Orlando welcomes biometric facilities

SITA has been chosen by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority as the technology partner for biometric exit at Orlando International airport. Orlando International becomes the first US airport to fully deploy the US Customs & Border Protection Biometric Entry and Exit Programme. Over the coming months, SITA will integrate Smart Path, its sophisticated biometric technology, at the airport’s 30 international boarding gates.SITA man-face-biometric-points-1240x954

Earlier this year, SITA worked with GOAA, British Airways and CBP to incorporate the US biometric departure check for British Airways’ customers. The trial’s success has prompted airport-wide implementation of the technology. The system makes passenger boarding both quicker and easier, while it also incorporates the new secure biometric exit checks. Currently, British Airways is boarding flights of almost 240 customers in around 15 minutes. With Smart Path, passengers look at a camera, without having to present boarding passes or passports.

John Newsome, Chief Information Officer, GOAA, commented: “Our decision to implement biometric exit checks across the whole airport follows a hugely successful live trial. The innovative boarding process we tested is really popular with passengers. They simply look at the camera and within seconds the gate opens and they can board the flight. It is easy, fast and most importantly, secure. The solution works on common-use boarding gates and can be easily used by the many international airlines that we serve at Orlando.”

WFS wins in Newark

Worldwide Flight Services has won a three-year contract to provide ramp handling for Lufthansa Group’s flights at Newark Liberty International airport. Under the terms of the agreement, the start of each airline’s summer schedules will see the WFS team in Newark responsible for handling Lufthansa’s three flights a day serving Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Munich, as well as Austrian Airlines’ and SWISS International Airlines’ daily services.

Tronair awarded by Gulfstream

Tronair, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, has been recognised for its efforts by Gulfstream Aerospace, with the prestigious

“Gulfstream Supplier of the Year award for 2017”. Gulfstream issues the awards bi-annually to recognise suppliers who have achieved superior performance. Award selection is based on the Gulfstream Supplier Report Card measurement criteria, which tracks overall value, delivery, quality, customer service and compliance for select Gulfstream suppliers. 

The award was presented by Bill Williams, Vice President of Supply Chain and Dennis Stuligross, Senior Vice President of Operations. To receive the award at the 2018 Gulfstream Operators & Suppliers Conference on behalf of Tronair was Tony Sanchez, Regional Sales Director, Jessica Hennessey, Customer Experience Leader and Chad Gibson, Product Specialist.

Lindesy Jalil made MD Commercial at Delta Cargo

Delta Air Lines Cargo has appointed Lindsey Jalil as Managing Director – Commercial, Delta Cargo - Lindsey_Jalila role previously held by Kristin Colvile, who was recently promoted to Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, SkyTeam.

With effect from June 1, Jalil has been leading Delta Cargo’s commercial activities, which include alliances, distribution, marketing and communications, products, technology, reporting and revenue management. Jalil has been with Delta since 2005 and has fulfilled various roles within the carrier’s organisation since that date.

Colombian acquisition

DHL Supply Chain has just acquired the Suppla Group, a company that specialises in providing logistics services in Colombia. Suppla, a long-established enterprise, is present in five regions and operates across 25 cities within Colombia. Altogether it offers around 500,000 square metres of storage capacity and employs 4,500 staff. This takeover is seen as enabling DHL Supply Chain to grow its presence in Colombia, which will in turn assist it to expand into the wider Latin American region.

Southwest takes landmark LEKTRO tug

LEKTRO reached a milestone recently when Southwest Airlines took delivery of the 5,300th towbarless tug built by the manufacturer.

5300th Tug SWA SJCSouthwest duly placed the tug into service at its San Jose operation.

To date, LEKTRO has produced more towbarless aircraft tractors than any other manufacturer in the world. The tug, a Model AP8950SDB-AL-200, is the company’s second largest pushback model, and capable of handling aircraft up to 210,000 pounds: this includes the Boeing 737 that Southwest Airlines utilises. The model was introduced in 2014 at the request of airlines for a tug that was certified to handle both the B737 and A320 families of aircraft.

Earlier, Southwest Airlines had honoured LEKTRO as its 2016 Equipment Provider of the Year.

Another Maple Leaf lounge to open

Air Canada has announced that it is to open a Maple Leaf Lounge at Saskatoon’s John G Diefenbaker International airport this autumn. This will be the airline’s seventeenth such lounge in Canada.

Air Canada’s Maple Leaf Lounge at Skyxe Saskatoon airport will be located after security, near to Gate 5. Encompassing 137 square metres, it will have a seating capacity for 40 customers. Work has already started on the project.


Air BP grows its operation in Brazil

Air BP has strengthened its presence in Brazil and will start supplying fuel at Santos Dumont airport.Santos Santos Dumont complements Air BP’s existing operations in Rio de Janeiro which include Galeão International airport, Jacarepaguá, Cabo Frio and Macaé. This is an important addition to Air BP’s network and comes in response to increased demand from the general and commercial aviation sectors.

Air BP will supply Santos Dumont with Jet A-1 fuel and refuelling will be carried out by an Air BP team of aviation fuel experts. The airport will join the Air BP network, now 900 strong.

Brazil is seen as a key market for Air BP. The company markets fuel at 26 locations across the country, providing fuel and services to general aviation, commercial aviation and military operations.

Towards a cleaner ramp

RAMP EQPT NEWS Wollard lpgIn line with growing interest in the environment, NMC Wollard has decided to re-engineer its diesel-powered beltloader, model TC-888. The net result is a retrofitted unit of GSE that now runs on LPG. Not only is this a greener option but it also permits easier fuel management.


Minimum pay: minimum lip service

When is the minimum wage not the minimum wage? When you work at Sea-Tac, it would seem.

After all the media hype back in 2013, when Sea-Tac proudly blazed a trail that others simply had to follow, its minimum wage policies would appear to be less than concrete. The magical hourly rate of US$15, long sought after and immediately (unsuccessfully, as it turned out) contested by local carriers, raised the airport worker’s standards overnight. Yet five years on, some workers are taking home a few cents less than this figure – whilst other, new contracts, are pitched considerably below this figure.

The devil here lies not in the small print but in the unions – and the airlines. When Alaska terminated Menzies’ contract at Seattle, it took ground handling in-house, forming McGee, with a view to saving money. And because this group was unionised, city ordinances allow it to set its own wage levels, effectively waiving the status quo. Thus ex-Menzies workers (previously on US$15 an hour) who are now with McGee, actually earn less. Likewise, because of the Railway Labour Act, a city is not able to regulate wage levels across multiple sites – so any fresh airline employees are starting on a wage several dollars below that living wage. Both these exemptions are completely legal, leaving the minimum wage concept something of a misnomer.

Interesting to note, both McGee and Alaska Airlines point to better perks and benefits as critical in making up the differential.

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