Strike action at Logan?

JetBlue Airways is gearing up for a rough ride over the next few days at Logan International. The bulk of the airline’s contractors, who are employed by ReadyJet and Flight Services and Systems, have been trying for over six years to become members of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union. Their attempts have drawn disapprobation from ReadyJet and Flight Services and Systems; indeed, both these companies have a history of fines for cases of theft and safety violations at the station, and allegedly have used threatening behaviour towards employees looking to unionise. Because of this, upwards of 500 baggage handlers, PRM assistants, skycaps and cabin cleaners are now considering strike action.

According to JetBlue (which supports the concept of a decent living wage), the intended strike will not adversely affect its operations at the airport, since it has subcontracted labour on standby.

Anchoring down in Anchorage

Proterra 1

The Municipality of Anchorage’s Public Transportation Department recently hosted a press and Anchorage Assembly tour of the new 40 foot Proterra Catalyst E2 battery-powered bus, before it officially started up operations on Anchorage streets.

The bus has begun serving routes for the general public and will run for a four month trial period.

The trial period is designed to test how the bus performs in winter weather, to what extent cold temperatures will affect the battery life and whether it’s feasible to pursue an electric bus fleet in the future.  Performance will be monitored with a view to ascertaining how this technology might be adopted by refuse trucks within the city.

A 100% electric solution to urban (as well as airport) transport, the Proterra Catalyst model emits zero tailpipe pollution and will be able to reduce the CO2 footprint of a diesel bus by an impressive 244,000 pounds annually. The absence of a combustion engine means that the vehicle is also much quieter in operation.

SkyMark appoints David Price

Steven Paul, CEO of SkyMark Refuelers, has announcedcc-dprice the appointment of David Price as President and COO.

Price, a manufacturing and technology expert, began his career in heavy manufacturing at Armco Steel Company, where he worked in different technical and management roles.

EASA approves active container

RAPCSafe Global has recently received approval for its new CSafe RAP active container from the European Aviation Safety Agency. With this new approval, along with the FAA approval granted in November 2017, CSafe Global now provides greater opportunities for pharmaceutical and life science companies to ship their temperature-sensitive products globally.

Brian Kohr, President and CEO of CSafe Global, remarked: “The EASA approval of our new active RAP system is very important in our mission to provide cold chain solutions that ensure successful delivery of life enhancing products around the world. With this approval, we mark another important milestone in the launch of the CSafe RAP, providing life science shippers with a new temperature-controlled container solution, for larger cargo payloads, that is based on our proven system designs and technologies that have been used in successful shipments with the CSafe RKN active container over the past ten years.”

New head at Trojan

Neil ThomasTrojan Battery, a leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, has announced the appointment of Neil Thomas as President and Chief Executive Officer for the company,succeeding Jeff Elder. Elder, who has announced his retirement, will be available as a consultant to the company and will continue to be an investor in Trojan Battery enterprise. 

Automation comes to the US

APepper_HMSHost_OAK robot named Pepper is not only state-of-the-art – it is becoming the face of the future. Travellers in the US this year may well encounter this helpful humanoid at various airports, following recent trials of the technology in both Asia and Europe. Standing four feet high, the robot is programmed to greet people and engage with passengers, as well as provide menu details and recommendations.

At the time of writing this robotic novelty has been sighted on patrol at Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport as well as Washington Dulles, Los Angeles and Oakland International. Pepper can customise her features for each airport so her interactions with travellers will vary from location to location. At select airports Pepper also helps passengers with airport directions such as gates, the nearest toilets and finding other food and beverage options throughout the airport.

Expanded role for Total Air Group

Total Air Group and WheelTug have announced an expansion of their existing co-operation. In its expanded role as a risk-sharing partner, TAG will help finalise WheelTug’s test, maintenance and repair procedures, as well as assist in the development of training procedures for WheelTug-authorised mechanics and technicians. TAG will also provide mobile teams for WheelTug system installations and maintenance at customer sites, and handle some logistic functions for the WheelTug support network. 

Mike Silvius, CEO of TAG, said: “Becoming a member of the WheelTug Team is extremely exciting for our organisation. The partnering of a dynamic repair station with such an innovative, forward-thinking aviation product is an outstanding power multiplier that will benefit all parties immensely. The efficiencies, time savings, safety and automation that this system brings to an aviation environment, with growing operational limitations, will be celebrated by CFOs, pilots, and passengers.” 

WheelTug’s CEO, Isaiah Cox, agreed. “This expanded agreement with TAG is a natural progression. TAG has already been a very valuable member of the WheelTug development and certification team, thanks to its hands-on experience with aircraft operational aspects, maintenance implications, and on-aircraft tests.”

New scissor lift comes to the airport

UTX scissorliftThe UTX Scissor Lift, which is made in Wisconsin, is designed to be fitted on to the back of an everyday utility vehicle but with one important difference – it can be quickly removed when not required. With a working height of up to 19 feet, something that can be achieved in under two minutes, it is a very versatile unit. The UTX deploys stabilisers for maximum security and is suitable for a one or two man operation.

Since its release last year, the UTX Scissor Lift has found interest amongst municipalities, landscapers, builders, film crews,  maintenance companies, farmers, hunters and railway operations, as well as airports and airlines.

According to the manufacturer, the first airline to buy a fleet of UTXs wanted a quick response scissor lift. The facility was duly incorporated with an electric vehicle, permitting it to be used inside the terminal as well as out on the ramp. Whilst a traditional scissor lift has a maximum speed of 3-4 mph, this can go faster, according to the carrying vehicle.

Helpfully, the UTX can be fitted to any utility vehicle that has a cargo box capacity of 1,000 pounds or more. Ingenious engineering means that removing the UTX from the utility vehicle takes under three minutes – and it can be stored off the ground, without any heavy lifting.

Currently, the company is working on developing the US market before looking to the UK and Europe as potential sales areas.

Tronair adds to its portfolio

Tronair, a portfolio company of Golden Gate Capital, has announced the acquisition of Malabar and DAE. Founded in 1935, Malabar has been a key supplier of ground support and maintenance equipment for commercial and military aircraft, with its primary business in aircraft jacks, axle jacks (for changing aircraft wheels and tyres) and tripod jacks for in-hangar service of narrow-body and wide-body aircraft. Today, Malabar sells products in over 60 countries around the world and has expanded to include B787 and A350 coolant service carts, as well as hundreds of different types of fluid dispensers, test stands, weigh equipment, strut service equipment, nitrogen/oxygen equipment, wheel/brake equipment, engine stands and spares.

Harley Kaplan, President and CEO of Tronair, stated: “With the acquisition of Malabar, Tronair continues to add products that enhance our value to a broad base of global aerospace customers.” 

Chris Advani, President and CEO of Malabar, added: “We are excited to join the Tronair team and bring together these storied aerospace brands. The combination of Tronair’s existing brands with Malabar and DAE represents an aerospace ground support powerhouse.”

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

TCR Americas signs contract at Rhode Island airport

TCR Americas has signed its first rental contract at T. F. Green International airport in Rhode Island.

TCR 1Under the new contract, 18 units of GSE will be dry-leased to QuickFlight Services for its new operations with Frontier Airlines. QuickFlight Services is a regional, independent ground handler in the US, whose headquarters are based in Ohio.

Of the 18 units, says TCR, part of the fleet will be brand new and part will be refurbished GSE supplied by TCR’s joint venture partner, Aeroservicios.

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