Air Transport World

All vectors lead to Houston: now that the fleet has been standardized, Continental establishes a system-control center for all of its wholly owned commuters. (Continental Express)

Now that the fleet has been standardardized, Continental establishes a system control center for all of its wholly owned commuters.

Houston-For once, Continental Airlines and its Express division have some good news to report. The airline is ahead of competitors AMR Eagle and USAir Express in establishing a single nerve center to oversee the operations of its owned commuter airlines. While American Airlines plans to implement a similar system out of Dallas for its Eagle commuters this month, Continental Express already is up and running out at its operations center near Houston's intercontinental Airport, in the appropriately named Gateway Buildings.

USAir, which owns a number of its commuters, has no plans to bring all operations under one roof, although the parent carrier does purchase fuel and some supplies together. Three of Pan Am Express's four commuter divisions have been integrated somewhat. its fourth, the Berlin-based division, has not.

"All the things that used to happen on a local level will still happen, but now they will be managed 2,000 miles away," explains Bryan Green, director of flight operations for Continental Express. Total management

Just what "things" will be managed from one central location? All dispatching of Continental Express aircraft nationwide, crew scheduling, crew coordination, maintenance control and training, flight-operations training, flight-attendant and customer-services training, purchasing and the keeping of records and publications of the airline's three divisions. They are Rocky Mountain Airways, Inc. …

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