UVglobal Network, introduced at NBAA 2001 last December, has added five new members to its worldwide group of ground-handling facilities, bringing the total to 40 members with more than 52 individual locations. Australia is the latest addition, announced yesterday at a press conference by Lex den Herder, senior manager, international network development. Universal Aviation Australia, at Kingsford Smith Airport (YSSY) in Sydney, will become a member effective in November.
The Houston, Texas-based organization, an initiative of Universal Weather and Aviation, was working on the network before the terrorist attacks of September 11 and had planned to introduce the concept at NBAA 2001 in September. Den Herder told NBAA Convention News, “September 11 made it all that much more important.” He said that the added security level provided by dealing with a known, global identity alleviated concerns of worldwide corporate operators. All network members must meet UVglobal standards and have the network signage, with vehicles and buildings clearly identified with the UVglobal logo. Staff members wear standard uniforms and carry photo IDs.
“The concept is,” said den Herder, “to establish a strict standard of level of service.” He noted two types of members: The Network Centers have dedicated facilities and ground-support equipment and provide separate crew and passenger lounges with refreshments, Internet access and phones, faxes and VHF radio (where permitted); Network Standard members are located at airports with no FBO facilities.
UVglobal developed a training program for members of the network, and it requires that staff members be fluent in English, as well as their native language. Members must provide consistent quality, added security and the highest level of ground service, a spokesman said.
Members of the UVglobal team are at its booth here, No. 1935, to brief pilots on the network’s services, which include a directory of members.
Den Herder told NBAA Convention News that the network was open to any operator, and new members do not have to use Universal Aviation and Weather services to be part of the group.
The new Australian facility is a joint venture between Universal Aviation and Weather and ExecuJet Australia. Universal will provide all ground-handling and FBO services and ExecuJet will provide aircraft sales, management, charter operation and an FAA- and Bermuda-approved aircraft maintenance facility, plus warranty repair for Bombardier and Gulfstream aircraft.
The other new UVglobal members are Servicio de Despacho Aereo (ADS Ground Handling), Juan Santamaria International Airport (MROC), San Jose, Costa Rica; Euro Aviation, Athens International (LGAV), Greece; PT. Mitra Lintas Buana Air, Halim Perdenakusuma (WIIH), Jakarta; UVavemex, S. de R.L., Mexico City/Toluca (MMTO): and Asian Business Aviation Services, Chaing Kai-Shek International (RCTP), Taipei, Taiwan.
Den Herder said that UVglobal is in the process of choosing more members. “It’s an ongoing process,” he told NBAA Convention News. “We should announce one or two more in the next month or 45 days.”