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.
AeroVironment launches advanced safety device on its charger
At ProMat 2017 AeroVironment has launched a patent-pending advanced version of its ConnectRx for its PosiCharge ProCore line of electric forklift chargers for the materials handling industry.
According to the NIST White Paper entitled “Towards Improved Forklift Safety,” more than 100,000 forklift accidents occur every year in the US. The study also reports that one in six US workplace deaths are caused by forklift accidents. Solutions that enhance forklift safety can positively impact workplace productivity and profitability.
The advanced ConnectRx, a standard feature on PosiCharge ProCore, is a sophisticated cable connector health monitoring technology designed to detect connector abnormalities during charging sessions. It immediately alerts users to possible charger and battery output problems that could potentially result in damage to the forklifts or facilities and injuries to employees. In addition to the advanced ConnectRx, PosiCharge ProCore’s anti-arc disconnect feature protects the operator and minimises wear on the connectors. ProCore’s advanced charge algorithm manages voltage and battery electrolyte temperatures in real time and actively compensates for superior battery gassing control. The low overcharge and accurate current control featured in ProCore contributes to extended battery life and increased safety.
The new, advanced ConnectRx will be available in the spring of 2017 as a standard feature on the PosiCharge ProCore series.
Cavotec: more sales to the US
Cavotec’s 2500+ 400Hz solid state frequency converter units are continuing to gain traction in the GSE market, with the US being the latest in a growing number of countries where the unit is safely and efficiently meeting the greater power demands of modern passenger aircraft.
Both Miami International airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International have selected the unique electrical and communication technological advances of the 2500+, where the units will power a wide variety of aircraft. Featuring the intuitive Skyway Interface and communication platform, the 2500+ helps these airports to make considerable improvements in operational efficiency and data collection.
“The Skyway Interface is one of our customers’ favourite features of the 2500+ because it provides operators with easy access to the procedures that they use most frequently,” explains Felix Covarrubias, Cavotec’s VP of Global Airport Power Systems.
New from Phoenix is the HS-5K
This tractor is capable of towing 55,000 pounds of cargo at speeds up to 25 mph. The model comprises a shortened Ford 350 DRW drive, cab and chassis, while the suspension is modified to accommodate the shortened (105 inch) wheelbase. All the standard factory original equipment is retained on the chassis. Heavy steel plate is utilised for the rear bumper whilst the front benefits from a heavy bumper with both grille and side protection guards. The rear deck has room for loose bags and cargo and the tractor is finished off with an E hitch.
ULD merger will grow network
ULD activity has been in the news again.
ACL Airshop, a company that leases, sells, repairs and manages ULDs and cargo net supplies, has announced that it is to merge with Ranger Airshop, the investment arm of Ranger Aerospace. The initiative will allow a focus on the growth of ACL’s network, which is expected to double from the current 45,000 ULDs to 100,000 units.
According to Steve Townes, President and founder of Ranger Aerospace, this move has been some 16 years in the making. “The intent is to grow the ULD network strategically,” he commented. In the next five to seven years, the new entity will consolidate its operation in certain of its locations.