PSA Airlines celebrated the retirement of outgoing president Keith Houk during the March 31st employee luncheon at the PSA Airlines Dayton hangar. View photos of the event at http://on.fb.me/1HiRyjt
2014 marked 25 years with US Airways for Keith, including time as US Airways Express vice president and president and CEO of Piedmont Airlines. He served as PSA president from 2005 to 2014.
Keith’s leadership during multiple airline mergers, fleet expansions, and other major changes in the industry has been paramount in securing PSA’s current growth and very bright future.
Congratulations on your retirement, Keith!
PSA Employees Participate in New American Uniform Wear-Test
As the New American continues its evolution into the largest airline in the world, they continue to work toward the ideal look and feel for the company. Developing the appropriate new uniform for crew members is a large part of this initiative.
As a wholly owned subsidiary of American, PSA plays a substantial role in representing the American brand each day. As such, a sample of PSA employees are currently participating in the final days of American’s wear-test of new uniform prototypes. The wear-test, meant to introduce a possible new look to employees and passengers, is also meant to offer an opportunity for feedback.
American Airlines has collected feedback and is “exploring options to develop some new designs and prototypes,” according to Vice President of Marketing, Fernand Fernandez. “We anticipate sharing the updated designs in the coming months and moving forward with those for our final uniform. Because these changes are a direct result of your feedback, we think you’ll be very pleased with the changes in store!”
The wear-test has been a great experience for PSA employees to be involved in the evolution of the new American image and a great opportunity to take part in the community of all of the invested employees of American Airlines Group.
PSA Airlines moved into their newly built Operations Control Center mid-February in the airline’s headquarters of Vandalia, Ohio.
The previous OCC was located in the attached office space of PSA’s DAY maintenance hangar. The new OCC is attached to the East side of the current Mark J. Zweidinger Professional Learning Center, at the Dayton International Airport.
PSA began the development phase with a ceremonial ground breaking on July 22nd of last year. Construction began immediately and continued throughout the winter season. PSA’s crew scheduling, dispatch, maintenance control, and other operations personnel took part in the move from the old to the new OCC the week of February 14th of this year.
PSA’s current and anticipated growth had necessitated the development of the additional facility. With 79 additional aircraft being inducted into PSA’s fleet over the next couple years, the additional space is essential with the increase in flights and necessary planning. The new OCC’s seating structure was developed with the interaction of the work groups in mind. OCC Coordinators, Maintenance Control Supervisors, and Crew Scheduling Coordinators & Supervisor inhabit the raised area while Dispatchers, Maintenance Controllers, and Crew Schedulers are all located on the control center floor in the vicinity of their Coordinators.
“PSA Airlines has been selected by American Airlines to operate 24 new Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft. This aircraft assignment to PSA follows American exercising 24 of its 40 CRJ900 NextGen aircraft options. The options were originally acquired as part of American’s large regional jet order announced in December 2013.”
See the Press Release in its entirety here.
PSA Airlines is currently two-thirds of the way complete with the delivery of the 30 Bombardier CRJ900 NextGen aircraft order. With an upcoming transfer of 47 CRJ700s and, now, an order of 24 additional CRJ900 NextGens, PSA Airlines is the fastest growing regional carrier today.
What does it mean to be the fastest growing regional airline?
Employees, partners, and every other witness to PSA’s growth in 2014 can attest to the rapid hiring of 50 to 60 pilots and flight attendants each month, the delivery and in-servicing of up to three brand new aircraft each month, the planning and implementation of new infrastructure, equipment, and processes throughout the network, and the continuing performance as a cost-effective and reliable regional service for American Airlines. This order reflects that success through American’s evident trust in PSA’s ability to maintain this performance throughout its growth into a 150 total aircraft fleet by mid-2017.
What does this “24 More” announcement mean for PSA?
- As other regional carriers scale back, “24 More” means that PSA will begin to surpass what were once much larger airlines. In 2013, PSA operated 49 aircraft. By mid 2017 this number will have more than tripled and options for additional aircraft remain outstanding.
- Robust pilot hiring will continue as PSA maintains its competitive advantage as the best career advancement opportunity for regional pilots. Along with the quickest upgrade to captain in the industry- a rapid path to line holder, very low reserve times, and the ability to quickly be awarded one’s preferred domicile is in store for pilots coming aboard at PSA during this time of growth.
What “24 More” Does not mean: Any change in the utilization of PSA’s Current CRJ200s
- CRJ200’s will continue to be re-painted in the new American livery as testament to their solid future in the PSA fleet. PSA has long term lease and ownership commitments on CRJ200s and neither PSA nor American Airlines have current plans to retire them.
PSA’s fleet growth has resulted in more than 700 newly hired employees in the past year and a multitude of career and advancement opportunities for every workgroup. PSA’s pilot training program is recognized as one of the industry’s best, preparing crew members for a career with a rapidly expanding fleet of regional jets. The company’s 1,900 employees currently operate nearly 400 daily flights to more than 80 destinations.
See the Press Release in its entirety here.
Since the initial announcement of the CRJ900 NextGens order in December of 2013, the PSA Airlines Training Department has been challenged with training, checking, and certifying over 900 pilots. Maintaining a rate of 60 to 70 new hire pilots a month, and anticipating this pilot hiring rate to continue throughout 2017 and the addition of 82 aircraft, has required proactive updates to PSA’s organization, infrastructure, and processes. One of these updates is the addition of a new Level 4 CAE Simfinity™ Flight Training Device (FTD) to PSA’s Mark J. Zweidinger Professional Learning Center.
The device was ordered from CAE in December of 2013 and became fully operational in January this year. As a level 4 FTD, the instrument includes a cost-efficient, highfidelity training device which integrates hardware replicas of aircraft-specific parts. The CAE Simfinity™ FTD is capable of handling more than 40 percent of initial training events, better preparing our pilots before they head to the full-flight simulator. The total investment reached upwards of $1.5 million.
“The new level 4 FTD will take PSA to the next level of training as a professional airline,” says Fleet Manager Brad Tulin. “This device will allow us to adjust training to meet a more individual need for new hires and increase the success rate before going to simulator training. In addition, it will help with making sure that each student receives the best, most modern training and tools available in today’s market.”