The June Kaamco meeting kicked off with a presentation from the Pan Am Museum people. Pan Am Airlines was one of the first and one of the most iconic airlines to fly out of then Idlewild , now JFK Airport. The airline went bankrupt in the 90’s but a band of loyalists, former employees started the foundation. At the meeting Kelly Cusick, museum curator, Linda Frier, Rachel and Diane spoke about how important the history of Pan Am is and asked the Kaamco group to find a way to help support the Museum which is located at the Cradle of Aviation which is another important home of aviation history in Garden City.
Judy Blainey,Kaamco President, moved the meeting through its paces with reports from Kaamco committees while JFK Interim GM Charles Everett, and Deputy GM John Selden followed up with the port Authority portion of reports from the PA and it’s partners during the monthly meeting. Everett told the attendees that the findings and recommendations from Secretary LaHood on the January Grayson storm was released and that 33 of the 50 or so recommendations have already been put in place. When asked if there were more, Everett replied that most likely there will be since improving the customer experience is important to the airport.
Jim Groark shared a report on the Interline Committee by saying that the cost per bag to airlines is nos $5,05 which is one penny cheaper than this time last year. Over 3330,000 bags were handled by the Kaamco contractor Airway and the on-time performance is outstanding he said. Groark reported that IATA Part 753 which has to do with tracking of baggage movement has JFK airlines needing improvement and he informed members that work has to be done to achieve compliance. The interline committee meets every month fort those interested in attending by the Chapel area at Terminal 4.
The Kaamco Ground Ops commitee has lost long standing Chair Rodger Recker to to another assignment so Jim Bliku of Qantas has taken over. Jim reported that the annual Foreign Object Debris Day will be held July 11th which typically brings members of the community together in a collaborative volunteer work morning to make the airport more beautiful by removing all kinds of unappealing and at time unsafe FOD. Newly appointed JFK Airport Operations Manager, Teresa Rizzuto echoed the need for volunteers for the clean up day and thanked the committee for its monthly work in maintaining certain areas of the ramp and adjacent areas.
Rizzuto also announced that the Port Authority is installing instant feedback machines in public rest rooms at terminals 1 & 7 with the rest of terminals to follow suit. This program will result in a quarterly service report in the campaign to make sure the bathrooms are properly maintained for the public.
Jeffrey Time, in new position of Landside Operations and Customer service mentioned that there is some confusion at certain roadway intersections so new signage will be going up to help the flow of traffic move better. This is part of the continuing signage improvement at JFK over the past two years.
AJ Patel, Security Committee Chair reported that the TSA has continued it efforts in keeping food service workers in compliance with safety rules with more random checks on facilities. He also mentioned that as part of the ongoing insider threat campaign that all airports keep a close eye on operations since recently a southern airport crew was suspected of smuggling drugs through unauthorized areas. Patel wanted the members to be aware of these type of crime and for workers to be diligent in watching out for any similar suspected behavior at our JFK.
In a related matter, Bill Huisman of the Aviation Development Council, had a check and commendation to present to two airport company employees who with their efforts were able to help stop a person at a JFK company from extortion, and grand theft of money in a billing and threaten scheme against other airport employees. On hand were both employees and the reward check for assisting was given by Huisman and GM Everett to the two airport workers.
Andrew Campbell of the Council of Airport Opportunity )CA)) announced that the CAO provides free recruitment services for all airport companies at the airport at no charge. CAO has a job fair on August 23 at the Queens Boro President’s Office 10-am-2pm and encourages all to participate and bring news of available jobs to workers.
Captain Bellucci of the PAPD reported that year to date crime is down over 20% from last year. In a related police matter, the Airtrain system had a small fire recently the Airtrain office thanked the police for the prompt response.
The PAPD is working with the local District Attorney’s office to curb “hustler” activity presumably the drivers and individuals with carts who roam the airtrain and arrivals areas seeking passengers and services to move luggage from arrivals to cars or other terminals.
It was also mentioned that the Kaamco Cargo Committee annual fishing trip is August 9th out of Freeport. Contact Jayne , flyja
Dolores Hofman of ASDO,and the JFK Chamber of Commerce reported for that the JFK Chamber of Commerce Luncheon with Ed Baklor was a success and she also reminded everyone that the Rotary Club Women’s Golf and Spa Day is July 9th. She invited the men to help with providing refreshments throughout the day.
FSD John Bambury reported that the busy Memorial Day TSA traffic was manageable and also stated that July 28-29 marks the beginning of the heavy travel season which will bring over 100,000 passengers a day to JFK Airport.
JFK Maintenance reported that the contract for the roof repair on the JFK air traffic control tower was awarded and that work would begin early fall. Work will also be done after details finalized on AOA cable replacement around the airport.
The major work on runway 13L, a major runway, will begin next March and last through early November.
Chris Cato of the Security department reported that the pilot project “infoCop” is slated to begin. This is a JFK entry gate program that vets driver by scanning their licenses and comparing data with local law enforcement so that appropriate action can be taken if the vetting turns up suspect data from the online search.
Ariela Ruiz of NYALO which is the bridge of between the Port Authority and the airlines, remarked on the current proposed wage increase by the Port Authority for NY Airports. She addressed the comment period for the proposal which closed on June 11. The results of the public comment and the decision by the Port is to be released on June 18th. There has been some opposition to the proposals from some companies that feel the increased financial burden of the increase will fall on them since there has been some push back from some airlines on paying a share of the increase to support services at the airport which employ thousands. The A4A group opposes the increases as well. However, looking at the few comments by workers at the recent Port Board meeting, many earning $10-13 an hour are strongly in favor of this raise. One member asked if the Port Authority had the legal authority to implement this wage increase but no one had an answer. The Port Authority comment period ended June 11 with several workers showing up at the Monthly Board Meeting in support of the increases. The June meeting will elaborate on the implementation of the anticipated approved increases.