Bradley Pacific Aviation began in 1998. We rolled in a trailer in Honolulu but our first fueling location was Lihue. Kahului came after Lihue, Honolulu and Kona. We did not have access to facilities and fuel but found ways to solve those issues in spite of the State of Hawaii, DOT-A. I will share photos and comments of the 10 years BPA operated before the sale to Ross Aviation in 2008.
joined the team at Bradley Pacific Aviation in Maui in 1998. He was the first station manager and the person to get things up and running.. In the beginning we
needed be creative and resourceful and Dave was all that and more. He brought some of that from his own business, Koolau Aviation Services as well as being the previous station manager for Air Service Hawaii. David also understood customer service and had a close relationship with many of the customers. BPA was glad that we had Dave to help reach the goals we had set... to become the best FBO in Hawaii. Mahalo!
Doing Business in Hawaii...
For many of us at BPA, this was not our first rodeo. We had the relationship with private/business jet customers but without a facility we would have difficulty handling arrival and departures. Once we had access to fuel (more on fuel later) we decided to get creative with facility. We contacted the owner of a Winnebago motor home in Honolulu. He leased it to the various movie productions. We leased it and shipped it to Maui. When we had a flight we would drive it to the gate on the East Ramp. It was set up with an office, kitchen and restroom. It worked out okay until DOT-A stopped its use. It didn't violate any rules but the letter stated it must stop immediately because it was never done before. The next move was interesting as well. More on "Finding a Home"
Nick Pechin was the Station Manager at OOG before moving to Honolulu to take on the job of Director of Fuel Operations
Pacific Helicopter Tours
Tommy and Colleen Hauptman of Pacific Helicopter Tours were of great assistance to Bradley Pacific when we first began our operations in Kahului. In fact, we wouldn't have had the success without them. You can not be in the fueling business without access to fuel and Pacific Helicopters gave us the access we needed. It was also good for Pacific Helicopters. It is always best to make a deal when both parties wins. Well not everyone won. Century Aviation did everything possible to keep us from operating but in the end they failed. I'll share more about the creative aspect of our arrangement.
Tesoro... more soon.
In May of 2006, the Teamsters and Allied Workers Union - Local 996 looked to organize BPA's Maui operations. They arrived quickly, the employees signed on to be part of the many promises made.
I worked hard to ensure that Bradley Pacific Aviation was a company that supported all of its employees. BPA grew very rapidly and keeping our workforce at the proper levels, to support the airlines we serviced, was always a grand task. We paid more than our competition and continued to increase the benefit package to better recruit and retain good employees.
Maui was somewhat different than other airports we serviced. The volume of Jet-A fuel continued to increase and without a proper fuel storage at the airport, required us to pick up the inventory from Kahului harbor storage. All fuel truck drivers at State of Hawaii airports were required to have a Commercial Drivers License CDL but Maui put all the trucks on the public roads and our drivers made the 2 mile round trip multiple times a day. Some of our Maui drivers were part time employees already driving for a union represented company full or part time.
I was not totally against workers organizing but disagreed that this union would do a better job than our local, private ownership was doing and could continue to do in the future. I got a quick education on the ins and outs of organizing.
Perry Confalone, a Honolulu labor attorney was brought in to assist with BPA's position of not having our Maui operations organize.
The workers voted to have the Teamsters and Allied Workers Local 996 represent them and BPA challenged that election. The National Labor Relations Board held a hearing in Honolulu and it then went to Washington, D.C. to the National Mediation Board. See letter below.
The vote was turned down and if Local 996 wanted to try again under required rules they could... they didn't.
This decision by the NMB was used over the years by other organizations with some being successful and others not. See Netjets, Swissport, Amerijet,
Airway Cleaners, Gate Gourmet.
I could continue to talk on this subject but will leave it here.