New Baltimore facility for WheelTug

WheelTug has announced that it has secured a 37,000 square foot manufacturing facility in Baltimore, Maryland.
The facility will serve for the assembly, testing and logistics operations for global WheelTug deliveries.
wheeltugThe fitting out of the facility and the design of the assembly line is being managed by WheelTug¹s new Director of Manufacturing, Jack France. France brings significant experience to the role. He previously held senior manager positions at Honda North America, and GE/Honda Aero. He was also responsible for co-ordinating with certificating and regulatory authorities, including the FAA and numerous civil aviation authorities worldwide.
The new facility and production management expertise will enable WheelTug to meet existing and future demand for WheelTug systems. So far, 25 airlines on five continents have reserved more than 2,000 WheelTug systems.

Swissport adds to its US network

Starting this July, Swissport will be offeringAeromexico_Austin airport ground services at Austin Bergstrom International airport. The Texas airport adds to Swissport’s dense US network of 44 airports in 25 states. Austin is Swissport’s first opening of a new US airport location in six years, underlining its growth ambitions as the industry recovers from the pandemic.

WFS opens cargo centre in Atlanta

Worldwide Flight Services has opened the most modern cargo handling centre at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport.
This will support its focus on network expansion, facility investments and sustainability.
WFS won the airport’s tender for a 20 year lease to operate the new 100,000 square foot Cargo Building C, which is a key part of Atlanta’s multi-billion dollar master plan to accommodate the future aviation needs of the region. Prior to the global disruption to aviation services caused by the COVID pandemic, Atlanta was the world’s busiest international airport and a major air cargo hub, handling more than 675,000 tonnes per annum.

Help for the PRM at Miami International

To kick off Mobility Awareness Month, Miami-Dade County leaders and advocates for the local disability community held a plug-in ceremony to celebrate the installation of ten new wheelchair charging stations at Miami International airport. The airport is one of the first in the US to install the charging stations, which exceed the basic Americans with Disabilities Act airport requirements.MIA

“I applaud Miami for remaining on the forefront of airport accessibility with this fantastic new initiative,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Resources like these wheelchair charging stations are critical to better serving travellers with special needs, and ensuring Miami is on the leading edge of the new norms of air travel.”

Menzies expands in Canada

menzies canadaMenzies Aviation has announced that it has been awarded full-service ground handling agreements by Flair Airlines, Canada’s only independent ultra low cost carrier. This will further expand Menzies’ partnership with the airline to encompass nine of the 19 stations in its domestic network.

Menzies will provide passenger and ramp services to Flair Airlines at Halifax Stanfield International airport, Ottawa International airport and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International airport from May; at the airports of Saint John, Charlottetown and Victoria from July; and at Abbotsford International airport from August.

This will build on the existing partnership between Menzies and Flair at two key Canadian stations, with Menzies having supported the carrier at Toronto Pearson International since February, and at Saskatoon John G Diefenbaker International since August 2020, where the Menzies team is currently preparing for flights to restart in May.

Acquisition of Skyport

Investment firm Ventus and Singaporean company Sky Logistica have acquired Prague-based Skyport, a central European air cargo infrastructure company. Skyport handles cargo at Prague airport and has operations in Bratislava and Košice, both in Slovakia. It operates in a modern semi-automated airside facility and processes more than half of all air cargo passing through Prague airport.
The airside cargo handling facility in which Skyport operates was acquired by Singapore-headquartered Elite Logistics Fund in connection with the acquisition of Skyport by Ventus and Sky Logistica.Skyport
“The last 12 months have proved the importance of air cargo infrastructure as a strategic component of global trade,” commented Andy Popovich, Chief Executive Officer, Ventus. “Investing in automated facilities and modern operations is the future of this industry and we are excited to work with our institutional capital partners to further invest in this asset class. Skyport has huge potential for growth and we are focused on optimising the existing facilities and unlocking additional capacity by deploying technology to enhance operations.”
Ventus is an infrastructure investment and asset management firm headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 2020, it focuses on investing in air cargo and robotic industrial infrastructure, mainly in Europe and North America.

A more transparent turnaround

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International airport and Assaia International are in the process of deploying Assaia’s Turnaround Control solution at the airport. This solution will help improve turnaround transparency and assist the station in working with airline partners to enhance on-time performance. Designed to provide a round-the-clock overview of what is happening during turnarounds, this application will notify employees if it detects any deviations from schedule. In essence it can identify the elements or situations that most often cause delays and report back to managers in order that corrective action can be taken.CVG
“Assaia’s technology adds critical data points to CVG’s early-stage neural network for operational advancements,” explained Brian Cobb, Chief Innovation Officer at the airport. “Structured data generated by artificial intelligence will provide information to make decisions, optimise airside processes and improve efficiency and safety.”
The airport is installing new cameras and artificial intelligence technology at several of its gates to capture turnaround data and provide visibility to its airline partners of what is happening at the airport. Computer vision is used to generate insights from video streams and leverage untapped operational data to optimise apron operations in real-time. The system’s roll-out began in April 2021.

ATS wins Spirit contract

Airport Terminal Services has been awarded the ground handling contract for Spirit Airlines at Orlando International airport.

ATS and Spirit 2The three year contract began on March 17, 2021. This contract expands the existing relationship between ATS and Spirit, with current partnerships in Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, Portland, Santa Ana and West Palm Beach.

ATS currently operates in Orlando and will be adding a new dedicated team focused on delivering above and below the wing service for the Spirit operation.

Autonomous progress at San Diego

San Diego Exterior T2Autonomous technology that enhances airport functions such as airside operations, terminal space operations or intra-transit options is the focus of the Airport Innovation Lab’s inaugural one-year programme at the San Diego International airport.

Applications are being accepted for this programme that will allow companies with autonomous technology solutions to test and refine their products in a live environment. Examples of technology accepted for this programme are autonomous pushback solutions, AI based smart assistants and autonomous transit options for moving passengers and staff throughout the airport within the terminal space. These solutions offer operational efficiency and logistics and provide a positive passengers experience. Accepted applicants will participate in a four-quarter, one-year programme. In each three-month quarter, participants will partake of a variety of workshops, will test sprints and experience one-to-one mentoring sessions that will culminate with demonstration presentations. Topics of the workshops include operations, revenue management, business development, IT, customer experience and marketing.

At the end of the programme, successful autonomous technology solutions will have the potential to enter into contract negotiations with the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.

TCR supports WFS’ operations in North America

Over the last two months, TCR has delivered a wave of new cargo handling ground support equipment to WFS at JFK, LAX and eight other airports across the US.
“WFS is very pleased to extend its long standingTCR equipment EVA AirCargo 2 European co-operation with TCR into the US market, starting with this project across ten cargo stations. We like the agility and flexibility of the TCR team and their GSE rental model, which supports WFS’ continuous growth in the US market,” said Craig Smyth, Group CEO of WFS.
“It is a great honour to support our global Customer WFS on their continued growth path in the US and we thank the WFS US team for their trust in TCR Americas,” commented Jan De Leeuw, Managing Director TCR Americas.
TCR supports airports, airlines and ground handlers by providing an holistic, one-stop-shop GSE leasing solution.

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