Ranking Independence Air

There's mixed news for Independence Air passengers in the Department of Transportation's latest Air Travel Consumer Report, which tracks the performance of U.S. carriers.

On the upside, the report shows that the Dulles-based low-cost airline canceled only 39 of its 12,666 scheduled flights in May. The 0.3 percent cancellation rate was fifth-best among the 20 airlines DOT compared. Only Continental, Frontier, Hawaiian and JetBlue did better.

Independence also scored well in the mishandled-bags category, with 3.20 reports for every 1,000 passengers in May. Only Hawaiian, ATA and JetBlue ranked higher.

On the downside, Independence had more passenger complaints -- 1.87 for every 100,000 passengers who boarded its flights -- than any of the 20 airlines. One carrier -- JetBlue -- didn't receive a single complaint in May, according to the report.

Independence also can't brag about its on-time percentage -- 78.7 percent, second-worst among carriers (after Alaska Airlines).

Grease Removal, Anyone?

Dulles International Airport is getting bigger and busier all the time, and that means more jobs for more companies in the region.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Dulles and Reagan National airports, says it is looking for companies that can provide:

* Services to demolish the airport's old fuel farm, which includes two 1.2 million-gallon tanks, four 470,000-gallon tanks, three 127,000-gallon tanks and one 1,800-square-foot control building with a basement, not to mention lots of water and gas lines.

* "Pavement cleaning & grease removal." This job calls for "on-call cleaning services for concrete pavements at mobile lounge docking areas, various pedestrian walkways and exterior passenger loading bridges."

* Management and operation of thebus service between Dulles and the West Falls Church Metro.

On Deck in Loudoun

Trex Co. plans to move its headquarters to the corporate office park under development at Dulles Town Center.

The Winchester-based company calls itself the nation's largest manufacturer of "alternative decking products," including a wood-plastic composite that, according to Trex, "offers an attractive appearance and the workability of wood without wood's ongoing maintenance requirements or functional disadvantages."

Trex, established in 1996 by four Mobil executives, said it expects to report a loss for the second quarter of this year.

"A combination of factors, both on the revenue and the income side, are making this year much more challenging than we had anticipated," Robert G. Matheny, the company's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

"Our results have been affected by higher than anticipated retail inventory levels, which have adversely impacted our sales. In addition . . . unfavorable weather in many parts of the U.S. significantly delayed the onset of this year's decking season."

Matheny added, "A slower than expected expansion of our new distribution program with The Home Depot also caused sales to be less than expected."

Trex expects to announce its second-quarter results near the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Matheny called the planned 80,071-square-foot headquarters near Dulles Airport "truly a gateway location, with easy access, major amenities and space for growth. Most importantly, access to the larger skilled professional labor pool and corporate services in this area will allow us to better support our continued growth as a company."

County Procurement 101

Loudoun County is inviting area businesses to attend information exchange sessions to learn about its procurement process.

The sessions will be held next Thursday at 2 p.m., Sept. 19 at 10:30 a.m., Oct. 20 at 2 p.m., Nov. 18 at 10:30 a.m. and Dec. 22 at 2 p.m.

The sessions will be held in the first-floor Lovettsville Room at the County Government Center at 1 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg.

To reserve a seat, call 703-771-5142 or send an e-mail to sfields@loudoun.gov.


Have news about business in Loudoun County? Send it to brubaker@washpost.com.