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Winning Strategies For Airport Concessions Managing A Tornado Response Non-Aeronautical Revenue Development










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ith this issue of Airport Magazine, we are pleased to announce the airport members of the 2011-2012 Editorial Advisory Board. These board members are executives who, while already busy enough running airports, have a keen interest in promoting and enhancing the knowledge base of this industry. They offer suggestions and advice on appropriate articles and projects for the magazine, which ensures that we are offering what readers need and want to read. We welcome: Bill Barkhauer, A.A.E., executive director, Morristown Municipal Airport; Tim Doll, A.A.E., director, Eugene Airport; Mark Gale, A.A.E., CEO, Philadelphia International Airport; Erin O’Donnell, managing deputy commissioner, Chicago Midway International Airport; Lynn Kusy, C.M., executive director, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport; Steve Schreiber, director, Portland International Airport; Todd McNamee, A.A.E., director, Ventura County Department of Airports; Tory Richardson, A.A.E., executive director, Fort Wayne International Airport; Robert Olislagers, A.A.E., executive director, Centennial Airport; Louis Miller, general manager, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and Al Pollard, A.A.E., director, Martin State Airport. Corporate members on the Airport Magazine Advisory Board are Bill Hogan, vice president-aviation, RS&H; Stacy Hollowell, senior marketing manager, Siemens Corp.; Randy Pope, associate vice president, aviation and facilities, Burns & McDonnell; and Laura Samuels, vice president, corporate communications, Hudson Group. In this issue, we focus on airport concessions: new ideas and proven concepts. Many thanks to the airports that shared their success stories with our readers. We also offer articles on incident command and non-aeronautical sources of revenue, among others, so keep reading. Finally, our advertisers help to make our magazine possible, and we ask that you support them in turn.










BARBARA COOK barbara.cook@aaae.org PUBLISHER







aaaemarketingteam@aaae.org EDITORIAL OFFICE

601 Madison Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 824-0500, Ext. 133 Fax: (703) 820-1395 Internet Address: www.airportmagazine.net Send editorial materials/press releases to: magazine@aaae.org Airport Magazine is published bimonthly by the AAAE Service Corporation Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Association of Airport Executives, and the Airport Research and Development Foundation. Subscription price for AAAE members is included in the annual dues. U.S. subscription rate to non-members is $50 for one year. International rate for non-members is $100. Single copy price is $12. Copyright 2011 by AAAE. All rights reserved. Statements of fact and opinion are the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of AAAE or any of its members or officers. POSTMASTER Send address changes to: Airport Magazine 601 Madison Street, Suite 400 Alexandria, VA 22314

Barbara Cook




Volume 23/Number 3 | June/July 2011








EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD AIRPORT MEMBERS WILLIAM G. BARKHAUER, A.A.E., Morristown, New Jersey TIMOTHY M. DOLL, A.A.E., Eugene, Oregon MARK E. GALE, A.A.E, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ERIN O’DONNELL, Chicago, Illinois LYNN KUSY, C.M., Mesa, Arizona STEVE SCHREIBER, Portland, Oregon TODD MCNAMEE, A.A.E., Camarillo, California TORRANCE A. RICHARDSON, A.A.E., Fort Wayne, Indiana ROBERT OLISLAGERS, A.A.E., Englewood, Colorado LOUIS MILLER, Atlanta, Georgia AL POLLARD, A.A.E., Baltimore, Maryland






S E C R E TA RY / T R E A S U R E R RANDALL D. BERG, Salt Lake City, Utah

Features Marketing, Placement of Concessions Prove to be Winning Formula | 12 A Port Columbus International Case Study

San Diego Opts for Major Concessions Redevelopment Program | 16 Revitalization for a Better Customer Experience

Changing Airport Concessions to Meet the Diverse Needs of Travelers | 18 Trends Affecting Placement of Concessions

Non-Aeronautical Land Development at El Paso International | 23 Making the Most of Your Strengths

Reagan Washington National Marks 70 Years | 26 From Plantation Site to Major Airport

AAAE’s 2011 Annual Conference and Exposition | 28 Photos from the Atlanta Experience

Lambert-St. Louis International: Managing a Tornado Response | 30 Returning to Normalcy

Sea-Tac Activates Incident Command to Aid in Repatriation Operation | 34 Staging the Airport for an Emergency Response





Upfront 6 News Briefs


Executive View


Finance Column


Corporate Outlook


GA 44 FBR 46 Retail Briefs


Industry Metrics


MarketScan 50 Billboard 52 Ad Index


Coming in Airport Magazine August/September: Airport Security Issue The changing landscape of required airport security measures is coupled with an overview of screening technology.

October/November ARFF (Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) Issue The regulatory, operational and equipment needs of airport emergency services are highlighted in this annual update.

S E C O N D PA S T C H A I R JIM P. ELWOOD, Aspen, Colorado BOARD MEMBERS DANETTE M. BEWLEY, Reno, Nevada SCOTT A. BROCKMAN, Memphis, Tennessee MARY CASE, Houston, Texas ANN B. CROOK, Horseheads, New York ROD A. DINGER, Redding, California TIMOTHY M. DOLL, Eugene, Oregon MARK E. GALE, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania STACY L. HOLLOWELL, Carrollton, Texas CLAUDIA B. HOLLIWAY, Valdosta, Georgia KIM W. HOPPER, Portsmouth, New Hampshire PHILLIP E. JOHNSON, Grand Rapids, Michigan MARK D. KRANENBURG, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma WILLIAM F. MARRISON, Knoxville, Tennessee TODD L. MCNAMEE, Camarillo, California CARL D. NEWMAN, Phoenix, Arizona THOMAS M. RAFTER, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey TORRANCE A. RICHARDSON, Fort Wayne, Indiana WALTER B. STRONG, Norman, Oklahoma ALVIN L. STUART, Salt Lake City, Utah PAUL J. WIEDEFELD, Baltimore, Maryland CHAPTER PRESIDENTS JEFFREY A. MULDER, Tulsa, Oklahoma SCOTT A. BROCKMAN, Memphis, Tennessee ALFRED POLLARD, Baltimore, Maryland MICHAEL J. OLSON, Grand Island, Nebraska MARK E. WITSOE, Portland, Oregon TODD S. WOODARD, Spokane, Washington POLICY REVIEW COMMITTEE BONNIE A. ALLIN, Tucson, Arizona ROSEMARIE ANDOLINO, Chicago, Illinois WILLIAM G. BARKHAUER, Morristown, New Jersey KRYS T. BART, Reno, Nevada THELLA F. BOWENS, San Diego, California LARRY D. COX, Memphis, Tennessee ALFONSO DENSON, Birmingham, Alabama KEVIN A. DILLON, Warwick, Rhode Island THOMAS E. GREER, Monterey, California GARY L. JOHNSON, Stillwater, Oklahoma JAMES A. KOSLOSKY, Grand Rapids, Michigan LYNN F. KUSY, Mesa, Arizona RONALD MATHIEU, Little Rock, Arkansas

Cover Design: Zev Remba Unconformity, LLC

ERIN M. O’DONNELL, Chicago, Illinois BRADLEY D. PENROD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ELAINE ROBERTS, Columbus, Ohio STEVEN H. SCHREIBER, Portland, Oregon RICKY D. SMITH, Cleveland, Ohio SUSAN M. STEVENS, Charleston, South Carolina MARK VANLOH, Kansas City, Missouri PRESIDENT CHARLES M. BARCLAY, Alexandria, Virginia


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AAAE Elects Leaders For 2011-12 AAAE members elected Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., director, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, as the association’s 2011-12 chair, and selected five other executive committee members and a total of eight new board members during the association’s May 15-18 annual conference and exposition, hosted by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Bruce Carter, A.A.E., director, Quad City International Airport, was elected first vice chair; Mark Brewer, A.A.E., director, Manchester/Boston Regional Airport, was elected second vice chair; and Randy Berg, A.A.E., director of operations, Salt Lake City Department of Airports, was elected secretary/treasurer. Jim Bennett, A.A.E., CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports Co., is AAAE’s first past chair; and Jim Elwood, A.A.E., director, Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, is second past chair, rounding out the AAAE executive committee.

“AAAE has thrived for more than eight decades, thanks to the dedication and tireless efforts of volunteer leaders, and the gifted men and women selected by their peers to help steer the organization in the year ahead undoubtedly will continue that rich tradition of service,” AAAE President Charles Barclay said. “With representatives of airports of all sizes and all parts of the country, the AAAE leadership is well-positioned to tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our industry.” Joining Berg as newly elected AAAE board members are Scott Brockman, A.A.E., executive vice president and COO, Memphis/ Shelby County Airport Authority; Mary Case, A.A.E., general manager, George Bush Intercontinental Airport; Ann Crook, A.A.E., manager, Elmira-Corning Regional Airport; Claudia Holliway, national aviation business developer, The LPA Group, a unit of Michael Baker Corp.; Phil Johnson, A.A.E., deputy executive director, Kent County Department of Aeronautics; Walt

Strong, A.A.E., administrator, Max Westheimer Airport, University of Oklahoma; Al Stuart, A.A.E., superintendent of operations, Salt Lake City International Airport; and Paul Wiedefeld, A.A.E., executive director, Maryland Aviation Administration. Board members continuing their service are: Danette Bewley, A.A.E., assistant director, airport economic development, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority; Rod Dinger, A.A.E., airport manager, Redding Municipal Airport; Timothy Doll, A.A.E., director, Eugene Airport; Mark Gale, A.A.E., CEO, Philadelphia International Airport; Stacy Hollowell, senior marketing manager, Siemens; Kim Hopper, A.A.E., manager, Portsmouth International Airport; Mark Kranenburg, A.A.E., director, Will Rogers World Airport; William Marrison, A.A.E., president, Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority; Todd McNamee, A.A.E., director, Ventura County Department of Airports; Carl Newman, A.A.E., assistant director, Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; Thomas Rafter, A.A.E., director, Atlantic City International Airport; and Torrance Richardson, A.A.E., executive director, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. The 84th AAAE Annual Conference and Exposition will take place April 29-May 2, 2012, in Phoenix, with Sky Harbor International serving as host.

AAAE Board Names 2011-12 IAAE Board

AAAE officers (left to right): Jim Elwood, A.A.E., second past chair; Mark Brewer, A.A.E., second vice chair; Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., chair; Bruce Carter, A.A.E., first vice chair; Jim Bennett, A.A.E., first past chair; and Randy Berg, A.A.E., secretary/treasurer. 6


The AAAE Board of Directors has appointed the members of the International Association of Airport Executives (IAAE) Board of Directors for 2011-2012, naming Bonnie Allin, A.A.E., president and CEO of the Tucson Airport Authority, chair, and Tonci Peovic,


general manager of Zagreb Airport Ltd., vice chair. Allin and Peovic will lead a 37-member board made up of senior airport executives and corporate representatives from around the globe. “IAAE’s goals are to strengthen ties among global airport executives and increase collaboration with foreign governments, transportation ministries and civil aviation authorities,” said IAAE Executive Director and AAAE Senior Executive Vice President Spencer Dickerson. “The board of directors is an experienced group of aviation leaders who are well-suited to advance the association’s objectives and make IAAE’s voice heard in global aviation circles.” IAAE, an affiliate of AAAE, has produced 60-plus aviation forums, conferences and symposiums worldwide, providing opportunities for international aviation executives to gather and collaborate on the industry’s most relevant issues. Joining Allin and Peovic on the 2011-12 IAAE board are: Jim Bennett, A.A.E., CEO, Abu Dhabi Airports Co.; Larry Cox, A.A.E., president and CEO, MemphisShelby County Airport Authority; Jim Koslosky, A.A.E., executive director, Kent County Department of Aeronautics; Tom Greer, A.A.E., general manager, Monterey Peninsula Airport District; Jerry FitzGerald, A.A.E., president, Aviation Perspectives LLC; Bill Barkhauer, A.A.E., executive director, Morristown Municipal Airport; Jeanne Olivier, A.A.E., aviation assistant director, aviation security and technology, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey; Al Denson, A.A.E., president and CEO, Birmingham Airport Authority; Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., airport director, Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport; Krys Bart, A.A.E., president

and CEO, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority; John Duval, A.A.E, national aviation director, Austin Commercial; Elaine Roberts, A.A.E., president and CEO, Columbus Regional Airport Authority; Bob Bogan, A.A.E., deputy executive director, Morristown Municipal Airport; Jim Elwood, A.A.E., director, Aspen/Pitkin County Airport; Robert Olislagers, A.A.E., executive director, Centennial Airport; Michael Cheyne, A.A.E., director of asset management and sustainability, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; Bruce Carter, A.A.E., director, Quad City International Airport; Rosemarie Andolino, commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation; Roger Sellick, A.A.E., executive consultant, InterVISTAS Consulting Group; Steve Baker, president and CEO, London International Airport; Richard Schano, CEO, Romeo Sierra Aviation Management Services; Zbigniew Salek, member of the board, Poznan Airport; Gershon Adzadi, ICT manager, Ghana Airports Company Ltd.; Bernie Humphries, A.A.E., vice presidentoperations, Calgary Airport Authority; George Paldi, AAAEIAAE international consultant, Budapest; Stefan Runcan, general director, Transylvania Airport; Patricia Krall, vice president-product line management and marketing, L-3 Security and Detection Systems; Woodie Woodward, president, Woodward & Associates; Bob Francis, executive vice president, Farragut International; Bill Fullerton, vice president-airports and ports, The Louis Berger Group; Theresia Schatz, A.A.E., senior program officer, Airport Cooperative Research Program, Transportation Research Board; Werner Toepel, civil aviation consultant; Bill Newman, director, strategic management, Greater

Toronto Airports Authority; Roko Tolic, general manager, Dubrovnik International Airport; and Gabriel Dumitrescu, director, air traffic services, Bucharest Area, Romatsa.

U.S. Contract Tower Policy Board Named AAAE’s Board of Directors has appointed the 2011-2012 U.S. Contract Tower Association Policy Board. Policy Board chair is Walt Strong, A.A.E., (Norman, Okla.). Board members are: Steve Stockam (Joplin, Mo.); Russ Chandler (Jacksonville, Fla.); Jerry O’Sullivan, A.A.E. (Greenbrier, W.Va.); Richard Baird (Hailey, Idaho); Anthony Ware (Chennault, La.); Richard Lewis (Concord, N.C.); Tim Whitman (Oklahoma City, Okla.); Scott Driver (Tucson, Ariz.); Vinicio Llerena (New Braunfels, Texas); Gary Johnson, C.M. (Stillwater, Okla.); Keith Kaspari, C.M. (Gwinn, Mich.); Doug Kimmel (Marion, Ill.); Bryan Rodgers (State College, Pa.); Rex Tippetts, A.A.E. (Grand Junction, Colo.); Richard Howell, A.A.E. (San Luis Obispo, Calif.); Scott Musser (Okaloosa, Fla.); Luis Elguezabal, A.A.E. (San Angelo, Texas); Bill Mitchell (Mesa, Ariz.); Shane Cordes (Midwest ATC); Steve Christmas (Serco); Charles Dove (RVA); Brian Lally (CTBX Aviation); Peter Deeks (AJT Engineering); John Root (Wolen); and Dave Byers (Quadrex).

DTIS Selected For IRS Fingerprinting Contract AAAE has applauded the selection of Daon Trusted Identity Services (DTIS) by the Internal Revenue Service to provide fingerprinting and FBI background checking services for an estimated 1 million individuals who prepare or assist in the preparation of federal tax returns. AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


UPFRONT News Briefs Gresham, Smith and Partners announced the Guidebook of Practices for Improving Environmental Performance at Small Airports has been published. Developed by GS&P for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), with support from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin and KB Environmental Sciences, the guidebook provides managers of small airports with a resource that promotes environmental awareness, identifies federal environmental compliance requirements, outlines practices that proactively enhance environmental stewardship and identifies resources/tools that airports can use to be proactive. The guidebook is available for free download from www.trb.org and a hard copy version is available for purchase. … TSA has named Donald Drummer as federal security director (FSD) for Newark Liberty International. Drummer has been acting FSD at Baltimore-Washington International since February 2011 and prior to that served as deputy FSD at John F. Kennedy International beginning in January 2010. … TSA has named Kevin Donovan FSD for Oklahoma City’s Will Rogers World Airport. Previously, Donovan served as acting FSD for the airports of the Eastern Washington District based in Spokane, Wash., and assistant general manager for procedures in TSA’s Office of Security Operations. …Metron Aviation has named Monte Belger vice president of industry relations. Belger most recently served as vice president of transportation system solutions for Lockheed Martin, following a career with FAA. Belger joins the Industry Advisory Services group at Metron Aviation. … The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) Board has named Chief Legal Counsel David Mackey as interim CEO and executive director of Massport. Mackey will fill on an interim basis the vacancy created by Thomas Kinton Jr.’s retirement June 1. … Larry Krauter, A.A.E., interim director of the Lehigh-Northampton (Pa.) Airport Authority, has been named the new executive director of Spokane International and Felts Field. He replaces interim director Ryland “Skip” Davis. … Jamie Kogutek, senior manager, strategic planning and scheduling for AirTran Airways, has joined Sixel Consulting Group as an air strategy and development consultant. Kogutek will remain in Orlando, Fla., opening Sixel’s eighth office. He has been with AirTran since 2005. … Mark Busalacchi has joined the Lee County Port Authority as director of properties. He is responsible for negotiating, drafting and managing revenue-producing contracts at both Southwest Florida International and Page Field General Aviation airports. … Ron Jefferson has been promoted to assistant director of facilities for Naples (Fla.) Airport Authority. He is responsible for maintaining the material assets of Naples Municipal Airport. 8


Since 2006, DTIS has operated AAAE’s Transportation Security Clearinghouse (TSC), which provides background screening services for aviation workers throughout the United States. The multi-year contract will provide tax preparers with a convenient and cost-effective way to meet federal background check standards required by the IRS. Working in conjunction with The UPS Store, DTIS will designate a minimum of 450 The UPS Store locations throughout the U.S. within the next six months to collect fingerprints. Additional international collection locations will be established as well.

stations are located in the daily and hourly parking garages. A year ago, the Maryland Energy Administration announced a $500,000 investment in electric vehicle infrastructure, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in order to promote a cleaner, more efficient transportation system in Maryland. That investment fueled the construction of 65 charging stations throughout the BaltimoreWashington metropolitan area, including the ones at the airport. “This innovation highlights our commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Paul Wiedefeld, A.A.E., the airport’s executive director.  

BWI Installs Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Sea-Tac Selects Energy Efficient Escalators

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley recently unveiled electric vehicle charging stations at BaltimoreWashington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The eight charging

Seattle-Tacoma International will replace 42 existing escalators and install two new ones, all designed to save the airport $250,000 in annual repair costs and to reduce energy

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley plugs in a Chevy Volt to charge in one of eight new charging stations at BWI.


Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International aviation planner Yasmina Platt (left) and senior aviation planner Dottie Gandee developed and organized a half-day program for Atlanta area high school students at this year’s AAAE conference.

costs by 20 percent. The modernization project will kick off in late July and address more than half of the 79 escalators at Sea-Tac, some dating back to the early 1970s, the airport said. The project is scheduled to be completed in June 2013. The new escalators will have more efficient drive systems and features that have the capability to adjust the power demand and speed of the escalators based on load and usage, according to the announcement. The total approved cost of the project is $55 million, but current construction estimates are projecting the final cost to be lower than budgeted.

Atlanta Event Introduces Students To AAAE As the aviation industry prepares to roll out NextGen technologies in the coming years, the push is on to help prepare the next generation of aviation professionals. At AAAE’s recent annual conference and exposition in Atlanta, members of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s host

committee organized and sponsored a half-day workshop for local teenagers who are interested in aviation. Joining conference delegates on May 16 were 17 students from Maxwell High School of Technology’s aviation magnet program in Gwinnett County and from the Aviation Career Enrichment academy. According to Yasmina Platt, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta aviation planner, many students think only of being pilots when considering careers in aviation. “We wanted to include aviation students from metro Atlanta in the AAAE conference as a way of showing them that aviation careers can include becoming an engineer, architect, planner and so many other vocations beyond piloting,” she said. After a briefing on the overall organization of the conference and exposition, the students explored the exhibit hall. “This was the first major association event most of the students have ever attended,” said Dottie Gandee, HartsfieldJackson senior aviation planner and host committee member. “It was great seeing them interact with

the vendors, learning about their products and services, and getting a whole new perspective on the aviation industry.” After visiting the exposition, the students joined a session designed for AAAE’s college student delegates, where they had the opportunity to discuss specific college aviation programs. The high school group then attended a panel discussion, “NextGen — Impacts on Airports in the Short and Long Term,” that featured remarks from FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. “The students thoroughly enjoyed attending the AAAE conference,” said Capt. Ken Phelps, aviation teacher at Maxwell. “They were thrilled to learn about airport operations and planning from aviation professionals.” Gandee said that the student program was such a success that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, host of next year’s AAAE Conference and Exposition, is interested in continuing the program.

Boeing Forecasts $4 Trillion Aircraft Market Boeing has forecast a $4 trillion market for new aircraft over the next 20 years, with 33,500 new passenger airplanes and freighters needed between 2011 and 2030. “The world market has recovered and is now expanding at a significant rate,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Not only is there a strong demand for air travel and new airplanes today, but the fundamental drivers of air travel, including economic growth, world trade and liberalization, all point to a healthy long-term demand.” Passenger traffic is expected to grow at a 5.1 percent annual rate over the long-term, and the world fleet is expected to double by 2030, AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011



Tinseth said. The single-aisle market will continue to see strong demand around the world and is expected to increase its share of sales. Fleet composition will change significantly by 2030 with singleaisle jets making up 70 percent of the total, he noted. Robust growth in China, India and other emerging markets will lead to a more balanced airplane demand worldwide, according to Boeing. China, which has experienced double-digit growth in gross domestic product in recent years, is forecast to grow at 7 percent annually, while South Asia, which includes India, is forecast to grow at 7.1 percent. Asia Pacific is expected to need the most new airplanes over the next 20 years and will represent the



largest market by value of deliveries at more than $1.5 trillion. The region will account for more than a third of new deliveries worldwide, while the Middle East and Latin America also will continue to show very strong growth. European and North American carriers will continue to see demand for replacement airplanes as they retire older, less fuel-efficient models, Boeing said. “In fact, we predict 94 percent of the European fleet operating in 2030 will have been delivered after 2011, with airplanes that are better for the environment, passengers and the airlines,” according to the manufacturer. “Forty percent of all new airplanes delivered over the next two decades will be replacements.

DOT: Lengthy Tarmac Delays Largely Gone During the first year after a new rule limiting airline tarmac delays went into effect, lengthy delays experienced by passengers aboard aircraft have largely disappeared and only a minimal number of flights were canceled to avoid delays on the tarmac, DOT reported. “On the one-year anniversary of the tarmac delay rule, it’s clear that we’ve accomplished our goal of virtually eliminating the number of aircraft leaving travelers stranded without access to food, water, or working lavatories for hours on end,” DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said. “This is a giant step forward for the rights of air travelers.”


What is so Great About AAAE? By Kelly Johnson, A.A.E.


few weeks ago in Atlanta I was asked, “What is so great about AAAE”? Don’t you just love easy questions? It is the people who make up the membership and the exceptional staff of our organization that make AAAE great. AAAE is comprised of individual airport members and our corporate partners. On the individual side of the balance sheet we have commercial, general aviation, military, academic, international and emeritus members. What a tremendous resource of knowledge, information and energy they are. On the corporate side, we have the half of our team that helps us plan, build, market, recruit, implement, finance, equip, supply and create the vision of the future of our facilities and the industry itself. We all rely on these team members, some more than others. I fall into the “some” category. My first AAAE-related meeting took place in January, in the mid ‘80s, my sixth official week in my new career of aviation management. When I arrived at the meeting in Daytona Beach, my luggage didn’t. I attended the first session the next morning in yesterday’s clothes and knowing none of these strangers. What I anticipated as a dreadful experience quickly turned into the most positive of my professional life. I feverishly took notes as the speakers came and went. I wanted to ask questions but was embarrassed that they would be so basic that people would wonder why I was there. Relief finally arrived at lunch. Sitting down at an empty table, I soon was surrounded by folks who to this day are my mentors and very good friends. They went down my list of questions, explaining concepts and defining acronyms, literally taking me under their wings to ensure I was comfortable, welcome and, most important, getting the material, knowledge and skill set I needed to learn to do the job. But for that experience I would not have the position I hold today at my airport or the humbling position as a leader in our organization. They got me involved on a committee, then they let me chair a committee. From there they encouraged me to begin the accreditation process as they allowed me to serve on their board. The point is that you are AAAE, and make the organization what it is. Many challenges are ahead for our industry. Our nation’s economic future will require sacrifice from all aspects of government, including the aviation sector. No department is going to be immune from what will have to be done to get this country’s financial house in order.

This begs the question, how big, how bad, and when? At this point, these are all unknowns. The fact that FAA is currently operating under the 20th short-term extension in three and one-half years is a testament to the dysfunction of the process. Perhaps now is the time to lay the groundwork for what airports do if AIP goes away. We know cuts are coming that make it extremely difficult to plan a capital program. With no relief on the PFC front in either version of the proposed legislation, we are not allowed the option of generation of sufficient funds locally. This gives us time to develop a strategy for the next legislative round. To quote from recent AAAE testimony before the House aviation subcommittee: “It’s time for the federal government to get out of the business of imposing an arbitrary federal cap on locally generated funds. It’s time to return decision-making to the local level where it belongs. State and local governments — not the federal government — should have the authority to decide what is best for them and determine what the appropriate PFC level should be at their respective airports. Some may try to argue that removing the PFC cap is akin to raising taxes. PFCs are not taxes — they are local user fees. PFCs are not collected by the federal government, not spent by the federal government and not deposited into the U.S. treasury. To the contrary, PFCs are collected by our airline partners and used by airports to finance critical safety, security and capacity projects.” We need to generate a method of carrying this message home to our representatives on Capitol Hill that has more impact. Please share your thoughts and ideas with AAAE leadership and staff. On a positive note, I applaud the efforts of TSA Administrator John Pistole and his team for moving toward a risk-based system of security. To quote AAAE President Chip Barclay, “We need to be looking for bad people, not bad things,” and he is absolutely correct. Security can be accomplished in a manner that is effective, efficient and leaves our passengers with their dignity intact. Allow me to recognize the outstanding AAAE team whose talents are allowed to excel under the leadership of Chip Barclay. These individuals are bright, creative and committed to what they do for the membership. I look forward to working with you this coming year on the challenges we face as an industry. You are AAAE, and we need your ideas and continued support to create a more effective climate for the public we all serve. A AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


Marketing, Placement of Concessions Prove to be a

Winning Formula


By David Saleme, A.A.E.

n 2010, oversized shampoo bottles, iPads and giant stickers all helped to drive up concession revenues at Port Columbus International. The airport was able to increase overall concession revenues at four times the rate of passenger growth through a combination of marketing efforts and strategically placed concessions and amenities. The improvements were not capital intensive, nor did they require substantial changes to the facility, yet the return on the efforts was significant. Enplaned passenger traffic growth at Port Columbus in 2010 was approximately 2 percent higher than the traffic levels in 2009. Overall concession revenue growth, however, increased by almost 8 percent. Airside concession revenue growth was strongest, with food and beverage and retail sales combined growing by 12.5 percent. Other than advertising, food and beverage was the strongest subset, with more than 15 percent growth in airside concession revenues. The efforts reviewed below all contributed to concession revenue growth at Port Columbus and were substantially completed in 2010. The common thread running through these efforts was the intent to meet passengers’ needs for information, products and services in the areas where passengers tended to congregate.

MARKETING CAMPAIGN The main goal of our concessions marketing campaign in 2010 was to provide information to passengers on their entire journey through the airport. The efforts ranged from traditional static signs to digital ads running adjacent to the flight information display system. A passenger first might see a promotion on the shuttle bus ride into 12


the airport, or view a huge wall wrap depicting a giant shampoo bottle or other item available in a retail concession, or a 3D display in our parking garage and departure level entrances. The program also included floor and column wraps on both arrivals and departures levels with messaging that supported our concessions. Additionally, the marketing campaign supported Port Columbus’ iPad program for airport ambassadors, ticket jackets for passengers to use when checking in, and power outlets throughout the terminal. iPads were provided to our volunteer airport ambassadors for their daily use. The iPads were loaded with apps, such as Clear Channel’s FlySmart app, weather apps and translation apps, all with a focus on assisting passengers in the terminal. In addition, a bold message that promoted our marketing program was “skinned” on the back of each iPad. The ticket jackets were provided in recognition that fewer airlines now provide this amenity. Each jacket contained detailed terminal information, as well as promoted the terminal concessions that participated in the marketing program. The focus of the campaign was to provide information on the concepts in the terminal. Bold colors, humor, repeated impressions and the direct “Eat. Drink. Shop. Connect.” call to action were all instrumental to the success of the campaign. To demonstrate the impact of the marketing campaign, we designated shops as participating versus non-participating locations, all postsecurity. In 2010, the participating post-security food and beverage locations, all of which were covered by the marketing effort, increased total gross revenues by 15.1 percent. Over the same

Elements of the Port Columbus marketing campaign



time period, gross revenues for post-security retail locations that did not participate in the marketing effort experienced growth of 7.3 percent. To account for traffic shifts due to airline relocations, these percentages included all three concourses at Port Columbus. As a whole, the marketing program provided a valuable message to our passengers and helped to increase total revenues. Although food and beverage and retail revenues increased in 2010, the rate of increase for the participating food and beverage concepts was significantly higher than the retail outlets. As a result, the program will be refreshed in 2011, and we are in the process of negotiating for the inclusion of all concepts into the program.

VENDING/KIOSKS Many passengers exhibit a familiar behavior pattern in that they tend to focus on getting through security and to their holdrooms. There may be various reasons for this behavior, but it is consistent. At Port Columbus, this behavior pattern provided the opportunity to bring additional concessions and services nearer to the holdrooms. Port Columbus’ goal in 2010 was to meet passenger needs within the envelope of the comfort they found near the holdroom. Vending machines and kiosks provided a solution to the challenge of Port Columbus’ tight concourses and limited holdroom space in these areas. Retail vending machines (Best Buy kiosks), staffed kiosks for food and beverage (HMSHost), Pepsi vending machines, and services such as staffed massage locations all either were expanded or installed at the airport in 2010. The logic behind the placement of these units was straightforward: the placement should be within the direct sightline of a holdroom, steps away from the seating but never out of the sight of the gate. In some instances, the kiosks and vending intruded either physically or visually into previously open areas or walkways, but the change was acceptable because of the overall gain for the passenger. These new or expanded vending, kiosk and 14


service locations increased their segment’s gross revenues by more than 200 percent in 2010. Together these units provided more than $400,000 in additional gross revenues. Most of the locations were not installed until mid-year, so the positive impact in 2011 will continue. (For clarification, these increases are not included in the revenue percentages provided in the introduction to this article.) The physical placement of these concepts in the immediate proximity of the holdrooms helps to satisfy previously unmet needs by delivering quality products or services directly to the passengers. As a result, these concepts are a success.

POWER OUTLETS Another self-evident fact is that our passengers clearly are demanding more power outlet options. A few minutes in any airport terminal will make it

Port Columbus used messaging and expanded availability of power strips to boost concession sales.

clear that passengers are doing whatever it takes to get the power they need to recharge their laptops, phones or other devices. Passengers can be found sitting on floors, unplugging vending machines or other equipment, or moving furniture to meet this need. Take a moment and Google “airport power outlets,” and you will find page after page filled with passengers providing advice to each other on where to find power outlets in airports. While most airports have stepped up and provided areas to plug in and recharge, the demand for power outlets keeps growing. In most locations, lines are forming at these outlets. Some passengers bring power strips for sharing, but on the whole, power outlets remain a limited resource that passengers value. Port Columbus’ goal is to shift our power outlets from a limited resource in clustered locations to a plentiful resource to be found everywhere. The reasoning supporting this decision is that individuals typically feel the need to hoard limited and valuable resources, and, as a result, passengers tend to occupy available outlets longer because of this feeling. In 2010, Port Columbus worked with Arconas to install more than 400 power outlets directly on our holdroom seating. Each Arconas inPower flex unit contains two ground fault interrupter protected outlets and blue LED lights to draw attention to the unit, and provided two USB plugs for additional charging options. Since the system could be daisy-chained together, the units also helped to transform one wall outlet into many outlets, all easily accessible by passengers. These outlets initially were installed under the tables that are part of the holdroom seating. Utilizing a custom bracket, they were expanded to include the

holdroom seating that did not have tables. The table installations were incorporated into the marketing campaign, with each table wrapped with a bold message reminding passengers of the concession opportunities near the holdrooms. These power outlets are used heavily by Port Columbus passengers. By significantly increasing the availability of power outlets, Port Columbus is shifting the passenger’s view of power outlets in our terminal. The result is that passengers are comfortable enough to unplug and engage in other activities in the terminal (such as visiting a concession) instead of staking out a position on the floor near a holdroom. In 2010, Port Columbus was able to take advantage of several different near-term opportunities to increase gross revenues. These opportunities were created by observing passengers’ needs and responding with concepts and amenities to meet those needs. As a result, Port Columbus realized higher concession revenues and set the foundation for continued growth. A David Saleme, A.A.E., is concessions manager at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. He may be reached at dsaleme@





he San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, owner and operator of San Diego International, is implementing a comprehensive concession development program to revitalize food and beverage and retail options throughout the airport. Upon completion of the program, the airport will offer 46 new food and beverage concessions and 41 new retail concessions — a 75 percent increase in the current number of units. The authority’s objective is to create inviting and memorable passenger experiences with concession concepts that are original and representative of the San Diego region. The authority also is seeking the best local, regional, national and international concepts, as well as encouraging the creative expression of individual identities and storefronts. From the passenger perspective, the program will create an enhanced sense of place, with subtle, convenient, inviting and stress-free elements. To accomplish this, advertising and art will be integrated into concession areas, and cohesive town center/gathering place elements will be utilized to create satisfying passenger experiences. Original designs representing the San Diego region will be incorporated, with flexibility for changes in passenger mix and re-concepting. Flexible tenant design criteria are meant to 16


encourage impressive storefronts, shops and restaurants and encourage expression of their individual identities. The program also is intended to attract local and small businesses and certified airport disadvantaged business enterprises, as well as create opportunities for existing and new concessionaires. Further, the program is aimed at optimizing non-aeronautical revenue. The anticipated implementation date of the new concessions is the first quarter of 2013.

GREEN BUILD Also in 2013, the authority will complete its Green Build Terminal 2 expansion program, which will double the size of Terminal 2, increase the number of security lanes, and provide larger public areas. The Green Build will create much of the new space to fully accommodate the new retail environment brought about by the concession development program. The Green Build — named for the airport’s commitment to sustainability and the environment — is the largest project in the history of San Diego International. It will create approximately 1,000 jobs at peak construction and provide contract opportunities for small businesses. In addition to the added space for the new concessions program,

project highlights include: • 10 new gates to reduce terminal congestion and provide expanded, more comfortable passenger waiting areas; • Curbside check-in, allowing most passengers to check in, print boarding passes and check baggage at a curbside kiosk before entering the terminal; • Dual-level roadway to relieve curb-front traffic congestion by separating arriving and departing passengers; and • More security lanes to improve the flow of passengers through the terminal. In April 2011, all parking spaces in front of Terminal 2 were closed, and a temporary, 1,350space parking lot opened just west of Terminal 2. The Green Build, which is designed to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, is using design principles, such as alternative energy sources, recycled materials and renewable resources, leading to decreased water usage and reduced energy consumption. As an example, waste from the construction, such as concrete, is being recycled and reused on site.


2009  Construction began on apron improvements, additional aircraft parking and new USO facilities; 2010 Terminal and dual-level roadway construction began; portion of Terminal 2 parking relocated, Terminal 2 East and West pedestrian bridges demolished; 2011 All of Terminal 2 parking temporarily relocated; frequent shuttles transport passengers to terminals; 2012 Terminal and dual-level roadway construction continues; and 2013 New gates, facilities and roadway improvements open to the public.

The Green Build is being funded by user fees, airport revenue bonds, airport funds and FAA grants. The authority estimates the Green Build project will cost approximately $1 billion — $865 million for the project and the remainder in financing costs. A Steven Shultz is deputy director, public relations, San Diego International Airport/San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. He may be reached at sshultz@san.org.

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employer 17

Changing Airport Concessions to Meet the Diverse Needs of Travelers By Bill Hooper Jr.


n airports around the world, passengers are enduring ordeals worthy of reality television. From the moment they arrive at the terminal to the moment they step onto an airplane, passengers scramble through a maze of ticketing lines, security screening areas and holdrooms, all the while trying to find the pre-flight services they need. Call it “The Amazing Race: Airports,” though it’s far from amazing. When it comes to taking blame for this spectacle, air carriers unfairly bear the brunt, receiving wrath from press and public alike. The truth of the matter is that poor concession design is the real culprit, and architects and designers hold the keys to bringing order to this chaotic pre-boarding mess. Understanding the specific needs of passengers and the overall trends that are affecting terminal concessions is critical to creating a more enjoyable passenger experience. Here are nine trends affecting terminal concessions that architects and terminal designers should understand.

❾ Dwell times in terminals vary The long-standing debate about how early passengers should arrive for flights masks a more important issue: dwell times in terminals vary, and the needs of early arrival passengers and late arrival passengers are diverging. To keep everyone happy, terminals must provide concession offerings for late and early arrival travelers. Late arrivers need grab-and-go food and a convenient place to snatch the morning paper, 18

while early arrivers prefer fine dining restaurants and venues where they can browse for souvenirs. Creating room for these different types of concession spaces — while simultaneously providing unimpeded circulation areas for all passengers — is a key feature of accessible terminals.

❽ Local offerings are in vogue Food and retail offerings with local roots are a new hallmark of top-notch airports. Buying a cactus at Sky Harbor International in Phoenix or eating lobsters in Boston Logan International infuses the travel experience with a sense of place. Concessionaires that convey a tangible connection to the surrounding community create a sense of authenticity that makes passengers feel as if they are experiencing a destination and not merely sitting in transit. As generic concessions become less and less attractive, airports need not concern themselves with providing a slate of mass food and retail offerings. Designers can help concessionaires market their local roots by creating spaces that reflect local conditions and thematic elements. It’s time to move past the idea that “brew pub” is the default branding for all local restaurants in terminals and develop a design language that creates a sense of connection between the airport, the passenger and the surrounding community.

❼ Food trumps all Food consumption is the primary driver of airport

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commerce. All passengers seek food, regardless of whether they are flying low-cost or legacy carriers. The best airport concession planners understand this and place retail concessions near food stands. The reasoning beyond this design strategy is simple: passengers may not go out of their way to purchase sunglasses or a wristwatch, but they are more likely to make an impulse purchase if they stumble upon a retail area while searching for sustenance. However, some designers continue to showcase food vendors and hide other retail outlets. As a result, passengers often forget they need an extra set of headphones or a souvenir for a child until they are walking down the passenger boarding bridge. Terminals can eliminate this problem by including accompanying space for retail stores next to food concessions. The challenge is to keep everything accessible. When done correctly, this solu-

tion can increase merchandise sales and keep passengers happy.

� The psychology of space Research shows that passengers want to stay within 250 feet — about three gates removed — from their holdrooms. Beyond that distance, nervousness sets in, and they begin to worry about missing critical announcements or the flight itself. To keep passengers happy, terminal planners traditionally have placed concessions at 250foot intervals, giving each holdroom easy access to concessions but creating a whole subset of problems in the process. The repetitive insertion of concessions has spurred the proliferation of generic mass food and beverage stands, which thrive in clusters where all their options easily can be displayed. As a result, the layouts of most terminals alternate between

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terminal design. Just because passengers are in a terminal does not mean they need auditory reminders or light levels more appropriate for a laboratory. Dampening sound and lighting levels around restaurants and lounge areas entices passengers to take a brief respite and enjoy the travel experience.

❹ Allow for rapid renovation of concession stands

sets of one to four holdrooms and over-trafficked concession areas characterized by long lines, acoustic distractions and poor sight lines to gates. There are several ways to address this problem. Terminal 5 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International features a food-on-demand system. Passengers can order food via state-of-the-art touch screen monitors and have it delivered to the gates. If a terminal does not have the capacity for this type of set-up, designers should take steps to blur the lines between concession areas and holdrooms. Sight lines need to be clear, speakers need to provide audible announcements, and lines for food should not block foot traffic. Placing an emphasis on openness and giving passengers easy access to data about their flights as they wander through concession areas is the key to keeping passengers happy.

❺ Higher quality is supportable All fast food is not the answer. White tablecloth restaurants are flourishing in terminals from New York and Los Angeles to Miami and San Francisco. Some passengers conduct business over dinners; others reward themselves during a long day on the road. It’s airport terminal hedonism, and it’s here to stay. Considering this emerging trend, designers need to recognize the role acoustics and lighting play in 20

Concessionaires hate to refresh facilities — they treat it like the professional equivalent of a visit to the dentist. It costs money and forces them to interrupt service. On the other hand, airports understand the value of recently renovated concession space — it implies their terminals are clean and up to date. Many airports contractually require concession spaces to undergo periodic refreshment. But most terminals are not adequately designed to accommodate rapid change, and this impedes the refreshment/renovation process. By ensuring that concession areas have the capacity to undergo renovations and expansions in a timely and efficient manner, designers ensure that terminals are always capable of presenting an up-to-date slate of concession offerings.

❸ Time is of the essence In the past, only one irrefutable law of concessions planning existed: if you don’t have what passengers want, they will not buy. But terminal designers are beginning to recognize that shorter wait periods are limiting the time passengers have to conduct retail transactions. For this reason, another irrefutable law of concessions planning is emerging: give it to them quickly. While passengers will never have excess time to conduct retail transactions, they are always more likely to purchase when given extra time. Smart designers are striving to make

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At the center of San Francisco’s T2 departures lounge, travelers can refill reusable water bottles at hydration stations.

passengers’ entry into concession spaces and their movement through the terminal as uncomplicated and frictionless as possible, providing a sense of comfort and giving passengers more time to peruse concession areas.

❷ Take advantage of passenger movement Passengers are highly predictable customers. Those departing are interested in food and purchases; those arriving are interested in easy access to restrooms. And each contingent plots its own tracks through the concourse on the right side of the walkways. If concessionaires want to be visible, setting up shop on the right side of the concourse corridor on the departure route is the wisest move. It may seem somewhat obvious, but this often overlooked layout strategy helps avoid pedestrian crossover in the concourse area.

❶ Help concessionaires vie for the eye Designers hang concessionaires out to dry when they impose onerous restrictions that force concessionaires to survive within a crowded space. Certain restrictions are necessary — don’t intrude onto the concourse, limit your signage, don’t place special sales merchandise in the flow 22

of passengers — but designers are erring on the side of too many restrictions. Concessions are paying for a greater percentage of terminals than they did in years past, and with increased financial relevance comes increased clout. With more concessionaires footing a greater share of the bill, it won’t be long before concessionaires start looking to impose their will on layout features such as the sizing of walkways and visibility of signage. The happy medium is personality without anarchy. Give concessionaires the autonomy to express their brands in personal, creative ways, but draw the line when their collateral and merchandise impedes foot traffic and blocks information about flights. Revamping traditional terminal paradigms requires architects and designers to understand how trends affect airport concessions and mesh to shape the overall passenger experience. Sensory overload, reduced quality and the grab-and-go mentality are not the future of airport concessions. Airport terminals may never resemble the wonderful, meandering streets of Tuscany, but the days of finding concessions stuck in the recesses of the concourse are over. A Bill Hooper Jr. is a principal at Gensler. He may be reached at bill_hooper@gensler.com.

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By Monica Lombraña, A.A.E.


n today’s ever-changing economic environment, airports nationwide constantly are evaluating budgets, searching for ways to control costs and generate additional revenue. El Paso International (EPIA) is no exception, and certainly is not immune to the economic woes associated with recessions or the volatility of oil prices that affect airfares and adversely impact all aviation-related revenue. However, EPIA is fortunate to own nearly 7,000 acres of land, much of it available for non-aviation uses, and even more fortunate to have had airport managers with the foresight to develop portions of this land in ways that continue to generate revenue. This revenue has allowed EPIA to continue forward with operations and capital projects with minimal disruption, even in difficult times. EPIA is one of the nation’s leading airports in pioneering non-aeronautical land development, supporting more than 200 commercial businesses and industrial operations within the airport’s Butterfield Trail Industrial Park (BTIP), Butterfield Trail Air Cargo Center and other sites adjacent to the airport. Butterfield Trail Golf Club (BTGC) (above) El Paso’s and Lone Star Golf Club are included within more main terminal. than 900 acres of fully developed industrial and

retail property supporting light manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and transportation operations, as well as call centers, seven hotels, retail and restaurants. In fiscal year 2010, non-aviation revenue sources will account for approximately 60 percent of the airport’s total operating revenue. This revenue has allowed the airport to keep capital projects that are aviation-related, such as the current $14.5 million terminal expansion and renovation, from impacting airline rates and charges. It is also a contributing factor to bond ratings of A plus, A2 and A plus from Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch rating agencies, respectively. What has contributed to EPIA’s success with non-aviation development is matching development to the needs of the community. What will work in one community, or at one airport, will not necessarily work in another, and what will be successful in one decade will not necessarily be successful in the next. As with all businesses and processes, non-aeronautical development is always an evolving venture.

EARLY DEVELOPMENT Walter Jones, airport director from 1972-1984, was responsible for the design and construction of the BTIP, a development that encompasses nearly 600 AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


material is re-exported, no duty is ever paid. This affords manufacturers and distributors substantial cash flow savings, as well as expedited shipment of goods.


(above) Layout of the airport’s land development areas and (right) Butterfield Trail Golf Course.


acres of prime property. BTIP was designed with the manufacturer in mind, and built to capitalize upon and cater to the twin plant, or maquiladora, industry. Maquiladoras are manufacturing plants that are located in Mexico but that have the company’s administrative offices and/or export facility in the U.S. Twin plants operating in the U.S. can send equipment, supplies, and/or raw materials to their plants in Mexico for assembly or processing and then send the finished product back to this country for export. Jones and his staff had the prescience to realize the significance of this industry and the impact it would have on El Paso and its economy. They developed a park that was not only located on airport property, making it convenient for air cargo shipments, but that also had direct truck access to the international bridges, making the just-in-time concept a reality. The park was a first of its kind, offering underground utilities, wide streets to accommodate large trucks, and immediate access to air, rail and highway transportation. To complement the BTIP’s operations and to entice manufacturers to the area, Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #68, operated by EPIA, was established on April 14, 1981. The zone, which has grown to more than 3,000 acres at 21 non-contiguous sites and has been one of the top five zones in volume for general-purpose zones in the nation for the last five years, is a tremendous benefit to maquiladora companies. The FTZ provides companies that are engaged in international trade the opportunity to conduct a variety of processes on foreign merchandise or sub-assemblies before the material enters the commerce of the U.S. Hence, U.S. Customs’ duties on the material are deferred until that time; in the event that the


The airport experienced additional growth under the direction of Patrick Abeln, A.A.E., director from 1999-2008. Abeln undertook the establishment of the U.S.-Mexico border’s largest and most modern air cargo center, a significant step in positioning EPIA as an international transportation hub, as well as the premier international commerce port on the U.S.Mexico border. During Abeln’s tenure, EPIA invested more than $120 million in the development of the Butterfield Trail Air Cargo Center and associated infrastructure, to include two facilities and ramps, roadways, and the 1,000-foot extension of Runway 4-22. The long-term goal of the center is to meet the air cargo and associated intermodal transportation needs of the border region, and to enable commerce to expand in an orderly, unconstrained manner. Infrastructure (roadways, utilities and street lighting) was constructed for a new Science and Technology Park, situated on 150 acres of land on the eastern side of airport property. This development was undertaken with the intent to complement existing nearby air cargo facilities, as well as to pursue commercial and retail development, with the ability to serve the nearby expansion of Fort Bliss and the recent addition of a four-year medical school to the area. As a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act, approximately 24,000 military personnel will be relocated to Fort Bliss by 2013. The expansion of Fort Bliss not only brings additional military and civilian personnel, but it also brings contractors and businesses seeking to do business with the military installation. Furthermore, El Paso is now home to a four-year medical school, the Texas Tech University Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, and, opening its doors in 2012, to the El Paso Children’s Hospital. The Science and Technology Park, similar in concept to the BTIP and its focus on then-prevailing manufacturing and warehousing industries, was designed with the intent of capitalizing on the community’s current

expansion into industries with a growing need for research and development, such as defense contractors and bio-medical companies. EPIA also has reserved a 15-20 acre site for a high-end, business hotel to be located adjacent to the BTGC. The BTGC was designed by worldrenowned golf course architect Tom Fazio and was built as an anchor to the surrounding property to serve as a catalyst for future commercial and retail development. The BTGC has won numerous awards, including Development of the Year by Golfweek in 2008, and ranked in the Top 25 Best Municipal Golf Courses by LINKS Magazine in 2010. The hotel concept is intended to capitalize on the great weather that the city experiences yearround, and to satisfy El Paso’s need for a hotel/golf course development.

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES A financial plan is a critical component that must match the goals and objectives for each development initiative and be flexible enough to meet market conditions. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. When the design and the subsequent construction of the 150-acre Science and Technology Park was initiated, the economy was strong, and with the anticipated growth and expansion of Fort Bliss, airport staff believed that demand for space within the park would be substantial upon its completion. However, the park was completed in March 2008, at a time when interest in financing new development was virtually non-existent, and the park has yet to see its first tenant. EPIA staff continues to believe in the project, given its prime location in the middle of the city and its proximity to Fort Bliss, and continues to market it, working with the El Paso Department of Economic Development. In 2008, EPIA senior managers developed and formalized a strategic plan that established redefined goals and objectives that address changes in the aviation industry, as well as changes in the nation’s economy as a whole. EPIA needed to reevaluate all of its revenueproducing capabilities. As with most airports, there were many challenges to overcome: airlines were reducing capacity, passengers were flying less often and spending less due to reduced discretionary funds, businesses were slashing travel budgets — the list seemed endless. The strategic plan identified various priorities that not only focused on growing the core business of air transportation, but also addressed key

components of the airport’s non-aviation ventures. In accordance with the strategic plan, EPIA has implemented an incentive program for new passenger and air cargo service, as well as FTZ incentives for air cargo. The airport contracted out for a perishables market study, which identified short-term opportunities within the seafood market and the bio-medical industry; long-term opportunities will be pursued within the fresh flower market. EPIA constructed a perishables facility adjacent to the air cargo complex at a cost of less than $100,000 simply by relocating three refrigerator/freezer units left behind by a previous tenant. As part of the International Trade Processing Center, a one-stop shop for international trade staffed by FTZ and U.S. Customs, this facility will serve the perishables market in this region efficiently for the first time. In an effort to revitalize the aging BTIP and to attract new tenants, pavement rehabilitation and landscaping improvements have commenced within the park. Airport staff has begun the process of updating the land use plan for the Southern Industrial Park, the airport’s oldest park, which is a mix of industrial, retail and commercial uses, including the hotels. As leases come due within this area, airport staff wants to ensure that land uses continue to be the highest and best use and will return the greatest profits to the airport. Progressive non-aeronautical development is implemented over time and requires identification of carefully defined, practical goals and objectives that fit within the airport’s overall master and strategic plans, as well as within the community’s needs and demands. Also, it should never preempt or supersede aviation-related capital projects — at EPIA it is never forgotten that first and foremost we are an airport, and that all non-aviation development is pursued in line with the goal of remaining self-sustaining. A Monica Lombraña, A.A.E., is director of El Paso International. She may be reached at monica.lombrana@elpasotexas.gov. AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


Reagan National

70 Years


“This airport, soon to be one of the world’s greatest facilities and surely its most convenient, and some of us like to think probably its most beautiful, should be brought with all possible emphasis to the attention of our people during this awakening of America.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt Dedication speech for National Airport




eagan Washington National Airport on June 16 celebrated 70 years of operation and a history that began in 1941 with a first-year passenger total of 344,000. Within five years of opening, the airport reached the 1 million annual passenger mark. Today, Reagan National serves more than 18 million passengers each year. Before there was an airport on the site, however, there was a plantation. Captain John Alexander built a home called Abingdon there in 1746. The plantation ended up owned by the family of George Washington, and, ultimately, Abingdon was destroyed by fire in 1930. Also in 1930, Hoover Field, located near the present site of the Pentagon, merged with Washington Airport, a privately operated field located next to Hoover Field, to form WashingtonHoover Airport. The airfield was less than adequate, however, and, incredibly, the airport’s one runway was intersected by a busy street, Military Road, which had guards posted to flag down traffic during takeoffs and landings. Between 1926 and 1938, Congress produced reams of debate transcripts and 37 committee reports on the need for a new airport, but no action was taken. In the fall of 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced at a press conference that he was “tired of waiting for Congress” to select a site for the new airport, and said that it would be built on mudflats on a bend of the Potomac River at Gravelly Point, four and one-half miles south of Washington, D.C. Two months later, on Nov. 21, 1938, the first ceremonial shovelful of dirt was moved to signal the start of construction of what was then named National Airport. Most of the proposed airfield site was under water. Between November 1938 and December 1939, almost 20 million cubic yards of sand and gravel were moved onto the site. The first step in construction was to erect a dike around the riverside perimeter of the site. The second task was to clear the runway locations of silt so that sand and gravel could be pumped on top of a stable base, eliminating the possibility of settling. Four hydraulic dredges, among the largest and most powerful at that time, cleared 11 feet of silt from the future runway locations to a width of 200 feet. Next, sand and gravel were pumped into the canals that formed the runways up to a height of 20 feet above the river level. By this method, the runway base was so stabilized that paving could be laid within six months after the fill was completed.

On opening day, the airlines drew straws to determine who could land at National Airport first, and American Airlines won the honor. The plane was piloted by Bennett H. Griffin, who became the manager of National Airport in 1947. National Airport was built and operated by the federal government, as was Washington Dulles International, until 1987 when the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) was created. Since then, MWAA, under a lease with the federal government, has worked to modernize and continually improve the two airports. On Feb. 6, 1998, President Clinton signed legislation that changed the name of Washington National Airport to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. Over the last 70 years, Reagan National has been transformed. In 1997, a new complex opened with the construction of Terminal B/C, a new two-level roadway system, two parking garages, and direct connections to the Metrorail. Historic Terminal A, designed to echo the style of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, was restored in recent years with extensive work done on the facade, and it still serves the traveling public via the six airlines that are located there. And for history buffs, MWAA took care to preserve and stabilize the archaeological site of Abingdon plantation. These artifacts, along with a detailed history of the airport and the surrounding area, can be viewed in the Exhibit Hall, located in Terminal A. A

(left) Reagan National in its early days. (above) President Roosevelt dedicates the airport.



Views of AAAE’s 83rd Annual Conference


Held in Atlanta and hosted by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, the AAAE conference opened May 15 with 2,000 airport and aviation company representatives in attendance. The exposition featured 183 companies displaying their products and services in a total of 241 booths. The AAAE exposition is the largest trade show in the airport industry. During the conference, Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., Bentonville, Ark., took office as AAAE’s chair for 2011-2012.

Keynote speakers during the conference were (left column, top to bottom), Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Delta CEO Richard Anderson and FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt. In bottom photo, left column, Conference Host Louis Miller, general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International, welcomes Richard Anderson. Outgoing AAAE Chair Jim Bennett, A.A.E., presents an award to Kate Lang, then FAA acting associate administrator for airports (second column from left, top photo). Launa Morasch and her son Adam (third column from left, top photo) accept the 2011 Chair’s Award from Bennett in honor of Jim Morasch, A.A.E., who died Feb. 3 as the result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident Jan. 25. Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., takes over as chair of AAAE (fourth column from left, top photo). Other photos show scenes at the exposition. 28






By Jeff Lea

(above) Tornado hits the C Concourse. (right, top to bottom) C Concourse, passenger and shuttle area outside Terminal 1, C Concourse debris.



here are no dramatic textbook cases for how to respond to a tornado strike on a major airport. That may change after Lambert-St. Louis International took a direct hit from an F-4 tornado system that left a trail of destruction across the St. Louis area on April 22, 2011. “I was walking to my car. I could see the tornado coming. It was like a big wall,” said Lambert Airport Police Sgt. Tony Moore. “I could hear it knocking down power lines. I put out over the air for all officers to move people to the lowest levels of the terminals and took cover.” Tornadic storms were brewing across eastern Missouri that evening. National Weather Service tornado warnings were in effect across the entire metro area. Lambert Operations was in contact with its private weather forecaster, monitoring the developments and waiting for updates on the storm’s path. Lambert Operations shared that infor-


mation with airport police, and it was Moore who was able to give out the critical first warning. When those emergency orders hit the air, officers had just a couple of minutes to make a difference, herding people from outside into the terminal and beginning to move people away from the windows. Moore’s follow-up command to his officers was simply, “Take cover.” By that time, dangerous winds were swirling around the airport. Police Officer Anthony Thompson was successful in reaching Concourse E (Terminal 2) while shouting, “Go back inside.” Other officers were moments away from reaching Terminal 1 concourses when the tornado hit.

CRISIS RESPONSE From the moments after the tornado hit, Lambert police led the initial emergency response with officers dispatched for immediate life and safety checks, as well as the first damage assessments. “The priority was to make sure all the travelers

were safe, and if there were any injuries, that they had proper medical attention,” said Officer Adrian Doss. Officers Doss and William Powell moved strategically down the hardest hit area, the C Concourse, guiding groups of passengers away from glass, exposed electrical lines and other dangerous areas into the terminal’s lower level baggage claim area. “Every group I came in contact with, I would bring out,” Powell said. “The TSA was helping to protect the security (of the concourse entrance) and direct them to the carousels.” In the meantime, airport police dispatcher Carlos Brown and a desk officer became the initial command center, verifying the whereabouts and safety of all officers, mobilizing contract security officers to new AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


zones and dispatching ambulances. Amazingly, only five people (two in a vehicle) were transported to a local hospital. Only minor injuries were reported throughout the whole ordeal. Dispatch employees helped to communicate that a couple of aircraft with passengers were still at their gates when the tornado hit. Some aircraft and loading bridges were damaged. Police and operations employees then coordinated shuttles to bring these passengers safely back to the terminal. The airport fire department was dispatched to check damage to the critically important aviation fuel facility and a possible gas leak in Terminal 2. Others officers checked on a shuttle van that was hanging precariously over the ledge from the Terminal 1 garage. It was empty. “Initially, we didn’t know if we had mass casualties or just cuts and bruises,” said William Korte, assistant director of operations and building maintenance. He was called at home moments after the tornado hit and immediately was on the phone to obtain information from his night shift employees in airfield maintenance operations, auto and electric shops. A NOTAM was issued and aircraft diversions started immediately. After a preliminary inspection of the airfield, Korte used his snow removal crew — about 50 percent of his available manpower — for the initial airfield response to begin the emergency cleanup. Other department leaders called in their teams. “We had satellite dishes from houses in Bridgeton (an adjoining community also hit by the tornado) out there; we had baggage carts out 32


there; we had highway signs; you name it,” said Korte. “So we called field maintenance to get the jet brooms out.” The runways were cleared within four hours, in time to land a cargo plane. But passenger traffic was still at a standstill, and the airport had lost its main electrical feeds. Fortunately, backup generators provided emergency lighting and power. However, without full power, airline computer operations remained down, passenger bridge controls were unusable and aircraft could not be fueled. There was also heavy debris on the ramp. Lambert pulled in reinforcements. The city of St. Louis sent in a street team to help remove debris, which saved airport crews 12 hours of work. Current contractors also were called in to help. A half dozen or so companies were recruited on an emergency basis because their crews already had security clearances. The majority of Terminal 1 windows — original to the 1956 historic structure — were blown out. Concourse C took the knockout punch with a majority of windows blown out and huge gaping holes punched in the roof structure. Fortunately, the tornado spared Concourse A (four airlines) and Terminal 2, which is anchored by Southwest, Lambert’s largest carrier. Beginning Friday night, hundreds of airport and contractor crews began tackling the highest of priorities — boarding up windows, patching roofs and removing dangerous debris inside and outside the facility. Safety assessments were made immediately to determine which areas

could reopen. Most importantly, Ameren, the local electrical utility, was able to restore power within 24 hours. That was critical to allowing airlines to resume operations. The first airlines landed at Lambert late Saturday night. By Sunday morning, 36 hours later, Lambert began its first full day of operations after the tornado. Airport properties and other departments had worked nonstop to move the C Concourse airlines (American, Frontier, AirTran and Cape Air) to two recently closed concourses. The first of 11 new or relocated concession units also were opened to service customers in the new gate areas. Lambert reached 76 percent of its normal flight schedule on Sunday and 90 percent by Monday.

COMMUNICATIONS A key component of the airport’s disaster response was communicating its status after the tornado. Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge joined local community leaders and key incident responders to give a full account of the damage and the hurdles ahead less than two hours after the tornado hit. “Lambert is one of the top assets in our region and the joint news conferences helped put that in perspective,” said Hamm-Niebruegge. “We had one goal, get the airport opened, and we did it quickly because of the dedication of our airport team, our

airport partners, our contractors and the support of this community.” In addition to a half-dozen news conferences in the first several days, the airport also gave local and national media tours of the damage and released security camera video in an effort to educate and to give the community a realistic assessment of the situation. From the beginning, the airport also posted updates on its website, which experienced 7 million page hits in two days (versus 180,000 on a typical weekend). The airport’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were active just two weeks before the tornado hit. The public relations staff abandoned any idea of a soft roll-out of these social media. The crisis dictated an all-out information blitz to give people crucial and timely information. One Lambert twitter posted: “BEST airport emergency coverage I’ve seen.” In less than three days, Lambert recorded 1,400 new Twitter followers. Editor’s Note: The cost to restore the tornadodamaged facilities is $25 million-$30 million based on construction estimates received by the airport and the city of St. Louis. Hamm-Niebruegge has told the St. Louis Airport Commission that restoration of the concourse could take nine to 12 months. A Jeff Lea is public information manager at Lambert-St. Louis International. He may be reached at jrlea@flystl.com. AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011


Sea-Tac Activates Incident Command

to Aid in Repatriation Operation By Ron Harmon


arch 11, 2011, was the day that a massive earthquake struck Japan. Here at Seattle-Tacoma International (Sea-Tac), we followed the response and rescue efforts and wondered, like everyone else, how we could help. We worried about what we would do, if that same disaster happened in Seattle. Near the close of business on Friday, March 18, we were notified that the secretary of the Defense Department had ordered a repatriation operation for military dependants living in Japan that would use our airport. We received a call from the Army officer who had been assigned to the DOD operation. He informed us that he would need to establish a small coordinating office in the airport terminal for 25 personnel. Their needs would be 34


simple: no desks, phones or computer support. They would need only wall power outlets. Since the first flight was expected to arrive late Saturday morning, we agreed to meet the officer at the airport at 6:30 a.m. the following day. When we arrived at the terminal Saturday morning, several things were apparent. The military had been there well ahead of us, and they have a different counting system (25 personnel equaled well more than 100 staff). We immediately were asked to supply furniture, hard-wired telephone service, and access to the computer system. We established the team in a 3,000-squarefoot auditorium, which they almost filled with their staff and equipment. We learned that every branch of the military was represented in this

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Thirteen repatriation flights arrived at Sea-Tac with a total of 2,121 passengers and 180 pets.


effort except the Coast Guard. This truly would be a joint and collaborative operation. The objectives of the repatriation operation were: • To account for all people, pets and property of those traveling on the chartered aircraft; • To give care and comfort to passengers and facilitate their rapid travel to stateside destinations; and • To develop a collaborative team among multiple military, Port of Seattle and civilian organizations. The plan envisioned that, once each plane was on the ground, a small military team would go on board and separate the passengers into three groups. Group one would be processed first. These were the passengers who had military orders and transfer arrangements and only needed to check in at Seattle so the military knew they had arrived safely. Group two consisted of passengers who had military orders but still needed airline booking and transfer assistance to their destinations in the U.S. Group three consisted of those people who had no military orders or airline reservations to their home cities. Some members of this group would be traveling without any documentation or enough money to feed themselves. This group would take the longest to process. Once the groups were formed, passengers would leave the aircraft and move through


Federal Inspection Service processing. They then would gather their baggage and pets, if any. We established an animal care center that was staffed by military veterinarians and Port of Seattle staff. Passengers then were to be escorted to the reception and coordination center (our auditorium) where they would move from station to station and be processed. Prior to entering the center, parents could elect to send their children to a child care center that we established and was staffed by military contract child care professionals. After the first flight, we relocated this facility into a much larger space and separated the children into infant to 4-year-olds, and age 4 and older. We established a medical aid station staffed with a combination of military physicians, corpsmen and Port of Seattle Fire Department staff. Over the course of the operation, we averaged transport of three patients per flight, and the

staff attended a number of additional ill and exhausted passengers. As the passengers exited the coordination center, they would have access to a host of social services provided by the military that ranged from chaplain services to financial aid. Port of Seattle Information Systems staff set up an Internet cafe with 24 telephones and 24 computers where passengers could, and were encouraged to, contact their families. Once we understood the scope of the operation, we initiated our incident command system and appointed an incident commander, planning section chief and logistics section chief. We set up child care, pet care and baggage management branches, and appointed a volunteer manager who reported to logistics. Port of Seattle staff volunteered to assist and were used in child care, baggage management, and escorting and feeding. We worked with the USO in these responsibilities. In addition, we requested volunteer assistance from King County Emergency Management, and that office supplied around-the-clock community volunteers for escort services. The Red Cross provided food to the USO, and, as always, was a fabulous response partner. When the first flight arrived, the military commanders did not have an accurate manifest. It took almost eight hours to process 233 passengers. When the first of these passengers entered the coordination center, soldiers, sailors, airmen and officers of all ranks stopped and cheered them as the families of their fellow servicemen. That’s

something I don’t think I’ll ever forget. We received a message that we would be receiving more flights, and some would be very close together. We established a holding area since the military wanted to keep people and baggage separate from flight to flight. We determined that, if we had to, we would hold entire flights and provide passengers with food and onsite services until the previous flight could be processed. In the end, we did not have to exercise this option. The Port of Seattle developed signage for all temporary facilities, managed cleaning services and debris removal, coordinated wheelchair services, established a joint communications plan, assisted with language barrier needs, and developed a demobilization plan. In the end, the operation lasted six days, from March 19-25. Thirteen repatriation flights arrived at Sea-Tac with a total of 2,121 passengers and 180 pets. Ninety-eight percent of the travelers required connecting flights. Processing time for the final flight was reduced to two hours for 182 passengers. The experience taught us several valuable lessons, including: • Unified command works when you put your limits, restrictions and agendas on the table at the beginning; • If you think you have enough space for an operation like this, you’re wrong; • The people you partner with will amaze you with their creativity and endurance; and • People who you don’t expect to help will step up in amazing ways to help, and a few who you expect to help will let you down. When the military commander thanked me for everything that Sea-Tac had done, I told him the truth. Our military and their families make sacrifices over the entire span of their careers in order to keep us and our families safe. We had this little window of six days to give back a tiny bit of what they do for us routinely. We could not have done anything less. A Ron Harmon is Seattle-Tacoma International’s emergency manager. He may be reached at Harmon.r@portseattle.org. AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011



Finance Looks Beyond the Numbers To Execute the Airport’s Mission By Michelle R. Swanson, C.M.

The Numbers Approach


FOs, doing what they do best, often “look to the numbers” when faced with just about any situation — good or bad. We can’t help it. It is how our brains are wired. A challenge is brought to the table, and we listen intently, processing every angle until we leave the room armed with the task of “running the numbers,” so we can get back to the strategic planning meeting table. When we return, we are carrying an armful of spreadsheets with viable options to discuss — with conservatively calculated numbers, of course. Try as I might, I have a difficult time looking at any situation completely open-minded and without regard to the numbers. It just occurred to me that this is possibly why my boss has positioned me in an office right next to our marketing manager. (She tells me we would not have been friends in high school, and I try not to take it personally.) My boss is a genius. Undoubtedly, he is trying to keep me from focusing just on the numbers, while missing the bigger picture and the opportunities.

The News

Sometimes, the numbers at face value can be staggering, making it difficult to see beyond the gridlines in which they are centered. Such was the case in November 2009, when the Salina Airport Authority’s (SAA) anchor tenant, Hawker Beechcraft Corp. (HBC) announced its decision to close its Salina division. HBC’s Salina Division had been located on the airport since 1966; it leased 10 structures totaling more than 485,000 38


square feet of facility space, representing nearly half of the SAA’s property. HBC was a principal customer and revenue source for more than 40 years. Our lease rates were very competitive, and we had a model lease agreement that had worked for decades. The SAA recently had completed the construction of a state-of-the-art, $6.1 million speculative aircraft hangar, and we were kicking off a 100-acre redevelopment project intended to attract aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) companies to the up-and-coming SLN Aviation Service Center. And, why wouldn’t we? We were at 98 percent occupancy in the 1 million square feet of property comprising the operation. How could we go from being nearly 100 percent leased to only 50 percent? We had to take a deep breath and not let the numbers halt us in our tracks. We had to remember that this wasn’t the first or worst closure Salina had faced. We remembered what our community leaders dealt with in 1965 with the closure of Schilling Air Force Base and the loss of 5,000 airmen and nearly a third of the county’s payroll. The airport’s forefathers created a mission and, faced with the unfortunate economic times that led to HBC’s decision to close its Salina division, we had to look to that mission to decide on our direction and make the journey one you would want to read about.

The Mission

As with many airports, our mission is to develop and operate the premier airport and airport industrial center in our state, while providing our citizens with safe and efficient access to the national air transportation system. In addition, the SAA also is to be proactive in providing the citizens with an aviation service center and industrial center that supports business and industry that, in turn, provides jobs and payrolls that benefit the region.

The Opportunity and Plan

As we know, finance has a key role in strategic planning and executing the airport’s mission. The finance staff can make a significant contribution to the process by being able to see the numbers without being limited by them. Often, just the sheer calculations tell us it can’t be done, or it will

be difficult, given the set of resulting numbers. However, the SAA leadership under the direction of the board chairman, told us to see the opportunity amid the challenges. We did, and once we set our sights on our potential instead of the problems, we were amazed at what we saw. We realized we would be able to advance our efforts in recruiting our targeted industries with our increased available space. We saw the increased revenue potential and ability for customer and tenant diversification. And, we knew we had to plan to take advantage of an industry that was positioned for recovery and new growth. So, the financial team put away the spreadsheets (most of them!), rolled up our sleeves and worked with the SAA team under the following action steps to execute the plan: Expand the plan — We reviewed and expanded our existing strategic marketing and recruiting plan. Fortunately, we were ahead of the curve by a few years and already had begun many of the key actions. The updated plan called for a broadened outreach that included hiring a leading firm in industry park development that had a network of national and international real estate brokers. Engage the community team — Our expanded plan called for a collaboration of community leaders and organizations that included the city, county, state, chamber of commerce, the state department of commerce and local educational facilities. You can’t just build it, and they will come — The plan outlined steps to go out and obtain the business. We knew we couldn’t just sit back and wait for the phone to ring in order to keep the pipeline full of quality prospects — we had to go to them. With the assistance of an aviation industry veteran who specialized in media relations, marketing and business recruitment, we hit the road — literally. Understand the market and target your industry — Early in the process, the real estate firm we had hired completed an analysis that provided information on hundreds of potential competing locations for aerospace economic development projects. This data allowed us to view our competitive edge in the market in areas such as labor availability, prevailing wages and available square feet of existing buildings. Our avid hunters on the SAA management team love the analogy of using the “rifle” as opposed to the “shotgun” approach to target industry. In order to maximize recruiting efforts, the strategic plan identified

aviation sectors where we could compete as a community, complement existing aviation and non-aviation businesses and fulfill our mission of creating quality jobs and payroll. Don’t burn bridges — Although this seems as though it should go without saying, don’t burn bridges with any existing tenant, prospect or competitor. One day your competitor could become your tenant or your departing tenant could become your next big prospect. Positioning — Make sure your airport is positioned to take advantage of industry changes. The competitive advantages are shifting, with new regional hotbeds emerging for engineering, manufacturing and MRO. Airports must understand their position during times of change and pull together new strategies to survive and prosper. Know what your competition is doing — Continue to monitor what other airports and communities are doing that have the same hangar and other facilities that you have. Before a prospect visits your airport, you should understand fully the pricing structure and lease terms for any of its other locations. Know what is in your financial toolbox — As the SAA team worked on the plan to absorb nearly 500,000 square feet of vacant space, we assembled a finance plan work group consisting of members of city and airport staff, financial advisors, bond counsel, consulting accountants and our real estate broker to develop a plan that would allow us to be able to quickly finance capital improvements when a tenant was ready. One of the first action items was the development of a grid that identified all available financing tools, including general obligation bonds, certificates of participation, industrial revenue bonds and lease revenue bonds. The matrix identified key attributes of each financing option, such as timing to complete transaction, cost of borrowing, whether the instrument would be applicable to a debt limit, and many other considerations that would allow management to assess quickly which tool would be best for any given project. Keep the media informed — It can be a challenge to keep the media informed in the economic development and prospect arena, especially when the confidentially of your prospect’s identity and any trade secrets you may be privy to must be maintained. However, the media can be an continued on page 43 AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011



The AIP Funding Crisis: Its Impact on the Aviation Professional Service Community By Jennifer Kuchinski, P.E. Assistant Vice President-Aviation Services/ Project Manager Parsons Brinckerhoff


IP funding remains uncertain. Nearterm PFC collection levels are stagnant. Facilities continue to age. Passenger traffic continues to rebound. Capital needs for ever-changing passenger demand, security requirements and environmental mandates all make for a very challenging development environment. I can’t help thinking of a George Clooney movie — not “Up in the Air,” where everyone seems to be getting pink slips — but “The Perfect Storm,” in which a group of people are caught in a vicious storm that is rising around them. In the near term, it’s going to be tough for airports to continue to operate successfully and for the businesses that serve the airports to thrive with the storm that’s brewing around us. I’m a professional engineer, focused on helping airports deliver improvements that will help them stay competitive and serve passengers safely and efficiently. When I started, the field was technically challenging, as it still very much remains today, but full of vibrant opportunity — only limited by what the mind could imagine. Today, more than ever, being a successful and thriving professional service provider for the aviation industry means not only being technically proficient but also technologically savvy, an effective communicator, and, above all else, flexible. In many ways, our current economic climate has been compared to the Great Depression. This brings to mind many of the lessons I learned from my grandmother, a product of that era. Purchase what you need, not what you want. Reuse. Simplify. Make the most of what you have. We hear our colleagues offering these same axioms, but how can we put them into practice, given the unique demands placed on the aviation industry? As is the practice with many airport professionals, I use an acronym to explain my philosophy: PLAN — prioritize, lobby, anticipate, negotiate. Prioritize: In life, we really can’t do it all or have it all. While it’s sweet that my 10-year-old wants to be a



professional baseball player, own a Bugatti Veyron, live in a mansion and be an automotive engine design engineer, by the time he’s an adult, he’ll realize that he must focus and make realistic choices on what is required, not always what is desired. Right now, every person and every organization within our industry is making tough choices. What will set the thriving apart from the surviving is the ability to make good choices. This is accomplished by making clear what one’s goals are, establishing a mission, and knowing what is needed to achieve that mission. Put simply, distinguish between what is needed versus what is simply wanted. This translates for the service industry into making smart purchases of software, reducing overhead expenditures, traveling less, and hiring fewer people. Every purchase, expense and investment should be one that contributes directly to the organization’s top priorities. Lobby: With a clear plan in mind and a focused mission, it is always easier to articulate those items needed for success. Talk to industry experts who have “been there, done that,” and they’ll tell you about organizing their communities to bolster support for their airports. They’ll emphasize the importance of engaging others to help gain the essential resources that will deliver on their priorities. I learned long ago that you can’t do it alone. Enlist the help of others to succeed. Anticipate: Think about how you conduct your dayto-day business affairs now versus, say, 20 years ago. Few engineers had computers on their desks, let alone Blackberries or email. Inexpensive and effective technologies have allowed our businesses to move faster than ever before. Think smart phones, self-check-in, and working virtually (offsite from the main office). Is it too far-fetched to plan for express toll lanes in the skies? Similarly, the demographics of our current and future workforces are shifting. One example of these shifts is the fact that those now entering the workforce are more likely than their predecessors to change not only employers, but also careers. Whether technological or workforce demographic, debate if you will that these changes are for the better or worse, but strong companies look forward to what future changes may be and build into their business plans

flexibility to adjust for the unknowns. In this way, anticipating means “seeding” for the future. Successful, thriving companies prepare their entire workforce for what lies ahead. This means not only investing in new technologies that link directly to an organization’s core mission, but also training, mentoring and coaching those who will lead the next generation. Negotiate: In today’s environment, everyone must be value conscious. Personally, I view this as working as hard as good sense will allow, and asking colleagues to do the same. I look to get good value out of resources and tools of the trade. Additionally, it is imperative to consult with your clients to see if design, bid, build or an alternate project delivery method will yield better value. Is a private investor ready to come to your table? Never fail to explore every possible funding source for those mission critical needs.

And value is a funny term when it comes to professional services. Value is often as closely linked with time and schedule as it is to scope, what needs to be done, or even what tools to use to get it done. Now more than ever, a schedule driven by value is quick and clean without periods of unnecessary inactivity. I work hard to communicate to everyone on the team that all tasks for a project must be done expeditiously. This requires that each team member agrees to the project’s overall delivery timeline and understands his/her role. Don’t hesitate to negotiate or collaborate to adjust competing schedules. Another of my grandmother’s sayings comes to mind … never put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today. Start right now and create your PLAN. If you do, whether you represent an airport or a professional service provider, we’ll thrive together in this challenging environment and come out of the storm stronger than ever before. A

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Finance continued from page 39

excellent resource in bringing information to your stakeholders. Keep them involved and in the know when it comes to your targeted industry and how your airport is positioned in the market. Let them know how many active prospects you have and how your recruiting efforts are progressing. You can accomplish all of this while maintaining the confidentiality of the prospect. It’s all right to have a little fun with this — we give code names to prospects and, when you have to create a spreadsheet to keep track of who’s who, you know you’re on the right track. Keep score — At the end of the day, remember to keep score and see how you are doing. How many prospect packages did we send out this week? How many responded with a request for more information? How many re-connects did we accomplish this month? If we did not bring home the signed lease, where did we fall short?

Stay Tuned

Viewing change as growth can be an exciting endeavor. Don’t accept the notion that the numbers are so insurmountable that you don’t give yourselves the chance to see and live the opportunity. Sometimes you have to close Excel, read your mission statement and pull your sleeves up in the spirit of teamwork and excellence to carry out a strategic plan that one day will have you dusting off the “no-vacancy” signs again. To learn how the above strategies worked out for Salina, watch for Part 2 of this column in a future issue of Airport Magazine. Michelle R. Swanson, C.M., is manager of administration and finance for the Salina (Kan.) Airport Authority (SAA), which owns and operates Salina Municipal Airport, Salina Aviation Service Center and the Salina Airport Industrial Center. She may be reached at shellis@salair.org.




New Million Air FBO Opens at Gulfport-Biloxi


illion Air in June opened a new $12 million fixed base operator facility in the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) at GulfportBiloxi International Airport (GPT). The new facility will operate 24/7 on a 9-acre site with more than 200,000 square feet of ramp and parking space. The complex spans more than two football fields in length and has a 28-foot-high atrium in the center. In addition, Million Air built an 80,000-gallon fuel farm equipped with run-off drains, filtering units and other environmental, safety and security systems. Fuel will be provided by Ascent Aviation Group, a Phillips 66 branded marketer. By being located in the FTZ, Million Air can offer significant fuel savings for inbound and outbound international transient aircraft operators. The company said inbound business aircraft can upload Jet A fuel and be offered a 5.7-cent-per-gallon state tax discount. Outbound international traffic will receive both a 24.7-cent federal tax and a 5.7 state tax discount. Million Air projects it will pump 6 million gallons of fuel annually for commercial, business aviation and military aircraft. During the opening of the new facility, Frank Genzer, chairman of the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport Authority, said, “With the advent of the new Million Air FBO offering superior service and savings on the cost of fuel, plus our new and expanded airport facilities and our new deep-water port, we believe our airport and port authorities Gulfport-Biloxi will become the main entry International Airport point for South American business traffic.” In addition, he said, “We are poised to become the new tech stop for European, Russian and Middle Eastern aircraft on inbound and outbound legs.” Virtually all of the airport’s general aviation facilities were destroyed during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Since the storm, the airport has spent $140 million in federal funds and $147 million in private funds to complete the renovation and expansion of its facilities, including a passenger terminal expansion with parking garage and 44


covered walkway ($69 million), two hotels ($52 million), a new air traffic control tower ($30 million), new air cargo facility ($22 million), and a new road for easier access to general aviation and air cargo facilities ($3 million). Bruce Frallic, A.A.E., executive director of the airport authority, said, “With Million Air’s Customs operation adjacent to our new air cargo facility, we foresee the synergy attracting expanded freight business. Right now we are handling periodic cargo charters, but we see the potential for becoming a hub for a major freight operator connecting to Latin America.” Robert Woolsey, Million Air CEO, said the new facility includes a 20,000-square-foot hangar with 28-foot height clearance; a 12,500-squarefoot passenger terminal and 2,000-square-foot canopy; and a $1 million, specially designed, 3,600-square-foot eAPIS U.S. Customs facility with immigration and agricultural testing, as well as additional areas for passengers and pilots. “We may be the first designed U.S. Customs facility attached to an FBO in which Customs’ officials actually instructed us on all the specifications we were required to include in their operation,” said Arve Henriksen, the FBO’s manager. The new facility will become the onsite processing area for all business aircraft arriving from international locations, featuring two processing lines and an interview room, in addition the agricultural testing area. The Customs facility is designed to handle 30 passengers per hour with an overflow capacity of an additional 10 to 20 passengers an hour. The facility features a number of security systems, including a closed-circuit TV system that monitors the entire hangar and ramp area, and two pantilt zoom cameras that cover all operation areas, including hangar roofs and side buildings. Plasma screens in the line office and at the customer service desk display the images. Million Air installed a secure access control system that only allows access with a qualified badge and PIN code. The flight service center’s services include advanced flight planning and weather technology, pilot showers and lockers, 24-hour staffed reception desk, free Wi-Fi connections, flight department office space, three conference rooms, and a theater room with a 106-inch screen offering a choice of 6,000 movies. A

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Fort Wayne Airport Uses Technology To Make the Most of Concessions

Fort Wayne’s Sally Port


ort Wayne (Ind.) International Airport recently completed a concessions upgrade that caters to customers on both sides of the security checkpoint. The design of the airport’s new restaurant, Samuel Adams Brewhouse, and coffee shop, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Sandwiches, allows individuals preand post-security to be served from the same concession kitchen. “We wanted a full service restaurant available on both sides of security to meet the needs of both the passengers and the meeters and greeters who may be picking up or dropping off passengers,” said Scott Hinderman, A.A.E., director of operations and facilities at Fort Wayne International. To avoid the expense of constructing and staffing two separate kitchens, officials at Fort Wayne looked for a solution that would allow



the airport’s food and beverage operator, First Class Concessions (FCC), to use a common kitchen while complying with TSA regulations. They found a workable solution in place at Medford Airport in Oregon, where Director Bern Case, A.A.E., had installed a unit called a Sally Port that allows items to pass from the sterile area to the landside while preventing movement in the opposite direction. “We reviewed that unit and how its potential application would fit into our construction and procedures,” Hinderman said. “We included the TSA as a stakeholder in this portion of the project very early to make sure our efforts would be approved.” The Sally Port is similar to a Lazy Susan found in a residential kitchen cabinet, only much larger, Hinderman said. “The unit allows wait staff to

Retail BriefsCORPORATEOUTLOOK Airmall USA, operator of the Airmall at Baltimore-Washington

place a food order on the Sally Port on the airside and rotate the food around for the wait staff on the landside to pick up and deliver to the customer. The Sally Port is configured so that no item will be allowed to travel from the landside to the airside,” he explained. The configuration incorporates a trash receptacle on the landside. Items not collected from the delivery station will rotate into the receptacle, preventing re-entry into the sterile kitchen. The airside portion of the new food and beverage outlets opened in late May, with the Sally Port and landside portion going live June 13. As part of the concession program, FCC will validate parking tickets for one hour of free parking for those purchasing a meal at the restaurant. Planning for the restaurant and coffee shop began in February 2010, and construction on the $460,000 project was completed in five months. “These new branded restaurants support the airport’s goal to provide a customer-centric focus. The community asked us for an updated concept offering a wide range of food and beverage options, and we are listening,” said Tory Richardson, A.A.E., executive director of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. The airport gift shop, renovated as part of the concessions upgrade, also is housed in the newly remodeled area. A

International, announced the opening of the airport’s second Fire & Ice location, offering hand-crafted jewelry and gems, art glass, fossil specimens, woods, crystal formations and more created by artists across the U.S. and Canada. This new unit is located on Concourse D. The original Fire & Ice unit at BWI opened in May 2005. … MexiJoe’s Grill, a Mexican café, has opened in LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal. The restaurant is located in the center food court and serves classic Mexican fare. MexiJoe’s Grill is an extension of Centerplate’s operations at LaGuardia where the company also manages Fig’s restaurant, as well as brands that include Cosi Pronto and Dunkin’ Donuts. … The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners has approved two 10-year contracts for new food and beverage concessions in terminals 4, 7 and 8 at Los Angeles International. Almost all of the new concession concepts are based in the city of Los Angeles or Southern California. The new concessions are expected to build out through 2012, and complement concessionaires previously selected last October, officials said in a statement. Contract awardees and their concept packages are: Host International, Inc. (Terminal 4): Campanile (Chef Mark Peel); Cole’s (“Originators of the French Dip”); 8 oz. Burger Bar (Chef Govind Armstrong); L.A. Gourmet Street Truck; La Provence Patisserie & Café; Real Food Daily (vegan); and Starbucks; and CMS/Camacho Ventures (Terminals 7-8): Seven Grand and BLD (two concepts by Chef Neal Fraser); ¡Lotería! Grill (Chef Jimmy Shaw); Marmalade Café; The Counter (“Custom Built Burgers”); Yogurtland; and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. The Terminal 4 concession agreement is expected to return to LAWA $4.125 million for the first year, and a minimum of $41.25 million over the 10-year term. Terminals 7/8 are expected to return $1.7 million for the first year, and a minimum of $17 million over 10 years. The board-approved contracts are subject to approval by the Los Angeles City Council. … The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors has approved 23 concessions packages totaling 31 locations for the new concessions program for Terminal A. The Terminal A concessions program is being upgraded in conjunction with the $1.9 billion Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program that started with construction in Terminal A earlier this year. Among the local, national and international brands that are new to DFW are Qdoba Mexican Grill, The Salt Lick

Bar-B-Que, Pinkberry, Twisted Root Burger Co., Ling & Louie’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Cowboys Stadium Legends Club, Teavana, Juicy Couture, Gepetto’s toy store, Talie and 7-Eleven. Terminal A construction started in February and is scheduled for completion in 2014... RaleighDurham International Airport has opened The Club at RDU, a passenger lounge that does not require a membership and is open to customers traveling on any airline for the day pass rate of $29.The club offers complimentary snacks, juice, tea, coffee, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, as well as a menu of premium food and beverages. The facility provides flight information, satellite television and a variety of newspapers and magazines; a business services center with PC workstations and printers, telephones, fax machines, a meeting room and free Wi-Fi. AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011



Airports Flying Closer to the Sun


t San Francisco International, a traveler can buy carbon offsets at a kiosk in the passenger terminal, and he or she will read the sales contract with lighting powered by solar panels on the building’s roof. In fact, almost all of the power used in the terminal is provided by a huge array of the latest high-tech photovoltaic panels. Meanwhile, 2,000 miles away in tiny Stevens Point, Wis., a “solar wall” is used to heat the air in a general aviation hangar housing eight singleengine planes. When it comes to their sources of energy, airports are getting ever closer to the sun.

The Shining Light

Even with $100-a-barrel oil and impending carbon emission regulations, it’s not easy for any industry to be green when it comes to alternative power generation, especially for governmental entities like airports that cannot easily avail themselves of the billions in tax credits currently available to private enterprises. Unsubsidized solar-generated electricity is still several times the cost per kilowatt-hour of power from the least-expensive conventional coal-fired powerplants. But in the past two years, the airport industry has moved beyond waste recycling, sophisticated HVAC systems and low-impact building materials to the green technology that is arguably evolving faster than any other. Airports are becoming the transportation industry’s primary champions of solar energy, and they are generating it and using

it in ways as innovative as any other public or private enterprise. In fact, airports’ burgeoning interest in alternative energy is expanding their traditional repertoire of public-private partnerships to include everything from the passive solar heating technology of Stevens Point’s hangar to covering their parking lots with solar panels that power, among other things, electric vehicle charging stations located within them. Contrary to conventional wisdom, solar technology is transforming energy at small airports in colder climates at least as fast as at larger airports in warm sunny climates. At Plattsburgh International in upstate New York, heating costs account for more than 60 percent of the airport’s total energy costs. Airport Manager Tom Long, A.A.E., noted that, “Several buildings at the airport were unmarketable because the utility bills were so high. We have a 166,000-square-foot hangar with an annual heating bill of $355,000. No one wants to rent with utility bills like that.” To improve the situation, the airport decided to contract with Conserval Engineering to install the company’s SolarWall panels. The panels, which can be attached to any building, capture solar-heated air from the six-inch space between the inner layer and outer layer and then efficiently recirculate it throughout the building. Installing it on four airport buildings cost $620,000, which was fully paid for by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Forms of Solar Power

Solar power refers to several methods short of plant photosynthesis that transform the energy of the sun into a usable industrial form, not just to electricity from photovoltaic cells. There are four types of solar power of greatest interest to airports: Solar design is an ancient technology that has become dramatically more sophisticated as computerized HVAC control systems have emerged and the value of conservation has increased. It employs a variety of shaping, shading, exposure, coating and recirculation principles that either deflect or capture the sun’s energy or both. In conservation-conscious airports, solar design is often complemented by 48


With their expanses of rooftop, glass and land, airports are ideally suited to avail themselves of all four forms of solar energy. Even now, some airport managers are eyeing one of the newest and potentially leastexpensive forms of solar power generation, completely transparent PV cells, as a possible coating for large expanses of their terminals’ windows. other forms of solar energy. Solar lighting is as old as windows, and airport architects have been using it for decades to create cheerful and efficient passenger facilities. But as with solar design, energy costs and technology are making it an ever-larger part of terminal design, including even the use of deep-reaching skylights and articulated mirrors to direct natural light to workshops, tunnels and baggage areas. Solar thermal technology usually involves heating water, either to be used directly or as a means of transmitting or storing energy. Ninety percent of the homes in Israel and Cyprus rely on solar hot water heating. In some airports in the developing world, it is used to desalinate and purify water for use at the airport. A number of U.S. airports are building solar hot water into their HVAC and water conservation strategies for new buildings. Solar-generated electricity is sourced either directly from photovoltaic (PV) panels or indirectly from mirrors focused to superheat steam, which in turn drives turbine generators. By far the dominant form used by airports right now is PV. PV is the fastest-growing of all alternative energy forms, with the amount of global power generated by it growing at nearly 50 percent per year over the past three years. With their expanses of rooftop, glass and land, airports are ideally suited to avail themselves of all four forms of solar energy. Even now, some airport managers are eyeing one of the newest and potentially least-expensive forms of solar power generation, completely transparent PV cells, as a possible coating for large expanses of their terminals’ windows.

Solar Parking Lots

Canopy Airport Parking’s new lot at Denver International may be the greenest parking lot in the world. Pulling into it is like buying a ticket to an environmental trade show, including the following

green power elements: • Solar Panels — a 16.9-kW solar array by Sharp Solar Electricity • Wind Turbines — a 9.6-kW wind turbine farm from Windspire Energy • Geothermal Energy — 300-foot-deep bore holes with heat pump technology • Free Juice Bars — free recharge for plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles • Hybrid Bus — the facility uses one regenerative hybrid, six natural gas and seven biodiesel buses In addition to these power generation innovations, Canopy’s facility incorporates a number of energy-saving and pollution-reducing features. A study by the Architectural Energy Corp. concluded that the lot was 70 percent more energy efficient than a traditional facility serving the same number of vehicles. Yuma, Ariz., receives even more sunshine than Denver, and it can be scorching, so Yuma International decided to deploy solar panels as an integral part of its new covered parking. The PV sunshades consist of a 542-kW system that also will provide 80 percent of the electricity needs for the airport’s passenger terminal for the next 20 years. It also provided the airport with an opportunity to execute its most sophisticated public-private partnership ever. Under terms of the “build-operate-transfer” agreement, Blue Renewable Energy funded the project, oversaw its design and construction, and will maintain the equipment for 20 years, after which it will be turned over to the airport. Moreover, Arizona Public Service, the primary electric utility in the region that also serves the airport, will employ a Renewable Energy Credit to pay roughly $2.35 million of the project’s $4 million cost. It also counts toward the utility’s 15 percent renewable power mandate. continued on page 51 AIRPORTMAGAZINE.NET | JUNE/JULY 2011



Total Seat Capacity — Top 10 U.S.-International Markets THIRD QUARTER 2009 VS. 2010 VS. 2011 50000 45000 40000 35000 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 3Q2009


3Q2010 3Q2011











Total Seat Capacity: Top 10 U.S. Airports THIRD QUARTER 2009 VS. 2010 VS. 2011






4000 3Q2009 3Q2010















Airports Flying Closer to the Sun continued from page 49

Parking lots that generate their own power can address one of the main reservations about electric-powered cars: that they depend for their charge upon power from coal-fired or gas-fired plants. Many of the dozens of airport parking lots that now employ solar panels are also installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, in most cases offering the charge-up for free to the EV parking customers.

Other Solar Initiatives

“Solar farming” is the next step for airports beyond panels on the parking lots. It means using rooftops and buffer land as platforms for installing solar panels that can provide up to half or more of an airport’s power consumption. • Boston Logan International recently installed panels that will provide more than 5 percent of its power. • Charlotte Douglas International has installed more than 1,300 230-watt panels that will supply 30 percent to 40 percent of the power used by its airport operations headquarters. • At Fresno-Yosemite International, a vacant land area the size of seven football fields has been converted to a 2-megawatt power generation facility. In a public-private partnership with the equipment’s financier, the airport will purchase power for the next 20 years, using it mostly for lighting and the tower. • In Chattanooga, Tenn., the airport has applied for an FAA grant to fund the bulk of its plan to install 4,256 of the panels that would cut the amount of power purchased from outside sources from more than 4 megawatts to fewer than 2.4 megawatts. If approved, it would be the largest airport solar farm in the nation so far. Other airport solar initiatives range from the mundane to the edge of science fiction. Falls River Regional Air Park in Louisiana is using solar-powered runway lights, apparently the first airport in the world to do so. At the other end of the spectrum are plans for a solar-powered airport rail line that would link the city center of Bologna, Italy, with its airport. Power would be generated from PV panels mounted above sections of the right-of-way.

Measures and Challenges

Every one of the examples cited above required one or more forms of subsidy in order for the project to be economically viable for the airport. The subsidies ranged from federal renewable energy tax credits and grants made available to the private partners in the publicprivate partnerships, to direct federal grants and continuing below-market power purchase agreements from large investor-owned regional power utilities. The latter entities were often trying to meet a state regulatory mandate for green power. Charlotte, for example, is depending on FAA to pick up roughly 95 percent of the cost of its solar panel installation. Fresno-Yosemite used a $5.5 million donation (in the form of rebates) from regional giant Pacific Gas & Electric Company. Denver’s green parking lot benefits from a variety of favorable federal tax treatments created for renewable power and conservation investments. These grants and incentives have created a dazzling array of exemplary airport solar projects, which is precisely the intent of their sponsors. But whether the volume of projects can be grown beyond the heavily subsidized pilot stage is likely to depend upon significant advances in both solar technology and its production economies of scale and upon a major increase in the price of conventional energy sources. The Obama Administration is betting billions of dollars on the former, but has so far been wary of the broad-based consumer-directed carbon taxes required to ensure the latter. The most likely scenario is that the unit cost of solar power will decline slowly but steadily as airports simultaneously incorporate advanced energy conservation into each new building or rehabilitation. This may be accompanied by solar incentives, set-asides or even a few mandates in future FAA grant programs. Whatever the future holds, the airport master plans of 2020 and 2030 may be evaluated as much by solar megawatt capacity as by many other measures of efficiency and effectiveness. A Steve A. Steckler is chairman, Infrastructure Management Group, Inc. He may be reached at ssteckler@imggroup.com.






assengers by airport

MNAA To Build New T-Hangars At John C. Tune Airport


The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) will build eight new T-hangars at John C. Tune Airport. Local company Baron & Dowdle was selected for construction and will partner with DBE-certified subcontractors Nate Hatcher Backhoe, Logik, Geotek Engineering, BEAC Engineering, G&J Contractors, and Thornton & Associates for 7 percent DBE participation. Baron & Dowdle also will use Group Electric, Wolverine Construction and Full Fab Inc. for the metal building. The authority anticipates beginning construction of the hangars this summer and plans to be finished by October 2011.



Austin Bergstrom (Texas) International


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5.1 34.0

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Massport has approved a $300 million budget for a consolidated rental car facility for Boston Logan International. The fourlevel garage and customer service building, to be located in the southwest service area of the airport, will place all rental car companies operating on the airport in one location and reduce the rental car bus fleet and Massport shuttle buses from more than 100 to 28, lowering vehicle emissions and terminal curbside congestion.

Baker Awarded MAA BWI Marshall On-Call Construction Services Contract


Michael Baker Jr., Inc., announced that it has been awarded a five-year, $5 million contract by the Maryland Aviation Administration to provide on-call construction management and inspection services to Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.




Plattsburgh Airport To Gain Aircraft Maintenance Facility




Funding Approved For Rental Car Facility At Boston Logan










June July






Laurentian Aerospace said it has completed financing for a $175 million aircraft maintenance and overhaul facility at Plattsburgh International. The company will begin construction of the hangar complex in April, with operations slated to begin 18 months later. A

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Profile for Airport Magazine

Airport June/July 2011  

Airport Magazine's June/July 2011 issue, focusing on concessions

Airport June/July 2011  

Airport Magazine's June/July 2011 issue, focusing on concessions

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