at its United, Continental, Continental Micronesia and MileagePlus subsidiaries had finally ratified new joint labor agreements.
Ground handlers and other work groups total around 28,000 in all and derive from both United and Continental, before the two carriers merged in 2010. The agreements will run through 2016.
“The National Mediation Board provided support throughout the negotiating process and I want to thank board member Linda Puchala and senior mediator Patricia Sims, along with mediators Michael Kelliher and Andrew Nordgren,” said Mike Bonds, Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations. “We now have joint contracts for more than half of our represented employees, and we will work to continue our progress in negotiations with our other work groups.”
Since merging with Continental, United has made significant progress in bringing together these work groups. To date, the company has reached combined agreements for pilots, passenger service, reservations, fleet service and stores employees; whilst separate agreements have been signed with flight attendants and technicians from its United, Continental and Continental Micronesia subsidiaries.
Pre-conditioned air a bonus
PC air has been given a fresh lease of life at Seattle.
The Port of Seattle’s pre-conditioned air service can heat or cool aircraft during boarding and deplaning to reduce energy costs for airlines, improve air quality, reduce noise and increase energy efficiency throughout the airport. A centralized plant delivers pre-conditioned air through 15 miles of pipes to each of the airport’s 73 jet gates. This, in turn, allows aircraft to shut down their auxiliary power units, which release CO2 gases and other emissions, adding to airline fuel costs.
At the heart of the application is the piping installed within the existing terminal: this connects all of the gates to a system of chillers and heaters to provide the pre-conditioned air. A central plant houses a total of four 750 tonne chillers that fill 16 ice storage tanks with ethylene-glycol solution cooled by electricity provided by the airport. Additionally, a quartet of secondary pumps circulates the chilled liquid through pipes to the gates for cooling, whilst the airport’s steam plant heats the water that is piped to the gates for heating purposes.
Savings from this VALE grant-aided development are said to be prodigious: Sea-Tac estimates that it will save around 5m gallons of fuel per annum whilst the carriers can expect up to US$15m savings in terms of fuel costs. At the same time up to 40,000 tonnes of CO2 should be avoided.
Assuming everything goes according to plan, the whole network should be on-line and running by the end of this year.