Vol. 10 No. 68                       THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD SINCE 2001               Saturday July 16, 2011

     India’s air cargo seems to be in the throes of a strange crisis. While on one hand, outfits like Capt. G. R. Gopinath’s Deccan 360 and the (right) Capt. Mukut Pathak-headed Aryan Cargo Express seem to be floundering despite reports about the booming domestic market, international majors have launched initiatives to cash in on the boom.
     The obstacles faced by the start-ups have not dampened the spirit of another air cargo venture: the revival of Quikjet Cargo Airlines. According to someone well versed with the news, some international promoters—two of them being FedEx and TNT—have come together to breathe life into the home grown air cargo airline move. Quikjet, in its first avatar, had AFL among its three promoters. ACNFT reported AFL’s takeover by FedEx sometime ago. However, it is not yet known whether that acquisition included AFL’s share in Quikjet. If the plan does go through, Quikjet would move cargo for FedEx and TNT among others.
     Recently, TNT started a dedicated, five times weekly freighter service between India and Europe with B 767s. The plane flies between Delhi and Brussels. FedEx, too, started regular services from Delhi with a Boeing 777F that was in addition to its regular flights from Bengaluru and Mumbai.
     Stakeholders in the air cargo community have welcomed all of this. To begin with, the freighters have given them the capacity to take large consignments; no longer do they have to depend on belly space in passenger carriers. Additionally, dedicated cargo planes mean economical rates, despite the shooting fuel costs.
     What, then, is the problem with start-ups like Deccan 360?
     According to a recent report prepared by KPMG for the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, in financial year 2011, the total tonnage of cargo handled in India was around 2.33 million MT, of which nearly one-third was international cargo that was, incidentally, less than that handled by leading international airports like Hong Kong, Shanghai, Incheon, Anchorage or Paris. The report points to the significant opportunity that lies ahead if the country gets its “infrastructure, processes and policies in place.”
     Analyzing the factors for the missed opportunities, the report lists the key challenges facing the cargo sector. Unlike everyone pointing fingers at infrastructure, the report lists the first as the “mindset issue.” It says that with passenger traffic attracting the maximum focus in the Indian aviation sector, cargo has been “a bit relegated to the background.” The air cargo sector would do well if more attention was paid to key export items like agri-produce, meat, flowers, pharma and textile items.
     The second challenge detailed in the report is infrastructure. Poor, cargo-handling infrastructure at airports across the country has been leading to spoilage, pilferage and increased turnaround times for the cargo carriers. The third important factor is dwell time. The time for import and export cargo at Indian airports is three to five days as compared to an average of only 6 to 12 hours at other leading international airports. The report points out that the reduction in dwell time, cost, faster Customs clearance and delivery of cargo would be beneficial for the industry.
     The report forecasts that air cargo will face competition from other modes of cargo carriage; the major reasons for that being the improvement of highways and the proposed plan of building dedicated freight corridors that will crisscross the length and breadth of the country. As far as domestic cargo is concerned, the airport managements as well as the ministries concerned would have to look at enhancing the infrastructure, process and handling costs.
     Air cargo stakeholders have often pointed out the manner in which the Customs department has been functioning, and the report says that there is not only a need for a review of the Customs clearance procedures, but also a need to identify ways in which processing can be hastened without compromising the safety aspect.
     Another aspect that has been highlighted is the acquisition of land near major airports to expand cargo handling capacity. Indeed, acquisition of land is a cumbersome process in India, and with volumes set to increase in the coming years the government has to find ways to make it easy.
Tirthankar Ghosh


India Pilots License To Fly

     Close on the heels of the discovery of a couple of “fake” pilots, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) launched a drive to examine the authenticity of all Pilot Licenses issued a while back.
     While inspecting the records of Airline Transport Pilot Licenses (ATPL) issued in the past, five more cases of forged result cards came up and were reported to the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police. Almost all ATPLs have been examined and found to be genuine except the six detected.
     The DGCA has started examination of all Commercial Pilot License (CPL) records issued during the past and until the April 12 of this year, seven cases of submission of forged result cards have been found.
     Complaints have been filed with the Crime Branch of Delhi Police for all 13 cases (6 ATPL and 7 CPL) and some of the accused have been arrested, including three DGCA staff members. For his part, the DGCA chief E. K. Bharat Bhushan (left) said the CPLs of around 10,000 pilots were being verified along with 4,000 Airlines Pilots Training License (ATPLs) holders.
     As if forged result cards were not enough, the DGCA has also received complaints about bogus logging of flying hours in some flying schools.
     The directorate has constituted three special audit teams comprised of its own officials as well as experts from outside to conduct a detailed audit of these schools and detect malpractices, if any.
     Bharat Bhushan also mentioned that the DGCA would conduct a third party audit of all the 40 flying schools in the country.
     Cross-verification has been introduced to ensure that the Directorate of Examination and the Directorate of Licensing work in close collaboration.
     A move is on to ensure that the Central Examination Organization (CEO) of the DGCA, which is vested with the responsibility of conducting the written examination of Pilots and AME Licenses, has multi-layered security and a foolproof computerized system to maintain secrecy and integrity of the process.
     In a note that was circulated recently, the DGCA has mentioned that it was publicizing the arrests and proposed moves by the Directorate of Examination and the Directorate of Licensing so that there is no panic among the traveling public.
     It was also intended to quash reports in the Indian media hinting at huge numbers of fake pilots flying civilian aircraft in the country.
     “This,” according to the DGCA, “is far from the truth. Strongest possible action has been initiated against persons who have resorted to unfair methods and several systematic changes are being undertaken to see that such instances do not recur in future,” said the DGCA.



     The man has kerosene in his blood. His father was professor for airport construction at the University of Technology, Berlin, author of the standard textbook “The History of the German Commercial Airports,” and from 1953 to 1978 Managing Director of the association of German airports (ADV). His father-in-law was a training captain with the German Armed Forces; his brother-in-law flew the Boeing 707 freighter and was a pilot of a 747 for the last eleven years of his Lufthansa career. When Treibel met his wife, she already had her glider certification. All this has had an influence on Hans-Peter Treibel.
     The airplanes flying over his house in the small Taunus town of Hofheim are easy to hear, but for Treibel, “it’s music to my ears.” His father built the house directly in the Frankfurt airport approach path and his son could recognize every airplane by its engine noise. It is almost superfluous to mention that Treibel has spent his professional life in aviation: 37 years with Lufthansa, 37 years with Cargo.
      Treibel is 70-years old and the "father" of the Lufthansa Cargo Centre (LCC) in Frankfurt. Many Lufthansa Cargo terminals—in New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, London or Shanghai—have been designed and built by him.

     Treibel was born in 1941 in Vienna. His father, Dr. Ing. Werner Treibel, worked there for Lufthansa and thus Hans-Peter grew up with aviation. After the war, father Treibel forged the plans for the resurrection of the “crane” with Hans M. Bongers, who became the Chairman of the Executive Board after the re-founding of Lufthansa in 1954.
      The Treibel house was often frequented by Ludwig Bölkow, later the Managing Director of the Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm GmbH, Ernst Heinkel, builder of the first jet-propelled airplane—the Heinkel He 178—as well as Wolf Hirth, glider pioneer and Eugene Sänger, pioneer of aviation and space travel, who developed the concept of the orbital glider – the Space Shuttle.
      Often, the young Treible filius was allowed to be present when the luminaries in the world of aviation told their stories of the past and speculated as to what the future held in store. At the age of 14, the young man founded his own Airline—on paper—and at 19 he completed his final exam (Abitur). Upon completion, he immediately began an apprenticeship with Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg and then began his mechanical engineering studies in Stuttgart.
     Regarding the apprenticeship in the Lufthansa Maintenance hangers in Hamburg, he muses in retrospect, “apparently I must have left a good impression.” When he applied three years later with Lufthansa for a foreign apprenticeship with Boeing in Seattle, where a small but feared troop of Lufthansa engineers oversaw the construction of the aircraft ordered by the crane, he was approved as the first student to ever qualify for such an apprenticeship. It was the first time during those four months that Hans-Peter Treibel had worn a badge with the word "Lufthansa" printed on it, and he was very proud of it.
      Another apprenticeship with the New York Port Authority, which was responsible for some of the bridges as well as for developing the construction plans of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, left a lasting impression on the young and ambitious man.
     With a university diploma in hand, in 1969 Treibel applied to the department of Lufthansa’s ground services in Frankfurt and was taken without hesitation by Karl-Albert "Charly" Reitz as a project engineer. He didn’t have a lot of time to work his way into his new position as one new project after another was thrown at him.
     A landmark project was the development and planning of the Cargo Court No. 3 in Frankfurt with a freight sorting system, which needed to be bigger and more efficient than all comparable systems. In addition to engineering services, he was asked for a thorough assessment concerning the evolution of future freight traffic:. How will Lufthansa develop; is the volume of freight expected to grow larger; how large will the packages be; what volume of freight can be expected in the future; how quickly must the freight be sorted; how many airplanes will arrive at the same time; how large will the airplanes be in the future; how will the volume of freight carried by passenger aircraft develop; do "freight only" aircraft have a future?
     It was a truly mammoth assignment, one which the young engineer had never been confronted with ever before. As it turned out, these assessments would be the basis of the concept for a new, huge Lufthansa Cargo Center in Frankfurt, which some time later would replace the Cargo Court 3.
     It was the time of the big boom in air freight. “We had growth rates of ten, twelve percent and more in a year,“ says Treibel. Lufthansa served the longer distances with its 707 freighter fleet, and at night the crane operated a freighter network which was unique in Europe.
     17 European flights between Frankfurt and the most important European destinations like Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Milan, Manchester, Paris, Stockholm and Vienna, mostly operated by 727-passenger planes that were temporarily modified at the airport of destination. Within an hour, the seats were removed and a passenger plane became a cargo machine. It flew cargo to the Frankfurt hub, was quickly unloaded after midnight at “Rhein Main” and was loaded once again with cargo which had arrived from overseas or from European airports on the same evening. This cargo was then flown overnight, reaching its destination—for example, Stockholm—at the crack of dawn. There, the airplane was re-equipped with seats once again. About 7:00am, it took-off with passengers on board returning to Frankfurt. “The Quick-Change System was unique in Europe“, tells Hans-Peter Treibel, “Lufthansa was praised for it in all the trade journals as the most advanced airline in the world.“
     Success has its price. When the Cargo Court 3 with its freight sorting system went into operation in 1973, it quickly was rendered too small. No wonder that Hans-Peter Treibel (who had in the meantime advanced to be head of the Freight Systems department), together with his team of young, visionary engineers, had long since put their heads together on a much bigger project. In a one-to-one discussion with Hans Süssenguth of the Lufthansa Executive Board, Treibel demonstrated that in a cargo hub like in Frankfurt, with more than 70 percent transit cargo, time on the ground and expenses could only be adequately controlled with extensive automation of the cargo handling. Besides that, available space in Frankfurt was becoming scarce for warehouses with rolling bins and freight sorting systems. The boss’ answer: “plan how the freight handling will look, and then we’ll talk further.”
     Treibel and his team went to work. Their maxim: Optimize the processes on the ground, so as not to frivolously lose the aircraft’s time advantage again. There were only a few reference programs worldwide and unfortunately they were designed substantially smaller, too compactly and too minimally adaptable with regard to changing developments in the cargo’s features and its ability to be put into containers. The team did not want to make the same mistakes. The biggest cargo terminal in the world that was being planned for Frankfurt should consist of extendable modules, which, without interrupting the normal operations, could be enlarged later without interfering with the technology and basic architecture. The Lufthansa Executive Board later stated the assignment more precisely: The cargo terminal must also fulfill the capacity requirements for the year 2000, it must master the most modern warehousing, conveyor technology and process control and may not cost more than 250 to 300 million DM.
     That was almost like squaring off the circle, particularly because in the areas of IT, many new approaches would have to be taken. An example of this was the contractual modalities with the airport operator FRAPORT, which did not sell their property, but rather ceded it to Lufthansa through a rental and building contract over a 30-year period.
      Within this time frame the entire area had to be developed, including the laying of pipelines, building rainwater retention basins, and building sewers to the Main River, as well as the construction of a noise barrier wall. The cost evaluation, profitability calculations and contracts were all new territory. The grounds, which at that time were in the middle of a forest and former ammunition dump from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, brought a few surprises. “The project was sheer pioneer work,” Treibel recollects looking back, and thus explains why it took eight years from the planning phase to the completion.
     When the Lufthansa Cargo Center finally started operations in June 1992, it was indeed the largest and the most modern airfreight terminal in the entire world. It was so high tech that the personnel were confronted daily with completely new warehouse logistics, and the operation took the better part of a year before it was gradually up and running. Treibel is proud that after almost 30 years of operation his “baby” still runs at peak power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

      In recognition of the project work, Hans-Peter Treibel was named Director of “Cargo Handling Processes and Freight Facilities” (two years before the opening of the LCC!) for all Lufthansa stations worldwide. Treibel planned and built freight terminals for Lufthansa in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, London and Shanghai and became more and more an “all around” expert. Planning was the one side. Contract negotiations and completions required commercial management, legal expertise and the sensitivity to deal with various cultures and mentalities in order to select the right person for an assignment.
     Treibel continued climbing the ladder of success and was appointed Manager in Charge of Sales- and Service-Systems Cargo and from 1991 until 1996 he was General Manager of TRAXON, a joint venture company of Lufthansa Cargo, Air France, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Korean Airlines.
     Back with Lufthansa, a great number of large projects were on his to do list. He was involved in evaluating and finding a location for the DHL Express-hub in Brussels and was, for the most part, involved in the planning of Leipzig’s new hub.
     After extremely tough negotiations with the Chinese partners, the freight center at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport wasin the bag and even “on time and on budget,” Treibel once again had left his footprint on a major project.
     From 2000 onwards, Treibel returned to his home base and to the heartland of the company. The Executive Board entrusted him with overseeing the interests of Cargo with the upcoming expansion of the Frankfurt Airport. In plain language: Treibel was expected to make sure that Lufthansa Cargo would continue to expand and he was to do everything possible to try to ward off the threatened ban on night-flights.
     Unfortunately, this assignment was not to be fully realized. After 37 years of service to Lufthansa, he retired in 2006 when he turned 65. For him, it was a sort of “forced retirement, because I would have been content to remain in the job”. The kerosene in his veins still pulses with the same intensity.
      Five years later, Hans-Peter Treibel is convinced that “the courts will not be able to stop the expansion of the Frankfurt Airport and a night-flight ban won’t go into effect.”

Note: Germany will go gala over air cargo with a week long celebration that commences on August 17th and begins with the unveiling of a new book commissioned by Lufthansa entitled “100 Years of Air Cargo.” The landing page to keep up with the latest happenings and celebration of 100 Years of Air Cargo is http://www.100-years-air-cargo.com/


     “How TSA Security Directives and Other Requirements Have Impacted Freight Forwarders/Airlines Around the World” is the title for a one hour webinar on July 28 at 2:00 p.m EST organized by U.S.-based Animal Transportation Association.
      ATA President Lisa Schoppa, UA/CO Pet Safe (left) tells FlyingTypers in her heads-up email:
     “Admission is free as ATA has decided not to charge for the webinar.
     “Additionally all webinar participants are eligible for 50% off their first year’s ATA membership fee.
     So now everybody can join ATA and Brandon Fried, Executive Director of Airforwarders Association to discuss how TSA security directives and other requirements have impacted freight forwarders/airlines, and how those changes are affecting animal transport worldwide.
     To register call the ATA office at 703-234-4106 to make payment, or email info@aninmaltransportationassociation.org for a payment form.
     “So hold the date, Thursday, July 28, 2011, from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EST; 18:00 GMT.”
     ATA activist Lisa Schoppa, (left) Manager UA/CO Pet Safe tells FlyingTypers in her heads-up email:
     “After registering, attendees will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.”
     BTW-System Requirements PC-based attendees need Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 server.
     Space is limited.
     Reserve your Webinar seat now at:


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