Saturday, February 26, 2005

Congrats Denver

DIA is about to celebrate 10 years as the most advanced airport in the US system. A triple ILS approach, how about that! Here are two excellent articles on the airport, and another funny one.

Congratulations to David Kesmodel as well. His guest speaking spots in Prof. Simmons classes are always enjoyable.

More nonstop daily flights to China...

The fight for the Chinese market heats up. What is amazing though is how an airline in Chap 11 can expand. Normally this is counterintuitive. However, International routes are the money makers, and the last thing United needs now is extra competition. It may work to UA's favor after all. United has the jump on the competition in terms of creating the new legacy airline business model. The rumor circling the Denver hub is 20% mainline operation, 40% Ted and 40% United Express. Of course, let me offer this disclaimer. It was once breifed out to us UAX SkyWest guys that a rumour was going around that we might groundhandle Ted. The rumour was going around, because my friend started it on the bus to the employee parking lot! He wanted to see how fast it would spread.

The Future of Combat Flight cont...

Here's another link to blogs of war.

Thank You King Soopers

After my little tantrum on the last post, I fired a quick comment off to King Soopers. When I got home from work today the assistant store manager had left two messages on our phone. Situation resolved with a heartfelt apology and I "it will never happen again" pledge. Holy Crap, I think I'm actually smiling!

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Ah, the Drama

Up until this point, all of my posts have revolved around the aviation aspect of the site and not the student portion. So this shall be the first. As a full-time student and a full-time entry level airline employee, I don't bring home much money. With four small mouths to feed, we need little help from time to time. We use WIC. That does not mean we are dead beats. So why does the checkout lady at King Soopers take a verbal dumping on my wife over the WIC order? Does our reproduction offend you? Are you mad at your parents? I know we are a single consumer and our few hundred bucks a month doesn't matter too much to the store, but this kind of thing makes me want to start using the Super Wal-Mart.

The Future of Combat Flight

The question is out there, will the F-22 raptor and the JSF be the last of the manned combat craft? Check this out. Personally, I think it will play out like Robert Heinlein predicts in "Starship Troopers." (The wonderful book, not the horrid movie.) It's not really yours until you have a man on the ground, or in this case, in the air.

As a quick side note, "Starship Troopers" was influential in my decision to join the Corps. Every Marine a rifleman, even us Ordies IYAOYAS.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Guest Speaker

Centennial Airport (APA) is the third busiest General Aviation (GA) reliever airport in the country. Having an airport of this considerable size so close to Metro State is a distinct benefit of attending. Not only does APA provide training and employment opportunities for students, the personnel of the airport are excellent resources for industry insight. This was the case when Michael Fronapfel spoke to Professor Price’s Airport Management class on Tuesday, February 15.

Mr. Fronapfel addressed the operational and planning aspects of a GA airport. This included his time as an intern to his current position as the Noise Supervisor and Senior Planner. Interspersed throughout his presentation were anecdotes and pictures of incidents and accidents. Mr. Fronapfel’s involvement with APA extends from snow removal to overseeing the Airport Improvement Program (AIP). His experience as Senior Planner included the construction of two high-speed taxiway connectors and resurfacing of the alpha taxiway. Mr. Fronapfel also spoke extensively about noise abatement. As the Noise Supervisor, he frequently presents to community groups and is involved with local politics surrounding the airport. Among his most distinctive experiences is his involvement with the part 150 study recently conducted for APA. Because of his enthusiasm for, and experiences in airport management, Mr. Fronapfel was an excellent representative for the APA internship program. He stressed the usefulness of the internship in an airport management career and provided advice for students interested in seeking the internship.

Michael Fronapfel’s presentation to Professor Price’s Airport Management class was an excellent example of GA airport management experience. The presentation revealed how dynamic a career in management at a GA airport can be. From emergency responder, to snow plow driver, to community representative of the airport, Mr. Fronapfel has a wide variety of experiences to draw from. His presentation, culminating with the briefing on the APA internship, was an excellent recruitment for those interested in the airport management field.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Now That's a Twist

The news that US Airways has received a major financing offer is not too surprising. After all, commercial aviation has a creation glamour factor. How else to explain this and this. What is surprising is who one of the major players is. AWAC's entire existence for quite some time has been to blend with United as United Express. Could recent developments between the two be the cause between a rather bold move for AWAC? Since AWAC has long been looked at as United light, it would make sense that a major casualty of United's chapter 11 adventures is a downturn in the relationship between the two. By positioning itself as a power behind a revitalized US Airways, AWAC may have found a way to survive and thrive without UA. Of course, this is contingent on whether or not US Air can come out of bankruptcy competitively. Still, the move by AWAC is a bold one for a traditionally conservative company in a conservative portion of the commercial market. It would be a twist indeed if AWAC left the UA fold and became a major player at UA's main North American Star Alliance partner.

Continuing the theme, United has announced a plan to leave bankruptcy (again) by next fall. I know that as the second largest carrier in the United States and with the billions of dollars at stake, many do not want the airline to fail. The number of people that will be affected, not to mention the airlines close relationship with Washington DC (Washington-Dulles is a main hub) means that keeping the airline afloat is politically desirable, but when is enough enough? Of course based on sheer numbers alone, a standard one year chapter 11 is next to impossible. This isn't the neighborhood bakery. Each aircraft alone is worth enough to keep most small businesses afloat for years and the number of employees in a single outstation (not a hub, just an outstation) is enough to staff a medium size restaurant. However, at some point the end most come. The industry is bloated and allowing an airline to compete unfairly for three years is unhealthy and unfair. Eventually the money that is being spent while US is in chap. 11 will have to come off someone's books. As a Denver native, I want UA to succeed, (I remember when we were a three hub town) but while Delta flirts with chap. 11 and other airlines struggle along, UA has the power of the gavel to enforce change. If the airline cannot pull out of its financial tailspin this Autumn as the current plan now specifies, the plug should be pulled.


Here is a really cool site.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

No, I'm not rich but...

One of the great things about working in commercial aviation is the flight benefit. Although I've taken several trips, I'm really excited about the next one. My son and I are going to jump the first flight to San Diego, catch a boat for a 1/2 day fishing trip and then catch the last flight out. All this from an entry level job. I get to take my son fishing in the Pacific even though I live in Colorado. Things like this are why people say that "aviation gets in your blood."

Friday, February 18, 2005

Things are Still Changing

In a article published on 02/07/2005 by The Weekly of Business Aviation, Dave Collogan reported that Lockheed Martin won a contract to operate the nations Flight Service Station. The FAA estimates the move will save $2.2 Billion over ten years. The move is controversial because of the state of the current FSS employees who are federal government workers and will loose their pensions after the transition. However, AOPA endorsed the deal, expecting better service from a private contractor, and pointing to FAA analysis and review to keep the system functioning smoothly. As FSS changes are made, the student pilots at Metro will be affected. Hopefully, the predictions made by AOPA and Lockheed Martin will hold and the ease with which valuable information, particularly weather, is acquired will increase.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Here we go

If I'm going to put a project together recommending that the avaiton department begin blogging, maybe I better start myself, huh. I honestly did not realize it was as easy as putting the URL in the navigator and filling in a couple of lines. Funny how the computer has changed everything. As a student, I remeber when the computer was nothing more than typewriter that didn't need whiteout, now try doing a paper without a computer. I guess you still could, but I feel sorry for the person that tries.
I guess that it is time to try a link, and since I'm working on the web project for school, why not link there? Here is metro's aviaiton website.
So my title is avaiton student, what happens in May when I graduate?