Patent-holder tangled in federal red tape Bureaucracy stalls use of plane de-icer

May 16, 1993|By Frank Lynch | Frank Lynch,Staff Writer

Harford businessman John Gaughan testified May 5 befor the Senate Committee on Appropriations about his frustration in dealings with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Mr. Gaughan, president of Catalyst & Chemical Services Inc. and patent-holder of Whisper Wash -- a gantry-type aircraft de-icing system -- said his efforts to get the FAA to consider using his system had been thwarted in a bureaucratic maze.

The Bel Air resident was invited to testify by committee chairman Sen. Frank Lautenberg, a New Jersey Democrat.

The Senate committee has been discussing procurement reform with the FAA. "The committee has asked the FAA why innovations, such as my project, don't make it through the system," Mr. Gaughan said.

He testified about his difficulties to acquire support to develop a safer method to de-ice airplanes during inclement weather, despite a congressionally mandated program to develop portable de-icing systems.

Mr. Gaughan's system, which could be either a permanent or portable structure, could de-ice an airplane at the end of a runway and keep ice from forming on a wing moments before takeoff. He says it can de-ice a 747 jumbo jet in four to six minutes, use one-third the amount of chemicals now used, and recover 90 percent of the liquid that drips from the aircraft.

Congressional action to authorize funding for such systems was taken in November after the crash of a USAir flight that killed 28 people at LaGuardia Airport in New York in March 1992. But so far, the FAA has not taken any steps to implement a gantry-like de-icing system at the nation's airports.

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Michelin North America is considering moving a warehousing and distribution center into a vacant 252,000-square-foot building in the Riverside Business Center in Belcamp.

The building, originally built for Pier One Imports, has been empty for more than a year.

Athene Karis, director of public relations for the Ohio-based company, said that a lease of a three-building complex in Howard County expires in September and that a decision to renew must be made by the end of June.

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In a last-ditch maneuver to avoid losing its liquor license, The Dock of the Bay restaurant filed for Chapter 11 protection under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

According to Joseph Guida, an Aberdeen attorney who represents the restaurant, the popular Fallston eatery owed the state $37,462.90 in sales and amusement taxes and a liquor license cannot be renewed until all taxes are paid. The Chapter 11 filing allowed the owners, George and Karen Barger, to remain open while they pay the taxes.

"The restaurant suffered a severe loss of cash flow during the winter when snow storms curtailed patronage, and it didn't recover quickly enough to cover the debt and I suggested placing the owners in Chapter 11," Mr. Guida said.

"Everything has worked out satisfactorily and the restaurant has renewed its liquor license and over the past two weekends has taken sufficient capital to rectify the situation."

The Dock of the Bay, which operates under the corporate name of B. Boomer Inc., specializes in seafood and is located on Route 1 just south of Route 152.

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Thompson Toyota officially opened its facility in Clayton Station on Route 40 in Edgewood on Tuesday.

"We are excited about the opening of this new facility," said Fred Anderson, the general manager. "We are also pleased with our acquisition of the Jeep/Eagle dealership from Kilduff Motors, which began as an American Motors dealership in Harford . . . 39 years ago."

The company has been operating in Harford County since December 1989 and purchased a Jeep/Eagle dealership about one mile north of the Toyota facility.

Thompson has been in the automotive business for 63 years, starting with a Studebaker dealership in the Dundalk area of Baltimore County. It operates three dealerships -- Lincoln-Mercury, Dodge and Hyundai -- in Dundalk.

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Maryland's newest Saab dealership officially opens Friday at 728 Belair Road.

Village Saab will operate next to Village Volvo, both of which are owned by Mike Martino. It will occupy the recently renovated building that once housed The Lumber Yard.

The event also marks the Maryland debut of the Saab 9000 Aero and the Saab 900 Turbo commemorative edition. Both cars will be on display and Saab representatives will be available to answer questions about the new models. The open house is scheduled for 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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Mars Super Markets Inc. will open its first Harford County store next month in Aberdeen.

The 42,000-square-foot store is the anchor for the 100,600-square-foot Aberdeen Market Place at Route 22 and Beards Hill Road.

Mars purchased the property last year from Signet Bank.

Sixty percent of the remaining space has been leased with commitments for another 21 percent, according to CM Commercial Realty Inc., the leasing agent.

Rite Aid, Little Caesar's, Hair Cuttery, King's Chinese Carryout, Sally Beauty Co., Diamond Leasing Corp. and Travel Concepts have signed leases. County Bank and Taco Bell have pad sites at the center.

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