US Airways - December 2012 - (Page 12)

embark Making It Happen behind the Scenes of Your Flight Well-Grounded US Airways may be known for its service in the air, but there would be no flying without a first-rate ground-equipment operation. photos (From top) BY BrYan kinkade and BY christopher Barr by Tara Titcombe 17,166. That’s how many pieces of groundservice equipment (GSE) that US Airways uses throughout its system. And that’s how many pieces that Clint Schlundt has to keep tabs on. “The hardest part is making sure we have the right ground equipment in the right places,” says Schlundt, manager of ground-service equipment and schedule coordination. There are two types of GSE: motorized (such as baggage tractors, belt loaders, and push-back tractors) and nonmotorized (such as tow bars, boarding stairs, and baggage carts). All items are inventoried and accounted for — not the easiest task because the items don’t always stay in the same place. “We move some of our ground equipment around to cover seasonality changes,” Schlundt ★ says. Preparing for winter requires moving deicing equipment to the Northeast and ground equipment for wide-body aircraft down to Florida. Summer operations call for that same wide-body equipment to be moved back to Philadelphia and Charlotte for the heavy international-travel season. “GSE planning occurs six to nine months in advance,” Schlundt says. “We evaluate every change in our flight schedule to determine what we need and whether there’s surplus that can be moved.” The airline spends roughly $7 million each year replacing and upgrading equipment. “Every year, we work with our finance team to budget and plan for purchases,” Schlundt says. Considering items such as tow bars for every aircraft type, new electric baggage tractors, and water trucks, it’s quite the shopping list. Taking the LEED Ground equipment is going green. Us airways’ philadelphia station is leading the way with a $22 million Leed silver– certified Gse facility, which opened in 2011. more recently, Us airways invested $3 million in electric ground equipment in philadelphia to replace older dieselpowered equipment. Keeping TracK meeT: clint Schlundt TiTle: manager of Ground Service equipment Time wiTh US AirwAYS: 25 years Clint Schlundt now manages the equipment that he used to operate. “I started out working on the ramp,” he says. He has handled every piece of equipment but has a soft spot for the push-back tractors that move the plane away from the gate. “Those are my favorite.” The hardest part of his job? “Making sure all GSE is where it’s supposed to be,” he says. But his team helps make it all possible. “These are all behind-the-scenes kind of guys who make sure the equipment is where it should be.” Schlundt’s favorite part, though, is receiving and testing out new equipment. “It’s like Christmas morning,” he says. “The employee reaction is also priceless.” 12 december 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of US Airways - December 2012

Table of Contents
CEO Letter
From the Editor
Did You Know?
Making It Happen
Hot Spots: New Year's Eve
Hub Crawl: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Wine & Dine: Holiday Spirits
Wine & Dine: Beaudevin Wine Bar, Charlotte, NC
Adventure: Creek Ranch, Florida
Adventure: Palm Springs Golf
Great Escapes: Universal Orlando® Resort
Gear Up: Gifts for Good
Travel Feature: Into the Yucatán
Mapping It Out: US Airways' Route Planning Department
University Spotlight: University of California, Berkeley
Great Tastes: College Eats
Celebrate Tucson, AZ
Must Read: The Socialstructed World
Special Section: Kentucky
Great Dates
Readers Resource Index
Your US Airways Guide
Video Entertainment
Audio Entertainment
U.S. and Caribbean Service Map
International Service Map
Airport Terminal Maps
US Airways Fleet/Customs & Immigration
Passenger Info/Contact US Airways
US Airways MarketPlace®
Window or Aisle?

US Airways - December 2012