Monthly nr 9

October 2005

Airport News

Content of October 2005

This section sponsored by PRIORITY PASS


Featured Airport News of the Month:
PRIORITY PASS, Lounge of the year 2005

Priority Pass™, the world’s largest independent airport VIP lounge access program, is delighted to announce the winners of the 2005 Lounge of the Year awards, voted on by its members throughout the world. These awards recognize the highest standards, in terms of range of facilities, comfort, ambience, and also the quality of service of staff.

The overall winner, and “Lounge of the Year 2005” is the Continental Presidents Club, Terminal E, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston, USA.

Winners of regional awards elsewhere are:

  • Swiss Lounge, EuroAirport, Basel-Mulhouse
  • KAL Lounge, West Wing, Incheon International Airport, Seoul
  • Salones VIP Pacific Club, International Terminal, Santiago.

Full details of winners and other lounges with “Highly Commended” awards are attached. Commenting on the awards, Steve Pinches, Priority Pass Managing Director said, “Our members are some of the most discerning travelers around, and, by the very nature of their membership of Priority Pass, they are frequent users of airport lounges throughout the world. Their votes speak volumes, and I am delighted that these awards give us the opportunity to recognize those lounges which provide outstanding quality of service.”

PRIORITY PASS, Lounge of the year2005

Continental Presidents Club, Terminal E, George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston

Swiss Lounge, EuroAirport, Basel-Mulhouse

KAL Lounge, West Wing, Incheon International Airport, Seoul

Salones VIP Pacific Club, International Terminal, C.Arturo Merino-Benitez International Airport Santiago

Plaza Premium Lounge, Changi Airport, Singapore
Northwest WorldClub Lounge, Terminal Club – Wayne County Metropolitan Airport,
Detroit Premier Club – Simon Bolivar International Airport,
Caracas Continental Presidents Club – Gatwick Airport,
London Holideck Lounge – Heathrow Airport,
London DCA Business Class Lounge – International Airport, Dubai

About Priority Pass™

Priority Pass was launched in 1992 with the aim of providing frequent travelers with airport lounge access, irrespective of their class of travel, airline flown or existing membership in an airline loyalty program.

In 13 years Priority Pass has become the world's largest independent airport lounge access program. Starting with just 55 lounges, today Priority Pass works with over 450 lounges in more than 245 cities, covering more than 80 countries in every major continent of the world - and the network of lounges continues to grow.

More than a million people carry a Priority Pass card whenever they travel and every year many thousands more enjoy the benefits that the Priority Pass card brings them. There are Priority Pass offices located in London, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong and Dallas. Employing over 100 people worldwide, Priority Pass offers a professional, multi-lingual service for members.

Priority Pass membership is designed for both individual members and also as a prestigious value-added benefit for business partners such as banks and credit card issuers who can give their customers a unique and highly-prized benefit.

About the Priority Pass Lounge of the Year awards The Priority Pass Lounge of the Year awards have been launched to recognize outstanding service and facilities in this increasingly important area of business travel.

Priority Pass members throughout the world were invited to rate lounges they have visited from within the Priority Pass program, and the lounges with the highest average scores in each region were named Lounge of the Year for that area, with the highest of all taking the overall worldwide title. “Highly Commended” awards were also made to lounges with a score very close to the regional winners.

For further information, please visit PRIORITY PASS

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Aviapartner agrees historic contract with Lufthansa in Cologne-Bonn

Brussels/Cologne, 6 September 2005 – Aviapartner, the leading independent handling services group in Continental Europe, is proud to announce the agreement of a major 3-year contract with Lufthansa for the provision of Ramp Handling services for the Lufthansa Regional Fleet at Cologne-Bonn Airport, which has taken effect on 1 September 2005.

Picture provided and copyrighted by AVIAPARTNER

The Lufthansa Regional fleet consists of airlines such as Lufthansa Cityline, Eurowings, and Augsburg Airways and operates flights between Cologne and Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Paris, Munich, and London Heathrow.

Aviapartner now provides the complete range of Ramp Handling services for the Lufthansa’s Regional Fleet, which includes ATR 42 and 72; CRJ 100, 200, and 700; Dash8 300 and Q400; BAe146; and Avro RJ 85. These services include loading and unloading of aircraft, pushback and towing, headset, toilet and water services, ground power, airstart, as well as freight and baggage transfer. The additional volume of this new contract required an investment of 2 million euros, mainly in additional ground support equipment.

Ralf Behrendt, Director Commercial Airport Relations at Lufthansa, comments: ”With Aviapartner, we have found a new partner in Cologne to take over the provision of our handling services for the Lufthansa Regional Fleet. Within our new partnership we hope to offer our passengers the best possible service on the ground, in line with Lufthansa’s and Aviapartner‘s high level of professionalism and reputation for top quality service. This contract is a major breakthrough both for Aviapartner and Lufthansa, as it opens further possibilities for collaboration between our two companies in other stations”.

Jochen Breuer, Managing Director Aviapartner Germany: “This historic new agreement with Lufthansa represents a major step forward for our Cologne station, but most of all a significant breakthrough for our German handling operations overall. Indeed, this represents the first ramp handling contract between Lufthansa and Aviapartner in Germany, and the first time the Lufthansa Regional fleet will be handled by an independent handler in Germany outside of its hubs. It also further strengthens Aviapartner’s position with view to further common opportunities for Lufthansa and Aviapartner in German airports, not only in the area of ramp handling services”.

For furhther information, please contact:
Christine Karels - Communications Manager
Aviapartner Head Office
Heidestraat 32
B-1930 Zaventem
Tel.: +32 (0)2 723 03 84
Email: [email protected]

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Aviapartner completes sale to 3i

Brussels, 20 September 2005 - Aviapartner NV, its shareholders and 3i are pleased to announce the completion of the sale of 100% of the shares in Aviapartner to Aviapartner LH3 SARL, a vehicle backed by 3i, Europe’s leading private equity investor, and in which certain managers of the Aviapartner group have invested.

Theo Dilissen will become the new CEO of the Aviapartner group. Theo Dilissen is looking forward to be taking the lead of Aviapartner and strongly believes that the company can further grow its activities within Europe.

For further information, please contact:

Alex Verougstraete, CEO - Tel.: +32 (0)2 723 03 30
Christine Karels, Communications Manager - Tel.: +32 (0)476 90 67 28

Sofinim/Ackermans & van Haaren:
Luc Bertrand, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee - Tel.: +32 (0)3 231 87 70
Jan Suykens, CFO and Member of the Executive Committee - Tel.: +32 (0)3 897 92 13

Kathryn van der Kroft, 3i Senior Press Officer - Tel.: +44 (0)20 7975 3021

  • Aviapartner
    Aviapartner, whose origin goes back to 1949 and holding headquarters are in Brussels, is one of the leading European independent ground handlers. The Aviapartner group provides a wide range of services at 32 airports in 6 European countries. In 2004, it served 20.8 million passengers, provided ramp handling for some 194,000 aircraft and handled 911,000 tons of cargo. Aviapartner employs more than 5,000 staff. In 2004, the group generated a consolidated turnover of EUR268m.
  • Ackermans & van Haaren
    Ackermans & van Haaren is a diversified group active in 3 key sectors: dredging, environmental and construction services (DEME, one of the largest dredging companies in the world - Algemene Aannemingen Van Laere, a leading contractor in Belgium), financial services (Bank Delen, one of the largest independent private asset managers in Belgium – Bank J.Van Breda & C°, niche bank for entrepreneurs and liberal professions - Leasinvest-Extensa, an important real estate developer and investor in Belgium/Luxembourg) and private equity (Sofinim, one of the largest private equity providers in Belgium with an EVCA-valuation of € 300 million).
    The group concentrates on a limited number of strategic participations with an important potential for growth. Market capitalisation of AvH is approximately € 1.2 billion.
    AvH is included in the BEL Mid index and is a member of Euronext Next Prime.
  • 3i
    3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital with a focus on buyouts, growth capital and venture capital across Europe, in the United States and Asia.
  • 3i Buyout Business
    The 3i European Buyout Business is a leader in the European mid-market. 3i lead mid-market buyouts up to EUR 1bn using insight from local knowledge, international connections, and sector teams. Managing over EUR 3.5bn invested in over 100 companies across Europe, the business invests in all sectors, with a particular focus on media, healthcare and business support services. Some recent investments include NCP – UK - £550m – parking services and traffic management, Keolis - France – EUR 540m - passenger transport, Betapharm - Germany – EUR 300m – pharmaceuticals. Some recent successful exits include Westminster Healthcare – UK - EUR 751m, Travelex – UK – foreign exchange services - £1bn transaction, YBR Group – directories business - EUR 1.8bn.

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Hong Kong International Airport
is named World's Best Airport by airline passengers
in the 2005 World Airport Awards

For the 5th consecutive year, Hong Kong International Airport has been voted the world's Best Airport, in the largest customer survey of airport standards. Singapore's Changi Airport takes the Silver Award as runner-up, in what proved to be an exciting and close finish to the Survey. These two airports achieved more than 130,000 votes each, with the final margin between 1st and 2nd position being less than 500 votes.

Dr David J Pang, Chief Executive Officer of the Airport Authority Hong Kong, said "We are indeed proud to receive this accolade. To be named among the many excellent airports in the world is an honour in itself. As customer service standards improve continually in the airport industry, the recognition and appreciation of travellers inspires us to continue to raise our standards and to strengthen our culture of service excellence."

The 2005 World Airport Awards are based on the annual Airport Survey conducted by Skytrax - between June 2004 and March 2005. The survey measures over 30 aspects of passenger satisfaction for airport product and service standards, evaluating the 'typical' airport experience. This independent survey is regarded as the primary benchmarking tool for Passenger Satisfaction levels at airports throughout the world.

Peter Miller, Director Marketing at Skytrax commented "it is important to note we do not charge airport operators to be included in the survey, nor are the results based on a finite number of 40-50 airport choices - the passenger interviews covering over 150 airports. This level of true independence is a key reason for this survey being regarded as the primary benchmarking tool for Passenger Satisfaction levels at airports throughout the world."

Worldwide survey interviews totalled a massive 5,584,365 respondents - a 15 per cent increase on the 2004 result. Over 90 different passenger nationalities participated, the highest contingent from Europe and North America, with Asian countries of Korea, China/Hong Kong and Taiwan also very well represented.

The World's Top 10 Airports - 2005

  • 1 Hong Kong International Airport
  • 2 Singapore Changi Airpor
  • 3 Seoul Incheon Airport
  • 4 Munich Airport
  • 5 Kansai International Airport
  • 6 Dubai International Airport
  • 7 KLIA Kuala Lumpur
  • 8 Amsterdam Schiphol Airport
  • 9 Copenhagen Airport
  • 10 Sydney Airport

In a travel stress survey Skytrax conducted in 2004, 90 per cent of passengers stated that they find the air travel experience stressful - either all of the time (30%) or sometimes (60%). The departure airport was named by 66 per cent of respondents as the single, largest cause of stress in today's air travel - onboard the flight was cited by 15 per cent, and the arrival airport by 19 per cent.

The airport experience continues to grow in stature as part of the overall air travel experience today, with customers more discerning about their likes and dislikes, together their accumulation of greater knowledge (and higher expectations) as they experience different airports around the world".

"It no surprise to see many Asian airports dominating the top end of the World Airline Awards or on a less positive aspect, some US airports slipping in popularity. The ongoing impact of US airport security and immigration changes is still being felt. Whilst air travellers appreciate the need for enhanced security in post 9/11 times, we found the impact of this on the US airport rankings was quite considerable. Overly aggressive security checkpoint procedures and very varied US Immigration services resulted in the airport experience being downgraded by many customers. With the TSA stating that 'it is always seeking ways to refine processes that improve customer service at checkpoints' one hopes that such factors may be lessened in the future" added Miller.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) named World's Best Airport was particularly praised for 'space, light, airy, clean, efficient, ground transportation' - key words that were repeated thousands of times for HKIA. Singapore's Changi Airport, second Best Airport in the world, was most frequently praised for the abundant range of facilities, and particularly favoured by customers in it's pivotal role as a transit airport.

At the end of the day, a customer will rate an airport experience upon a mixed bag of product and service features, dependent upon their travel purpose. A business traveller with only 60 minutes in the terminal may be more interested in the ability to keep in touch - internet access, wifi and other communications being an important factor, and they might have access to the comforts of an airline lounge. In contrast, a leisure traveller with several hours to while away in transit, may prefer to take in the dining options, have a shower, browse the shops - or in Singapore, enjoy the bonus of a swimming pool and free cinema!

One of Asia's newest airports, Seoul Incheon in South Korea was ranked third Best Airport in the world - well ranked for ease of navigation, terminal cleanliness and facilities. A drawback for Incheon appears to be the lack of express ground transportation. An airport becoming more popular with transit passengers, Incheon needs a high-speed rail connection into downtown Seoul to better satisfy passengers departing from, or arriving into Seoul itself.

In Japan, Osaka's Kansai International was named 5th Best airport in the world - being specifically praised for high standards of cleanliness, and quality of airport staff service across all front-line functions.

Munich Airport is ranked 4th Best Airport in the world, and Europe's best. With 33 per cent of the traffic at Munich Airport being in transit (2004), the airport recently celebrated a milestone by welcoming its 250 millionth passenger since the airport opened nearly 13 years ago.

Munich Airport CEO and President, Dr. Michael Kerkloh, welcomed the award, noting that "The survey results have confirmed that our ambition to develop Munich Airport into the most attractive and efficient hub in Europe is bearing fruit. Being named as the world's 4Top Airport and Europe's Number 1 provides a positive impulse for us to further improve our passenger-friendly service and hub quality - and to strive to move up in the charts in 2006!"

Amsterdam Schiphol ranks second in Europe (8th worldwide), with Copenhagen as Europe's 3rd Best airport, and ranked 9th worldwide. A comment echoed in many Copenhagen survey interviewees is that the airport has the feel of an IKEA showroom!

The major European airports of London Heathrow, Frankfurt Main and Paris Charles de Gaulle failed to make into the listing of Top 10 European airports.

Dubai International Airport maintains its position as Best Airport in the Middle East, ranking 6th overall worldwide - despite ongoing construction works that require excessive walking for arriving and departing passenger for Dubai.

Cape Town International Airport is Africa's Best Airport, with Johannesburg ranked 2nd and Addis Ababa 3rd place for the region.

Best Airport North America is Minneapolis-St Paul - ranked 20th on a global basis. Cincinnati is North America's 2nd Best Airport, with San Francisco 3rd in this category.

For those wanting an unusual airport experience, Barra in the western islands of Scotland is recommended - a beach airport washed by the tide twice a day, where a runway obstruction may possibly be a stranded dolphin or seal!

For further information, please contact Peter Miller at [email protected]

Pictures provided and copyrighted by AIRLINE QUALITY

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Swissport wins major contract with easyJet for ground services at Geneva

Geneva, September 20, 2005 – Swissport International, the world's leading provider of aviation services, and easyJet are pleased to announce a close collaboration (four-year contract) for Geneva Airport. As of December 1, 2005, Swissport will handle some 250 weekly flights for the leading European low-cost carrier.

This decision was preceded by intense negotiations, reflecting the great care with which Swissport and easyJet approached the future direction of the ground services involved. Under the agreement, Swissport will incorporate all easyJet handling employees into its own workforce at existing terms and conditions. No job cuts are planned. Swissport will also acquire all easyJet assets at Geneva and retain its proven processes and systems. The conclusion of this agreement means that in future Swissport will perform all ground services (passenger services, ramp, ticketing) on behalf of easyJet Geneva.

In recent years easyJet has achieved enormous growth at Geneva Airport, developing Aéroport International de Genève into a continental hub from which it serves 23 destinations.

Jean-Marc Thévenaz, Managing Director of easyJet Switzerland, expressed his satisfaction with the new arrangement:
"The good working relationship with Swissport at other European locations and the attractive offer for Geneva prompted us to come to this decision, which, on behalf of everyone involved, I warmly welcome".

Equally positive about this new undertaking is Ernest Hochuli, Senior Vice President of Swissport Geneva:
"I am pleased that we have succeeded in convincing easyJet that we deliver outstanding and cost-favourable services. We extend a friendly welcome to easyJet employees joining Swissport and are certain that together we can accomplish the ambitious growth plans both companies have at Geneva Airport."

easyJet currently operates 218 routes between 67 airports in Europe. Swissport and the low-cost carrier already have a successful track record working together at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, London-Stansted, Hamburg and Basel.

For further information, please visit:

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Swissport Cargo Services deploys X-Ray Machines
at all major USA warehouses for increased Cargo Screening activities

Zurich/New York, September 7, 2005 – Swissport International continues to lead from the front: The world’s biggest ground handler for the aviation community has taken a proactive approach to the security needs of the USA air cargo community by deploying sophisticated X-Ray screening machines through-out its USA operations.

Swissport Cargo Services, which handled over 1.2 Billion kilograms of cargo in the USA in 2004, continues to be at the cutting edge of the air cargo industry. As Steve Tamm, Vice President – Cargo, The Americas explains: “Even prior to the recent TSA changes we were exploring different concepts and technologies that would both reduce our work loads and increase the speed & quality of cargo screening. Our vision was to provide a more effective means of complying with TSA regulations while providing a value added service to our normal cargo handling agreements. After much analysis, we took a decision to proactively deploy X-Ray screening capabilities in all our major USA warehouse operations. We feel the benefits of such actions are clear and simple; to be a responsible corporate citizen, working together with our airline partners and various governmental agencies to ensure the complete safety of air cargo for our airline partners, the flying public and our employees.”

For its endeavours, Swissport Cargo Services decided to deploy Rapiscan 532H units specifically designed for air cargo screening. Specialized training has commenced and will result in improved abilities to combat the threat to air cargo. The resulting screening allows for both quick and non-intrusionary methods of verifying the contents of cargo tendered for air transportation. “The X-Ray concept was piloted at one of our JFK operations over 1 year ago. The results were positive and over the past few days units have been deployed at our MIA, LAX & BOS facilities. In the coming weeks, additional units will be deployed in ORD, IAD, ATL, and SFO and in a 2nd JFK operation” stated Steve Tamm. Also out of the US a few other stations within the Swissport network have implemented this new system or are about to roll it out very soon.

To gather more technical, operational or commercial details, please do not hesitate to get directly in touch with our Swissport Cargo Services Experts from the Division Americas, under:

Tel: ++ 001 718 244 5500 (ext 140) - Steve Tamm
Tel: ++ 001 305 869 9477 - Chris Powers

For furhter information, lease visit:

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Monarch Scheduled Announces Expansion at Birmingham International Airport

In a move that proves Birmingham is fast becoming the bargain flights capital of the Midlands, low cost airline Monarch Scheduled is announcing a major expansion to its services from the airport for next summer. As well as introducing three brand new routes to Spain, the airline will also increase capacity on its already successful routes, double its fleet by basing an additional £50m Airbus A321 aircraft in Birmingham and create 60 new jobs at the airport.

After the hugely successful launch of the new base in April 2005, Monarch Scheduled is introducing three brand new destinations to its network from Birmingham: Murcia (four times each week*), Menorca (three times per week*) and Palma de Mallorca (once per week*). Seats go on sale from today on from as little as £39.99 one way including all taxes (£74.99 return).

Since opening it's Birmingham base, Monarch Scheduled has carried more than 160,000 passengers to and from Europe and will continue next summer to offer daily flights to Tenerife and three flights per week to Alicante, whilst vastly increasing capacity on its other existing routes with:

  • five extra flights per week to Malaga* - this means a double-daily service to and from the Costa del Sol's most popular city each Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday and represents a 40% capacity increase on the route compared to Summer 05
  • a 600% increase in frequency to Faro* - proving such a popular route, flights to the Algarve will operate everyday instead of just once per week

Picture provided and copyrighted by Birmingham International Airport

Commenting on the developments, Tim Jeans, managing director of Monarch Scheduled said, "This is an exciting day for Monarch Scheduled and our rapid growth further proves our commitment to Birmingham International Airport. We launched our base with confidence earlier this year and our record-breaking summer is testimony to the fact that we were right about there being a strong market for low fares and high quality service in the Midlands.

We have received the wholehearted support of the Airport which has introduced a range of initiatives to ensure that costs are competitive with any other airport in the region."

Birmingham International Airport's Business Development Director Peter Vella said: "We're delighted that Monarch Scheduled has taken this step to expand its operation from Birmingham. This is further confirmation that both full fare and low cost airlines are continuing to recognise the huge benefits of operating from Birmingham thanks to our first class facilities. We look forward to working with the Monarch team to make these new routes a success, providing even more choice and flexibility for Midlands' travellers from our expanding route network." Today's expansion represents a year-on-year capacity increase of 104% - there will be 200,000 more seats on sale for Summer 06 than there were for Summer 05.

Monarch Scheduled's Birmingham base began operating flights to four destinations in April 2005 and this increases to seven destinations from Summer '06. Fares start from just £39.99 one way including all taxes (£74.99 return) and include complimentary daily newspapers and a refreshing hot towel service; also available is a unique range of tasty hot and cold meals with prices from £2.50. Seats can be pre-booked at £5 per one-way flight to avoid the last minute free-for-all and regular travellers are rewarded too, with a range of benefits through the airline's loyalty scheme, Vantage Club.

For more information or to book, visit or call 08700 40 63 00.

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Hosting Routes key for Copenhagen Airport

This year, Copenhagen Airport is hosting Routes for the first time. As Scandinavia’s principal hub, the airport attaches great importance to its role as host.

“In a purely geographic sense, Denmark is the smallest country in Scandinavia, and it comes as a surprise to many people outside Denmark that Copenhagen is actually the region’s biggest hub, with more than 19 million passengers a year, a well-developed network of routes and direct connections to more than 130 destinations served by about 70 different airlines. Even though many of the 1600 Routes delegates already know Copenhagen, our hosting the conference is a unique opportunity for us to spotlight the huge potential our airport and region offer,” says CEO Niels Boserup of Copenhagen Airports.

Copenhagen Airport is a locomotive for development in the Øresund region. With the airport’s unique location and the region’s excellent infrastructure, airlines have immediate access to two countries – Denmark and southern Sweden – and flight connections to all of Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Copenhagen Airport is the closest major international airport for just about all of Denmark and roughly 40 per cent of Sweden’s population.

“In recent years, we at Copenhagen Airport have been focusing more on route development. We are highly competitive and – unlike many other airports in northern Europe – still have unused capacity. I expect we will be seeing growth in the number of destinations from Copenhagen Airport in the next few years, and hosting Routes will help increase our options,” Boserup says.

For further information, please visit:

Picture provided and copyrighted by Copenhagen Airport

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DFW International Airport announces Spirit Airlines
to begin service in January 2006

Airport Adds Sixth Low-Fare Carrier; Opens More Routes to Florida, Caribbean

DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, (September 1, 2005) - DFW International Airport announced today that Spirit Airlines will begin service at the airport in January, with non-stop service to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Spirit will offer connections through its Fort Lauderdale hub to some of North Texas travelers' most popular vacations spots in the Caribbean like Nassau and San Salvador (Bahamas), San Juan (Puerto Rico), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), as well as Montego Bay and Kingston (Jamaica), Cancun (Mexico), St. Thomas (USVI), Providenciales and Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos). The airline becomes the sixth low fare carrier to serve DFW, a market segment setting monthly passenger records as fares continue to drop.

“We are delighted to bring our low fares and quality service to the North Texas community and serve the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport,” said Ben Baldanza, President and Chief Operating Officer of Spirit Airlines. “Spirit offers new airplanes, low fares and terrific tropical destinations. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is an ideal choice for our next destination from our Fort Lauderdale hub. We appreciate and thank the DFW airport officials and key community leaders who have worked closely with us to provide this service.”

Spirit Airlines, based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was founded in 1990 and is the largest privately held airline in the nation. With this announcement, Spirit will serve 26 destinations in the United States and Caribbean and with 125 daily departures. Spirit is the leading low cost carrier to the Caribbean and Latin America and will have more than 20 percent of its schedule operating to the region this winter.

Spirit will begin operations with one gate in DFW's Terminal E. It will receive more than $250,000 in support from DFW, which announced an unprecedented incentive package in January to attract new low fare service to the Airport and fill gates vacated by Delta Airlines. Spirit will assign a brand new A319 to the DFW route. "In a competitive marketplace, our incentive package proved to be a differentiating factor for Spirit," said Joe Lopano, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Terminal Management at DFW. "We welcome Spirit Airlines and look forward to their start of service in January, just in time for the peak winter travel season. This will give our North Texas passengers more options, lower fares and even more competition at the airport built for competition for the strength of our entire region. This is positive proof that low cost carriers can successfully compete here, and this will benefit the local community."

In fact, the five low fare carriers currently serving DFW continue to set monthly passenger records. Through July of 2005, the low cost carriers at DFW carried almost 1.5 million customers, which is 7 percent ahead of last year’s pace. All of this competition has driven overall fares down considerably - the U.S. Department of Transportation confirms DFW fares have fallen at nearly twice the industry average over the past year - more than 11 percent. In addition, the increased low cost carrier presence has helped lower airfare by 30 percent in the top DFW destinations while helping to increase local traffic in those same markets by 70 percent.

"I am very pleased that Spirit Airlines has chosen DFW Airport to initiate nonstop low fare service to Fort Lauderdale,” said Dallas Mayor Laura Miller. “This service will provide North Texas travelers with wonderful non-stop low fare service to Fort Lauderdale and countless one-stop options beyond to the Caribbean. I wish Spirit
Airlines all the success in the world and am hopeful they will continue to expand into the DFW marketplace."

"This is great news for DFW and for North Texans. Our Board has made bringing new low fare airlines and more airline competition a top priority,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief. “DFW was built by the cities of Fort Worth and Dallas to handle exactly this type of airline expansion that benefits all of our citizens and brings new economic benefits to our region." Spirits were raised as the DFW owner city mayors sent their own personal pitches to Spirit Airlines to encourage them to fly from DFW. Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief sent chips and salsa from Joe T. Garcia’s while Dallas Mayor Laura Miller sent the same from Oak Cliff’s, La Calle Doce.

About Spirit Airlines
Founded in 1990, Fort Lauderdale-based Spirit Airlines is the largest privately-held airline in the U.S., bringing low fares and friendly service to cities in the United States, Bahamas and the Caribbean with 125 daily flights. In addition to comfortable Coach class service, Spirit offers Spirit Plus, a business class with 2-by-2 leather seating, an extra 6 inches of legroom vs coach in the Airbus fleet, complimentary cocktails and snacks. Spirit is currently bringing in a new fleet of Airbus aircraft and plans to have completed its fleet renewal by early 2007. Spirit currently has 6 A319, 5 A321, and 16 MD-80 aircraft.

For more information, fares, schedules and reservations visit or call 1-800-772-7117
(en Español, 1-800-756-7117).

About DFW International Airport
Located halfway between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, DFW International Airport is the world's third busiest, offering nearly 2,000 flights per day and serving 57 million passengers a year. DFW International Airport provides non-stop service to 135 domestic and 39 international destinations worldwide. For the latest news, real-time flight information, parking availability or further details regarding the many services provided at DFW International Airport, log on to

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Habitat for Humanity benefits from Detroit Metro Airport Demolition
Airport Donates items from Marriott Hotel and Davey Terminal

As construction workers begin the task of preparing for demolition of the vacant Marriott Hotel and Davey Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW), employees from Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Detroit will be quickly working their way through rooms collecting items that can be resold at their Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

HFH employees have from Tuesday, September 13, 2005 to Friday, September 23 to complete the job of taking apart the 140 hotel bathrooms and stripping them of countertops, bathroom fixtures, sinks and toilets.

The HFH ReStore is a building supply store that sells new and used donated building materials.

“The ReStore is here to provide a place where people can buy home improvement materials at affordable prices, so we appreciate the opportunity to salvage perfectly good plumbing fixtures that otherwise would end up in a landfill,” says Larry Salive, HFH ReStore Director. “These fixtures will be recycled back into the community and improve our customers’ living conditions. Proceeds from the sales will support Habitat for Humanity’s work in Detroit.”

Habitat for Humanity Detroit has been a favorite charity of the Wayne County Airport Authority CEO, Lester Robinson. In June, he organized a group of 57 airport employees, on their own personal time, for two days of work on a major Habitat project in Detroit.

“It is very rewarding to partner with Habitat for Humanity,” said Robinson. “Their projects build stability in families, neighborhoods and communities.”

“I am very pleased that these goods will be put to good use and will also raise revenue for such a noble cause,” continued Robinson.

Habitat for Humanity is unable to keep up with the current demand for houses. To help combat the problem, they’ve begun opening HFH ReStores in hopes that families will be able to improve housing conditions at a fraction of the cost in the popular building supply stores. Currently there are 12 HFH ReStores in the State of Michigan. Habitat for Humanity ReStore Detroit is located at 12630 Greenfield in Detroit, between I-96 and Schoolcraft.

Demolition of the Davey Terminal and hotel will clear the way for construction of a new, 26-gate north terminal, which will serve all carriers currently flying out of Smith and Berry Terminals as well as Lufthansa, British Airways and Royal Jordanian. Completion of the project is expected in 2008.

Learn more about the North Terminal project and Detroit Metro Airport on the web at

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Houston's Airports assist victims of Hurricane Katrina

HOUSTON – Houston’s airports have served as a hub and a haven for the victims of Hurricane Katrina from the first moments after the devastating storm. Houston’s airport employees stayed busy throughout that time, including the Labor Day weekend, to maintain routes to areas of safe, dry refuge for evacuees. The employees have also facilitated the transport of vital supplies to the flooded areas.

Ellington Field (EFD) has hosted triage operations and quick transport to Houston hospitals for patients airlifted out of Louisiana. Since Wednesday, Air National Guard installations throughout the nation have brought in more than 700 patients to EFD on 21 different flights, using C-130 aircraft, from both veteran and general hospitals. EFD also welcomed a Canadian Military transport plane full of non-hospitalized evacuees.

A massive, collective effort including airlines and private aviation companies has resulted in the airlifting of hundreds of victims to EFD, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU). After landing, many have been taken by bus to Houston shelters. Others have been bused to shelters in Beaumont and College Station. Still others have been flown to shelters in other states.

Continental, Delta, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit were among the domestic carriers that provided unscheduled missions of mercy from Houston to the affected areas. Chartered planes from African International Airlines, Champion Air, Kalitta and Pace Airlines have also helped carry the load of evacuees to comfortable surroundings.

“These relief operations emphasize the importance of airports in times of need,” said HAS Director Richard Vacar. “The existence of a modern aviation infrastructure could mean the difference between life and death to thousands of people. Houston-based flight operations to help our fellow citizens in the Katrina-ravaged areas could one day reverse direction and help Houstonians in a similar disaster.”

In addition to taking people in, Houston’s airports have been sending volunteers out for rescue and cleanup, as well as to deliver life-sustaining supplies. Cargo and passenger planes carrying bottled water, military-style “meals-ready-to-eat” (MREs), baby food and other relief aids have been regularly shuttling in and out of Louisiana. One was a DC-8 sent by UK Ministries in Africa. Others were U.S. Air Force C-17s and Boeing B-727 freighters.

Thousands of evacuees who escaped Louisiana by bus and other ground transportation have also used one of Houston’s airports as a stopover before moving on to shelters. The Air Transport Association (ATA) is overseeing the nationwide Operation: Air Care and estimating its impact. The ATA reports more than a dozen airlines have flown 25,000 to 30,000 victims out of the New Orleans area, plus hundreds of private pilots offering assistance.

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San Diego International Airport receives FAA Safety Award
for superior airfield operations

One of two airports chosen from among 82 in the Western Pacific Region SAN DIEGO (September 19, 2005) San Diego International Airport (SDIA) was recognized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Western Pacific Region for its superior performance in preventing runway incursions (safety incidents) for calendar year 2004. David C. Kurner, FAA Regional Runway Safety Action Team (RSAT) Program Manager, presented the award at the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s public Board meeting on September 8.

Picture provided and copyrighted by
San Diego International Airport

SDIA is one of only two airports within the Western Pacific region (California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii) to be officially acknowledged for exceptional performance in this area of airfield operations. “This award really speaks to the safety of the SDIA airfield,” said Kurner. “The effectiveness of SDIA’s outstanding teamwork – from maintaining a noteworthy relationship with airport stakeholders to the superior airfield condition, and from the highly effective airfield signage and marking system to the proactive support of the FAA-sponsored Runway Status Light Project – has resulted in no runway incursions for the year 2004.”

The FAA has identified runway incursions (an incident involving an aircraft either taking off or landing on the runway when it is occupied by another aircraft or equipment) as a serious and on-going aviation safety issue. As part of a program to reduce runway incursions and surface incidents, the RSAT and FAA Operational Services completed an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of airfield operations at each of the 82 control tower-operated airports within the Western Pacific region. The review included the inspection and evaluation of airfield facilities, working relationship between the local FAA Traffic Control Tower and Airport Operations, and safety and training programs related to the prevention of runway incursions.

“This award acknowledges that the Airport Authority is providing the highest standards of operational efficiency, safety and security,” said Thella F. Bowens, President/CEO of the Airport Authority. “The Airport Authority’s airside operations department continues to ensure that SDIA meets or exceeds all of the FAA’s certification and safety requirements.”

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Malta International Airport embellishes neighbouring area

Left: MIA CEO observing embellishment works on a set of swings within the area.
Right: MIA CEO Peter Bolech (centre) with the Mayor and Councillors of Luqa, MIA employees and members of the MIA Environmental Management Committee

Pictures provided and copyrighted by MIA

Malta International Airport plc has initiated an embellishment project at Hal-Farrug, limits of Luqa, in a residential area that was once part of the airport precincts.

The project is another initiative that MIA has taken in line with its national policy to support Malta’s environment, focusing particularly on the neighbouring communities. The aim of the project is to evolve the area into a recreational spot. This will include a general clean-up, sprucing of trees and planting of new ones, maintenance of the recreational area and the installation of garden furniture and waste bins. Furthermore, MIA intends to dismantle and remove an electricity sub-station which is no longer in use.

During the launching of the project and its introduction to the Luqa Local Council, MIA’s CEO Peter Bolech said that MIA recognises its responsibility towards society and has a moral obligation to compensate for the inconvenience that an airport inevitably causes to its vicinities. “This is a most appropriate area to embellish since it once lay within the airport perimeter and we are about to complete its transformation by creating an area to be enjoyed by the Maltese” Mr Bolech said.

The works involved are being carried out by MIA employees and sub-contractors under the coordination of the MIA Environmental Management Committee.

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Manchester Airport: Top Ten Unusual Check-In Items

People do the strangest things and never more so than when it comes to checking in for their holiday according to a new report from Manchester Airport.he Airport, which handles over 22 million passengers each year, has today revealed its top ten list of the most unusual things that people have tried to check in to take with them on holiday.

Top of the list is half a car engine that was discovered by struggling baggage handlers in a suitcase weighing a staggering 68kg – that’s more than three times the personal baggage allowance and over double the maximum weight for a single piece of luggage.

Also on the list are a full flat-packed kitchen, a chainsaw, an old armchair and bizarrely, a goldfish in a milk bottle which one man refused to travel without. Other strange items include a frozen turkey, a bag full of sex toys, a barbeque, a spare wheel and a set of encyclopaedias.

According to Manchester Airport Terminal Manager Mike Fazackerley, the weird things that people try to check surprise even the longest serving baggage handlers. “Our passengers seem to be incredibly imaginative when it comes to checking in.

“How they even manage to get some of these things to the Airport is amazing but to think they are going to be allowed to check some of it on to a plane is even more incredible.”

And he urged passengers to think carefully about their baggage and check their weight allowance before leaving home. “We want people to enjoy their trip and take with them the things that they need but we would also urge people to thick twice before they put that car exhaust in their luggage for both the safety of the other passengers and to meet our weight restrictions.”

The full list of strange items that passengers have tried to check in is as follows:
Top Ten Most Unusual Things People Have Tried to Check In

  • Half a car engine
  • Flat pack kitchen
  • Chainsaw
  • A goldfish in a milk bottle
  • A battered old armchair
  • A bag full of sex toys
  • Frozen turkey
  • Kettle barbeque
  • Spare wheel
  • Set of encyclopaedias

But despite having strict rules, there is a whole host of items that the Airport regularly check-in for passengers and are allowed in the hold of planes. This list includes:

  • Skis
  • Car seats for children
  • Buggies – or passengers can keep them until just before they board the plane
  • Pets – with the correct paperwork and by prior arrangement with the airline
  • Sun parasols
  • Bicycles – Manchester Airport’s cycle centre can provide a full MOT for your cycle before you travel
  • Wheelchairs – wheelchair passengers should check with their airline for any special arrangements

Mike Fazackerley added: “We do allow lots of items to be checked in and loaded in the hold so the best advice we can give passengers who are in doubt to give the airline they are travelling with a call before they arrive at the airport. That way they will know in advance not to bring that flat-packed kitchen with them!”

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Miami Int'll Airport Workers Honored for Best in Customer Service

MIAMI, FL --- Miami International Airport (MIA) recently honored two airport employees for their outstanding service to Airport users at its monthly Airport-wide Customer Service Reward and Recognition (R&R) Program celebration that included awards, prizes, and entertainment.

"The Airport-wide Customer Service Reward and Recognition Program continues to provide a means by which to showcase outstanding airport employees who are committed to excellence in Customer Service," said County Manager George M. Burgess.

The R&R Program recognizes airport employees who go above and beyond the call-of- duty to provide exceptional customer service. Employees eligible for this award include those working for airlines, cruise lines, concessions, management companies, service companies, Miami-Dade Aviation Department, Miami-Dade Fire Department, Miami-Dade Police Department, Customs and Border Protection, and the Transportation Security Administration.

“Our latest winners showcase what exceptional service to our airport users is all about,” said Aviation Director Jose Abréu, P.E.

The honorees include:

Bonnie Hay, Signature Flight Support Customer Service Lead Worker Ms. Hay exemplifies the meaning of exceptional customer service. She helped organize an event to welcome a frequent Airport user upon their inaugural flight into MIA in their new Gulfstream 300 jet. Ms. Hay arranged for a cake to be made and along with balloons and a card commemorating the occasion. When the aircraft arrived, she made sure that all the Signature Flight Support employees were lined up at the aircraft stairs to congratulate the owner, his family and the flight crew, followed by the card, flowers and cake presentation.

Marcia Fernandez-Morin, Miami-Dade Aviation Department Administrative Officer III Ms. Morin consistently demonstrates the value of customer care as a staff member at Miami International Airport. She often assists passengers with their luggage by escorting them to their destination. A recent example of this was demonstrated when Airport escalators were not working and she assisted passengers with their luggage on the escalator steps. She also directed Facilities Management staff to assist an older couple with their luggage, plus taking them to an airport concession for food. Ms. Morin has even assisted passengers in vehicles, giving them directions to get them to their destination.

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Miami Int'll Airport Staff Assists New Orleans Airport

(Miami-Dade County, FL) --- The Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD), operators of Miami International Airport (MIA) and five General Aviation airports, sent a team of aviation volunteers to assist their counterparts at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, which was affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The team of five staff members flew to Baton Rouge, LA, compliments of American Airlines, and then traveled to the Airport, which is located in Kenner, west of the City of New Orleans. The team is comprised of aviation operations personnel from MDAD specializing in airfield and terminal operations. During their one-week stay, staff worked to provide relief to airport personnel where needed.

“I am proud to see our MDAD staff volunteer to assist another airport in this critical time of need,” said Aviation Director José Abreu. “Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport is a vital link in the airport chain and our staff has done all it can to assist in bringing that facility back on line.”

MDAD staff has a tradition of assisting other airports that have fallen victim to Mother Nature’s fury. In September 2004, MDAD sent volunteers to help Charlotte County Airport in Punta Gorda in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley. MIA staff also ventured to Pensacola Regional Airport to assist after Hurricane Ivan caused major damage to that airport as well.

“We are well aware of the lasting effects of a hurricane,” said Bruce Drum, Deputy Aviation Director, who oversees operations. “Hurricane Andrew taught us about the importance of helping our brothers and sisters in the aviation industry.Our employees have also embraced this nation’s efforts to donate money and send relief supplies to those affected in New Orleans.”

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Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Commemorates
Opening of New Runway

“Ready for Takeoff” event provides a once in a lifetime opportunity--You may never get this close again!

MINNEAPOLIS – Sept. 12, 2005 – It's free and no boarding pass is required to commemorate the opening of the new, fourth runway at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The September 24 Ready for Take Off event is the public's only opportunity to gather on the runway, which will open to airplane traffic in October. On-site and nearby parking for the event is free, with free shuttle service to and from remote parking areas.

A 5K Race on the Runway and a 1K Family Fun Run/Walk will start the day, with registration beginning at 8 a.m. Runners take off at 9 a.m. for the 5K, and families line up at 10 a.m. for the Fun Run/Walk. Fees per participant are $21 for the 5K and $12 for the 1K and include a t-shirt and refreshments, entry of Fun Run participants' names in a drawing for a $300 cash prize, and a chance for the top male and female finishers in the 5K each to win two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the continental United States served by Sun Country Airlines.

Festivities continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with aircraft on display, musical entertainment, Minnesota-based restaurant cuisine, aviation exhibits and children's activities.

The St. Thomas Academy Marching Band will advance down the runway at 10:30 a.m. A performance by Martin Zellar and the Hardways takes flight from noon to 2 p.m. Blues legend Big Walter Smith and the Groove Merchants keep things moving from 3 to 5 p.m.

Participants can get up close to aircraft and aviation-related equipment, including an aero commander weather plane, wildlife control equipment, snow removal machines, a fire department airboat and much more. There will also be exhibits and demonstrations regarding flight support, air traffic control, aeronautics, vacation opportunities, K-9 team activities and weather monitoring. Displays on airport expansion, reliever airports, an interactive 9-1-1 simulator, and airport noise mitigation also will be featured. An airport jobs information booth will be on-site, along with opportunities for Travelers Assistance volunteers. The venue offers fantastic views of aircraft taking off and landing on nearby Runway 12 Right.

Use this new found knowledge to enter the MAC Trivia Contest. Those who have all answers correct are eligible for the Grand Prize drawing for 2 international round trip tickets provided by Northwest Airlines. The prize drawing takes place at 3 p.m., September 24, and the winner need not be present to win.

These days, boarding passes are required at the airport to get beyond security and gain access to some of MSP's finest Minnesota-based restaurants. On September 24 only, attendees can savor the local flavor of D'Amico and Sons, French Meadow Bakery, Dairy Queen, Dunn Brothers and Caribou Coffee as these airport restaurants sell their fare on the runway.

There also will be activities for children. Kids will be able to chalk the runway, fly balsa wood planes, enjoy face painting or temporary tattoos, play in an airplane-shaped moonwalk, or brave the double slide.

"The new runway will expand MSP's airfield capacity by about 25 percent, ensuring we can continue to meet the growing demand for air travel in the Twin Cities," said Vicki Tigwell, chairwoman of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which is conducting the event. "The runway also marks the last major project in our $3.1 billion 2010 airport expansion effort. MSP is one of the region's most important economic assets. How better to mark this milestone than by inviting the community onto the runway itself to commemorate its completion?"

Those attending may access free event parking in designated areas off Longfellow Avenue, which is accessible from the west via 66th Street and from the south via 24th Avenue. Free parking is also available east of the Mall of America, in a parking lot off 82nd Street between 24th and 28th Avenues. Continuous shuttle buses will transport runway-goers from the parking lot to the event site and back. The 82nd street event parking shuttle is only a block away from the 28th Avenue light rail station and the Mall of America light rail station, making the event easily accessible to light rail riders.

Ready for Takeoff is being coordinated by the MAC with sponsorships by Piper Jaffray, Bear Stearns, ABM Janitorial Services, HMS Host, Faegre and Benson LLP, Northwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, HNTB and Padilla Speer Beardsley.

For more information, visit the Metropolitan Airports Commission's Web site,

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Munich Airport officially opens new freight hall:
New handling facility to be used exclusively by DHL, FedEX and UPS

The Munich Airport cargo area has added a new freight-handling hall. The new facility at the south-east end of the freight area was officially opened following nine months of construction work. The expansion is in response to the booming airfreight business at Munich Airport, which has posted strong annual growth rates of up to 30 percent in recent years. With a total volume of 300,000 metric tonnes in 2004, the annual tonnage has more than tripled since the airport opened in May 1992.

Picture provided by Munich Airport and copyrighted bu FMG - Wernier Hennies

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Peter Trautmann, the Managing Director for Traffic Operations and Engineering at Munich Airport, stressed Munich's excellent prospects as an airfreight location: "Thanks to southern Germany's strong exports and our airport's geographical location at the heart of an expanded Europe, we have the opportunity to sustain our above-average growth in the freight sector."

The new 4,400 square meter Express Services Center will be used exclusively by the express services FedEx, DHL and UPS. The reinforced concrete structure is eight meters high, 132 meters long and is divided into two complexes. In the northern section of the hall, in a total area of approximately 1,000 square meters, FedEx will handle its goods. In the southern section, the express carriers DHL and UPS will have operating space totaling 1,400 and 1,200 square meters respectively. For quick and efficient handling of their goods, the three express services need large freight-handling areas, which have become scarce at Munich Airport due to the rise in freight volumes. Freight is handled using special equipment, which the carriers will install themselves. Complementing these high-performance sorting facilities, the other key factor helping to shorten turnaround times is computer technology. The facility was designed by the Munich architect Christoph Zobel.

The express carriers are supported by the FMG subsidiary Cargogate, which specializes in freight handling and also provides freight handling services for approximately 60 international airlines. The Munich Airport subsidiary currently handles approximately 90,000 metric tons of freight per year, with no end to the upward trend in sight.

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Philadelphia Airport System Website Gains in Popularity Handled More Than 1.1 Billion Hits In The Past 18 Months

Philadelphia - The Philadelphia Airport System website,, received a record 1.1 billion hits in the past 18 months. The site, which debuted in 1997 and was re-designed in 2003, now averages more than 63 million web hits per month. A hit represents information that has been downloaded from a website.

"Philadelphia is proud to be on the cutting edge of the information technology industry, and Philadelphia International Airport plays a leading role in the City's plans to stay there," said Mayor John F. Street., which was the first airport website in the country to provide live video of the airfield, has proved to be a vital resource for travelers in their search for information regarding the Philadelphia Airport System. The System is composed of Philadelphia International (PHL) and Northeast Philadelphia (PNE) airports. Both Airports are owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia.

" is a constant work in progress, and we continue to revise and upgrade it based on comments from our passengers," said Charles J. Isdell, the City's Director of Aviation. "Our website has become an integral part of the passenger's trip planning process."

In 2004, the website received nearly 667 million hits. Combined with the first six months of 2005, registered a whopping total of more than 1.1 billion hits. The highest single-day total of 11.4 million hits occurred on January 23, 2005 during a major snowstorm.

Among the website's many features is the Flight Information Display System (FIDS), which enables visitors to check the status of arriving and departing flights. This popular feature, which records the most hits, reflects the same real-time information shown on the flight monitors at the Airport. PHL was one of the first airports in the world to offer real-time flight information on-line.

The website also offers a real-time flight tracker, travel tips and traffic reports and provides detailed information on a variety of Airport programs, services and parking, helpful terminal maps, and links to airlines and other aviation and transportation sites. The site also enables visitors to submit comments and questions. In the past 18 months, nearly 10,000 e-mails have been received through the website.

In addition, contains sections on Northeast Airport, PHL's general aviation reliever airport, and cargo activity. Visitors can find answers to frequently asked questions; learn about PHL's history, airline competition plan, accessibility and environmental stewardship endeavors; keep up to date on Airport news; and view and request brochures. The site also contains a "Kid's Corner" area designed to appeal to young visitors, who can download games and puzzles and learn about the exciting world of aviation.

The Philadelphia Airport System is owned and operated by the City of Philadelphia and is composed of Philadelphia International Airport and Northeast Philadelphia Airport. The Airport System is a self-sustaining entity that operates without the use of local tax dollars. It is one of the largest economic engines in Pennsylvania, generating an estimated $8.3 billion in spending to the regional economy and employing a workforce of nearly 28,000.

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XpresSpa Has Arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport's AIRMALL® :
The Ultimate Stress Free Destination for Travelers

Tired? Stressed out? In need of a pick me up? The newest concessionaire at the Pittsburgh International Airport's AIRMALL®, XpresSpa, provides travelers with a much needed oasis for relaxation and rejuvenation. XpresSpa, located in Concourse A, outside of Gate A1, and in Concourse B, outside Gate B31, has opened its doors to offer an array of services to travelers who desire a little pampering.

"We're thrilled to have two locations in Pittsburgh's AIRMALL," said Marisol Binn, who owns XpresSpa with her husband, Moreton. "It's our mission to have travelers walk away with a unique spa experience, regardless of their destination or gate location."

Most spas provide their services to clientele in separate rooms, but many treatments at XpresSpa are given to patrons who are reclining on lounge chairs in one large room, making it possible to perform services, such as massages, to a higher volume of people. This is made possible because of the unique layout of XpresSpas.

XpresSpa provides a wide variety of services including manicures and pedicures, skin care and waxing. The most popular services are the Reflexology Foot Massage Treatment and the Deep Tissue Full Body Massage.

Another customer favorite is the Stress & Tension Eliminator, which is a treatment of the back, neck and shoulders. The length of each treatment can be adjusted to fit the client's needs.

In addition to the many exceptional services available, XpresSpa offers a wide variety of products ranging from row soaps to massage tools to gift items. Best selling soaps include the Assorted Flowers and the Heart Confetti in a Heart Box. Aromafloria, inhalation beads that provide sinus help, Butterfly Sachets and massage products such as the Foot Massage Board and the Rubber Wheel Wooden Massager are also extremely popular among travelers.

With the vast assortment of treatments and unique products, XpresSpa is a significant addition to the award-winning AIRMALL®. The first airport to have two XpresSpa locations, Pittsburgh International seemed an obvious choice to the owners of the spa. "It is a fantastic airport! Look at the retail - you've got GAP, Godiva and so much more," explained Marisol Binn when asked why she and her husband chose Pittsburgh as the location for the third XpresSpa.

The company's first location opened in New York's JFK International Airport only a year ago and was soon followed by the opening of an XpresSpa at the San Francisco International Airport before coming to Pittsburgh. XpresSpa at Pittsburgh International is open Sunday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Saturdays, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., including all holidays.

BAA Pittsburgh
BAA Pittsburgh is the developer and manager of the retail and concessions program at the AIRMALL® at Pittsburgh International Airport. BAA Pittsburgh, a project of BAA USA, and affiliate of BAA plc, the world's leading airport company, who owns and operates seven UK airports, is rated among the most successful airport shopping complexes worldwide.

According to Airport Revenue News, for the second year in a row, Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) tops the list with an up-tick in sales per enplanement to $10.88 from $10.08 the year before (an 8% increase). This increase puts PIT nearly 13% higher than the closest top performer, New York's JFK. This feat is even more notable considering PIT had a 7% drop in enplanement.

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John F. Kennedy International Airport paves the way
for the next generation of super airliners as board authorizes
final contract for airfield project

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners today authorized the awarding of the seventh and final contract in a $179 million program of aeronautical improvements to maintain John F. Kennedy International Airport’s runways, taxiways and related infrastructure in a state of good repair while also preparing for the next generation of larger, quieter and more-efficient aircraft, including the Airbus 380, which is expected to begin passenger service in 2007.

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “Our 10-year strategic plan calls for accommodating growth at our various facilities with smart and sensible solutions that will improve and enhance our customers’ travel experience. We are committed to taking the long view, whether we’re making preparations for the A-380 at Kennedy Airport, advancing the modernization of Terminals A and B at Newark Liberty International Airport and the Central Terminal Building at LaGuardia Airport, or upgrading our bridges, tunnels, PATH and port infrastructure. Our long-range plans will always seek to benefit our customers while also being sensitive to quality-of-life issues for those who live and work near our facilities.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Since the early 1990s, our airports have undergone extensive redevelopment, delivering a series of improvements to our customers, including new and enhanced passenger terminals, more efficient roadway systems, new parking garages, two AirTrain rail systems and much more. Along the way, we’ve created thousands of jobs with these projects, and this $179 million project is no different. It generates work in the construction trades, and the improvements made at Kennedy Airport will help to create tomorrow’s jobs in the travel and tourism industry. We’re proud of this legacy of economic development and remain committed to advancing it at every opportunity.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “These improvements and upgrades come during a period of unprecedented passenger volume growth at JFK. We are anticipating another record-setting year in 2005, with nearly 41 million travelers projected to use the airport. Every time we undertake projects such as this, we do so with our customers in mind, seeking to provide them with the best service possible while we continue to seek ways to improve upon our world-class aviation facilities.”

The Port Authority, in close coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration and the airlines, is staging the construction in phases to minimize the impact on flight activity.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

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Contemporary Glass Arts on Display at San Francisco International Airport

SAN FRANCISCO -- Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Glass Arts, a new exhibition at San Francisco International Airport, explores the seemingly endless possibilities for the role of glass in today’s arts. The works of twenty-one contemporary artists are presented to show their continuing exploration and experimentation with glass techniques and equipment, permitting them to demonstrate what glass has to offer as a material for creative expression.

Picture provided by San Francisco International Airport - copyright Alain McLaughlin

The exhibit contains examples of historical, traditional and contemporary techniques that the artists use to reveal the natural qualities of the material and to manifest an artistic vision only possible in glass. While glassblowing remains the dominant technique used to create the works, other techniques such as sandblasting, casting, fusing, painting, flameworking, slumping and traditional Venetian glassworking techniques are also represented, and often united to produce compelling results.

Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Glass Arts is on view twenty-four hours a day through January 17, 2006, free of charge. The exhibition is located pre-security on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal.

The San Francisco Airport Museums program was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. Today, the San Francisco Airport Museums features approximately twenty galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation.

About San Francisco International Airport
SFO ( connects non-stop with more than 60 cities in the United States on 20 domestic airlines, including more than twice as many non-stop flights to the New York area than other Bay Area airports combined. In addition, SFO offers non-stop links with more than 29 international points on 25 international carriers, making SFO the Bay Area’s Airport of Choice.

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Amsterdam Airport Schiphol again honoured as Best Airport in Europe

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has once again been honoured as Best Airport in Europe by the leading British Travel Magazine Business Traveller. It is the twenty-second time since 1980 that Europes fourth-largest airport has received the award. London Heathrow and Copenhagen Airport were voted second and third respectively. HRH Princess Anne today presented the Best Airport in Europe award to Ad Rutten, Executive Vice President & Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Schiphol Group.

I took up my new position at Schiphol Group on 1 September 2005 and am delighted to start my new job by taking receipt of this prestigious award said Ad Rutten during the award presentation ceremony. We have returned to the number one position in Europe. The staff and management of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will continue to work on further enhancing the travel process. Developing new facilities to make the passengers and visitors stay at our airport as pleasurable as possible continues to be a key priority. We are delighted that our efforts are appreciated by business travellers.

Business Traveller U.K. has a circulation of 50,000 and in the late 70s was the first magazine to poll readers for their opinion on the best airports and airlines.

The United Kingdom is an important market for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The airport anticipates that 7.5 million passengers will travel on the 130 daily flights operated between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and 25 direct destinations in the U.K. in 2005. Many British business travellers also use Privium, the airports service programme that offers frequent travellers fast and secure border passage employing iris recognition.

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Schiphol launches dynamic displays:
New flight information screens display more passenger information

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will be replacing the flight information monitors in the terminal with new LCD screens. The new screens display information specific to each location, which is known as narrow casting. The information is also clearly readable. The new Dynamic Displays have already been installed at a number of locations in the airport terminal. The airport has been testing narrow casting in Departure Hall 1, Lounge 1 and at a number of gates and at the baggage belts during the past few months.

More flight information
The Dynamic Displays provide flight information, passenger directions, commercial information and infotainment. In addition to the flight number, current flight departure time and check-in desk number, information on the services and facilities at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol or special offers in the shops or specific product commercials can be shown in the departure halls.

Travel information such as the weather at the destination as well as video images can be shown on the monitors at the gate to make waiting at the airport more enjoyable.

Passengers who have just arrived in the Netherlands, will be able to read useful information on the dynamic displays relating to taxi or train services, for example. Special offers available in the shops at the Schiphol Plaza public shopping centre can also be displayed as well as information on Amsterdam events and attractions.

Online update
The Dynamic Displays are controlled by the airports new Flight Information Display System (FIDS), which ensures that the screens display the right information at the right time.

Clear information
The airport has received an enthusiastic response from passengers during a survey carried out on the new information systems in recent months. The clear layout and the excellent readability of the information screened on the Dynamic Displays appeals to passengers.

Over 2000 monitors will be replaced with LCD screens in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol's terminal.

Service and innovation
By providing passengers flight information, travel information and commercial information or infotainment all on one screen Amsterdam Airport Schiphol ranks among the leading users of narrow casting The Dynamic Displays have been designed in line with the airports aim to offer innovative services and facilities to all users.

Latest technology
The current monitors displaying flight information are based on CRT technology comparable with that of traditional television screens. The Dynamic Displays use the latest LCD technology. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opted not to use plasma screens to preclude the risk of burn.

Each LCD screen is attached to a mini PC, referred to as the controller, which controls the screen. The FIDS software complies with more stringent requirements than that of standard narrow casting systems. These usually only show successive commercials and other messages whereas real time flight information is also displayed on the monitors at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

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Swissport founds new Cyprus-based company
to further expand its European activities

Zurich/Larnaca, September 2, 2005 – Swissport International continues to expand: the world’s biggest ground handler for the aviation community has teamed up with the Cypriot-based G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group to found Swissport Cyprus, a new ground handling company that will start to operate in Larnaca and Paphos in September.

Picture provided and copyrighted by SWISSPORT

Swissport, which already operates a European network extending to 66 stations in 16 countries, continues to expand. Cyprus is one of the continent’s prime tourist destinations, and sees some 10 million passengers a year. Around 60 per cent of the traffic are scheduled services operated by a wide range of international air carriers; the remaining 40 per cent are charter flights.

Swissport & G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Cyprus aims to establish itself as the preferred ground handling provider in Cyprus. The new company will offer the full range of ground services including passenger handling, cargo handling and GSA (general sales agent) services. Swissport Cyprus will thus be playing a key and active role in the current liberalisation of the Cypriot ground handling market.

The collaboration between Swissport and the G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group will offer airlines an attractive ground handling alternative in the rapidly-growing Cypriot market. G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group, a stock market listed company is active in the freight forwarding, shipping, hotel and insurance sectors, and has earned a particularly strong reputation for its logistics and tourism activities.

With its excellent connections and its knowledge of the local market, G.A.P. Vassilopoulos should enable Swissport Cyprus to offer further tourism-related services such as ticketing and GSA representation. Swissport International, for its part, can contribute all its extensive contacts and expertise as the world’s leading provider of ground handling services for the aviation sector.

With a workforce of some 21 000 personnel, Swissport International Ltd. (which is owned by Ferrovial, a leading European infrastructure and service corporation based in Spain) provides ground services for over 70 million passengers and three million tonnes of cargo a year on behalf of some 600 client companies. Swissport is now active at 180 airports in 41 countries on five continents, and generated consolidated revenues of CHF 1.297 billion (around Euros 836 million) last year.

Further details of the G.A.P. Vassilopoulos Group are available on its website

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Sydney Airport to invest $20 million in T2
to improve service for record number passengers

Over $20 million will be spent upgrading Terminal 2, the SACL owned domestic terminal at Sydney Airport, as it prepares for continuing growth in passengers numbers.Sydney Airport welcomed over 18 million domestic passengers in FY2005, with traffic growth of 146% from two years earlier (FY2003) through T2, thanks to the success of Virgin Blue and the introduction of Jet Star.

As part of a broader plan to modernise the entire airport, improvements to T2 include:

  • an increase in self service check-in facilities
  • an improved retail offering, adding over 20 additional outlets giving travellers a choice from over 50 outlets,
    including a pub with outdoor area, totalling 5,000 m2 of retail space
  • an upgrade of existing amenities such as lighting, toilets, showers and surrounding areas
  • under cover bus connection points to aircraft
  • realigned and enhanced security screening
  • enhanced Flight Information Display Screens (FIDS), directional and orientation signage
  • expansive apron views and abundant natural light

Max Moore-Wilton, Executive Chairman & CEO of Sydney Airport Corporation said the redevelopment would benefit all airport customers â€" airlines, retailers and passengers alike.

"What was once a terminal dedicated to a single airline continues its transformation into a vibrant multi-carrier facility. SACL has spent considerable time and money researching the needs and wants of our key customers to come up with an integrated redevelopment that will improve the airport experience for everyone," Mr Moore-Wilton said.

Work is due to commence in coming weeks with the first phase, which includes the Food Court, to be complete by Easter next year. The overall project will be completed early 2007.

For further information, please visit:

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Bratislava Airport: Vienna International Airport,
RZB and the Slovakian private equity group Penta in a consortium

The "Airport TwoOne" consortium, which includes Flughafen Wien Aktiengesellschaft, Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG (RZB) and Penta Investment Limited, has joined the tender process for privatisation of the M.R. Štefánika – Airport Bratislava, a.s. and Letisko Kosice – Airport Kosice, a.s. This consortium, which is led by Flughafen Wien AG, submitted offers for both tenders to the Slovakian Ministry of Transportation yesterday.

As one of the most successful aviation facilities in Central Europe, Vienna International Airport will contribute its international know-how as an airport operator to the consortium. RZB has experience with privatisation and public-private partnership projects as well as proven expertise in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where the company has been active for nearly 50 years. The Penta private equity group is one of the major private equity companies in Slovakia, and has been successfully involved in numerous infrastructure sector privatisations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

The "Airport TwoOne" consortium sees major opportunities for the economic development of the Vienna and Bratislava Airports based on the strong impulses for growth in the Vienna-Lower Austria-Bratislava region. The number of passengers in this catchment area is forecasted to increase from the current level of roughly 16 million to approximately 30 million in 2015. Close cooperation between the Vienna and Bratislava Airports will allow for the best possible development of this market. Therefore, the concept prepared by the consortium also calls for the creation and expansion of traffic connections between Vienna and the city of Bratislava as well as its airport by the City Airport Train (CAT). This will provide Austrian passengers with easier access to Bratislava Airport.

Kosice Airport will be modernised and expanded to meet the commercial and tourism requirements of the region.

For further information, please visit:

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