Mainline Aviation Enhances Services With Final Mile Integration

Mainline Aviation announced the enhancement of its service capabilities with the integration of final mile logistics for the largest international catering operation in Atlanta. This strategic move significantly amplifies Mainline Aviation’s ability to offer seamless, end-to-end catering solutions, further cementing its role as a comprehensive service provider.

“We are excited to embark on this new chapter of growth and expansion,” said Steve Lenderman, CEO of Mainline Aviation and Co-CEO of Goldbergs Group. “The transition of the final mile division aligns with our strategic vision to offer end-to-end solutions for our valued airline partners, giving Mainline Aviation complete responsibility for all operational metrics in this facility.”

This expansion not only expands Mainline Aviation’s service range but also substantially grows its workforce, adding over 170 highly skilled professionals into the company. The growth enhances operational capabilities while also fueling new opportunities for staff development. Committed to fostering a nurturing and ambitious work environment, Mainline Aviation continuously invests in the professional development of its team members, empowering them to reach new heights of success.

The integration of a final mile division solidifies Mainline Aviation’s standing as a leader in flight services, creating comprehensive, streamlined catering solutions spanning the entirety of the service chain. Mainline Aviation is dedicated to innovation and continuous improvement with a focus on safety, efficiency, and customer-centric solutions. The brand is poised to lead the way in delivering exceptional flight services for years to come.

One Dead, Many Injured During Extreme Turbulence En Route From London to Singapore

A man aboard a Singapore Airlines flight en route from London to died and dozens of other passengers and crew were injured during extreme turbulence. The flight, (flight SQ321), ended up diverting to Bangkok, Thailand, where multiple passengers were taken off the aircraft on stretchers and others were treated at the scene. The man who perished, was a 73-year-old man from the U. K.

The plane was a Boeing 777-300ER with 211 people onboard and at least 71 people were reported to have injuries. The flight left Heathrow Airport on Monday en route to Singapore and was about 10 hours into the flight. The flight time to Singapore from London is about 13 hours.

A statement released by the airline said:

“Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight SQ321, operating from London (Heathrow) to Singapore on 20 May 2024,20 May 2024, encountered sudden extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure. The pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the aircraft to Bangkok, and landed at 1545hrs local time on 21 May 2024.

We can confirm that there were multiple injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

As of 1950hrs Singapore time on 21 May 2024, 18 individuals had been hospitalised. Another 12 were being treated in hospitals. The remaining passengers and crew were being examined and given treatment, where necessary, at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok.

There were a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew on board.

The nationalities of the passengers are as follows: 56 from Australia, 2 from Canada, 1 from Germany, 3 from India, 2 from Indonesia, 1 from Iceland, 4 from Ireland, 1 from Israel, 16 from Malaysia, 2 from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, 5 from the Philippines, 41 from Singapore, 1 from South Korea, 2 from Spain, 47 from the United Kingdom, and 4 from the United States of America.

Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight. We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time.

We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance. A Singapore Airlines team is on its way to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed.

SIA is working with the relevant authorities on the investigation into this incident.

Relatives seeking information may call the Singapore Airlines hotlines at +65 6542 3311 (Singapore), 1800-845-313 (Australia), and 080-0066-8194 (the United Kingdom).”

Worldwide Travel Advisory Issued by U.S. State Department

Just as the summer travel season begins in earnest, the U. S. State Department issue a worldwide travel alert for travelers, especially anyone identifying as LGBTQI+. The alert advises caution and alertness in tourist areas, due to potential threats of violence against them.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

Due to the potential for terrorist attacks, demonstrations, or violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests, the Department of State advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution.  The Department of State is aware of the increased potential for foreign terrorist organization-inspired violence against LGBTQI+ persons and events and advises U.S. citizens overseas to exercise increased caution. U.S. citizens should:

  • Stay alert in locations frequented by tourists, including Pride celebrations and venues frequented by LGBTQI+ persons.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information and alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency overseas.

Congressman Wittman, House Committee on Armed Services, Tours U.S.-based UAV Disruptor RapidFlight

RapidFlight, designer and mass manufacturer of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) for the global defense industry, hosted Congressman Rob Wittman (VA-01), Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, at its headquarters in Manassas, Virginia, last week.

RapidFlight gave Congressman Wittman an update on its ability to immediately disrupt the industry with affordable, mission-customizable drones that can provide five times the capability in range and endurance at a fraction of the unit price compared to traditional small UAV systems available today. The company’s approach, called AgileAviation, includes more than 20 customizable UAV designs to date and a proprietary software-hardware stack that takes aim at ensuring that the U.S. will compete with overseas production in countries such as China. 

During a two-hour visit, RapidFlight demonstrated its approach to cracking the UAV code, including a tour of its mass manufacturing facility that employs dozens of local workers and its ability to manufacture at the tactical edge with its Mobile Production System (MPS), introduced earlier this year. RapidFlight’s approach begins with the mission in mind and then builds an airframe around the payload, helping create more effective unmanned systems customized to complete the specific mission at hand. RapidFlight’s AgileAviation approach means its UAVs can flexibly integrate variants including the propulsion, navigation, payload, and communication systems in support of the United States and its allies.

During the visit, Wittman asserted the needs of the U.S. Armed Forces and its allies for innovative, mass produced yet quickly customizable ready-now solutions to address an increasingly challenging global environment.

“We get so wrapped up in doing science project after science project, but you have to be able to scale it and have an operational effect,” said Wittman, discussing the current state of Pentagon technology development.

Earlier this year, Congressman Wittman played an integral role in incorporating the American Security Drone Act within the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The act is helping promote American superiority and competitiveness within the drone market while protecting against IP theft and data security violations by adversaries. Now, Congressman Wittman is visiting established domestic drone manufacturers, such as RapidFlight, that are bringing advanced, affordable, and mission-adaptable U.S. drone production for defense needs at scale.

After Congressman Wittman familiarized himself with RapidFlight and its flexible manufacturing capabilities at its Virginia industrial facility and at the tactical edge through its MPS program, he took questions from RapidFlight staff about the future of defense technology, global affairs, and next steps for the sector.

“Our great men and women in uniform need tools to get the job done,” said Wittman, during the question-and-answer session with RapidFlight personnel. “Thank you for being the innovators and creators we need.”

“Congressional engagement with companies like RapidFlight is critical to national defense. Congressman Wittman can help facilitate innovative solutions from emerging manufacturers aimed at bolstering our national defense strategy,” said Mike Uffelman, director of Growth at RapidFlight. “We are excited to work with our elected officials on Capitol Hill to provide our service members with the tools they need to accomplish the mission.”

Beep Autonomous Shuttle Service Launches at Honolulu’s International Airport in First-of-its-Kind Deployment with Sustainability Partners and Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation

Beep, Inc. announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with Sustainability Partners and the Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation (HDOT) for the launch of an 18-month autonomous shuttle pilot at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu.

“Through our partnership with Sustainability Partners, we’re honored that HDOT and HNL have placed their trust in our experience, leadership and differentiated approach of safe and integrated autonomous mobility with the launch of the Miki shuttle pilot service,” said Beep CEO Joe Moye. “Our fleet of turnkey shared and electric autonomous shuttles prioritizes safety and sustainability while enhancing the airport travel experience for passengers. As Beep continues to pioneer innovative partnerships with airports nationwide, this inaugural test program showcases the emerging potential of advanced solutions that can augment existing transport options everywhere, unveiling a new era of seamless, efficient passenger mobility.”

The pilot program includes four autonomous and electric shuttles that can transport 11 passengers including a shuttle attendant, increasing mobility frequency and providing first- and last-mile transport options alongside the existing Wiki Wiki shuttle bus service. Shuttles will move between the airport’s C Gates with three stops for Miki’s short route, while a longer route will transport guests between C and G Gates with two stops. The service will be available seven days a week between 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. local time, including holidays and weekends.

“We are pleased to work with Beep to implement an innovative new approach to passenger mobility that brings autonomous transportation technology to the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport,” said Ed Sniffen, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation director. “Beep and the Miki shuttles embody the future of transportation across the state, supporting our larger sustainability goals while enhancing the traveler experience.”

The pilot program made possible by essential infrastructure leader, Sustainability Partners, which actively supports Hawai’i in procuring electric vehicles and charging infrastructure on a per-mile cost basis.

“The leadership displayed by the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and Beep in launching the Miki shuttles for airport passengers strongly reflects their commitment to innovation and more environmentally sustainable transportation,” said Sustainability Partners CEO Thomas Cain. “We are delighted to help facilitate the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation’s plan and look forward to watching the positive effects this will have in assisting the existing transportation system and flow of passengers at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport.”

ESS Technology Takes Off at Schiphol to Decarbonize Air Transportation

ESS Tech, Inc. (ESS), manufacturer of long-duration energy storage (LDES) systems for commercial and utility-scale applications, has announced that commissioning has been completed on the initial system installed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This marks the launch of a project designed to reduce carbon emissions by electrifying ground operations.

The ESS system will enable Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to phase out polluting diesel ground power units that currently supply electrical power to aircraft while parked at airport gates. These will be replaced with Electric Ground Power Units (E-GPUs). The electrification of ground operations will reduce carbon emissions and air pollution, providing a model for airports worldwide seeking to reduce the climate impacts of air transportation.

The project at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will support the Royal Schiphol Group’s ambitious climate targets and is supported by the TULIPS consortium. TULIPS is an EU-funded consortium of airports across Europe seeking to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy within Europe’s aviation sector.

“Schiphol intends to be a zero-emission airport by 2030 across our buildings, assets and equipment,” said Oscar Maan, Royal Schiphol Group manager of innovation. “Cutting edge, clean technology such as ESS’ iron flow battery system enables us to decarbonize ground operations and is a vital step for us to progress towards this sustainable future. As leaders of the TULIPS consortium, we hope this project demonstrates how clean technology can be implemented in the aviation industry throughout Europe.”

Organizations are increasingly turning to LDES solutions, such as ESS’ iron flow technology which powers the Energy Warehouse, that provide increased flexibility and longer design-life than lithium-ion technology. The project will demonstrate how LDES can enable the electrification of ground support equipment, such as the E-GPUs, while reducing the need to upgrade regional grid infrastructure. ESS’ iron flow technology provides cost-effective LDES ideal for applications that require up to twelve hours of flexible energy capacity. ESS technology was selected due to its inherent fire safety, making it suitable for use in close proximity to passenger aircraft.

“Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has set an ambitious goal for decarbonization and has provided great leadership in taking the necessary actions to make it real,” said Eric Dresselhuys, CEO of ESS. “This project provides a blueprint for LDES to safely provide clean, reliable energy in airport operations and reduce fossil fuel dependence. This pioneering project will encourage other European airports to follow the TULIPS lead and deploy technologies to achieve climate targets and accelerate air industry decarbonization.”

DHS, CISA Announce Membership Changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced changes to the Cyber Safety Review Board (CSRB) membership. Four current members of the CSRB will depart and four new members will join the board. 

Departing members include:

  • Katie Moussouris, Founder and CEO, Luta Security
  • Chris Novak, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Verizon Threat Research Advisory Center
  • Tony Sager, Senior Vice President and Chief Evangelist, Center for Internet Security, and
  • Wendi Whitmore, Senior Vice President, Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks

Joining the CSRB:

  • Jamil Jaffer, Venture Partner Paladin Capital Group and Founder and Executive Director, National Security Institute, George Mason University Scalia Law School
  • David Luber, Director, Cybersecurity Directorate, NSA
  • Katie Nickels, Senior Director of Intelligence Operations, Red Canary
  • Chris Krebs, Chief Intelligence and Public Policy Officer, Sentinel One

David Luber will serve as the Federal CSRB representative from the NSA, replacing Rob Joyce upon his retirement. Joyce has been asked to continue to serve on the board as a private sector member.

“I can’t thank Katie, Chris, Tony, and Wendi enough for the outstanding contributions they’ve made as CSRB members. I am truly grateful for their service on the Board,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly.  “I am also very pleased to welcome Jamil, Dave, Katie, and Chris to the Board. I know their cybersecurity expertise and experience will be instrumental in the continuing evolution of the CSRB as a catalyst for positive change in the cybersecurity ecosystem.”

Robert Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy, and Heather Adkins, Vice President for Security Engineering at Google, have been re-appointed as the Chair and Deputy Chair respectively for a second term by Easterly. 

“I send my sincere thanks to the departing members and welcome those who are beginning their service,” said Under Secretary Silvers. “The Cyber Safety Review Board will continue in its charge to conduct fact finding and develop lessons learned from the most serious cyber incidents.”

“It has been an honor to serve on the CSRB and I am looking forward to seeing the Board continue to evolve its important role in the cybersecurity ecosystem as we increase the security of the nation,” said Deputy Chair Adkins.  

Other returning members include:

  • Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-Founder and Chairman, Silverado Policy Accelerator and Co-Founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike, Inc.
  • Harry Coker, Jr., National Cyber Director, Office of the National Cyber Director
  • Jerry Davis, Founder, Gryphon X
  • Chris DeRusha, Federal Chief Information Security Officer, Office of Management and Budget
  • Eric Goldstein, Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
  • Marshall Miller, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice
  • John Sherman, Chief Information Officer, Department of Defense
  • Bryan Vorndran, Assistant Director, Cyber Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The CSRB conducts fact-finding and issues recommendations in the wake of major cyber incidents. The Board is made up of cybersecurity luminaries from the private sector and senior officials from DHS, CISA, the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the National Cyber Director, and the Office of Management and Budget.

As directed by President Biden through Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, Secretary Mayorkas established the CSRB in February 2022. The Board is administered by CISA on behalf of the Secretary. The Board’s reviews are conducted independently, and its conclusions are independently reached. DHS and the CSRB are committed to transparency and will, whenever possible, release public versions of CSRB reports, consistent with applicable law and the need to protect sensitive information from disclosure.  

UK Man Fined $20,000 for Misbehavior

Alexander MacDonald, 30, of Chelmsford, England, a passenger who yelled and became physically aggressive on a United Airlines flight from London to Newark caused the crew to divert to Bangor, Maine in March. United Airlines Flight 883, left Heathrow Airport near London on March 1 and headed to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Several hours into the flight the lead flight attendant heard loud arguing and asked the man to lower his voice, according to an affidavit. He agreed, but minutes later he was yelling again, this time at another flight attendant, the affidavit says. The cabin crew tried to calm MacDonald down but he “would not listen and continued to be verbally and physically aggressive,” according to the affidavit. MacDonald threatened to “mess up the plane,” the affidavit states. He also put his hands on the purser’s shoulders and backed the purser into a corner, the document says. Crew and passengers restrained him in flexible handcuffs. He “continued to be noncompliant” and the flight was diverted. MacDonald has been ordered to pay the airline $20,638 in restitution, according to federal prosecutors. He was sentenced April 25 to time already served, prosecutors said. He had been in custody since March 1, when he was arrested after the flight landed at Bangor International Airport. He pleaded guilty on March 22 to one count of interfering with a flight crew, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

TSA Announces the Publication of the Flight Training Security Program Final Rule

 The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published in the Federal Register a final rule for the Flight Training Security Program. The final rule updates the Program to improve its efficiency and effectiveness, including the security threat assessment process for flight training students. The final rule will take effect on July 30, 2024.   

Until the regulation takes effect, all requirements and existing processes remain as is stated in the current regulations (49 CFR part 1552) and on the program portal.  

The Flight Training Security Program, which has been in effect since at the Department of Homeland Security and TSA since 2004, covers flight training providers, including individual Certified Flight Instructors, who provide training to all flight students, with the exception of foreign military pilots training in the United States through a Department of Defense endorsement and in accordance with the U.S. International Military Education and Training Program. All non-citizen flight trainees are subject to a Security Threat Assessment, which is a TSA background check conducted on all databases relevant to confirming an individual’s identity, that the individual possesses lawful status in the United States, and that the individual does not pose a security threat.   

Currently, prospective trainees must submit an application and pay a fee for each training they wish to attend. The final rule is time-based. After undergoing vetting, an applicant who receives a positive determination of eligibility will receive a Certificate of Eligibility, pay a one-time fee and can train as often as desired within a five-year period as long as they remain eligible. During that period, TSA will conduct recurrent vetting to ensure no new information emerges that would affect eligibility to receive flight training.  

This change improves administration and efficiency for flight training candidates and providers. It has been made possible in part by technology improvements made to the FBI’s record of arrest and prosecution background program used by TSA as a vetting tool. TSA expects the final rule to reduce delays, improve tracking candidate training events, and support the portability of a candidate’s security threat awareness between providers. Providers will no longer pay for multiple event-based training security threat assessments.   

The final rule more clearly defines which flight training events require notification and recordkeeping and focuses on the notification of flight training events that “substantially enhance a pilot’s skills,” eliminating numbered training categories previously used. 

The final rule is intended to maintain the appropriate level of security, comply with all statutory mandates and improve efficiency for the flight training industry.  TSA believes these enhancements may improve access and opportunities for fully vetted non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. nationals to participate in flight training in the United States and with FAA-certificated flight training providers abroad.    

For more information about the changes, read the updated Flight School Training Program regulation in the Federal Register.  

Jennifer Aument Appointed CEO of The New Terminal One at JFK Airport

Jennifer Aument Appointed CEO of The New Terminal One at JFK Airport

The New Terminal One at New York John F. Kennedy International Airport today announced Jennifer Aument as its incoming CEO, set to assume the role on April 1, 2024. The New Terminal One is currently under construction with its first gates scheduled to open in 2026, in partnership with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, as part of the agency’s $19 billion transformation of JFK Airport.

Aument brings over 25 years of experience in developing major infrastructure across the highway, rail, airport, and port sectors. Her career includes executive roles in public-private partnerships and megaprojects, with a focus on safe and efficient project delivery, business performance, community engagement and customer experience. As the president and CEO of Transurban’s North American business for many years, she led the development and expansion of significant public-private infrastructure projects. Additionally, her decade-long tenure as a commissioner for the Virginia Port Authority gave her extensive insights into port operations and development. Earlier in her career, she played a key role in the development of the largest-ever extension of the Washington DC Metrorail for Bechtel.

Most recently, Aument served as chief executive of AECOM’s global transportation business, where she led a team of more than 14,000 to deliver innovative transportation solutions for clients of the industry’s preeminent transportation consulting and design firm. Previously, she spearheaded Transurban’s North American development, construction and operations as president and CEO, contributed to various publicly listed and private boards in the transportation and technology sectors, and shared her knowledge as a lecturer at Cornell University.

“I am excited to soon begin my role with the New Terminal One team and build upon the exceptional foundation that has been laid here,” said Aument. “Significant progress has positioned us well, and I look forward to working with the Port Authority and our partners in the community to set a new global standard for customer experience. My passion for infrastructure drives me and there is no better example than the New Terminal One of the transformative power of infrastructure on communities and economies. I’m thrilled to contribute to its legacy.”

She takes the helm from Dr. Gerrard Bushell, the current CEO. Dr. Bushell led The New Terminal One to lease and financial close amidst a global pandemic that disrupted air travel. He also executed on key partnerships, construction, and operational milestones and agreements; including a path-breaking Project Labor Agreement and alternative dispute resolution agreement with the Building Trades, a $3.9 billion guaranteed maximum price for the Phase A design and construction with AECOM Tishman and Gensler, strong community engagement supporting local workforce participation, and the successful delivery of nearly $800 million in awards for minority and women-owned businesses, as well as the purchase of more than 85% of the project’s trade packages. More recently, he oversaw the successful issuance of $2 billion in green bonds for the project in December 2023 to support the scheduled delivery of the project for 2026.

“We thank Gerrard for his many contributions over the years, making this project the success that it is today,” said Luke Bugeja, chairman of the board of directors of JFK NTO LLC and CEO of Ferrovial Airports. “We look forward to welcoming Jennifer to the New Terminal One team. Her dedication and passion for this industry will now bring her global vision, market insight, and energy to lead in delivering this world-class terminal to New York City, committed to local communities and travelers worldwide.”

“Jennifer brings an impressive depth of experience and a proven track record that strongly positions her to lead our project into the next phase,” Dr. Bushell remarked. “I want to express my deep gratitude to our sponsors and our exceptional team, whose commitment to excellence has been unwavering. Leading this project from the start has been both a privilege and an honor, and I’m looking forward to witnessing NTO’s continued success.”

The New Terminal One is backed by a group of industry leaders including Ferrovial, JLC Infrastructure, Ullico and Carlyle, illustrating the enduring pursuit of excellence that defines the project.