The Piedmonitor. online resource (None) 1951-19??, December 01, 1985, Image 3
The Up-And-Coming Airline 3 Piedmont Empire to sliore codes and some facilities May 1, 1986 remains the target date for an integration of the Pied mont/Empire route systems, and everything seems to be rolling on target towards that goal. From a technical side, the meet ing of Empire stockholders to vote on the issue has been scheduled for January 15, 1986, in Syracuse. All legal filings involved in the pro ceedings have been delivered to the Department of TVansportation, and the time to file has passed with no opposition to the merger on record. “We have every reason to believe the merger will be approved by Empire stockholders,” Joe Healy, senior vice president—general counsel and secretary said, “and it is a very easy decision for the government to make. Their pri mary concern is what effect the merger will have on competition, and this merger has no anti competitive effects whatever.” expansion While the technicalities of the merger have progressed, planning and coordination activities have been speeding up rapidly. Decisions have been reached to not only retain the Empire reserva tions center at the Utica/Rome air port in New York, but to expand it as well. A flight crew base for both flight officers and flight attendants will be domiciled at Syracuse, and the Empire maintenance work at Utica/Rome will be continued, and expanded, also. The City of Syracuse has a request from Piedmont to expand the terminal facilities now being used by Empire to accommodate more flights, flights using larger aircraft, and longer haul flights as well. On January 15 Empire flights will begin sharing the PI code under a joint marketing arrange ment between the two companies. A number of stations where Pied mont and Empire both operate today will combine facilities of the two carriers. reservations “All Empire reservations calls will be temporarily transferred to the Piedmont Dayton reservations center on January 15,” Don Shanks, vice president—customer relations said. “On that day we will begin an intense, five-day, three-shift training program to acquaint Empire personnel with the Piedmont reservations system. At the end of that training pro gram, calls will be restored to the Empire facility, and employees there will answer with Piedmont equipment and procedures.” FinaJ contracts are being worked out now with Oneida County offi cials to begin construction of the expanded reservations facility there. The combination of Piedmont/ Empire operations at stations where both carriers presently oper ate will not affect present work rules and reporting relationships of employees at either airline. All employees will continue to work under their present rules and con tinue to report to their present supervisors and managers. "The Empire acquisition is very important to Piedmont,” Dan Brock, vice president—marketing, said. "But that importance depends to some degree on how successfully we reintroduce the Empire services as Piedmont services. To do that. Piedmont will begin a series of marketing blitzes and receptions for travel agents and community leaders all across the Empire system on Januaiy 6. Those receptions will continue until mid-Januar>'. "We will also have blitzes in our historic Piedmont markets to intro duce our ability to provide service to a wider array of destinations in upstate New York and New Eng land as well," Brock said. Negotiations are underway for establishing seniority rules for job bidding, pay scales, vacations and other career considerations alter the merger is complete. "Our foremost goal is to achieve a program that will be advanta geous to the employees of both Piedmont and Empire," Jim Bradley—assistant vice president, industrial relations, said. "We are fortunate that the Empire portion of the airline will bring with it more job opportunities than Empire employees. This means there are literally more jobs to be tilled alter the merger than the two airlines presently have enough people to man." Further details of the merger progress will be available as they develop. Ralph Hicks (left) and Roy Westbrook show how the new carousel wheel cleaning sys- lem. the only one of Its kind in the country, will operate. Engine, brake shops to open in January When the addition to our main tenance facility opens at GSO next month, it will be one of the most modern such facilities in the coun try. In fact, representatives from other airlines are already looking over the 127,000-square-foot building for ways to improve their own. Much of the credit for the build ing’s state-of-the-art design goes to Ralph Hicks, Maintenance Department engineer, and more recently, Roy Westbrook, now manager-maintenance shops-GSO. Hicks traveled around Europe to determine the best way to set up the wheel and brake shop, and Westbrook toured other mainte nance facilities across the country before the design was completed for our engine shop. “We think we have come up with one of the best designs around,” Hicks said. “The working conditions will be much better in this building and that will result in a savings of time, money, and manpower. Many of our mechanics have already received treiining here and seem very satisfied with the new facility. “We have stressed safety in par ticular in designing this building as well as making conditions bet ter so we can improve the quality of our workmanship.' ’ The new building includes: • a carousel wheel cleaning sys tem which can clean up to 160 wheels in a 24-hour period. This system is the only one of its kind in the country. • a carousel penetrant system which shows up any cracks in a wheel. • a tire storage area which auto matically feeds tires to mechan ics as requested. • a 16,577-square-foot wheel and brake shop which will repair and assemble wheels and brakes for our aircraft. Among the shop’s features are auto matic torque equipment and computer printouts which give the wheel type, serial number, and payroll number of the per son doing the work. • a 21,300-square-foot engine build-up shop where such items as generators, starters, tubing, fuel controls, gear boxes and wiring harnesses will be installed on engines. The shop has 14 stations, each with 15,000-pound capacity, and a bridge control to move the engines from the loading dock to the bay. • spreader bars which hold the engines up in the air for easier accessibility for maintenance. • a wash bay just for the engines. “In the engine shop, we have the capability to handle any engine on the drafting boards through the year 2000,” Hicks said. "We also have room for a future hangar on the east side of the building.” In addition, the building will house a 54,000-square-foot area for the stockroom and shipping and receiving and about 16,800 square feet for offices, breakroom, corridors and lavatories on the first floor.