Kaamco prepares for year of change

Kaamco prepares for year of change
Kaamco 2019 Board Members: Vice-President Roger Scott, Virgin Atlantic; President Ana Lemos, Brussels Airlines; Treasurer Phil Maret,Lufthansa; Jim Groak, Cathay Pacific Airlines.
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

Ana Lemos, 2019 President of Kaamco, welcomed everyone to the December meeting and immediately told the meeting that 2019 is a year of change, and that Kaamco is looking forward to being productive by representing the airline and business partners in the JFK community. She stressed that meetings are important and people need to come together for a stronger Kaamco as the connector between airlines, business partners, Port and government.

VP Roger Scott, and Treasurer Phil Maret were on hand to welcome the attendees as well and to thank Jim Groark, Chairman of the Interline committee since 1988, and wish him well for his service as he tendered his resignation from the Chair. Lufthansa Mathew Silverman and JetBlue Anthony Locastro will head the Interline going forward.

A summary of the committees and issues follows:


Ajay Patel Chair of the Security Committee gave a rundown of the security committee issues including biometrics, TSA compliance, and known crew member program. He said that the TSA is willing to come to an airline and inspect conditions without charge. This would prevent possible infractions and fines if these were found without a TSA pre-inspection. Patel mentioned that biometrics is growing in use at JFK. Groark added that there is a congressional mandate through the FAA Reauthorization act of 2018 to implement more biometrics. Patel also reported that the TSA has the right to screen everyone regardless of being a known crew member. The courts have upheld the TSA position. One member complained about a very long 2 hour wait for a SIDA badge renewal. Patel asked that if others come across problems like this need they to be reported to Kaamco so the issues can be resolved with the security office.

Interim JFK General Manager Charles Everett spoke about the upcoming runway construction and assured the community that the Port, FAA, DOT and IATA would be monitoring the entire process carefully and work with the community to overcome any issues. Everett also mentioned that he is looking at a slightly different format for the Port Authority part of the monthly Kaamco meeting and he would announce this when and if a change is made. Ralph Tamburro of Port also spoke to this issue and mentioned that PERTI plan is in effect as a the telecom between the FAA and the Airlines to discuss the next day’s operation. He said he would also provide periodic updates on the operation for all the port authority airports. This email goes to staff and operational port authority personnel and also many of the JFK airlines and terminal operators. A detail f the plan can be seen here, file:///Users/macbook/Downloads/PERTI_Plan_12_26_18.pdf.

SIDA Security

Kim Dickie introduced new members of the security team ,discussed the new computer based SIDA training and the temporary move of the SIDA badging office to building 141, by the ballfield, around February 2019, while the current building undergoes renovation. All badge operations will be at Bldg 141 for several months. One member suggested adding remote training which Dickie noted for future consideration.

Ground Ops

Jim Bliku of the Ground Ops committee reported the full closure of 13L, 31R for 8 months due to construction and new pavement. Lemos pointed out that there could be a huge impact on everyone and that a plan must be put in place. The reduction of this major runway would cause a negative domino effect on all aircraft. There was a lot of discussion regarding the impact on airlines with potential delays, re-routing, tarmac hardstands, and other operational disruptions during this period. As noted, Everett reassured the group that issues would be resolved.


Port spoke about the construction around the airport. The contractor meetings were concluded and final award will be made in January with complete shutdown of runways 13L, 31R which will begin April 1 and last through November 15th. “Weather permitting, the construction will go smoothly but he cautioned that severe weather could prevent problems both from a traffic FAA and operations point of view.

Repair work is in progress on the air traffic control tower to be completed in the Spring.


Sanchita Jimenez from the Airtrain reported that all the repairs, track work and testing has been done for the year. No more shutdowns until next year barring any significant weather development. This is a digital signage test program in place at Terminal 8. If successful, there will be a rollout n first quarter 2019.

Terry Rizzuto, JFK Operations Manager spoke about the Emergency Ops Center and the Airport Ops Center which will both be housed at Building #111. She emphasized the creation of the Ops centers that will be important for weather related operations. She also commented that Everbridge notification is open and if members want to be part, please email her or staff for inclusion. She mentioned the additional capacity for de-icing, and discussions with terminal for improvement in baggage handlings and repatriation. The scarcity of hotel rooms in case of weather emergencies for airport personnel who are unable to get home or need to stay during emergency events is something they need to look at she said.

The next Kaamco meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 10 a.m. at JFK Building 14.

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