With a solution designed to improve travel safety and the passenger experience,  NCR Corporation announced its authentication technology was selected by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for use in a pilot that aims to automatically verify passenger identification documents and boarding passes.

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A restored B-29 Superfortress at the New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks.

Connecticut led much of the aerospace industry’s rapid development throughout the second half of the 20th century, so it’s fitting that New England’s largest aerospace museum is located here in the state.

The New England Air Museum, spanning three large hangars of exhibits adjacent to the Bradley International Airport, is home to over 80 restored military and civilian aircraft. Many of the exhibited planes and components were designed or manufactured in the state.

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Oxford, CT, March 13, 2012 – Key Air, a leading national provider of worldwide private jet charter, best-in-class aircraft management and FBO services is pleased to announce it has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Pentastar Aviation for an East Coast maintenance base and related support services. Pentastar Aviation is a well known provider of maintenance services that include heavy inspections, structural repairs and modifications, as well as avionics/systems installations. The planned strategic alliance will provide for the opening of a Pentastar Aviation-operated repair station to be located at Key Air’s expansive, state-of-the-art FBO facility at Waterbury-Oxford Airport (OXC). The MOU, commencing on May 1, 2012, affords Key Air’s managed clients and FBO tenants a broader array of services than previously available.

“We are excited about our alliance with Pentastar. They are a great national brand known for their quality maintenance services and we are pleased to have them open a maintenance center at our Waterbury-Oxford FBO.” states Bob Marinace, President and CEO of Key Air. “Our managed clients and tenants will directly benefit from having a provider of all levels of maintenance, inspections and installations right here in the Northeast.”

Aircraft based locally to the Waterbury-Oxford Airport, as well as Key Air’s managed fleet will be offered preferred rates for services performed at both the new Pentastar location as well as their headquarters operations in greater Detroit. Pentastar Aviation and Key Air expect to announce finalization of their alliance, as well as the timetable for launching the new Pentastar-OXC facility, later this spring.

“Upon finalization of the agreement with our colleagues at Key Air, we look forward to providing East Coast customers with the technical expertise, passionate customer focus and attention to detail that have made Pentastar’s maintenance, repair and avionics services so trusted in our industry.” added Edsel B. Ford II, Pentastar Chairman and Owner.

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Conn. will hold its annual SPACE EXPO on Sunday, April 1, 2012.  The theme of the event is “Celebrate the Year of the Solar System”.

 More than 15 exhibitors from across New England will participate in the event including Hamilton Sundstrand Division of United Technologies, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Aldrich Astronomical Society, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, the CATO Rocketry Club, NASA, One Giant Leap, Arunah Hill Natural Science Center and the Talcott Mountain Science Center. 

 Most of the activities will be hands-on. Visitors can meet an astronaut, try on a real space suit, pilot a space craft simulator, touch a meteorite, learn about the atmosphere of Mars, and build a rocket and much more.  Charles Bourland, co-author of The Astronaut’s Cookbook, will be sharing his career experience with NASA developing menus for our astronauts.

 There will be several guest appearances and presentations throughout the day including two by NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio, a native of Waterbury, Conn.  Mastracchio was selected for NASA’s astronaut program in 1996 and is a veteran of three space flights, having flown on the Atlantis, Endeavour and Discovery space shuttles on which he has logged nearly 40 days in Space.  In addition to his two presentations, he will be available to talk with visitors.

 The Space Expo will run from 10 AM to 4:30 PM.  For the convenience of visitors, a food vendor will be on hand all day.  The New England Air Museum is located by Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Conn.  For further information call the Museum at (860) 623-3305 or visit www.neam.org

This event is being co-sponsored by the Connecticut College Space Grant Consortium and Hamilton Sundstrand Division of United Technologies.

The Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) and Bradley International Airport today announced they are now using a new digital notification system that enables them to communicate more quickly with the airlines about significant safety or airport operations issues.  This system will allow Bradley to issue a “Notice to Airmen” (NOTAM) electronically through the Federal Aviation Administration’s national system. The FAA distributes the NOTAMs directly to the airlines and its own flight service stations.

            If the digital system had been in place last October 29, when a sudden snow storm severely impacted Bradley and created substantial delays on the tarmac, the airport could have updated NOTAMs in more real time, giving the airlines more advance warning of possible ground delays. 

            Participants in a national diversion management forum the FAA and U.S. Department of Transportation hosted in Washington last November suggested the digital NOTAM idea as a tool to help manage diversion events. Bradley is now one of 55 airports in the country that are using the digital NOTAM system.

           “This is a major step forward to help keep all parties as fully informed as possible about ground conditions so we can all work together to better coordinate diversions,” said Amy Lind Corbett, the FAA regional administrator for New England. “Communications during weather events is especially critical and the use of digital NOTAMs will help.”

            CAA Chair Mary Ellen Jones, hailed the move to digital NOTAMs, adding that it would “put Bradley at the forefront of airports in the region as a highly reliable airport and the airport of choice for customers and airlines.”

            This is just one of a host of improvements and plans that Bradley has implemented since the October 29th snow storm that crippled the Northeast and resulted in 29 planes being diverted to Bradley – the hardest hit airport during that storm.  Since that experience, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), other federal partners, airlines, ground services, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and the CAA have partnered to develop comprehensive plans and programs aimed at preventing the kind of diversions and delays that Bradley experienced that day and providing the highest quality services to airline customers and to the airlines.

            All airline and Bradley International’s contingency plans have been reviewed and are being updated to address the conditions experienced on October 29. In addition, Bradley is leading a collaboration with regional airports to develop mutual protocols and will host a ‘diversion drill’ to test them. And, to make additional space available when needed, Bradley, working closely with CBP, has opened two gates in the old terminal, along with waiting areas and rest rooms, creating new sterile areas for unloading domestic and international passengers as needed.

            Today’s announcement is aimed at maximizing the region’s ability to provide the highest quality services to the airline customers and to the airlines.

            James P. Redeker, Commissioner of the DOT – which, along with the CAA – currently oversees Bradley operations, said that better customer service is the ultimate goal.  “While Bradley consistently gets high marks for delivering safe, high quality service, the unprecedented impacts from the storm produced conditions that resulted in delays and great inconvenience to our customers and our airline partners,” said Redeker. “We all learned a great deal that weekend, and I am certain we are now better prepared for any recurrence of that nature.”

            The October 29-30, 2011, Nor’easter produced more than a foot of snow in 12 hours, knocked out power statewide and completely disrupted operations at Bradley and at airports throughout the Northeast. Planes remained out on the tarmac far longer than usual and more than 1,500 people found themselves at Bradley, far from their intended destinations and, because hotels were closed with the power out, looking for a place to sleep.  All of the Bradley community rallied to accommodate these unexpected guests.  Normally, flights are diverted when there are adverse weather conditions at their intended airport destination; in this case, even though Bradley was experiencing unprecedented weather and ground servicing conditions, flights were diverted to Bradley because runways were clear and it provided the best alternative for pilots to land – at least eight of which  were running low on fuel.

            Immediately after the storm, Bradley and the airlines, TSA, CBP, FAA and Aircraft Service International Group (the ground service provider for the airlines responsible for fueling, de-icing, busing and other services) developed a series of specific actions to improve response during major diversions.

            “The Bradley team immediately turned from managing the diversions and returning the airport to normal operations to partnering to learn from the experience and develop best-case practices for managing future incidents.  I am truly impressed with the commitment of all the partners at Bradley,” said CAA Chair Jones.

            The forum in Washington in November included USDOT, FAA, the Department of Homeland Security, TSA, CBP, airlines and airport operators to develop recommendations for handling diversions regionally and nationally. 

            Other moves announced today:

•           CBP has agreed that in extreme conditions, international passengers may be allowed to unload without checked luggage; the new sterile areas will be utilized for off-loading and re-loading passengers; and co-mingling of international passengers from two or more flights will be permitted

•           Back-up power for fueling at Bradley has been installed; protocols for remote fueling with fuel trucks have been updated

•           The FAA will alert all regional airports of planned maintenance projects that would take critical navigation systems out of service

•           Bradley will convene several pre-storm planning events when a storm is forecast.  Multiple weather forecasts will be monitored to identify the range of potential impacts

•           Between the airlines and Bradley, a supply of water, MRE’s, baby formula, diapers and pet food, cots, blankets, etc., has been established.  Bradley is working with the National Guard to find storage areas on site.

•           The TSA has made an agreement with Bradley so that needed supplies can be processed through security more expediently

•           Bradley will be actively pursuing more redundant communication systems on-airport to prevent communication failures related to cell tower and radio problems.

•           A Memorandum of Understanding with CTTransit will provide additional bus support; on-airport buses will be pre-screened.

            The new plans have already proven to be effective.  On Saturday, January 21, an international flight from St. Kitts was diverted to Bradley during a snowstorm. “Pre-planning and constant communications, led by Bradley Airport with the solid support from CBP and TSA allowed the plane to land safely, and the customer experience was excellent,” said Eric N. Waldron, Bradley Airport Administrator.

The East Granby Chamber of Commerce awarded DSI Marketing’s owner, Rebecca Taylor, Small Business Leader of the Year, Monday evening at the EGCC’s Annual Meeting and Awards presentation. Bob Wild of Allstate Records was awarded Business Leader of the Year. The featured speaker was Karen Jarmoc, a member of the newly formed Connecticut Airport Authority, who addressed a crowd of 50 chamber members, describing the authority’s role as it relates to Bradley International Airport and the state’s five general aviation airports. Chamber President, Mark Hann commented briefly on the Chamber’s plan to merge with the Windsor Locks and Suffield Chambers of Commerce to bring the membership to a more robust number of 300. The merger is scheduled for the beginning of 2013. (Pictured r to l: Mark Hann, President of the East Granby Chamber of Commerce, Rebecca Taylor, owner of DSI Marketing and recipient of the Small Business leader of the Year Award with Erik Peterson, VP East Granby Chamber of Commerce.)

The New England Air Museum in Windsor Locks, Connecticut will hold its annual SPACE EXPO on Sunday, April 1, 2012.  This is an opportunity to discover New England’s Aerospace Industry and today’s partnerships in space exploration.

 More than 15 exhibitors from across New England will participate in the event including Hamilton Sundstrand, Division of United Technologies; National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Aldrich Astronomical Society, McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center;  CATO Rocketry Club; NASA; One Giant Leap; Arunah Hill Natural Science Center; and Talcott Mountain Science Center. 

 A NASA astronaut will be at the Museum for the day as well as NASA scientists and presenters from the commercial aerospace industry. Meet some of the engineers from Hamilton Sundstrand who helped save the Apollo 13 mission.

 Most of the activities will be hands-on. Visitors can try on a real space suit, pilot a space craft simulator, touch a meteorite, taste space food, learn about the atmosphere of Mars, build a rocket and much more.

 Rebecca Cross, author of I am a Space Shuttle, will be providing free signed copies of this children’s picture book.

 This event is sponsored by The Connecticut Space Grant Consortium and by Hamilton Sundstrand. The Space Expo will run from 10 AM to 4:00 PM.  For the convenience of visitors, a food vendor will be on hand all day.  The New England Air Museum is located by Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.  For further information, call the Museum at (860) 623-3305 or visit www.neam.org.

Come join us for our annual Space Expo for a fun and educational program about Space.

Members of the East Granby Chamber of Commerce gathered last evening, Friday, February 16, at the New England Air Museum for a Chamber networking event. The event drew its largest crowd ever including 20 exhibitors from around the region and offered local business owners the opportunity to showcase their goods and services. The New England Air Museum Thursday unveiled its newest addition to its collection of aircraft, a SH-2F Seasprite helicopter.


[Windsor Locks, CT – February 10, 2012] The Airport News and airportnews.com today announce staffing changes at the business publication.  Mr. Dan Carstens, long time Publisher will be assuming new responsibilities at the Connecticut Airport Authority in the capacity of Marketing and Business Development Consultant for the organization.

“I am very excited to be assuming my new role with the Connecticut Airport Authority. I look forward to concentrating my efforts on developing Bradley International Airport and the State’ s general aviation airports towards greater economic stature. I expect The Airport News will remain a vital part of the aviation community. I am confident that the current team, with Ms. Murphy’s leadership, will continue with the great work that has been our trademark to date. There will be no additional staffing changes at the publication,” said Mr. Carstens, who has managed the publication for the past 19 years.

Ms. Margaret Murphy, who most recently has been working with the sales and editorial team, will assume all Editorial and Publishing responsibilities immediately. Ms. Murphy previously held positions as Marketing Consultant with Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and as Marketing Director for Foxwoods Resort Casino.

“This is a wonderful opportunity and a great honor to be assuming this role, after the tremendous leadership that Mr. Carstens has provided over the past years. This is a dynamic publication that reports on a very diverse business community. The airports and their surrounding businesses are an economic engine in the region and a vital part of Connecticut’s economic stability and growth. I look forward to moving the publication and online formats forward.”

The Airport News and airportnews.com cover news and events that relate to the Bradley International Airport, and Connecticut’s aviation businesses and communities. The reach of Connecticut’s aviation business family is worldwide, and its economic impact covers the entire region. For more information regarding The Airport News and airportnews.com visit our website or call Ms. Murphy at 860.460.5095.

HARTFORD, Conn. and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (January 5, 2012) – JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today launched nonstop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Flights are on sale today through January 13, 2012 at www.jetblue.com/new as low as $139 (a) each way for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between January 19 and February 15, 2012.

“We are proud to support the strong business and family ties between Hartford and San Juan with this new nonstop service,” said John Checketts, director of route planning for JetBlue Airways. “JetBlue thinks the flight should be an enjoyable part of the journey, from the most legroom in coach to unlimited name brand snacks, and your own personal entertainment choices. We would like to thank the communities in Connecticut and Puerto Rico for their strong support of JetBlue.”

“The mutual commitment between JetBlue and Bradley continues to grow. New travel options opening new destinations draw more customers, which benefits everyone,” said Mary Ellen Jones, Chair of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “With Connecticut’s special ties to Puerto Rico, I am confident that this non-stop service to San Juan will add another chapter to JetBlue’s success story in our state.”

“Puerto Rico had a 4.1 percent increase in tourists during the fiscal year 2010-2011, as measured by hotel registrations. For the 2011-2012 season, we expect better results with more visitors heading this way to discover why Puerto Rico does it better. JetBlue’s new non-stop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) now provides additional flight options to travelers from one of our top markets in the East Coast to our Island. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company welcomes this new service and thanks the airline for the additional seats,” said the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Mario González Lafuente.