Summer 2020

issue 50

Welcome to the Summer 2020 issue of Airside International, which comes at an incredibly hard time for all. The effects of Covid-19 have been felt deeply across the aviation industry, not least in the tragic death of some of those who work within it and sustain it on a day-to-day basis.

The industry-wide effect of the virus in terms of jobs, business survival and economic performance has also been massive. The aviation sector has been hit as hard as any industry, with huge numbers of aircraft grounded as passenger numbers dried up. Some passenger aircraft were operated initially just so that airlines could keep their airport slots (until the rules on that were, sensibly, amended) – while several carriers have continued to fly passenger aircraft solely in order to carry cargo.

Certain airlines are nevertheless teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, while others have already stopped operating completely. Some airports have become ghost towns, operating no services or only skeleton services, their aprons either deserted or virtually so.

The industry has nevertheless tried to do its bit to combat the scourge. Many airlines have flown invaluable cargoes such as medicines, testing equipment or personal protective equipment for front-line services. Some airports have offered their facilities for purposes such as testing stations.

This issue of Airside International looks ahead to better times, when – we all hope – Covid-19 will have run its course. Its features look at the issues airport operators face in trying to ensure that the GSE used on the ramp by independent handlers are safe and efficient; to the somewhat related and ever-critical challenge of preventing aircraft damage from poorly operated-GSE; to the niche market of hangar and hangar-door installation; and at current trends pertaining to on-airport fuelling systems.

Related to that last feature, Airside talks to Air BP about the future of sustainable aviation fuels. Robotic aircraft washing comes under the spotlight through the prism of an interview with Sweden-based Aviator Robotics, while we also meet with Terri Smart-Jewkes, who keeps us in touch with Aviramp’s latest commercial offering: solar-powered boarding bridges.

Cavotec announces successful sales deals in what are extremely challenging times, while Sage Parts has also continued its ongoing process of new GSE component development within its Ramptech brand.

Environmental concerns are the driving force (pun intended) behind Saturn’s new electric vans, which the company deems entirely suitable for airport operations, while Tecnove By Jofrauto, a Spanish supplier of GSE, explains how it is continuing to add more product lines.

We meet with an executive from Danfoss who talks about their collaboration with Panus on new electric variant pushbacks, and we hear from Larry Laney, director of ground support at Southwest Airlines, who tells Airside about his responsibilities vis-à-vis the airline’s large GSE fleet. Plus, handler Siginon is investing in new GSE as it ramps up its Africa-based operations

Finally, we talk to two airport operators – Changi Airport Group and Finavia – about how they have worked within their resources to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, and we take a look at how the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is doing its bit to help those handlers that are being forced to mothball at least some parts of their GSE fleet.

We hope you enjoy the issue, and that you keep safe and well.

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Take A Peek

Featured in this issue

  • A greener option for aircraft pushback

    Panus, which owns the Bliss-Fox brand of GSE, is continuing its efforts to bring new electric aircraft tugs to market. Danfoss is supplying the electric drivetrain for the vehicles Panus Bliss-Fox ...

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  • A new all-electric van option

    As airport operators all around the world seek to minimise their carbon footprint, one UK company is offering two models of fully electric van that it says are ideal for use on busy aprons Tony Hay...

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  • Air BP looks to the future with sustainable fuels

    Tom Parsons, Air BP’s low carbon commercial development manager, is a big believer in the value of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), and he tells Airside why SAF is derived from sustainable, renew...

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  • Aviramp rolls out solar-powered suite of boarding ramps

    Telford, UK-based Aviramp has begun offering greener versions of its range of mobile, walk-through boarding bridges for narrowbody and widebody aircraft The new suite of ramps, fitted with solar pa...

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  • Changi consolidates terminal operations

    As the Covid-19 crisis took hold, numerous airport operators were forced to take steps to draw down operations and salvage as much business as they could. Changi Airport Group (CAG), operator of Singa...

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  • Finavia adapts to Covid-19 crisis

    Finland’s national airport operator had to make major changes to its operations as the full impact of the pandemic was felt. It has continued to host critical flight services, however Between Jan...

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  • Forward-looking GSE fleet management

    Larry Laney, director of ground support at Southwest Airlines, talks to Airside about his responsibilities and plans for the future What is your remit as director of ground support for Southwest? ...

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  • Fuelling growth

    Cavotec, which specialises in connection systems for aircraft as well as ships and land-based mobile equipment, recently confirmed that it had inked two major Chinese airport-based GSE and fuelling co...

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  • Hangar design and installation: a moving target

    All hangars seem to be different, because all customers seem to want something slightly different. Hence, hangar designers and manufacturers have to work closely with their clients to ensure that thei...

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  • IATA offers thoughts on long-term GSE storage

    The Covid-19 crisis hit GSE operators hard as flight frequencies collapsed and airport operations shrank back. As a result, handlers have placed large parts of their GSE fleets into long-term storage;...

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  • Innovation in aircraft exterior washing

    Sweden-based Aviator Robotics offers a very different way for an airline or its third-party service provider to wash the exterior of its aircraft: the robotic Nordic Dino system Cleaning an aircraf...

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  • Keeping GSE in good working order

    Like any other equipment, GSE – especially the motorised kinds – require ongoing maintenance (and occasional repairs). Airport authorities have an oversight role in ensuring that GSE operators kee...

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  • Preventing aircraft damage on the ramp

    Should GSE damage aircraft in the course of its work, the financial – and potentially the human – consequences can be huge. It is no surprise then that GSE operators have put in place stringent pr...

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  • Sage Parts adds to innovative Ramptech portfolio

    Earlier this year, New York-headquartered Sage Parts revealed its all-new PCA Adaptor, a design that is much less liable to damage, as well as more ergonomic and more user-friendly than traditional pr...

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  • Siginon invests in further GSE

    African handler Siginon Aviation is reaping the benefits of operating new GSE acquired recently in a multi-million dollar investment Siginon Aviation is a ground handler active in Kenya, Tanzania a...

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  • Tecnove by Jofrauto targets further growth

    A Spanish supplier of GSE is developing its existing portfolio and looking to add more lines to its offering Tecnove is a Spanish manufacturer and systems provider active in a wide range of industr...

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  • The future of fuel

    As research continues into green alternatives to traditional jet fuel, how is the refuelling sector changing? From investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft to favouring electric GSE, the air trans...

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