Volume 03, Issue 6
HURRICANES AFFECT BOEING OPERATIONS IN FLORIDA
Boeing sites in Florida temporarily suspended operations in response to hurricanes in that state last month and reported damage of varying degrees.
Hurricane Frances, with wind gusts reaching more than 90 mph (145 kilometers per hour), affected Boeing operations at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station along Florida's Central East Coast, along with the Aerospace Support Center at Cecil Field in Jacksonville.
The most notable damage from Frances occurred at the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Thermal Protection System Facility at KSC. The VAB lost nearly 820 aluminum panels on the building's exterior, leaving about 20 percent of the interior open to outside conditions, NASA said. The roof of the VAB also was damaged.
Meanwhile, the Thermal Protection System Facility, where Boeing manufactures the orbiter Thermal Protection System tiles and blankets, lost nearly 35 percent of its roof, NASA said.
NASA's three Space Shuttles, the Shuttle launch pads and critical flight hardware for the orbiters and the International Space Station were not damaged by the storm, NASA said. Also, there was no damage to the two External Tanks or to the Shuttle Columbia debris housed in the VAB.
Other Boeing facilities on the Space Coast, along with the Cecil Field site, reported light damage. Meanwhile, the Boeing Special Operations Forces Aerospace Support Center in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., was affected by Hurricane Ivan. The storm caused nonstructural wind damage to the main building and some water damage in lower-floor areas. Also, one hangar sustained water intrusion when the wind forced open a door during the height of the storm.
ETIHAD TO BUY 777-300ERS
Singapore Airlines said in late August it intends to purchase 18 Boeing 777-300ER jetliners. A final agreement between the two companies is expected shortly.
"With this order, SIA also becomes the largest customer for the 777 family, whose efficiency continues to prove to be a key attribute with the current fuel price trends," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
SIA currently operates 55 Boeing 777s and has four on order.
Meanwhile, Etihad Airways of the United Arab Emirates said on Sept. 10 it signed a proposal to purchase five Boeing 777-300ER jetliners. The order is expected to be finalized in the near future.
"It's always exciting when we establish a working relationship with a new airline so they can see firsthand the quality of our Boeing products, as well as the pride and support our employees show for Boeing airplanes," said Lee Monson, Commercial Airplanes vice president of sales for the Middle East and Africa.
BOEING SATELLITE SYSTEMS GETS 3-SPACECRAFT PACT
Boeing Satellite Systems received a contract on Sept. 8 to build three Boeing 702-model satellites for The DirecTV Group. The deal marks the largest number of commercial satellites in a single order for BSS in nearly a decade.
The satellites will let the satellite TV service significantly expand broadcasting to its customers across the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska. In addition to expanded national high-definition TV broadcasting, standard definition television broadcasting and interactive television, the spacecraft will permit DirecTV to broadcast local High Definition Television to the majority of its customers.
TEEKAY LAUNCH MARITIME TRIAL
As the Teekay ship Hamane Spirit sailed between Maine and Nova Scotia, Ship Master Roger Payne e-mailed a note to Connexion President Scott Carson saying, "This is more than a connection between the past and the future; it is a new Connexion between the land and sea using the air." Carson replied from Washington, D.C.: "We are honored that you and your crew are our partners in this adventure."
Connexion said in January that it was expanding its service offering to include high-speed, real-time satellite broadband capability for the maritime industry. The Boeing business unit currently offers this capability to airlines. Lufthansa German Airlines is rolling out the Connexion service on its long-haul flights; seven other airlines, along with Kingdom Holding Co., have signed definitive agreements or announced their intent to install the service.
FOR 2005 HEALTH BENEFITS ENROLLMENT
In late October, Boeing will begin to send enrollment materials to the homes of eligible employees and retirees. A reminder postcard followed by an enrollment packet will offer information about the wide range of programs and tools available to help Boeing people and their families reach their health and wellness goals. The packet also offers a number of ways that employees and retirees can partner with Boeing to manage health care costs and choose high-quality health care providers.
The annual health benefits enrollment period is a great time to review health care provider choices, plan and benefit changes, and monthly contributions. At this time, eligible employees can also consider signing up for a health care or dependent care spending account. The fall enrollment period spans several "waves," generally based on state of residence. The enrollment packets will arrive a few days prior to each participant's enrollment period.
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