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Geoffrey FIATA Fellow
   Vol. 15  No. 58
Monday August 1, 2016

 

ACIA A Collaborative Effort

LIonel van der Walt     While none of it guarantees success and memories may drift back to other initiatives like GCGAC, which took off with great promise only to disappear underfoot almost as quickly, Cargo Network Service’s new President Lionel van der Walt has hit the ground running with a surprise announcement earlier this summer of yet another air cargo conference, set for Washington, D.C., this year.
     The new “Air Cargo Industry Affairs Summit” (ACIA) is scheduled for October 4-5 in Washington, D.C.
     This CNS-backed event brings a thoughtful and completely innovative wrinkle to events of this type by delivering a program developed with a number of major associations that lead and represent the various constituents participating in the air cargo value chain.
     The key here is in the wide group of people from every discipline of air cargo who are taking the plunge into what might seem like an impossible dream.
     But here in Washington, where what happens can affect the world, air cargo may have finally found a new voice.
     “The focus of the program,” Lionel exclaims, “will deal with key industry affairs topics that are of mutual and unique common interest up and down the supply chain, “he told FlyingTypers.
     “We are close to confirming senior officials from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Treasury Department.
     “As many are government employees, the process requires approvals within their departments before we can publically announce their participation.
     “Right now CNS is involved in building this event with partners Airforwarders Association (AFA), Airlines for America (A4A), Cargo Airline Association (CAA), Express Association of America (EAA), Express Delivery & Logistics Association (XLA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), National Customs Broker and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).”


Keeping On Track

      “Our event discussion tracks are meant to focus on the importance of air cargo and many of the issues that we face from a regulatory aspect.
     For example, here is a preview of just one of the ACIA agenda tracks that touches everyone in our industry:
     “The Economic Importance of Air Cargo and its Role In e-Commerce.
     “With a large focus on e-Commerce, air cargo is adapting. We ask what is in it for air cargo and what has to change (or not) to meet the move by many companies like Amazon?
     “This panel will discuss the importance of air cargo in the future growth of e-Commerce and the impact it has on the American economy. Issues to be discussed include needed regulatory and IT changes, the growth of U.S. exports and the jobs created by the air cargo industry.
     “We want to hear and expand the conversation about the current Commerce Department National Export Initiative,” Lionel said.


Driving Change In the Cards?

     “ACIA offers a targeted agenda of critical issues that will impact and could even change the way air cargo does business out of the U.S. We may discover in some cases that regulations may not be in alignment and create red tape for U.S. exporters and transporters,” Lionel said.
     “Other priorities on the ACIA agenda include security, customs, and airports.
     “The event will also have a panel of political analysts to discuss the political changes that may happen due to this year’s Presidential election.”


Why Another Conference?

      “The air cargo industry is going through one of the most difficult periods in its history, driven by factors such as weak global trade, overcapacity, currency fluctuations, the impact of unexpected external shocks such as terror attacks leading to additional costly systems and procedures, and the list goes on,” Lionel said.
     “Competition is, in a word, fierce, with the continuing modal shift a real threat as the 800-pound gorilla in the room.
     “Ocean Freight rates are at all-time lows and the sector is embracing new technologies that provide access to products that were traditionally moved by air, such as pharmaceuticals and perishables.
     “It is critical that the industry come together, to address these concerns head on and create a new base of understanding with an action plan for the future that can benefit everyone.
     “Frankly we are concerned that there is a fundamental lack of air cargo knowledge at the senior level in some government departments.
     “It is therefore incumbent upon industry leaders to create a basic understanding and communication with these key government officials to hear our concerns and interact with our industry leaders to ensure that they understand the challenges we face.
     “We also need to make sure that politicians appreciate and understand the implications of their decisions on our industry and understand the value that air cargo adds to the U.S. economy and its citizens.
     “Air cargo is a force for good that often gets overlooked and taken for granted. You only have to imagine a world without air cargo and how that would impact our lives, to understand this importance.
     “With the need to focus on and interact with the government entities such as CBP, TSA, FAA, Trade and Commerce, etc., we feel that choosing Washington, D.C., as their home base for the meeting location makes a lot of sense,” Lionel van der Walt declared.
For More on ACIA, click here.
Geoffrey


chuckles for August 1, 2016

Marco Rohrer and JO Frigger

 Alex Tan  “Singapore has been an international trading hub for centuries and has become the most important logistics center for Southeast Asia,” said Jo Frigger, Chairman of EMO Trans as EMO Trans Logistics Singapore Pte. Ltd. opened for business on August 1, 2016.
   We are not sure how they celebrated the opening but no doubt EMO got right down to business.
Marco Rohrer, President & CEO declared:
   “Singapore is a strategically important location to support our growing business in that region.
   “Emo Trans Singapore is ideally located in the Changi Cargo Village and Alex Tan has been appointed Managing Director of EMO Trans Logistics Singapore Pte. Ltd.
   Looking ahead EMO Trans opens a second office in Malaysia on August 8, 2016.
   EMO’s new office at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) debuts just three months after the establishment of EMO Logistics Malaysia Sbn Bhd.
   Headquartered in Freeport, New York, EMO Trans celebrated 50 years in 2015, and today moves out boldly providing a broad range of customized logistics solutions through its global network.
More: www.emotrans.com.



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Ron Davies A Man And His Airlines
Charting Airport HistoryIt is hard to think of aviation history and not include the man who singlehandedly created the greatest and most prolific stream of aviation-related books, recording not only the history of several of the world’s airlines but also the entire detailed story of commercial aviation itself.
To say that aviation history really starts and stops with R.E.G. Davies is no overstatement.


     But I so loved this guy and could sit and talk to him for hours. He devotedly cared for over 400 different books— books he treasured and read and reread in his home in Virginia before cataloging and carefully packing each one for me when he retired and departed the U.S. for the UK.
     So the following article about Ron (as we called him) has put me at arm’s length for the moment.
     The “Why REG Davies Matters” piece, written by Christopher H. Sterling and Ron’s daughter, Jackie Scott Mandeville, who have also collaborated to create a beautiful homage to the great aviation historian, allows an in-depth look at exactly what made Ron Davies the greatest aviation historian and essayist in the history of the world.


Foundation For An Aviation Library

     The new book by Sterling & Mandeville titled Airlines: Charting Air Transport History with R.E.G. Davies may sound a bit like a travelogue, but the content just jumps off the pages. The authors trace a man and his airlines, covering so much of Ron Davies written work and several unpublished manuscripts.
     This is no vanity piece either. No acres of “inside stuff” with narrow appeal.
     It is a glorious document and a road map into the mind of the great Davies.
     In point of fact, if you have an aviation library or are starting one, this single edition can be the foundation for your entire collection, pointing the way and connecting the dots of air transport history by the master of that form.


Essays For All Seasons

     Especially wonderful are the essays that Ron wrote of things close to his heart, including ‘There Will Never Be Another Pan Am.” Also his personal account of his days working for the great Sir Peter Masefield after the Second World War in the UK Ministry of Civil Aviation in the chapter “Lives That Dreams Are Made of.”
     Davies moved from government work, where he set up what has to be the first ever Market Research Department in commercial aviation for the U.K., to de Havilland Aircraft in 1959, to functioning as the key component of Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach, California, in 1968.
     When Ron was invited in 1981 to sit in the first Lindbergh Chair of Aviation History at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM ) in Washington, D.C., it marked a slam dunk for recorded aviation history.


Chronicled History

REG Davies and Geoffrey Arend     Ron Davies was given the time and resources to create the greatest record of commercial aviation, including the aforementioned books on aviation and air transport history—more than 25 in all—alongside hundreds of published essays and studies.
     The output of Ron Davies began simply enough with a lovely effort titled A History of the World Airlines published in 1964 while Ron was still in the U.K. He said of that stellar work, simply:
     “I decided there ought to be books describing commercial aviation achievements, not just about airplanes killing people, but there were none.”
     Perhaps my personal favorite aspect of his work is the completely distinct and unique chapter of Davies graphics that Ron would create in his books.
     In fact, until we met and he moved into more airplane, people, and airport graphics—partnering with Mike Machat in the epoch airline series that included American, Delta, Lufthansa, United, and a dozen more—Ron would often tell a story and draw a chart about the topic.

Ron Davies Lindbergh Survey Map


     His drawings were unique and I often thought should be framed.
     Here is a drawing Ron created for us in 1987 when were tracking the 60th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s post-1927 Trans Atlantic flight activities, as the aviator travelled around the world in his famed Lockheed Sirius during the “Jelling Expedition” between July 9 and December 8, 1933.
     That flight surveyed the North Atlantic, examined weather conditions, and even opened up talks for landing rights.
     You can write a thousand words (and Ron surely did) but this one hand drawn picture tells the story at a glance of how key elements of the world’s airline systems were born.

Ron Davies Video 1
Ron Davies Video 2
Ron Davies Video 3
Part I: A Look At Developments Part 2:  About Rail Services Part 3: Aviation Greats
   


Trails To Rails

     Perhaps even more interesting was Ron’s view of railroads in 2011 that he discussed on video here and thankfully included by Sterling and Mandeville.
     After a lifetime of doing battle between the airlines and railroads for the soul of travel—a battle that found the airlines victorious more than 60 years ago—the greatest aviation historian of all time took a last look at transport on Page 250 by looking forward at rail versus air. The view is absolutely fascinating, informative, and first-rate Ron Davies.
     Ron always had the original thoughts; the rest of us were just messengers.
     At the very end, after Ron retired from NASM but before he returned to the U.K., we were drinking lagers and talking with Ron & Chris Sterling at Ron’s place in Mclean, Virginia. On a whim I took out my camera and recorded the videos that you see here.
     Ron had not lost a beat.
     Shortly after arriving home, on July 30, 2011, at 90 years of age, Ron unexpectedly died.
     I often think about my friend and am glad this final volume, Airlines, was created. For generations new and old, it opens the door to the great work and legacy of a man who blazed a trail in recording commercial aviation history.
Geoffrey


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Why Ron Davies Matters

     In the summer of 2011 Geoffrey Arend wrote an obituary about his friend, Ron (R.E.G.) Davies, for FlyingTypers. In it Geoff eulogized their long friendship and close association, praising Ron’s enduring legacy to air transport history—his many airline books, his indefatigable research, and his contribution to aviation archives. After more than 40 years in the USA, 30 of them spent as the first Curator of Air Transport at the National Air and Space Museum, Ron had returned to his home country of England after finally retiring at the age of 89. He died a few months later, shortly after his 90th birthday.
     Davies’s six decades in air transport began in the late 1940s, briefly in the British Air Ministry and then in the British and then U.S. airliner business (1948-1981), and then as a respected airline historian at the Air and Space Museum (1981-2011). His work spanned the crucial decades of rapid airline transformation and growth. Ron recorded that era, his output of articles and books paralleling the growing airlines and their expanding local, regional, and global route structures. Lectures, articles, reports, and research files proliferated, but Ron’s book production was also prodigious: 25 books on airline history including two seminal reference volumes detailing the history of the world’s airlines (in 1964 and 2011); detailed regional histories of airlines in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia; a series of pictorial books on specific airlines and their airliners, and several other books on interesting air transport subjects ranging from airline mavericks to his dour economic view of the Concorde.
     Ron bookended his research career with A History of the World’s Airlines in 1964 and Airlines of the Jet Age: A History in 2011 (the latter published only weeks before he died). He was inexhaustible, incomparably productive, totally enthusiastic and dedicated to his subject, and as a result, he can, without hesitation, be justly defined as the doyen of air transport historians—certainly among the greatest in his field. Indeed, he could justifiably be called a pioneer of airline history as he began tracing the industry in the 1950s, although it was not until later in the 20th century that air transport history became a recognized topic for scholarly study—in no small part because of his own research and writing.
     Peter Jakab, chief curator at the National Air and Space Museum, summarizes the importance of Ron Davies to the field of aviation history in his foreword to the new publication Airlines: Charting Air Transport History with R.E.G. Davies (Paladwr Press, 2016; edited by Professor Christopher H. Sterling and Jackie Scott-Mandeville) when he says:
     “Long before the evolution of the field of aerospace history began, a pioneering aviation historian had already published what would become, and still remains, one of the foundational works in the history of commercial aviation… his now classic A History of the World’s Airlines …. Few historians can be credited with pioneering a new field…. [but] R.E.G. Davies was such an historian…. Simply stated, his work charted the initial historical landscape of commercial aviation, and it is hard to envision any single historian having the pervasive impact on the field that he did, for as long as he did.”
     So, yes, R.E.G. Davies surely does matter. For anyone interested in any aspect of airline history, Ron’s books not only provide detailed and meticulous information, but their informative texts are highlighted by maps and charts designed and drawn by him that easily illustrate every aspect of the history he describes. The fat files, “dossiers,” of every airline in the world compiled in his office at NASM, provide an invaluable archive for other researchers to follow. His aircraft industry reports underline his genius for developing effective means of market forecasting in the airline business. His articles for popular magazines such as Airways displayed his talent for succinct views about different airlines and their leaders as well as fascinating accounts of his often unusual forays to different parts of the world on sometimes little known airlines flying from remote airfields. His love of classic airlines such as Pan American led to both articles and books. His charts and maps are signature works of art, his style one that is immediately recognizable. In Airlines: Charting Air Transport History with R.E.G. Davies, the editors have carefully selected some of the best lectures and articles, charts and maps, that Ron Davies produced.
Karin Frigger, Ron Davies, Jo Frigger     There is still another reason why Ron Davies matters and why he will—and should—be remembered. To quote Geoffrey Arend: “The thing about Ron was his pure sense of excitement and awe for aviation. He never aged a day in my view—he was always like an excited kid about aviation. I find that constantly drawing my attention.” It was Ron’s infectious enthusiasm for his subject, his avid keenness to discuss and communicate every aspect of his work, and unstinting willingness to share his knowledge with every airline aficionado whether researcher, colleague, lecture audience, or friend—or anyone else who would listen to his ebullient discourses—that endeared him, and therefore his subject, to his listeners. Despite, or maybe because of, his lack of formal academic training, he brought a liveliness to even the most mundane detail of airline history. His entertaining stories and endless anecdotes, whether about airline magnates from Juan Trippe to Richard Branson, his own travel experiences to well over 120 countries, or insider tales about airline shenanigans, made airlines and their airliners, their crews, even details of their insignia, come alive.
     This new book for and about Ron Davies seeks to capture some of Ron’s eagerness and energy.      There are also some original and fascinating articles by newer aviation historians, and a collection of reminiscences from people who knew Ron (including your editor, Geoffrey Arend) which satisfyingly indicate in their affectionate encomiums, and records of friendship and association, exactly why Ron Davies matters.
Christopher Sterling & Jacie Scott Mandeville


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