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January 8, 2018
ESCALATOR FALL AT AIRPORT FATAL FOR BABY IN INDIA
A six-month-old girl fell from her mother's arms on an escalator at the airport in Kolkata, India, on December 30, 2017, succumbing to her injuries shortly afterward at a local hospital, The Telegraphreports. The mother reportedly was holding a bag in one hand and the child in another when the accident occurred, resulting in fatal head and neck injuries. Parents and child were riding a down escalator on their way to board an early-morning flight.
DUBAI FRAME OPENS TO HUGE CROWDS ON NEW YEAR'S DAY
Dubai, a city known for manmade marvels including the Palm Jumeirah artificial island and the Burj Khalifa — the world's tallest building — rang in 2018 with the opening of the Dubai Frame, the latest piece of spectacular architecture to grace the skyline, TimeOut Dubaireports. The Frame is a pair of 150-m-tall towers connected at the top by a 93-m-long, glass-bottomed observation bridge that, from a distance, creates a huge "picture frame" through which the city can be seen. Long lines of visitors queued up on New Year's Day to tour the Frame and to look out through the bridge's 25-m2 central glass, which affords a 360° view of the city. The Frame, being marketed as a major tourist attraction, tells visitors the story of Dubai's transformation from sleepy fishing village to a glittering metropolis and the U.A.E.’s largest city.
IN MEMORIAM: JOHN CALVIN PORTMAN, JR.
John Calvin Portman, Jr., an Atlanta-based architect world renowned for his hotel designs featuring soaring atriums with glass elevators, passed away on December 29 at the age of 93, various news outlets, including The New York Timesreport. Notable buildings he designed include the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco, as well as others throughout the U.S., Europe and Southeast Asia. Portman never stopped working, and spoke with ELEVATOR WORLD in 2014 about the role of atrium elevators in architectural design, calling them part of the “living room of life." Survivors include wife, Joan; sons, Michael, John, Jeffrey and Jarel; daughter, Jana; 19 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
December 27, 2017
MAHARASHTRA PROPOSES NEW VT REGULATIONS
The Maharashtra state government, recognizing rapid advancements in technology and standards, has introduced a bill to regulate vertical-transportation (VT) systems, the Hindustan Timesreports. The Maharashtra Lifts, Escalators and Moving Walks Bill, introduced on December 19, would replace 1939 regulations, which covered elevators but not escalators or moving walks. The new law would require VT devices to conform to regulations of the Bureau of Indian Standards or the National Building Code. Equipment owners would be required to provide annual maintenance and audits by an approved contractor. Failure to comply could bring monetary fines and the shutdown of equipment. Government regulators would be empowered to conduct surprise inspections. There are nearly 123,000 elevators in Maharashtra state, the source said.
ROSEMOR BREAKING INTO NEW MARKETS
U.K.-based Rosemor International reported it is breaking into new markets including China, India, Iran and Romania. Rosemor has been directly supplying escalator-cleaning machines to U.S. customers for more than 17 years, and uses dealers to supply to customers worldwide. The machines, for which an attachment is now available that adapts them to moving walkways, are mainly used in department stores, malls, metro stations, airports and stadiums. The company stated it is “very excited for 2018 and what new business it may entail."
TELME RECOGNIZES CSR BY CLEANING UP DUBAI STREET
Approximately 50 Toshiba Elevator Middle East (TELME) employees recognized annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) month through participation in a cleanup of Al Rigga Street in Dubai with the Dubai Municipality on December 4. The Government of Dubai presented TELME with a certificate for the effort. It was part of an overall initiative ordered by Toshiba Corp. CEO Satoshi Tsunakawa for Toshiba companies worldwide to promote a wider awareness of CSR. In addition to the cleanup, TELME's CSR efforts will include blood drives and vertical-transportation safety education. TELME Managing Director M.J. Mohamed Iqbal thanked the Government of Dubai, the Dubai Municipality, Shinichi Akiba, director, president and CEO of Toshiba Infrastructure Systems and Solutions, and Kazunori Matsubara, president and CEO of Toshiba Elevator Building Systems.
CONTRACTOR CHOSEN FOR MALAYSIA'S SKYWHEEL PROJECT
Developer M101 Holdings has named China Railway Construction Corp. Malaysia (CRCC) as the main contractor for the M101 Skywheel project, a mixed-use high-rise building in Kuala Lumpur that will include a Ferris wheel mounted on its 53rd-floor rooftop, multiple outlets, including the Straits Timesare reporting. According to property management company KLCC Properties, the MYR2.2-billion (US$540-million) building, designed by Studio FA Porsche, will include residences and a hotel. A shopping mall will be situated on the 48th floor, making it the highest retail complex in Malaysia. The Ferris wheel will sit between two towers that rise to a full height of 78 stories. Construction is targeted for completion in 2022.
TOSHIBA ELEVATOR MIDDLE EAST OBTAINS CERTIFICATIONS
Toshiba Elevator Middle East (TELME) has been awarded several certifications by TÜV SÜD Middle East LLC: ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management Systems); ISO:14001:2015 (Environment); and OSHAS:18001:20007 (Safety Management). Stating the certifications are a testament to TELME's attention to quality, safety and environmental sustainability, TELME Managing Director M.J. Mohamed Iqbal joined other officials at a small function in December 2017 in Dubai to speak about the importance of maintaining TELME's high standards. Iqbal thanked parent company Toshiba for its continued support and stated, "Quality can never be compromised."
MITSUBISHI HOLDS “SAFE RIDER” PROGRAM IN QATAR
Mitsubishi Elevators & Escalators and its Qatar representative, ETA MELCO, recently held a “Safe Rider” awareness program for pupils at the Vision International School in Doha, Qatar, to help the children understand and follow basic safety rules while using elevators and escalators, The Peninsulaare reports. The report noted that more people than ever are using vertical transportation in Qatar, with a proliferation of apartment and office buildings, schools, hospitals, airports and shopping malls. The program included a series of video presentations, interactive sessions and illustrative handouts, and was well received by the children. Mitsubishi Elevators and ETA MELCO plan to offer the program in other schools.
SOARING PLATFORM RISES IN CHONGQING, CHINA
A large platform connecting four, 250-m-tall towers at the Raffles City Chongqing complex in Chongqing, China, was undergoing a weeklong process of being lifted into place, China Dailyreported on December 15. The glass-enclosed platform will cover more than 10,000 m2 of space, and will include an observation deck, a fine-dining restaurant and a club. Raffles City, a US$4-billion project developed by Capita-Land Group and Ascendas-Singbridge of Singapore, covers 1.12 million m2 and has eight towers. The buildings house residences, a shopping mall, office space and a five-star hotel. The project will open in phases, a process expected to begin in 2019.
GAL NAMES WORLDWIDE VP OF ENGINEERING
James Varon has been named vice president (VP) of engineering for all GAL locations, including New York, Quincy, Toronto and Asia. He will be responsible for all aspects of engineering, such as R&D, new-product introductions and contract engineering. Beginning at GAL 37 years ago as a mechanical draftsman, he moved up to door equipment engineering manager in 1985, then engineering manager in 2000 before progressing to VP of engineering at GAL in 2014. At his last post, his scope was limited to the Bronx, New York, facility.
HYUNDAI ELEVATOR REFLECTS ON 2017 GROWTH, ACHIEVEMENTS
South Korea’s Hyundai Elevator reflected on its 2017 growth and achievements in its December newsletter, including that it installed more than 2,000 elevators in a single month, in June, for the first time in company history, launched its new human-resources automatic processing system, Elis, at corporate headquarters early this month and became the first elevator business to win the Gold iF Design Award for ANYVATER, which features ultra-large and multitouch displays geared toward underserved users such as children and the disabled. Hyundai Elevator also noted its first-half revenue increased more than 20% and its profit nearly 17% over the same time period in the previous year.