Vol. 7  No. 86                                         WE COVER THE WORLD                                                                     Friday August 8, 2008

Security At IATA BKK Next Month

     When the issue is air cargo security, it might not be a bad thing for the industry to view it as those outside the commercial aviation industry occasionally view the issue.
     Truth is that many people in everyday life see air cargo on airplanes as a vulnerability.
     While a good portion of that notion is based on misinformation like it or not in 2008 the air cargo industry is huge with complex supply chains, as freight forwarders, integrators and air carriers strive to open new revenue streams and grow market share in an increasingly competitive, low yield, environment.
     In Bangkok, September 17-19 at IATA’s Fourth Cargo Claims & Loss Conference air cargo security will be front and center as IATA Cargo security manager John Edwards speaks.
     Interestingly the last CC&L gathering was held just last September so we suppose the fact that the group is again meeting is clear indication that the fate of industry security discussion is finally not falling victim to some session empty venue at a otherwise mostly commercial industry trade show somewhere.
     John Edwards puts it this way:
     “Many industry stakeholders are familiar with politically driven proposals to screen 100% of cargo prior to its uplift on a commercial flight. However most experts agree that, even if this is desirable (and many believe it is not) there is, for this, no silver bullet. It is variously estimated that the development and, importantly, approval of technology, which could effectively and efficiently screen bulk air cargo, will take a minimum of three and possibly five or more years from today.
     “So the case for harmonization of requirements, which are, so far as is practical, internationally recognized and accepted, appears to be strong.
     “We know from experience that it is unrealistic to target harmonisation of complete national programmes. The cultural, political and practical obstacles are simply too large. But we also know, from the EU initiative and separately from the U.S. Aviation Security Advisory Committee joint government/industry working groups of 2003 (whose recommendations were to a large extent incorporated into the TSA Air Cargo Security Proposed Rule (NPRM)) that when the industry speaks with one voice, it is listened to.
     “Collectively the industry has the strength and influence to enhance regulatory thinking and development, and it must exploit this. Harmonization historically has primarily been regional and focused on detailed security programme requirements.
     “They have not been based on a cohesive industry harmonization strategy nor adequately coordinated.
     “But now IATA Cargo is targeting development of shared stakeholder ownership and responsibility for harmonization by establishing principles and priorities for global harmonization.”


     “Malaysian transportation companies need to work with shippers on fair arrangements for freight charges under the higher fuel cost environment.
     "They (shippers) would like to ask the shipping lines not to use the high prices as an excuse for unilaterally imposing hefty increases in the freight charges and surcharges," Alami Group (the Malaysia based producer and exporter of palm oil and downstream products) chief executive officer Mohammad Radwan said.
     The comments from a paper entitled "A Shipper’s Perspective on Rising Transportation Cost of Goods" were made public at a seminar themed "High Oil Price and its Impact on the Shipping Industry: Staying Afloat in A Sea of Challenge", organized by the Maritime Institute of Malaysia (MIMA).
     “In the past, shipping lines, working as a cartel, arbitrarily fixed high rates and unilaterally imposed unfair surcharges,” Mohamad Radwan added stating that “shippers have long suffered from these practices, which were protected by immunity to the European Community competition law, which was enacted to prevent anti-competitive practices.”

Cheers For Olympic Cheerleaders

     Anybody who thinks that the Beijing Olympics opening today will be simply sterile dogmatic events, better think twice.
     While China wrestles with issues including everything from some heavy duty pollution problems in Beijing to agonizing over whether or not they should have put a dome on the “birds nest stadium,” the dramatic main Olympic venue, elsewhere even the smallest details are getting plenty of attention.
     Over 600 volunteers hailing from every part of China met for training just before the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games, led not only by expert Chinese choreographers, but also by American cheerleaders from a National Football League (NFL).
     The job of these cheerleaders is to rev up the crowds at the Olympic venues. During previous games, Olympic cheerleaders only jumped on the scene at a few events.
     In Beijing, they are slated to appear at every competition, acting not only as cheerleaders, but also as dancers and acrobats.
     No doubt a flawless performance will be quite a challenge.
     But these volunteers are up for it.
     Here the Chinese cheerleaders meet the NFL for tough practice for their Olympic debut.
     The determined looks on their faces say it all.
     "I must work hard so that I can show the world the spirit of China's youth, the happiness that sports brings," explained one cheerleader.
     "They're really professional. They not only taught us moves, more importantly, they taught us how to better communicate, transfer our enthusiasm to the audience,” the Chinese girls said.
     The volunteers were very happy with their foreign coaches, cheerleaders from the NFL team.
     Their American coaches in turn were quite satisfied with their students' performances, saying that they were extremely hardworking and progressed very quickly.
     Come to think of it, the best way to bridge differences is to get things together around something everybody enjoys.
     We say three cheers for that.



     Cathay Pacific Airways loss of HK$663 million (US$84.92 million) is a real shocker compared with a profit of HK$2.58 billion in the first half of 2007.
     Cathay Pacific and Dragonair Cargo was up 6.8 percent to 828,399 tons during the period.
     Cathay Pacific Chairman Christopher Pratt overstating the obvious said: “Global aviation is making a painful adjustment to the new reality of USD$100-plus oil.”

     Meantime everything is coming up roses at Boeing Company that said that the global air cargo market will continue to exhibit strong, long-term growth, at least between the pages of Current Market Outlook 2008.
     During the 20-year forecast period, Boeing projects that the industry will grow at an annualized average of 5.8 percent with the world freighter fleet increasing from 1,948 to 3,892 airplanes.

     IATA Cargo said that its e-freight project has gone “live” in South Korea.
     Led by Korea Customs Service and Korean Air Cargo and Asiana Cargo, IATA e-freight has been launched on two trade lanes, between South Korea and Singapore and South Korea and Hong Kong, with more to come.

    As reported here exclusively Capt. GR Gopinath has let loose the news to others that he may sell a percentage stake in Air Deccan, now being merged with Kingfisher Airlines.
    Capt. Gopi holds 9.11percent stake in Air Deccan.
    Sources say Gopi plans to use proceeds from the sale to fund his proposed air cargo business.
    Gopinath has also tied up with Mumbai-based Edelweiss Capital to find investors for the proposed venture.



     Finnair said that July cargo traffic increased by 6.9 percent in terms of cargo tons carried versus the same time last year.
     Growth in scheduled traffic was 9.5 percent in July, compared with the same period a year ago.
     Asian traffic continued to build by 19.7 percent in July, against the same period a year ago.
     Elsewhere European traffic decreased by 10 percent with North-Atlantic, traffic cargo volume down by 12.7 percent.
     AY cargo load factor in Far Eastern traffic was 68.1 percent with North Atlantic traffic put at 59.3 percent.
     Meantime AY has this swell looking retro website to help celebrate its 85 years in business. Go to: www.finnair.com
     Enjoy a blast from the past!

Time Flies At 70

Sometimes we read or write or just hear oft-repeated words, and might wonder of their origin.
     Earlier this week we were looking at an advertisement in these pages from Lufthansa Cargo, a message for tdfLASH that in 2008 celebrates 15 years of that service to the world of transportation.
     Word up, that 2008 marks 70 years since the phrase “Time Flies” entered the aviation language.
     Here is how that happened.
     During the late 1920’s and 1930’s there was in America this wonderful pilot, a captain of the clouds, the all around aviator named Frank Hawks.
     Hawks got famous in a hurry in December of 1920, taking a 23-year-old Amelia Earhart on her first airplane ride, lasting ten minutes, at the airfield in Long Beach.
     In 1933, handsome Frank set the west to east transcontinental airspeed record in his Northrop Gamma, flying from Los Angeles to Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn, New York in 13 hours, 26 minutes, and 15 seconds.
     It is said that Frank held as many as 214 point-to-point speed records in the United States and Europe.
     Hawks set more speed and endurance records than anybody ever.
     Frank even broke several records in Europe prior to WWII aboard his Northrop Gamma aircraft called Sky Chief.
     Sky Chief was owned by Texaco, the oil company, and after Hawks had finished flying for them, Texaco actually changed the name of their premium gasoline to Sky Chief in honor (and to trade off of Hawk’s accomplishments and fame) as mentioned, after Hawks smashed almost everyone’s speed and endurance records including many of Charles Lindbergh’s as well.
       Later the aircraft that Hawks flew Buenos Aires/Los Angeles morphed into the Douglas SBD Dauntless dive bomber of World War II fame.
     In 1936 with Howell W. ‘Pete’ Miller who designed the famed early 1930’s Gee Bee superacer, Hawks dreamed up another aircraft.
     Miller worked for Gwinn Aircraft where both men concurred with the company owner Joseph Gwinn who had a vision to create an inexpensive airplane that every man “could park in the driveway,” back during a time when many hoped that some day personal flying would be for everyone.
     From that collaboration, the Gwinn Aircar was born.
     Frank Hawks was famous and respected so getting somebody to put up the money to build his airplane and sponsor a national tour (how both military and commercial airplanes were marketed in those days) was no problem.
     The Gruen Watch Company sponsored one of the two Gwinn Aircars that were built, and as a watch company the name Time Flies was attached to the new “roadable” airplane.
     Time Flies was touted as “The Model T Of The Air,” when the first flight was made on October 18, 1936, four months after construction had begun at Springfield, Mass.
     Frank Hawks took off after breakfast in Time Flies from Hartford, Conn., on April 13, 1937, piloting 1,100 miles to Miami, Fla., where he had lunch 4 hours and 55 minutes later.
     After compliments to his hosts and the cooks, Hawks proceeded to fly all the way up to Newark Airport, N.J., in 4 hours and 21 minutes for a grand dinner reception at The Robert Treat Hotel. Time Flies continued to set records and make friends for the proposition of “roadable aviation” until in 1938 when Frank Hawks at age 41 crashed at takeoff from a soggy grass field in upstate New York.
     The death of the famed aviator ended the Gwinn Aircar dream.
     But Hawk’s fame and the catchy term Time Flies thought up by a watch company, continues to resonate some seventy years later.As example in 1935, Hawks flew a Northrop Gamma 8,090 miles from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles in three days, logging 40 hours of flying time while making eight fueling and rest stops along the way.
     Taking off on May 3, Hawks broke 10 intercity speed records on the way to Los Angeles.
     This included the 3,430 miles from Cristobal, Panama, to Los Angeles — which he covered in 17 hours, 50 minutes.
     The entire 8,090-mile flight took 39 hours, 52 minutes, a full eight minutes less than his estimate.

A postscript: We were reminded of Time Flies and this story by EB (Mannie) Berlinrut, our friend and collaborator on a book we created in 1978 and again in 1988 on the history of Newark Airport,.
     Mannie served as beat reporter during the 1930’s at EWR for the old Newark Sunday Call newspaper where he knew people like Amelia and Howard Hughes, Billy Mitchell and Charles Lindbergh, Laura Ingalls and Wiley Post as every day or occasional visitors at EWR.
     Last time we saw Mannie a couple years back at age 90, he was still going strong.
     Mannie also knew and very much liked Frank Hawks as he recalled talking to him after that MIA/EWR leg.
“Hawks was a “good one above the clouds and down on the ground,” Mannie said.