Boeing Frontiers
June 2003
Volume 02, Issue 02
Top Stories Inside Quick Takes Site Tools
Industry Wrap

Alaska Air seeks deals

Seattle-based Alaska Air Group Inc. said it would take its time evaluating various options for buying or leasing new jetliners, noting the current air travel slump had opened up a wide range of positive options, according to Reuters English News Service.

The parent company of No. 9 U.S. carrier Alaska Airlines, which has an all-Boeing fleet, has asked rival jet maker Airbus for a price on replacing some older jets and could also get cheap rates from lessors, the news service said.


Army to speed deployment of Blue Force Tracking System

The U.S. Army was able to supply all fighting units during the Iraq war, although not before some units had reached the last of their food and ammunition supplies, senior Army officials said May 19, according to a report in

To avoid resupply problems in the future the Army plans to speed the deployment of the Blue Force Tracking System, although the timelines still have to be determined, Brig. Gen. Jerome Johnson told Johnson is director of plans, operations and readiness for the Army's Office of Logistics.


U.S. travelers’ satisfaction with hotels, airlines rises

American travelers are more satisfied with airlines and hotels, despite the fact that many of those companies are in a deep economic slump, according to The Wall Street Journal.

That conclusion is among the findings of the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index, a quarterly consumer survey by the National Quality Research Center at the University of Michigan Business School. The survey found that for the quarter ended March 31 customer satisfaction with airlines improved to a score of 67 out of 100, up from 66 the year before and a nadir of 61 in 2001, the Journal reports. Hotels rose to 73 from 71 in 2002. While these scores are improving, they remain lower than the average for the more than 200 companies and government agencies ACSI measures during the course of a year.

The prevailing theory among industry analysts is that airlines and hotels are finding it easier to cope with customer demand, as bookings are lower because of the weakened economy. It is also possible that airlines and hotels are working harder to please, since they can ill afford to lose customers these days.


Raytheon wins $500 million NASA contract

Raytheon Co. won a five-year contract extension from NASA valued at as much as $500 million to maintain computers that collect environmental data from satellites, according to a recent report in the Boston Globe.

The Lexington, Mass.–based aerospace company will maintain and operate computers and software in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's earth-observing system, which sends environmental data to the U.S. government and scientific organizations, the defense contractor said.

Raytheon will maintain the computers at its facility in Landover, Md., and at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

U.S. eyes using UAVs to patrol borders

Unmanned aerial drones similar to ones used in the war on Iraq could be patrolling the U.S. border by the end of the year to help stem illegal immigration and increase security, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said, according to The Associated Press.

"We are very serious in looking at unmanned aerial vehicles for both border applications, land and sea," Ridge told the House Select Committee on Homeland Security, The AP said.

Predators and other remote-controlled aircraft can watch over a potential target and fly for hundreds of miles with cameras, sensors, communications equipment or missiles.

Support has grown for the unmanned aircraft since their success during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Spy cameras aboard a drone allowed U.S. commanders to watch the capture of Palestinian hijacking suspect Abul Abbas and oversee the rescue of Army prisoner of war Pfc. Jessica Lynch. They also foiled an Iraqi ambush on U.S. and British troops. In November, an unmanned Predator drone killed suspected Al-Qaida operatives in Yemen, The AP said.

The Coast Guard is looking at new unmanned aircraft that it can launch from ships, allowing it to extend patrols for hundreds of miles, Ridge said. But "where you have wide open spaces, it's a lot easier for us to take a look at some of the technology that is presently employed by the Department of Defense," Ridge said.


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