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Proposed new hangar here.

Bird habitat here.

Possible extended threshold here?

Lat: 14° 44’ 22” N

Long: 17° 29’ 24”

10.Jan.2009 Resolution:.50m ICAO: GOOY

Information to make airport operations efficient and safe. GeoEye’s Airport Mapping Database (AMDB) lets you identify efficiency, safety and security improvements in your arrival, taxing and departure flight operations. Gain critical insight via 3D big-picture overviews to unique vantage angles with the ability to inspect airport features as small as .50 meter. It’s decision-enhancing data to increase arrivals and departures, reduce ground fuel burn and design optimal airport development plans. To make airport operations more profitable, look to GeoEye’s Airport Mapping Database services. www.geoeye.com / amd b

Image intelligence. Delivered intelligently. © 2009 GeoEye. All Rights Reserved.

Volume 21/ Number 7 | December/January 2010








ed i tor i al adv i sor y B O A R D A i r p ort M embers William G. Barkhauer, Morristown, New Jersey Timothy L. Campbell, Baltimore, Maryland Jim Johnson, Odessa, Florida James L. Morasch, Pasco, Washington Timothy K. O’Donnell, Fort Wayne, Indiana Robert Olislagers, Englewood, Colorado Torrance Richardson, Fort Wayne, Indiana Elaine Roberts, Columbus, Ohio


C or p orate M embers Bill Hogan, Reynolds, Smith + Hills STACY HOLLOWELL, Siemens One, Inc. Brian Lacey, Delaware North Companies Steve Pelham, Reveal Imaging Technologies Randy Pope, Burns & McDonnell Laura Samuels, Hudson Group

AAAE BOARD OF DIRECTORS C ha i r John K. Duval, Beverly, Massachusetts


F i rst V i ce C ha i r James E. Bennett, Washington, D.C. S econd V i ce C ha i r Kelly L. Johnson, Bentonville, Arkansas


S ecretar y / T reasurer Bruce E. Carter, Moline, Illinois F I R S T Past C ha i r

Cover Feature:


Jim P. Elwood, Aspen, Colorado second Past C ha i r Krys T. Bart, Reno, Nevada

A Conversation With DOT Secretary Ray LaHood | 10

Editor’s Corner




AAAE President Charles Barclay Interviews The Secretary

News Briefs


Features A&E Landside Trends | 14 Stimulus Funds Jump-Start Construction

Air Transportation: Value The Network | 17

AAAE President Charles Barclay Outlines The Issues

An Uneven Economic Decline And An Uneven Recovery | 19 The 2010 Outlook For Airports And Airlines







Retail Briefs


Industry Metrics




General Aviation




Advertiser Index


B oard of D i rector S DANETTE M. BEWLEY, Reno, Nevada TOMMY W. BIBB, Nashville, Tennessee JEFF L. BILYEU, Angleton, Texas THOMAS H. BINFORD, Billings, Montana LEW S. BLEIWEIS, Fletcher, North Carolina GARY A. CYR, SR., Springfield, Missouri BENJAMIN R. DECOSTA, Atlanta, Georgia ROD A. DINGER, Redding, California LINDA G. FRANKL, Columbus, Ohio STACY L. HOLLOWELL, Carrollton, Texas KIM W. HOPPER, Portsmouth, New Hampshire GARY L. JOHNSON, Stillwater, Oklahoma MARK D. KRANENBURG, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma SCOTT C. MALTA, Atwater, California JEFFREY A. MULDER, Tulsa, Oklahoma ROBERT P. OLISLAGERS, Englewood, Colorado THOMAS M. RAFTER, Hammonton, New Jersey BRIAN REED, Jacksonville, Florida ROBERT F. SELIG, Lansing, Michigan

Coming In Airport Magazine February/March 2010: Coping With The Recession GIS A&E Airside GA Security

DAVID R. ULANE, Aspen, Colorado C ha p ter Pres i dents WILLIAM F. MARRISON, Knoxville, Tennessee WALT STRONG, Norman, Oklahoma STEPHEN E. KORTA, Hartford, Connecticut SHAWN SCHROEDER, Springfield, Missouri TODD L. MCNAMEE, Camarillo, California JOHN S. KINNEY, Denver, Colorado Pol i c y R ev i ew C omm i ttee BONNIE A. ALLIN, Tucson, Arizona

Runway Safety: Teamwork Gets Results | 22 FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt Offers An Overview

April/May 2010: Annual Conference Issue Dallas Terminal Development Program Winter Operations Airfield Safety

The 2010 Airport Concessions Outlook | 25 Keeping A Cautious Eye On Events

ROSEMARIE ANDOLINO, Chicago, Illinois WILLIAM G. BARKHAUER, Morristown, New Jersey THELLA F. BOWENS, San Diego, California MARK P. BREWER, Manchester, New Hampshire TIMOTHY L. CAMPBELL, Baltimore, Maryland LARRY D. COX, Memphis, Tennessee ALFONSO DENSON, Birmingham, Alabama KEVIN A. DILLON, Warwick, Rhode Island EDWARD C. FRENI, East Boston, Massachusetts MARK GALE, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania THOMAS E. GREER, Monterey, California JAMES A. KOSLOSKY, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Cover Design: Zev Remba

SEADOGS | 30 Airports Helping Airports

Unconformity, LLC

LYNN F. KUSY, Mesa, Arizona JAMES L. MORASCH, Pasco, Washington ERIN M. O’DONNELL, Chicago, Illinois BRADLEY D. PENROD, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ELAINE ROBERTS, Columbus, Ohio RICKY D. SMITH, Cleveland, Ohio SUSAN M. STEVENS, Charleston, South Carolina Pres i dent Charles M. Barclay, Alexandria, Virginia


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


Success should be a non-stop pursuit. At URS, we believe that when you put your experience to work, you uncover solutions that move people forward. Today, as the requirements of the air transportation business continue to grow and change, our ability to help our customers meet their goals across all aspects of a project’s life cycle is unmatched. Which is why, whether it’s a terminal expansion, a runway, communications and security systems or landside improvements, more people are turning to us to get it done. We are URS.


editor’scorner M


n this issue, Airport Magazine is pleased to offer an interview with DOT Secretary Ray LaHood conducted by AAAE President Charles Barclay. The two men discuss, among other topics, the timing of congressional approval of FAA reauthorization legislation and the need to make permanent the temporary Alternative Minimum Tax fix on private activity bonds. (AAAE Digicast subscribers may access the video of the interview under Breaking News.) Also in this issue, FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt discusses his agency’s advances in improving runway safety and his plans for future improvements. Other features outline current trends in airport landside architecture and engineering projects and the outlook for the airport concessions industry for 2010. Kenneth Gwyn, assistant director of aviation for the Dallas Airport System, writes about the value of expanding the airport’s strategic plan to incorporate scenario planning. Given the economic uncertainty in the industry, “This additional work should analyze scenarios that could dramatically affect the airport business, identify key performance indicators that warn of turbulence, and develop strategies to be implemented to mitigate damage,” he advises. And there is still more: an update on SEADOGS, general aviation news, the AirporTech column and airport statistics. Hudson Group has sponsored a 2010 calendar that is included with this issue and highlights dates for important AAAE meetings throughout the year. Please hang it by your desk and refer to it when planning your business travel. We thank our advertisers in this issue: ASSA High Security Lock, Burns & McDonnell, CDM, Delta Airport Consultants, GeoEye, HDS Retail North America, Hudson Group, KimleyHorn and Associates, Mead & Hunt, Michael Baker Corp., Ricondo & Associates, RS&H, URS and Flight Safety Foundation. We appreciate the support of these companies, which help to make our magazine possible. Please support them. Special features of the Airport Magazine Web site (www. airportmagazine.net) allow readers around the globe to access the current issue, as well as to research an archives section that provides access to all issues for the past three years. A full-color interactive flip book for each issue allows readers to print out articles. And, of course, our subscribers receive printed copies. Airport Magazine, the choice of U.S. airport officials for the past 20 years, is read for its timely and relevant editorial content by airport officials and representatives of government agencies in countries throughout Europe, Asia, the Americas and parts of Africa. Send me an e-mail at barbara.cook@aaae.org with any ideas you have for articles that would be helpful for your airport or company.

Barbara Cook Editor 6

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010








E d i tor

Barbara Cook barbara.cook@aaae.org Publ i sher

Joan Lowden E x ecut i ve E d i tor

Ellen P. horton E d i tor - A t - L arge


Holly Ackerman A rt D es i gn

Unconformity, LLC G ra p h i c D es i gner


Bill Krumpelman JAMES MARTIN advert i s i ng and sales

aaaemarketingteam@aaae.org E d i tor i al O ff i ce

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 2009 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

Reprint and pdf information The Reprint Department (717) 481-8500


(such as construction, operations, administration); Functional (retail, rental car, taxiway), and EONS (economic, operations, natural resources, social). When applicable, users can access specific examples of the concepts contained in the three sections, including the implementation strategies and practices. These examples frequently are coupled with a link to a specific airport document or resource for further information.

Panel To Study Airline Financial Health DOT Secretary Ray LaHood has pledged to convene a national panel to develop a plan to restore the U.S. airline industry to financial health. The panel will produce a “roadmap” to recovery within the next year, he said. LaHood made the announcement at a Nov. 12 media briefing following an invitation-only Future of U.S.

Airports Unveil Sustainability Database Airports have teamed up to compile best practices on sustainability and place the information online in a searchable database. The Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance (SAGA), with support from AAAE, the Airport Consultants Council and ACI-NA, developed the resource guide, which is available at www. airportsustainability.org. “It’s important to our members at all sized airports to be able to turn to one particular resource as they undertake environmental improvement projects of any scale,” said AAAE Chair John Duval, A.A.E. “We would like airports to use this document both as a resource and as an opportunity to share experiences with sustainability efforts at individual airports. We intend for this to be a living document, which gives everyone an opportunity to continually be involved in this worthwhile project.” The consolidated database includes almost 900 existing sustainability measures undertaken at airports in North America. Users are able to search for specific examples based on a broad range of criteria, with each practice categorized under the following three areas: Activities

Cori, a three-year-old English Labrador Retriever, and Harley, a four-year-old, chocolate Labrador Retriever, were sworn in recently as part of the explosives detection team at Akron-Canton (Ohio) Airport. Cori is assigned permanently to detect explosives at Akron-Canton, while Harley patrols all of Summit County and backs up Cori at the airport if needed. The dogs undergo 12 weeks of intensive training and then are state certified before being eligible to be sworn in. They learn nine basic compounds leading them to detect up to 19,000 different scents such as powders, plastic, dynamite and TNT. Deputy Sheriff Brian Cutlip (right) trains Cori while Deputy Sheriff Mike Jones (left) is Harley’s handler. AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


upfront News Briefs Former TSA Administrator Rear Admiral David Stone died in late November. Stone was TSA’s third administrator, serving from December 2003 to June 2005. Previously, he had been the deputy chief of staff for TSA and the first federal security director at Los Angeles International Airport. … Edward Stimpson, former U.S. representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization, has died. Mr. Stimpson served for 25 years as the president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and most recently as the chairman of the Flight Safety Foundation. … James Edward Malarky, 93, died Oct. 20 at Cape Cod Hospital in Massachusetts. Both Bridgeport and Tweed-New Haven, Conn., airports grew significantly under Mr. Malarky’s management, and he worked successfully with the neighborhoods and citizens concerned about airport development and expansion. … Bobbi Passavanti, 52, of Marietta, Ga., died Nov. 3. Mrs. Passavanti was director of marketing for the Paradies Shops. … Rhonda HammNiebruegge has been named director at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, effective when current director Richard Hrabko, A.A.E., retires at the end of 2009. Hamm-Niebruegge has more than two decades of aviation management experience with key leadership positions with Ozark Airlines, TWA and American. … Eric Frankl, A.A.E., was selected by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County (Ky.) Airport Board as executive director for Blue Grass Airport. He has served as interim executive director at Blue Grass Airport since Feb. 16, 2009. Prior to his appointment at Blue Grass Airport, Frankl served as Director of Airports for the Toledo-Lucas County (Ohio) Port Authority. … The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority announced the promotions of Butch Gelband, A.A.E., and Stephanie Ladd from managers to directors. Gelband, formerly manager of planning, is now director of planning. Ladd, who had served as manager of human resources, becomes director of human resources… A 8

Aviation forum that was attended by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, representatives from airports, airlines, labor and consumer groups and aviation analysts. During the all-day meeting, which was attended by AAAE Executive Committee members Krys Bart, A.A.E.; Bruce Carter, A.A.E.; and Jim Elwood, A.A.E.; and AAAE President Charles Barclay, numerous issues affecting the nation’s aviation system were debated. Among the topics highlighted were FAA reauthorization, PFCs, NextGen, environmental issues, oil speculation, airline financial stability and international airline alliances. Forum attendees heard from three panels of experts. The first panel session was “State of the Industry” and featured Rosemarie Andolino, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation and a member of AAAE’s Policy Review Committee; Bryan Bedford, CEO of Republic Airways; and Peter McDonald, executive vice president of United. Other panel members were Bill McGee from the Consumers Union, as well as aviation analysts Daniel MacKenzie and Jim Lardner. The second panel, “Events Shaping the Future of the Industry,” included Mark Reis, director of Seattle-Tacoma International; Ben Baldanza, CEO of Spirit Airlines; Bob Lekites, president of UPS Airlines; aviation analyst Jamie Baker of JP Morgan; and Mike Bair, vice president of business strategy and marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. The final panel, “Areas for Future Work,” featured Gina Marie Lindsey, C.M., executive director of Los Angeles World Airports; Dan Wolf, president of Cape Air; Bella Goren, senior vice president customer relationship marketing and reservations of American; Pete Bunce, president and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association;

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

and Kevin Mitchell, chairman of the Business Travelers Coalition.

Florida Airport Receives New Name The Panama City-Bay County (Fla.) International Airport and Industrial District has voted to name its new international airport now under construction the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport. The relocated facility is scheduled to open in May 2010. “We received hundreds of suggestions from across the region,” said Executive Director Randy Curtis, A.A.E. “The response was outstanding and the suggestions were both creative and helpful.” Curtis added that the new name met several criteria the airport board and the community had established, including a name that would have universal appeal, reflect the region served and support economic development and tourism.

US Airways Announces Plan To Realign Operations US Airways announced it will realign its operations to focus on its hubs in Charlotte, Philadelphia and Phoenix, plus Reagan Washington National Airport. “These four cities, as well as the airline’s popular hourly shuttle service between New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Boston and Reagan Washington National Airport, will serve as the cornerstone of


• Redeploying the company’s 15 the airline’s network,” the carrier E-190 aircraft on routes between said. “By the end of 2010, they will Boston and Philadelphia and on represent 99 percent of the airline’s the Boston-LaGuardia leg of the US available seat miles versus roughly 93 Airways Shuttle. percent today.” • Suspending five European As part of the realignment, US destinations from Philadelphia, Airways said it will cut 1,000 jobs given the weakness in transatlantic across its system during the first half revenue: Birmingham, U.K.; of next year, including 600 airport London Gatwick, U.K.; Milan, Italy; passenger and ramp service positions. Shannon, Ireland; and Stockholm, Further, the carrier said its plans Sweden. Seasonal service to call for: Brussels, Belgium, and Zurich, • Reducing Las Vegas flights from 64 to Switzerland, will transition to year36 daily departures by February 2010 round service in late 2010. as a result of high fuel prices and • Returning its Philadelphia-Beijing continued weak demand associated flight authority to DOT until with the Las Vegas market. economic conditions improve, • Closing stations in Colorado while retaining the option to Springs and Wichita and moving reapply for this authority in those flights to more profitable the future. routes across its three hubs.

• Rightsizing and repositioning its crew bases in Philadelphia, Charlotte, Phoenix and Washington, D.C., by closing crew bases in Boston, LaGuardia and Las Vegas. The carrier also announced that it has completed a series of financial transactions to improve its nearterm and future liquidity, including the deferral of 54 Airbus aircraft previously scheduled for delivery between 2010 and 2012. The actions will significantly reduce capital expenditures over the next three years, the carrier said.

FAA Rejects Night Flying Ban FAA has rejected a request from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., for continued on page 44

Aviation consultants AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



An Exclusive


Ray LaHood

The secretary had just finished hosting an invitation-only Future of U.S. Aviation Forum that was attended by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, representatives from airports, airlines, labor and consumer groups and aviation analysts. AAAE Executive Committee members Krys Bart, A.A.E., Bruce Carter, A.A.E., and Jim Elwood, A.A.E., as well as Barclay, attended the forum. Following the event, the secretary pledged to convene a national panel to develop a plan to restore the U.S. airline industry to financial health. The panel will produce a roadmap to financial recovery within the next year, he said.

photos: Jim Martin, AAAE staff

Airport Magazine Interview with DOT Secretary


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

AAE President Charles Barclay on Nov. 12 interviewed DOT Secretary Ray LaHood. The secretary and Barclay discussed, among other topics, the timing of FAA reauthorization and the need to make permanent the temporary Alternative Minimum Tax fix on private activity bonds.

BARCLAY: You’ve just finished the Future of Aviation Forum here at the department. Tell us what it was you were trying to accomplish, did you accomplish it, and what’s the path forward? LaHOOD: Well, we had a number of stakeholders here, people that are involved in the industry, people that work in the industry. Everybody that was gathered here today has a great stake in the future of aviation, and I think they’re looking to the Department of Transportation and to Ray LaHood for some leadership on a roadmap forward for making sure that we have a strong aviation industry. I’m committed to that. We need a strong aviation industry in America. This industry provides more than 500,000 jobs to peo‑ ple in our country. It’s a very important industry. People rely on the industry to get from one point to another, but there are difficulties. I think people would like for us to identify what the four or five things are and then really move out with great dispatch and get a lot of people involved to make sure that there is a good roadmap for getting to the point where the aviation industry is not in great distress economically and can provide good service to people. BARCLAY: It really is an industry that’s fundamental to

the rest of the economy. Airports were beneficiaries of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Are you pleased with how that went, and do you see the need for further stimulus? LaHOOD: In the recovery act, DOT received $1 billion for airports, and because there is such a pent‑up demand to do the work on runways and approaches and so forth, the bids came in lower than we expected. So, this is a great news story. We have actually now {contracted for the equivalent of $1.2 billion in work}, even though we received $1 billion, because the bids came in lower. So it’s a win-win. Lots of airports around the country are resurfacing their runways, and it’s been a real boon to airports and put a lot of people to work. So we know that it’s been a real lifeline for airports who, again, have been cash‑strapped to be able to do the infrastructure (improvements) they wanted to do. BARCLAY: Well, we certainly appreciate it. There was another provision in the act that you’ve mentioned ­— the Alternative Minimum Tax. For years we’ve argued that airport bonds should be handled the same as road bonds. In the past they were not handled that way. The airport bond market dried up, and the recovery act, by making the temporary change and treat‑ AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



ing airport bonds the same as the road bonds, reopened that market and was very important to air‑ port infrastructure going forward. Use your legislative expertise. What do you see our chance is of con‑ tinuing that treatment for airport bonds, and do you think that’s something the administration will look favorably on? LaHOOD: The Alternative Minimum Tax was a part of the lifeline to airports, and it’s a provision in the tax code that allows airports to use bonding power to do the kind of things that they’ve been unable to do. And, again, it’s part of the lifeline to airports that was in the economic recovery act. I think it’s something we should continue. Obviously, Congress will debate this. It will be a part of what will it cost to continue to allow airports to have this ability on the Alternative Minimum Tax, but I think it’s a good provision, and we found many airports taking advan‑ tage of it. BARCLAY: Talk a little bit about NextGen, or what some people are calling NowGen. How do you see that moving ahead, and what can airports do to be of help? LaHOOD: Well, next-generation technology, if it’s not the number-one policy initiative for Randy Babbitt, our FAA administrator, and his team over at FAA, it’s certainly well at the top. We’ve had a number of discussions with the White House about the funding of it, because it’s not inexpensive. We know that the airline industry probably doesn’t have the financial capability to put this kind of technology in their planes, which they have to do in order for it to be effective. 12

We’re going, obviously, from a satel‑ lite system really to a GPS system that, I think, will be quite effective, but it’s costly. We think we’ll lead the way. We’re going to provide the leadership to make this happen sooner rather than later. It’s what we have to do for safety, to save a lot of jet fuel, and hopefully relieve some congestion at some of these airports because you can guide planes differently in and out with next‑generation technology. So, we are looking forward to moving quickly to work with airports, with the airlines, with stakeholders around the country who have developed the technology, and with a number of other groups to make this happen. BARCLAY: Describe the advisory group that you’ve just announced today. LaHOOD: The advisory group, I think, will help us with the path forward, with the roadmap for aviation. It will be a group that will be recommended by the people that were at the meeting today. They’re going to be sending the names of people that they think should be involved, maybe specific people, maybe somebody from a group here or there. Then I hope to work very closely with that group and work very hard on four or five areas that we

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

think are the critical areas for aviation in America to be successful in the future. We’re not going to take a long time to do this. We’re going to work hard, and I think we will come up with some good ideas that we can present to the entire group. We can say, “These are not only the problems, but here are the solutions. Here’s what this group believes is the way forward on these.” BARCLAY: When do you think the President will sign a long‑term FAA reauthorization bill? LaHOOD: Well, the FAA authorization has passed the House, as you know. It’s pending in the Senate, and the Senate will probably, I hope, take it up early next year and pass a bill, and then it goes to a conference committee. I certainly hope early next year, the President can sign FAA reauthorization. It’s very important for the aviation industry and very important to the future of the aviation industry. BARCLAY: If Ray LaHood hadn’t gone into politics, what would he be doing now? LaHOOD: Teaching school. I love teaching school. I taught school for six years, right out of college, and I liked it very much. But I’ve really enjoyed my 30 years of public service, and I can’t thank President Obama enough for giving me this opportunity to continue my public service career beyond Congress and to really make a difference on transportation issues. A

Step into our Web

You’ll be glad to be caught Flight Safety Foundation (FSF) has launched its newly upgraded Web site. This redesign creates a more interactive forum for the aviation safety community, a place you can depend on to stay informed on developing safety issues and Foundation initiatives that support its mission of pursuing continuous improvement of global aviation safety. Follow our blog, and get updates on FSF events and comment on issues that are important to the industry and to you. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn — join these social networking groups and expand your aviation safety circle. Follow AeroSafety World magazine on line with your free subscription to the digital issue. Follow us around the globe — click on the interactive world map that documents current safety issues and the locations of FSF affiliate offices. Follow the industry news — stay current on aviation safety news by visiting the Latest Safety News section of the site, or check out what interests other people as noted under the Currently Popular tab. Follow FSF initiatives such as ALAR, C-FOQA, OGHFA and others, as the Foundation continues to research safety interventions, provides education and promotes safety awareness through its tool kits, seminars and educational documents. Join us, become a member of FSF and be a part of the team that leads or actively participates in all of the world’s major safety efforts to improve aviation safety. Here’s where it all comes together:

www.flightsafety.org Click on the donate button and help us continue the work For more information, contact Susan M. Lausch, director of development, +1 703.739.6700, ext. 112 or e-mail lausch@flightsafety.org.

by Barbara Cook



lthough the U.S. recession has pushed back landside improvement plans at many airports, federal stimulus funds made available in 2009 have jump-started specific projects, according to major airport architectural and engineering (A&E) firms. “Positioning for stimulus funding accelerated the timetable for many planned projects or encouraged new grant opportunities,” commented Andy Platz, vice president/group leader, aviation services, Mead & Hunt. Yet, due to the reduction in airline capacity, “The demand for larger or expanded facilities is not there today,” he said. “On the bright side, reconstruction and safety projects are continuing, and planning work to position airports for future projects has stayed on track.” Much of the stimulus-funded terminal work so far is for baggage handling improvements for inline screening systems, noted Ron Crain, senior airport technology consultant for Burns & McDonnell. Cedric Curtis, vice president-aviation, RS&H, stated that federal stimulus


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funds caused “a surge of development activity” in mid-sized and second-tier commercial airports. “Meanwhile,” he added, “the larger city airports languished under the recession, put projects on hold and waited as the airlines sat tight on their wallets. Now, we are starting to see a loosening up of some of the large airports for on-call A&E work needed to upgrade airport infrastructure and for smaller capital projects.” Loy Warren, Kimley-Horn’s national aviation practice lead, said that while airport project work has contracted, “We do see steady work related to renewal projects — updating of existing facilities and civil engineering services. There is a growing need for renewal at many airports, but funding is the limiting factor.” “Design and construction is proceeding on projects that have clearly demonstrated needs and have adequate funding in place,” noted Tom Rossbach, director of aviation architecture, HNTB. “Projects that cannot demonstrate immediate need have been typically shelved or their design and construction schedules extended in response to the new economic realities. In the absence of a rebound in passenger traffic to trigger a reactivation of major construction programs, the near-term emphasis likely will be on improving existing facilities through renovations and maintenance upgrades to lower operational costs and increase existing facility service life.” Airports today are seeking landside design solutions that make

A&E Landside their facilities more operationally efficient and cost effective through innovation, technology and creative management of resources, A&E firms agreed in comments to Airport Magazine. Several major trends are driving the choices airports make to achieve these goals.

we’re hearing more about. Greater pressure is coming from owner/ cities and local governments to apply green technologies to the overall development of airports.”


“Probably the single most important design concept is flexibility,” stated Linda Mabry, executive assistant to the president/CEO, Tucson International Airport. “Due to the current economic conditions and the associated hardship that the aviation Sustainability industry is facing, terminals need to Airport operators have stepped up be easily adaptable to ever-changing their efforts significantly to manage demands. Ticket counters are on their and conserve energy, according to way to becoming a thing of the past. Ramon Ricondo, president, Ricondo & TSA checkpoint design is in constant Associates. “These efforts are focusing evolution, and the areas around the checkpoint need to be flexible on increasing energy efficiency in and capable of recapture if the new construction and reducing existing building energy costs through space demands increase. Concourse holdrooms and jet bridges need to be retrofits and optimizing operating designed to handle an erratic and maintenance procedures,” he fleet mix.” said. Innovative technologies, such Greg Chin, media relations as thermal energy storage, state-ofthe-art boiler and chiller installations manager for the Miami-Dade Aviation and adoption of Leadership in Energy Department, agreed. The airport’s ability to accommodate the dynamics and Environmental Design (LEED) of the aviation system “must be the concepts, are high-priority choices guiding concept for airport owners that airports are making today. Airports also are seeking alternative and designers,” he said. “Design concepts for airport expansion and energy sources for buildings, such renovation depend on the customers as the addition of solar farms at it expects to serve and the physical Denver International, Fresno (Calif.) characteristics of the airport.” The Yosemite International and Los change in mix between domestic Angeles/Palmdale Regional airports, and international passengers, Ricondo said. Airports are assessing and origin/destination versus the potential for wind power as an connecting passengers “clearly must alternative energy source as well. accommodate the variation in design “Airports realize they need to solutions for each,” he explained. expand to accommodate increased landside needs, such as security Technology checkpoints, non-passenger waiting areas and more concession Airports expect multiple rewards locations,” commented Kimleyfrom greater use of wireless Horn’s Warren. “At the same time, technology, A&E firms reported. For local governments are feeling example, use of this technology will pressure for new developments enable the placement of wireless to implement LEED and other check-in kiosks at a variety of sustainability initiatives at the design locations throughout the facility, and construction phase. That’s part including the departure curb and of the reason why sustainability and parking garages, as well as at energy reduction issues are topics offsite locations.

Further, due to the greater use of wireless technology, in the future, skycaps will have the flexibility to go where passengers need them instead of being tethered to one location at the terminal. Security systems can be wireless. With encrypted software, remote cameras can be placed without expensive cabling to reach difficult or remote locations. At least two airports overseas are reported to be monitoring the wireless signals from passenger mobile phones to track their movements through the terminal. This is to study passenger queuing patterns and gain information to be used to optimize passenger flow at processing points. “Terminals are being saturated with wireless technology,” said Warren. “It’s possible that the use of this technology will expand to preclearing of passengers. There was a failed attempt earlier to convince passengers of the benefits of preclearing. There likely will be another attempt to do this, possibly tied to wireless.” Ultimately, the technology changes will alter the appearance and design of ticketing halls.

Passenger Convenience Airports and A&E firms alike pointed to greater passenger convenience as a goal of terminal upgrades now being designed, as well as those envisioned for the future. Self-check-in for bags and greater use of off-airport locations for bag check-in top the list of passenger convenience items. Increased use of self-service kiosks and Internet links for passenger check-in will reduce ticket lobby space needs and airline manpower needs as well. Common-use terminal facilities will free up airline counter space. Chin noted the trend toward offairport check-in facilities and added that, “The concept of drive-through check-in followed by valet parking is imminent. Traditional boarding passes have been replaced by electronic boarding passes, and the mobile

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


A&E Landside

phone boarding pass will be a common occurrence in the near future.” Burns & McDonnell’s Crain pointed out that several recent studies have supported passenger self-tagging for baggage and a common bag drop area. This could lead to “allowing passengers to manage the entire check-in process themselves,” he said.

HNTB’s Rossbach said his company’s recent designs include underseat outlets in passenger departure lounges to allow passengers to charge their wireless devices while they wait for a flight. Advertising opportunities likely will find their way into this passenger amenity, as well as payfor-view entertainment and business services, Rossbach suggested.

Photograph by Lynn Houston copyright 2009 SBA

Victor Gill, director-public affairs and communications for Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., said that plans for intermodal travel are “front and center” at his airport to allow for an efficient flow of passengers to and from the facility. “A regional intermodal transportation center (RITC) is well into conceptual planning to take advantage of the airport’s proximity to major freeways, rail and bus routes,” he explained. “The RITC will incorporate a consolidated rental car facility to round out the transit inventory, and access to the terminal will be offered via an elevated moving sidewalk.”

Seamless Transition Warren said that better integration of the secured and non-secured areas of the terminal is important, but he added that, since 9/11, “Security checkpoints have created a brick wall separating passengers from nonpassengers. Customers desire a meetand-greet space, but if one is created it must be outside of security,” he explained. The first concern for airports and 16

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airlines is that building additional meet-and-greet space increases rent costs, however. In order to build it, concessions must be added to offset the improvement costs. It is often expensive space to add, as airports are constrained between security and the curb, he noted. Warren pointed to Palm Beach (Fla.) International and Salt Lake City International airports as examples of effective attempts to integrate the secured and unsecured areas. Other A&E firms cited Portland (Ore.) International, Vancouver (British Columbia) International and Santa Barbara (Calif.) Municipal airports as good examples of using an architectural solution to ease the transition between the secured and unsecured areas of the terminal. Beyond visual connectivity between the secured and unsecured areas of the terminal, the Westin Hotel at Detroit Metro benefits from a TSA pilot program that allows overnight guests staying at the hotel to have access to the 90 shops and restaurants located on the secure side of the McNamara Terminal, Ricondo noted. Hotel guests access the secured shopping concourse through a TSA checkpoint located in the lobby of the hotel.

Value-Added Services A&E firms agreed that the evolving passenger departure process opens the way for airports to provide value-added services to improve the traveler’s experience and to support capacity growth, even as the traditional appearance of the terminal is changed. “As airport operators seek to increase revenues from non-aeronautical sources, innovative concepts to leverage landside and terminal areas to take advantage of the transformed departure process will change the character of the terminal from being a simple processor building to a diverse service center environment,” Ricondo predicted. A Barbara Cook is editor of Airport Magazine. She may be reached at barbara.cook@aaae.org.


Air Transportation— Value the Network

By Charles Barclay President, AAAE


ecent articles and reports criticizing both the funding for development of smaller airports and the cost of an essential air service system in the U.S. take a myopic view of the nation’s economic need for a robust air transportation network. The importance and value of national transportation systems should be measured by a network’s effect on overall economic activity, not on the basis of stand-alone transportation costs for a single point on the network. The U.S. interstate highway system is heavily used, often over capacity in major metropolitan areas, while comparatively sparsely used in rural areas. If one accepted the notion of considering only transportation costs and their return within individual communities, then the interstate highway system would have been constructed in a much more highly concentrated pattern around just the major metropolitan areas

of the 1950s. However, the government wisely viewed the interstate highway system’s value as a network affecting the overall economic activity and growth potential for the nation, rather than looking narrowly at transportation costs or local benefits alone. Few people would argue for a balkanized, limited interstate highway system, and the same perspective should apply to the national air transportation system. The economic return for capital funding of airports in smaller communities, and having a national Essential Air Service (EAS) program for rural connection to the market-driven airline system, lies in the value of a broadly accessible transportation network on total economic activity, including the actual and potential entry of businesses into areas beyond the largest metropolitan areas. Consider transportation costs and benefits in the context of national economic competitors to

The U.S.’s geographic size and distances between markets make a modern, hightech, efficient and comprehensive air transportation system a must if we are to effectively move our goods, services and entrepreneurs.

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the U.S. Germany is twice the size of Wisconsin and potentially could run its local economy with its network of roads and railroads — systems that are viewed and financed as important national infrastructure rather than on a narrow transportation cost’s basis alone. Railroad systems throughout the European Union (EU) are subsidized for both capital and operating costs, without significant controversy, due to their broader social and economic benefits. Similar in size to the U.S. in gross domestic product terms, the EU region’s modest distances and advantageous geography also make roads and railroads effective transportation networks for servicing general economic needs. But by comparison, the U.S.’s geographic size and distances between markets make a modern, high-tech, efficient and com-

prehensive air transportation system a must if we are to effectively move our goods, services and entrepreneurs. In a modern, competitive, global economy, speed counts — a lot. China is also instructive. It has similar geographic challenges to the U.S. and is leapfrogging telecommunication land line infrastructure with wireless networks, and the equivalent of a national interstate highway system by building, expanding and moving hundreds of airports — in communities both large and small. The value and importance of our nation’s largest airports is obvious to all. These facilities are crucial to both national and local economies. Their critical nature is impossible to overlook, as individual economic engines and in their role as hubs in a transportation system. Small and rural air-

ports are easier to overlook as important, until one views them together, in combination with the larger airports, as a ubiquitous national air transportation network. Geography and distance matter a great deal in a global market where “time to market” pressure will continue to grow in importance and shorten in hours and minutes. That means that a country with the physical size of the U.S. needs a robust national system of airports and air service to meet the best interests of our national and local economies, and to retain our competitive standing in the world. Looking at our air transportation network through a microscope instead of binoculars will impede, not advance, our national economic interests, as well as the futures of small and rural communities. A

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Uneven Describes the Economic Decline

Uneven Will Describe The Recovery

A research engineer at MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation, William S. Swelbar addressed the 2009 F. Russell Hoyt National Airports Conference Sept. 21 in San Antonio, Texas. The following is a summary of his remarks. By William S. Swelbar

It Is The Economy, Stupid According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the U.S. recession that began in December 2007 is not yet over. What makes this recession different from many in the past are the interdependencies of the global economy on the U.S. economy, with some regions of the U.S. hit harder than others and likely slower to recover. The same can be said for the U.S. airline industry. As airlines cut capacity, domestic airline systems are beginning to look more like the merged, regionally centric systems we saw in the late 1980s rather than the networks present in 2000 — the baseline year against which capacity cuts are often measured. Said another way, the U.S. airline industry finally has embraced the

notion that a sustainable business model cannot satisfy every stakeholder’s wants. Today’s networks still retain broad scope and scale, but airline service is increasingly more hub focused. That means airlines with hubs in areas with more vibrant economies than others likely will benefit even more from economic recovery. In this environment, the airline industry and its investors may want to reconsider their love affair with the low-cost airlines, which focus almost exclusively on domestic routes. And by that measure, the old legacy network carriers have a competitive advantage, providing not only a wider array of product offerings, but also giving travelers access to markets around the globe. These days, it’s more about Auckland and less about Amarillo.

Domestic Market Economics The underlying economics of the U.S. domestic airline industry are driving change and forcing carriers to find ways to adapt to deteriorating fundamentals. That change is underway as an increasing share of the U.S. domestic market finds its way into the hands of the U.S. low-cost carriers (See Fig. 1). Historically, domestic AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



Now, even the low-cost sector is forced to find new revenue sources, in part by raising fares carriers routinely had used to undercut and gain advantage over legacy competitors. Over the period, average airfares increased in all but one of the nation’s 100 largest airport markets (See fig. 2). And in many cases Southwest led the pack, raising fares between 2005 and 2008 in each of its markets and often by 20 percent or more. The other new norm for the airline industry is the price of oil. The rise, and the volatility, of fuel prices puts tremendous pressure on the air carriers to raise new revenue. That’s one reason ancillary fees are here to stay. When comparing the amount of money collected in fees in 2009 versus the decline in revenue, fees account for only 25 percent of that

Fig 1. The Relationship of Revenue to GDP

passenger revenue accounted for .74 percent of U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). But a secular shift began sometime during the last half of 2000. Many attribute this change to the events of 9/11. But they are wrong. Of the many issues that contributed to this realignment in the revenue relationship to GDP, the two primary contributors are: 1) the significant growth and incursion of the low-cost carriers in the U.S. domestic market beginning in the late 1990s, and 2) the introduction of the Internet as an airline ticket distribution vehicle that prompted near total transparency in airline pricing. Between late 2000 and 2008, the relationship of domestic passenger revenue as a percent of GDP fell to .57 percent. If the relationship had stayed at the historic .74 percent standard, there would have been $27 billion more in industry revenue. In fact, revenues in 2008 were actually propped up by high oil prices when airlines were able to pass through some of the cost of fuel to airline customers. But 2009 has been a year of yet more declines in airfares as the industry tries to fill seats in the face of economic contraction. Based on the 2009 trend, the relationship has fallen to .47 percent in the second quarter, suggesting further deterioration to the point where the domestic market is now producing $32 billion less in revenue compared with historic norms. The new norm is probably closer to .50 percent. 20



AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


drop. Bottom line for the industry: the only way to cover airline costs is either to continue to raise fares or continue to collect fees sufficient to make up for the structural decline in revenues.

Outlook for Airports For airports and the markets they serve, the forecast remains bleak. Some hub cities have suffered a tremendous decline in traffic over the past 20 years as network carrier fortunes fell, and many have realigned their route structures. Capacity cuts in just the past two years will impact airport service for years to come. With only one exception, every state has suffered significant capacity reductions since 2007, with economically troubled regions the hardest hit by airline reductions (See fig. 3). One important question is how many commercial airports are really necessary to satisfy U.S. air travel demand? Currently 451 airports have commercial air service. Of those, 200 account for 97 percent of domestic origin and destination traffic. At what point can Congress continue to justify investing limited federal funds to support more than half of those airports — 251 in all — that comprise just 3 percent of U.S. domestic traffic? Most, if not all, of the airports in question are served only by regional carriers — a sector of the industry already suffering from poor economics and little investment or innovation in building right-sized new technology aircraft to serve these low-demand markets. The airline industry has been its own worst enemy by flying smaller and smaller aircraft that continually fragment markets. This may lead travelers to reconsider what is a reasonable driving distance to an airport and the ticket price that will cause them to choose one airport over another. After

all, the highway is already the first access point to the air transportation grid for a large pool of demand today as consumers seek the lowest fare. For the industry’s two principal stakeholders, airlines and airports, the question is how or whether to support an airport infrastructure built

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AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


Teamwork Gets Results

By Randy Babbitt


ver the past few years, we have refocused the aviation community’s attention on runway safety, and we’ve seen some dramatic results. In fiscal year 2009, the number of serious runway incursions dropped by more than 50 percent from the previous year, which was the first significant reduction in several years. After 25 serious runway incursions in 2008, including nine involving commercial carriers, we reduced the numbers in 2009 to 12 serious incursions, including just two involving commer-


cial carriers. Although it now seems hard to imagine, just nine years ago the numbers were much higher. In 2000, we logged 67 serious runway incursions and 34 of them involved commercial aircraft — a rate of nearly three serious runway incursions per month that involved commercial airlines with hundreds of people on board. It’s clear we have come a long way in the past decade, and we legitimately can say that our nation’s runways are safer than they’ve ever been. It’s also clear that we have to stay focused on this issue if we want to continue to make safety gains and further reduce the number of incursions. The good news is that we’ve made all that progress through teamwork and

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

cooperation. Two years ago, when FAA issued a runway safety “Call to Action,” the airports, the airlines, the unions and FAA all agreed to step up safety improvements around the country, which helped get us where we are today. We all worked together to expedite the installation of new technology at airports, to expand better signage, lighting and markings on the airfield, to improve pilot training on surface issues and to refine air taxi instructions and procedures. FAA is doing its part to make the investments in technology that will continue to provide additional layers of safety to detect and prevent human errors. In addition to the Airport Surface Detection Equipment Model X (ASDE-X) that we continue


to deploy at large airports, FAA also is testing and fielding systems for smaller airports. The Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signal (FAROS) being tested at Dallas-Fort Worth International and Long Beach (Calif.) airports uses the Precision Approach Path Indicator (PAPI) lights to alert arriving aircraft about occupied runways. FAA also is evaluating lowcost, commercially available radar surveillance systems for small and medium-sized airports that have features much like ASDE-X. Testing on those systems is scheduled for Manchester-Boston, San Jose, Reno/ Tahoe and Long Beach (Calif). Runway Status Lights leverage the surface and approach surveillance systems to help activate in-pavement

lights that alert flight crews and airport vehicle operators about potential runway conflicts. Runway Entrance Lights at crossings between runways and taxiways illuminate red when high-speed traffic is on the runway or approaching it. Takeoff Hold Lights in the departure hold zone turn red when the system detects other traffic or when an aircraft is lined up for departure. FAA currently is evaluating the technology at Dallas-Fort Worth, San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston and plans to roll it out at another 18 locations over the next few years. FAA also has certified and funded the use of cockpit alerting systems that have the potential to enhance a pilot’s situational awareness about possible runway conflicts. These systems include a cockpit movingmap study underway in partnership with seven air carriers. As we move toward Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), we expect moving-map technology that provides surface and airborne information to become more common in all types of aircraft. Runway Status Lights and movingmap displays are just a couple of the technologies that will help us continue to make safety improvements

in the future, and I am certain that we will develop new and better technologies to help pilots and air traffic controllers receive and process crucial safety information more quickly and directly. In the future, the whole cockpit experience is likely to include a variety of data and information that is not available today. But we know from our analysis of past runway incidents that technology is not the only answer, and that human beings are still the pilots, the vehicle operators and the air traffic controllers. Our real key to success must be a constant focus on training and awareness at all levels, and some simple solutions that can yield major safety benefits. At the initial runway safety “Call to Action,” many major airports stepped up their schedules for enhanced runway markings, and smaller airports that were not required to make improvements committed to raise their standards to the same level. Paint is not a high-tech solution, but it could make the difference for a flight crew trying to find the right path across the airfield or a vehicle operator trying to avoid an active runway. I am sure that clear runway markings, signage and lighting can

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



help us prevent runway incursions and accidents and that all of these efforts contribute to raising the safety bar. We also learned from the “Call to Action” that pilots were seldom offered simulator training that included scenarios that took them from the gate to takeoff or from

landing to the gate. We have been introducing potentially catastrophic scenarios for in-flight simulator training for years, and it makes a lot of sense to train our pilots for the same kind of scenarios on the surface of the airport as well. Airline representatives identified this as an area for improvement and now have

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incorporated ground-based simulator training in their standard pilot training programs. That kind of training can’t stop with commercial pilots, either. We have worked hard with the general aviation community to revamp and update our online training programs, develop runway safety DVDs and reach out to all of the nation’s pilots in a variety of ways. The statistics show that the majority of our runway incursions occur with general aviation aircraft, but as we all know, most of our airports operate with a mix of aircraft types that could lead to a conflict between a small plane and a much larger one. General aviation is an important part of this picture. And our own air traffic controllers play a crucial role, too. Based on feedback from both controllers and pilots, we have refined air taxi instructions and procedures to clarify the clearance process and reduce the potential for confusion. We also have introduced a nonpunitive reporting system for controllers similar to the safety action reporting programs we have in place for pilots, mechanics, flight attendants and dispatchers. We expect to analyze more data from the errors reported to further improve our air traffic procedures and communications. I started out by telling you that we’ve never been safer, but as a pilot, I think we still have a lot of work to do. The big picture is that we’re looking at a dozen serious events in the more than 53 million takeoffs and landings a year. But we have to view the safety achievements we’ve made as a challenge to all of us to aim even higher. I know as safety professionals that we can steadily improve runway safety — just as we’ve done over the past nine years — by working together every single day of the year. A Randy Babbitt is administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration.


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

Stronger 2010 Expected for Concessions


By Barbara Cook


irport concessions companies expect their markets to gain strength in 2010 but caution that it will take a long time for passenger traffic to rebuild to levels experienced as recently as 24 months ago. “As an industry, we will survive the economic challenges of today,” commented Stuart Holcombe, executive vice president-business development, HDS Retail North America. However, he emphasized that, “We need to ensure the programs tendered today are designed to address lower levels of traffic, tighter monetary constraints, and the need for more flexibility to support the sustainability needed until the market rebounds.” Several large airport retail/food and beverage projects are in the offing — including Los Angeles International and San Francisco International — but that may represent the airports’ long-term planning for their facilities rather than an uptick in the new business, concessions companies said. “While it may seem as though the drop in enplanements has stabilized, we are not seeing any appreciable improvement yet,” stated Patrick Banducci, HMSHost’s vice president-business development. He pointed out that recently issued airline industry reports concluded that first and business class travel continues to fall. “With the recent report on increases in airfares, we will really have to wait and see if this year ends on a stable note,” he said.   Concessions companies said that the recent strong performance of high-end specialty retail may have generated a better appreciation of a well-balanced mix of product offering. “We found that luxury products would sell, but needed to be priced promotionally,” Hudson Group President and CEO Joe DiDomizio said. And, while more value conscious stores may appeal to passengers today, “Both airports and concessionaires need to take a longer term view when planning concession programs,” commented Banducci. “Of note, our Gladstone’s restaurant at Los Angeles International is in Terminal 3, home to Alaska Air, AirTran and Frontier, and continues to do well,” he said. “We replaced a bar concept with Gladstone’s about a year ago, and Terminal 3’s travelers appreciate a full service dining option. Also at Los Angeles, we just opened Pinkberry — the California-based frozen yogurt shop — in Terminal 1, home to US Airways and Southwest. Pinkberry has performed above expectations since opening day and rounds

out the offerings in a food court that includes California Pizza Kitchen, La Brea Bakery, Starbucks Coffee and Karl Strauss Brewery.”    DiDomizio said that, while the recession has affected all sectors of the economy, “Airports in areas where leisure travel is a big industry seemed to take the hardest hit, because discretionary income for extensive vacations dried up for many people during 2009. In the face of fewer customers coming through the airports, the idea was to increase the spending of the customers we did see.” Hudson achieved this goal through a strategy that included offering “interesting concepts, enhanced service and products that people valued enough to buy, especially name brand merchandise.” In addition, “Sales of snacks in our cafes, cafe/newsstands, and bookstore/cafes were better than ever and continued to grow despite the sluggish economy,” he said. Janet Bencivenga, manager-global account services for Subway Restaurants, said her company has witnessed an improvement in airport business. However, she added that, “Most of the activity we are seeing is in large international airports.” Between January and October 2009, Subway approved 20 new airport locations. Of these 20, five were in U.S. locations and the rest were in international destinations. “We have already sold franchises for many of these, and some deals are still pending — mostly the recent ones,” she said. Bencivenga agreed that higher-end food and retail offerings have increased at airports over the past five years. “However,” she said, “I find that there is almost always a good mix of restaurant choices available to accommodate various budgets.” Tucson International, as part of a food and beverage makeover in 2006, increased the number of food and beverage concepts from six to 16 and the number of menu items (not including alcohol) from 175 to 837, explained Linda Mabry, the airport’s executive assistant to the president/CEO. OTG Management Inc., the airport’s food and beverage provider, “offers a wide variety of high quality offerings, from low-priced items to higher priced,” Mabry said, with the emphasis on quantity, quality and variety rather than pricing.   “The product offerings for retail do change slightly based on the airlines on each concourse,” Mabry said. Concourse A gift shops adjacent to Southwest Airlines offer more newsstand and gift items at lower AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



prices, while Concourse B retail choices (Delta, United, US Airways and Alaska) include the PGA Tour Shop. “Both concourses offer many options with both low and higher priced items,” she added.   The Louisville Regional Airport Authority (LRAA) recently bid out its master news and gift concession for a

six-year contract. According to LRAA Executive Director Skip Miller, A.A.E., “The bid package and retail proposed by our concessionaire included a wide variety of both upscale shops — Brighton, Churchill Downs and New York Times Bookstore — in addition to moderately priced concessions.” He added that, “There was really no

It’s time to shake things up. HDS Retail North America is taking a whole new approach to the travel retail industry. Cutting-edge concepts, innovative solutions and trendsetting products are breathing new life into airports everywhere. And our customers are really getting into it. Visit www.hdsrna.com to find out more or, contact Stuart Holcombe, EVP Business Development at 646-894-0855 or at sholcombe@hdsrna.com.

bent on the program toward a certain class of carrier.” The more innovative developments in concessions at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Calif., are in the area of advertising, commented Victor Gill, director-public affairs and communications. “Network television and film interests native to Burbank have made major commitments to promote their products using large format interior and exterior displays and installation of large screen HD television screens at all airline gate areas,” he explained. Further, the airport’s prominent airline service to Las Vegas has attracted a kiosk from Vegas.com where travelers are able to book tickets to Las Vegas attractions prior to departing Burbank. Although airports aren’t reported to be offering significant financial incentives to attract new concessions during the down economy, Holcombe stated that, “We have had some very healthy discussions with our clients” that have been beneficial to both parties. Banducci noted that, “In the few cases where airports want more concessions today, we have seen several airports offer incentives. From funding some of the upfront capital to providing longer lease terms and more reasonable rents, many of our clients understand today’s realities.” For 2010, Hudson “will continue our strategy of operating more efficiently and curtailing unnecessary spending. Our strategic direction of providing innovative products that people find valuable will remain a top priority,” DiDomizio said. Banducci said that, “Overall, it is probably best not to rush any new concession projects right now until traffic really starts to come back, and we see where carriers are located. From there, we can work with the airport to plan accordingly.” A Barbara Cook is editor of Airport Magazine. She may be reached at barbara.cook@aaae.org.


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

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AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



Navigating Through Turbulent Economic Times The Importance of Scenario Planning

by Kenneth H. Gwyn



ecently, I read the book “Chaotics — The Business of Managing and Marketing in the Age of Turbulence,” written by noted business strategists Philip Kotler and John A. Caslione. The authors contend that troubled economic times no longer can be considered a rare occurrence. The economic turbulence that we have experienced over the past decade is likely to continue, given marketplace globalization and rapidly changing technology. The authors urge business leaders to accept economic upheaval as part of the new normality of the business cycle. Therefore, leaders must be able to manage effectively in times of turbulence. No other business sector has faced more severe economic turbulence than the airline industry. When you consider the series of events that have impacted the industry negatively over the past 10 years, it is a wonder that anyone connected to aviation has survived. Early in the decade, airlines were in a precarious financial position, even with the large numbers of passengers. Then came: • The terrorist attacks of 9/11 • The SARS epidemic • The war in Iraq • A period of massive losses and the bankruptcy of several air carriers • The spike in fuel prices • The major worldwide recession of 2008 • The 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic and a global outbreak of the illness These events are indicative of just how susceptible the airline industry is to both external and internal forces. The impact has been particularly acute for the nation’s commercial airports. Kotler and Caslione’s assumption that chaos is here to stay appears to be supported by what has occurred in the airline industry. Given this uncertainty, airport managers must be able to react quickly to these events by establishing early warning systems to predict economic turbulence; developing plans for mitigating the events; and implementing them when warranted.

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

The traditional strategic planning process used by many airports is an excellent tool for charting the future direction of the airport. However, most plans do not offer detailed information or alternatives for navigating around economic turbulence. In other words, the typical plan does not fully consider all of the threats that may occur in a business cycle.

Three Steps What do you do to prepare for economic uncertainty? The strategic plan needs to be expanded to incorporate scenario planning. This portion of the strategic plan focuses on analyzing various scenarios that would have a detrimental impact on the organization. The analysis should consider the possible impact of the various scenarios. The events over the past 10 years are good points of reference when considering possible scenarios. These contingencies should not replace the strategic plan. The strategic plan is intended to chart a course to achieve a business objective. The scenario analysis is designed to navigate around turbulence that would endanger you from attaining that objective. Both analyses end at the same destination. There are three key steps to the scenario analysis: consider the likely dramatic events or scenarios for which contingencies should be developed; establish metrics or key performance indicators to serve as early warning signs when a particular strategy needs to be implemented; and develop and implement the strategies. These new strategies are designed either to take advantage of unforeseen opportunities or mitigate the damage caused by unexpected industry turbulence. These new strategies would be implemented as predetermined thresholds are reached.

SWOT Analysis Airports that have undertaken strategic planning have a head start in this additional study. When developing possible contingencies, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis provides useful data and information for determining which contingencies should be considered. Particular attention should be paid to those items identified as “threats” to the organization. Key metrics or performance indicators then should be identified for each of

the possible contingencies. Indicators to consider include enplanements, revenue per enplanement and load factors of airlines serving the airport. Airport operations are another useful indicator, particularly for general aviation airports. The goal is to have indicators that warn of approaching problems and serve as a trigger when new strategies need to be implemented. Airports generally have data that can be used to predict when dangers are ahead. There are several documents that project both enplanements and operations into the future. For instance, the standard airport master plan gives various projections — generally low, moderate and high forecasts. An airport’s rates and charges study can provide useful data related to enplanements and the impact on revenues. The forecast produced by FAA is another useful document for analyzing passenger activity scenarios. Discussions with the airlines themselves, or at least the major carriers, can help to determine which data should be used to predict business activity. Finally, consultants can provide a study to determine airport activity under various conditions. Strategies should be implemented to mitigate economic turbulence and provide a plan of action if certain thresholds in key performance measures are reached. The strategies should address all business units of the airport and cover all scenarios. It is important to consider both positive and negative scenarios. However, those posing a negative impact are particularly critical to evaluate. A proposed strategy may appear counterintuitive to the situation. For instance, in a circumstance in which additional revenue is needed, a strategy of rate increases may not be prudent if there is a concern about losing the airport’s low-cost competitive advantages. The time to consider these alternatives is before turbulence is encountered.

Developing A Strategy The following questions that can be a guide in developing possible strategies: • What airport functions could be curtailed or restructured under the various scenarios? Are there services that should be expanded? • What should be the staffing policy? Can personnel requirements be achieved by using contract labor, part-time staffing or job sharing? Is contracting out services a viable option under the various scenarios? • When should the airport consider consolidating operations or tenants in one terminal or facility?

• Should the airport establish a contingency reserve fund to be used in case of economic upheaval? If so, under what circumstances should the fund be used to subsidize the operating and/or capital budget? • What should the airport’s guidelines for debt restructuring be during turbulent times? Should debt be restructured to take advantage of favorable market conditions? Is there flexibility to change certain terms of the debt? • In terms of contract management, are there standard provisions, such as termination-at-will clauses, that can be incorporated into the standard contracts to provide greater flexibility and cost control when implemented? Under what scenarios should the provisions be invoked? • What should the emphasis be in customer service under the various scenarios? Which valueadded customer services can be offered at a cost (e.g., valet parking)? Which services should be curtailed? • What should the airport’s position be in terms of air service development? Should different tactics be implemented? What should the policy be for offering airline and other business incentives? • Under what conditions or scenarios should the capital development program be altered or revised? What key indicators trigger the start, postponement or termination of a capital project?

A Different Conclusion Traditional thinking is that the strong passenger levels that were experienced in the 1990s will return. That would be welcome news. However, the events of the past nine years could lead one to draw a different conclusion about the future. Many believe that the airline business model has evolved to a point where less frequent air service, fewer customer amenities and measured growth are what customers should expect. Given the uncertainty, now is the time to augment the strategic plan with a careful analysis of possible scenarios. This additional work should analyze scenarios that dramatically could affect the airport business, identify key performance indicators that warn of turbulence, and develop strategies to be implemented to mitigate damage. If recent history is any indication, economic turbulence may be the new norm for this industry. As such, airport managers should be prepared. Kenneth H. Gwyn is the assistant director of aviation for the Dallas Airport System, responsible for financial and business affairs. He may be reached at kgwyn@msn.com.

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


Airports Helping Airports: Airport Disaster Operations Groups By Jim Smith, Fred McCosby and Steve Wareham


n airport disaster operations group (DOG) is a voluntary airportto-airport mutual aid coalition that helps to identify specific personnel or equipment needs at an airport impacted by a disaster and to provide assistance. DOGs are based on several basic concepts: airports are critical infrastructure to every region; airport recovery is essential to rescue and economic recovery efforts; airports know better how to help airports than do other agencies; airports can mobilize aid in a hurry; and airports have standardized skill sets that allow them to help in a hurry. Since all commercial airports are governed by FAR Part 139 and TSR Part 1542 and use similar equipment and procedures, qualified personnel from other airports quickly can supplement and relieve the local staff. SEADOG is the Southeast Airports Disaster Operations Group. It evolved when Patrick Graham, A.A.E., executive director of Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport, offered manpower and resources to Frank Miller, A.A.E., then-director of Pensacola Gulf Coast Regional Airport, during Hurricane Ivan in 2005. Later, numerous airports offered aid when hurricanes Ivan, Katrina and Rita struck. Nine airports sent personnel or equipment to assist Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport after Katrina, and 15 airports sent assistance to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Four airports assisted Lake Charles (La.) Regional Airport after 30

Rita, and three airports assisted East Texas Regional Airport. Assistance in 2005 took many forms: fuel, fuel trucks, airfield signage, airfield lighting, ARFF equipment and personnel, law enforcement, ramp managers, airport operations managers and engineers. The assistance teams began arriving within 24 hours and came prepared to be self-sustaining. SEADOG volunteers do not self-deploy. They depend on a request from the affected airport and a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mission number assigned through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), which manages interstate

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

mutual aid. The mission number is essential for reimbursement and liability coverage for the assisting airports, which pay their own expenses pending reimbursement. The SEADOG regional, ARFF and law enforcement coordinators match assistance requests with volunteers. In 2007, the Western Airports Disaster Operations Group (WESTDOG) was formed with 19 members. WESTDOG has more structure than SEADOG, but both are based on voluntary airport-to-airport mutual aid. There are not yet analogous DOGs in the Midwest, New England or mid-Atlantic regions, and Alaskan and Hawaiian airports have


SEADOG volunteers helped during Hurricane Katrina.

not joined WESTDOG. Interestingly, though, airports from all regions of the country sent aid through SEADOG for the four Gulf Coast airports. Discussions are underway that may lead to the establishment of DOGs in the rest of the country and perhaps a national umbrella group to work with EMAC and FEMA. Although DOGs were born out of hurricanes and the risk of earthquakes, other types of natural and man-made disasters can threaten or damage airports: pandemics, floods, wildfires, civil unrest and chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives incidents. All of these can damage airports, reduce the capa-

bilities of local professional staffs, or overtax local airport employees. The widest emerging threat today is probably a pandemic flu that could cripple an airport by sickening or quarantining too many of its employees. What are the advantages of expanding the DOG concept to cover all U.S. regions? AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



DOGs have proved themselves in real disasters, are cost-effective, quickly can mobilize specialized skills, minimize the learning curve at a disaster site, and bring built-in credibility. Are there problems with expanding the DOG concept as the primary vehicle for aid to stricken airports? Yes. One reason the existing DOGs are so effective is that they are voluntary, loosely structured, self-sustaining and pay their own costs upfront, subject to FEMA reimbursement. These same traits, however, make outside agencies, particularly federal agencies, nervous about depending on what are essentially non-governmental organizations for such an important role in disaster response and recovery. Further, the participating airports are nervous about the consequences of a more formalized structure for the DOGs. Other important issues to consider include a need to simplify the reimbursement process, how to handle intrastate aid, the possible need to bring non-airport players into the DOGs (airlines and state emergency, transportation and federal agencies), how to improve links with EMAC and FEMA, and how to link with the Defense Department and the National Guard. In addition, an enhanced role for the DOGs will require improved communications systems and resolution of the credentialing and access issues for outside personnel taking on duties at a Part 139 airport. Recent developments in Texas illustrate movement towards resolving these concerns and the likelihood of being able to resolve them nationally. In September 2009, the aviation director at Eastern Texas Regional Airport, the regional liaison officer for the Texas Governor’s Division of Emergency Management, the district disaster coordinator for the Texas Department of Public Safety, and a representative of SEADOG met to


only imaginable case in which the DOGs could be overwhelmed would be a national disaster that overwhelms many or all airports. In that case, another level of national contingency planning will take over. What is review how Hurricane Ike affected needed now is a careful examination Texas airports and how SEADOG of the DOG concept to see exactly helped despite serious problems in what legal, fiscal, organizational and obtaining mission numbers. The result communications changes are needed of the meeting was a proposal that a so that it will work nationally to fill representative of a Texas SEADOG a critical role in the preparedness, airport or other Texas airport have a response and recovery of our aviaseat at the state emergency operations tion critical infrastructure. center during crises to track airport Airport DOGs have implications status and facilitate aid, including beyond aviation critical infrastructure. FEMA mission numbers. The proposal Just as airports are the best source is now pending approval by the chief of expert assistance for airports in of the Texas Governor’s Division of distress, facilities such as water or Emergency Management. wastewater plants or mass transit With regard to intrastate DOGs, could form operations support groups Alaska and Hawaii may present for mutual aid. DOGs can be a general a unique opportunity for concept model for all critical infrastructure development as those two states are sectors, not just aviation. A heavily dependent on intrastate air transport, and all airports within those two states are state-owned. Site Jim Smith is a professor at American Public University System and president of Smith-Woolwine Associates. familiarization, training and FAA He may be reached at jfsmith@swva.net. approval of contingency arrangements could be developed and tested Fred McCosby, C.M., is security programs manager at the Savannah Airport Commission and led the in Alaska and Hawaii. One question that sometimes arises response to Katrina at New Orleans. He may be reached at fmccosby@savannahairport.com. is, “What if volunteers don’t come forward?” The answer is easy: each Steve Wareham is director of operations at time SEADOG has sought volunteers, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and led a six-person MSP Team response to Katrina at Gulfport. the response has been overwhelmHe may be reached at steve.wareham@mspmac.org. ing. The main issue has been choosing which volunteers to accept and scheduling waves of assistance. The AID TO NEW ORLEANS AFTER KATRINA, 2005

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


Milwaukee Embraces Electronic NOTAM Function

Tangible Benefits So far, he’s pleased with the results. “For us, it’s been a fantastic adjustment,” said Blue. “It’s really nice for our team to work in one system and to hit the whole audience in one step — the national NOTAM system and our local stakeholders.” Sending a NOTAM through FCR sends it to the national NOTAM system and to local tenants. The extra benefit is that airports can use FCR to add the ancillary information to the NOTAM, giving tenants that monitor FCS greater situational awareness. The messages can be viewed on the Web site and sent out via e-mail to a pre-selected list that the airport has established. This could include airline station managers, operations managers at tenant airlines’ headquarters, and other key stakeholders who need realtime airport status information. “I’m very cognizant of the number of steps our communications persons have to take” to relay relevant airfield information to stakeholders, Blue said. “I did not want them to have to send a NOTAM through [one system] to get into the national

system, then turn around and use [another] to reach our stakeholders. By merging those functions into one, it’s faster, convenient, reduces the number of steps and The messages reduces errors. We get can be viewed that uniformity on the Web site of message.” and sent out via Blue can attribute several tangible benefits to the e-mail to a prenew, streamlined NOTAM selected list... process. For one, his team saves time getting NOTAMs out. Perhaps more importantly, tenants are getting access to detailed information related to a NOTAM that isn’t available in the stand-alone national system.

by Sean Broderick


ore than six months after going electronic with its NOTAM-filing system, Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport reports the new process is saving employees time and increasing tenants’ situational awareness. Terry Blue, C.M., deputy airport director, operations and maintenance, said the airport determined more than a year ago that it was time to upgrade from phoning in NOTAMS. The airport opted to be an early adopter of the NOTAM capabilities in Passur’s Field Condition Reporting (FCR) module, part of an existing system the airport already was using.

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



Timely Information Blue recalled one snow incident when winds forced the airport into a single-runway configuration. When it came time to plow the runway, a NOTAM went out, closing the airport. As inbound flights circled overhead, Milwaukee personnel kept their airline operations counterparts informed up to the minute on how long it would be until the airport reopened. The timeliness of the information kept several planes from diverting, Blue said. Reliance on the national NOTAM system alone — in which details are scarce, and messages often can be delayed by several minutes — would

have forced several carriers to find alternate airports, thus causing passengers grief and costing Milwaukee money.

MWAA Upgrades Noise Monitoring System The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has replaced its 20-year-old noise monitoring system with a new one that provides public access to flight tracking data. The system, Era Systems Corp.’s Airscene, gives the public access to flight tracks within about 72 hours. Near-real-time streams, like those available at many other airports, are not available for Dulles International or Ronald Reagan Washington National because of security concerns. Noise data collected by sensors is usually available within 24 hours, MWAA said. Era maintains the equipment and provides the noise and flight-tracking information. A Sean Broderick is AAAE’s staff vice president-external communications. He may be reached at sean.broderick@aaae.org.


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

Hosted by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

May 16-19, 2010

aaae.org/meetings/annual2010 For registration details, contact the AAAE Meetings Department: aaaemeetings@aaae.org For exhibit and sponsorship details, contact the AAAE Sales and Marketing Department: aaaaemarketingteam@aaae.org (703) 824-0504



Delaware North At

Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood E a r n s ISO R e g i s t r at i o n


elaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International said it has achieved International Organization for Standardization (ISO) registration for its environmental management system at the airport. Delaware North received its ISO 14001 certificate of registration in November and said it believes it is the first airport concessionaire in the U.S. to earn the distinction. ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized set of standards for environmental management and other systems. ISO 14001 environmental standards are designed to help organizations comply with related laws, regulations and requirements, and also to minimize how their operations affect the environment. Delaware North began its pursuit of ISO registration at Fort Lauderdale last year when it implemented GreenPath, the company’s proprietary environmental management system. Since its implementation, GreenPath has helped Delaware North reduce electricity usage, replace inefficient light bulbs with energy-saving light bulbs, reduce water usage and convince vendors to offer products with green value. Most notably, Delaware North initiated a paper, plastic and glass recycling program in its facilities that has reduced the waste sent to area landfills by 350 tons since August 2008, the company said.


AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

Retail Briefs “We’ve made a huge commitment to limiting our environmental impact at Fort Lauderdale, and it’s wonderful to see these positive results,” said Brian Bowdish, general manager for Delaware North at Fort Lauderdale. “GreenPath has guided our efforts, and we know it’s the right thing to do.” In other news, Delaware North has opened The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf at Detroit Metro. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf concepts are located in the airport’s McNamara Terminal. One restaurant is in Concourse A, while the other is located pre-security in the domestic baggage claim area. Delaware North has an exclusive partnership with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to develop the brand’s airport restaurants. The concessionaire currently operates two The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations at Ontario (Calif.) International Airport and one at Phoenix Sky Harbor International. The Detroit location brings the total to five. A ASSA.Airport.Bleed:Layout 1 1/14/09 3:11 PM Page

El Paso International Airport has gained new eateries as part of a food and beverage concessions program developed by HMSHost. Local Mexican favorite Carlos & Mickey’s Express and international brands Starbucks Coffee and Pizza Hut have opened in the new post-security Concourse B food court. HMSHost said it has hired 35 full and part-time associates to staff these new food court concepts….Port Columbus has teamed with ZoomSystems to offer a Best Buy express ZoomShop in Concourse B and a Rosetta Stone ZoomShop in Concourse A. The Best Buy express ZoomShop features consumer electronics, including Apple iPods and accessories; Canon digital cameras; Nintendo handheld gaming consoles, games and accessories; and GPS by Garmin. Languages in the Rosetta Stone ZoomShop are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish….Molson Pub, a full-service bar and restaurant managed by HMSHost, recently opened in the U.S. passenger lounge at Edmonton (Canada) International Airport. In addition to pub-style food, the restaurant serves breakfast, salads and “grab and go” items. The next phase of Edmonton’s concessions program in the U.S. passenger lounge will be the removal of the Toast outlet. The space will be renovated and returned for additional departure lounge seating, officials said…. Five U.S. and Canadian restaurant chains — Bruegger’s Bagels, Fazoli’s Restaurants, Friendly’s Ice Cream, Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill and Timothy’s Coffees of the World — have launched a joint strategic development program to target non-traditional concession opportunities around the country, including food courts at airports. Under the program, the chains will bundle and leverage their brands, as well as key personnel, to pursue non-traditional concession opportunities while leveraging the efficiencies of the related brands. A


The time is right for you to make an intelligent choice with ASSA electromechanical access control systems. We make intelligent, flexible and high security lock systems possible. ASSA C4™ CLIQ™ is an intelligent lock system that combines the best of design and electronics in the smartest possible manner. Each key can easily be upgraded or tailormade to suit any situation or need. Since every key has its own identity, it becomes the “personal property” of the key holder. The mechanical design of the key allows you to create different security zones much in the same manner as a conventional mechanical lock system. Electronic programming of the keys gives you the option to authorize individuals or to a group of individuals and more. The basic idea of this technology is to create an intelligent security system. That means a lock system that retains a high level of security despite upgrading, alterations or expansion. Even after many years of use by a continual flow of new tenants, new employees or changes occurring in the workplace, the level of security will remain the same. ASSA, Inc. 110 Sargent Drive P.O. Box 9453 New Haven, CT 06534-0453

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by Jack Penning

Regional Jets: “The Reports of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated”


oom and gloom have filled pages of aviation trade magazines for the last couple of years. Ever since the fuel spike in the summer of 2008, we’ve heard expert after expert predict the demise of regional jet fleets. Many analysts say they’re just too expensive to operate. Not enough seats to cover costs, they’ll tell you. And, especially on routes with longer stage lengths, they’re right. But through the storm of recession, regional airlines have adapted — finding new missions for these jets shunned by so many. And it’s a good thing, because the nation’s aging turboprop fleet continues to be whittled down, with only a couple of manufacturers offering anything in the way of new airframes. Since 2003, airlines significantly have curbed

Similarly, flights on 30-seat EMB120s — once the backbone of the regional fleets of airlines such as United and Delta — are down almost 42 percent. At the same time, flights on 34-seat SF340Bs are down almost 45 percent. American Eagle has retired the type, and Mesaba is in the midst of a retirement process. This trend is likely to continue for the next several years. Maintenance is becoming more expensive on the older turboprop fleet. And there are few options for replacement. The smallest turboprop airliner in current production is the ATR 42-500, seating 48 in a typical configuration. Bombardier’s popular Q400 turboprop seats 76 in a typical configuration. These types are much larger than the Saabs or Embraers they would replace, which means they’re too much plane for many

Decline in small turboprop operations Domestic U.S. Departures Per Month on 19- to 34-Seat Turboprop Aircraft

flying by smaller turboprop aircraft. Flights on the smallest of the regional turboprops, the Beech 1900Ds, (and not including the nine-seat, pistonpowered Cessnas and the single-engine Pilatus flown by some regional carriers) are down by almost two-thirds since the beginning of 2003 (see chart above). 38

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

smaller communities. Just because small turboprops are going away doesn’t mean demand for travel in the cities they serve is disappearing. Airlines, and the communities themselves, must find other ways to meet that demand, outside of traditional turboprop service. In the smallest of communities, service has

been replaced, in some cases, by nine-seat aircraft, operated by airlines such as Cape Air. In the larger communities, regional jets are backfilling routes where turboprops once ruled. Good examples include Roswell and Santa Fe, N.M., along with Manhattan, Kan. Despite the constant criticism that 50-seat regional jets are “too much plane” for shorter regional routes — too expensive to operate, especially when it comes to fuel burn — CRJ200 departures are up almost 61 percent since 2003 in the U.S. (see chart below). Similarly, ERJ145 flights have increased by more than 52 percent. Even more significant growth has occurred in the 70-seat regional jet class, as those costs are spread out over 20 additional seats. CRJ700 departures nearly have quadrupled since 2003, as more aircraft join regional airline fleets. Still, turboprops are often cheaper to operate, on a cost per hour basis. At the same time, regional

haul than a turboprop, when cost is analyzed per seat mile. The CRJ spreads out its cost over more seats than a small turboprop. And it can get to its destination faster — sometimes twice as fast. That saves money, not only on fuel, but on crew costs and maintenance. Nonetheless, the spike in oil prices and the recession have caused a number of major airlines not to renew capacity purchase agreements with their affiliates. One example is United, which has decided not to renew a number of its capacity purchase contracts for regional jets upon their expiration in an effort to cut capacity. Aircraft released from capacity purchase flying have caused regional airline planners to scramble in an effort to find markets for airplanes. And they’ve found some new opportunities in choosing their own markets instead of operating the aircraft in capacity purchase agreements. They still are able to use the major airline’s code, but the

Increase in regional jet operations Domestic U.S. Departures Per Month on Select 50- and 70-Seat Regional Jet Aircraft

jets are often cheaper to operate when you break down the cost by available seat mile (CASM). In fact, some new data published this fall shows even the CRJ200 can be more cost effective on a short

regional airline is taking the risk for the service. It’s a method that can be applied to many markets — including, to the surprise of some, Essential Air Service (EAS) markets that are subsidized by DOT. AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



This past summer, Delta and its regional partner Mesaba filed to invoke EAS subsidies in eight markets, from Tupelo, Miss., and Paducah, Ky., in the south, to International Falls, Minn., and Alpena, Mich., in the upper Midwest. Delta/Mesaba made the point that services could not be profitable with its fleet of 34-seat SF340 turboprops.

Smaller Subsidies The filing wasn’t expected to generate much airline interest. But as the deadline passed, and the bids went public, there was a twist: a regional jet operator bid on four of the upper Midwest markets. And here’s the kicker: those regional jet bids all asked for smaller subsidies than the turboprop bids. In analyzing the bids of both Mesaba/Delta, proposing turboprop service, and SkyWest, proposing regional jet service, it quickly becomes apparent that the Mesaba SF340s are cheaper than SkyWest’s CRJ200s to operate per block hour (the elapsed time from gate to gate). However, SkyWest’s bids show that the cost to operate regional jets on a CASM basis is considerably less than the cost of Mesaba’s turboprops.

Essential Air Service Bid Comparison

Specifically, Mesaba/Delta’s bid for EAS turboprop flights between Eau Claire, Wis., and Minneapolis-St. Paul shows a cost per block hour of almost $2,000 (see table above). SkyWest’s cost per block hour between Eau Claire, Wis., and Chicago O’Hare is about $500 more. But SkyWest’s costs are divided over 50 seats instead of 34 due to the larger size of the regional jet. Plus, the regional 40

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

jet is faster, which means fewer minutes in the air. Those factors bring down SkyWest’s CASM to 21 cents, while Mesaba’s cost is almost 59 cents. In this case, the regional jet is 63 percent cheaper to operate on a CASM basis. The same principal appears to be true in each of SkyWest’s EAS bids with regional jet aircraft. For example, SkyWest’s CASM between Muskegon, Mich., and Chicago O’Hare is listed at almost 35 cents on a CRJ200 — eight cents less per available seat mile than the cost listed by Mesaba on its SF340.

Growth Potential These EAS bids also show the potential for market growth when an airline replaces turboprop service with a regional jet. In both the Eau Claire and Muskegon markets, SkyWest projects significantly more passengers than does Mesaba. Some of this has to do with the availability of additional seats on larger aircraft. Some has to do with the connectivity available at the hub (Chicago O’Hare versus Minneapolis-St. Paul or Detroit). But another reason is the attractiveness of regional jet service to the average traveler. Regional jets aren’t that much bigger. But the absence of propellers still means something to Nervous Nelly flyers. Regional airlines — and many of us — are finding that the long-held belief that regional jets cost more to operate than turboprops isn’t always true. In fact, on short- to medium-stage lengths, the speed of regional jets can compensate for their extra fuel burn. Certainly, if oil tops $100 a barrel again, you might see a mass retirement of 50-seat regional jets. But you’ll also see a lot of other aircraft types going to the desert in that kind of cost environment. In the meantime, there are markets where regional jet service makes sense — and markets where it can make money. Smaller markets can make a great investment for a regional airline for any number of reasons: less competition, less lowfare pressure, and higher yielding flow traffic, to name a few. As more regional jets come out of capacity purchase agreements, airports are likely to find regional airlines willing to hear a new pitch as to why a new market make sense — even with a regional jet. Jack Penning is director of market analysis, Sixel Consulting Group. He may be reached at jack@sixelconsulting.com.


Roundtrip Seat Capacity Top 10 U.S. Market Pairs 1Q 2008 - 1Q 2009 - 1Q 2010











Roundtrip Seat Capacity and Market Share Top 25 U.S. Market Pairs 1Q 2008 - 1Q 2009 - 1Q 2010

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010



by Leslie Riegle

EPA Edging Closer To More Stringent Avgas Regulations?


he general aviation community is being pressured to lower lead emissions, and this pressure is likely to accelerate in the near future. In the last few years, there has been an increased effort to provide alternative fuels for GA aircraft in a way that is economically viable and will work with existing technology. The pace of these efforts is not likely to satisfy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other groups that are seeking stricter standards for lead emissions. EPA regulates lead as a contaminant under the Clean Air Act as part of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).

EPA Rulemaking The advocacy group Friends of the Earth initially petitioned EPA on Nov. 16, 2007, proposing emission standards for lead from piston engine GA aircraft. The environmental group stated that the Clean Air Act requires EPA to minimize lead exposure, not only to those within the vicinity of the aircraft and airport, but also more broadly to protect public health and welfare. Prior to this petition, EPA claimed that insufficient information existed to determine whether these emissions would cause such an endangerment. EPA also recognized that there was no suitable alternative for leaded aviation fuel for GA aircraft, and regulation of this would have drastic consequences for all users of GA aircraft. EPA, however, did publish a notice of petition for rulemaking, with a public comment period that closed March 17, 2008. After analyzing the comments received in the rulemaking proceeding, EPA assessed all potential sources of lead emissions and the health impacts of this contaminant, which led to a revision to NAAQS in October 2008. This tightened the amount of allowable airborne lead emissions and was the first change to the standard since 1978. This change requires all covered industries to comply with such standards and reductions to be made by October 2011. Although avgas and automotive gasoline are both derived and blended from the refining of petroleum, the different nature of engine designs and operating environments makes these two types of gasoline chemically different in composition. Also, the internal structure of a GA engine is different than that of an automobile. It would compromise safety if GA aircraft are pushed away from avgas and forced instead to use the only 42

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

existing alternatives: automobile fuel or jet fuel. About 70 percent of the GA fleet may be able to utilize unleaded automotive gasoline for operation, but this seemingly large amount of the fleet only consumes 30 percent of the amount of fuel supplied to general aviation. The remaining 30 percent of the fleet relies on high compression engines that must use leaded avgas. These aircraft account for the remaining 70 percent of the fuel supplied. This usage may be due to greater fuel burn when operating smaller aircraft engines, or it may be due to the aircraft utilization (these particular aircraft are flown on longer-haul flights). Therefore, a reasonable and safe alternative needs to be developed for those engines that require higher performance. Having two types of fuels would not be financially or operationally feasible, especially given the current economic climate.

Alternative Fuel Testing The importance of engine modification cannot be overlooked as alternative fuel testing moves forward. As more users are steered away from leaded automobile gasoline and demand for this type of fuel declines, not only will the price continue to increase, but the manufacturers may halt production. Remaining countries that utilize leaded fuel likely will cease its use by 2010, which will have a significant impact on demand. Additional signaling from EPA leads us to believe that this issue will pick up steam once again. On Oct. 28, 2009, EPA requested Nominations of Experts for the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Lead Review Panel. Under the Clean Air Act, EPA periodically must review and update the air quality criteria and the NAAQS for the six ”criteria’’ air pollutants, which include lead. EPA has named avgas as one of the most “significant sources of lead,” but it remains unclear just what this alteration of standards will mean for 100LL (low lead) fuel. What is apparent is that this pressure is not likely to die down any time soon. With significant measures underway to increase alternative fuel exploration and production for jet aircraft and automobiles, general aviation also will need to accelerate exploring options for an alternative fuel. Leslie Riegle is AAAE’s director of regulatory affairs. She may be reached at leslie.riegle@aaae.org.



assengers by airport traffic for September 2009




Albuquerque Sunport




Austin-Bergstrom International




Birmingham (Ala.) International




Boise Airport




Boston-Logan International

% Change




Bradley (Conn.) International




Chicago O’Hare International




Denver International




Kansas City International




Los Angeles International




Louisville International



Milwaukee General Mitchell Int’l









-2.6 +3.0

Orlando International Pittsburgh International


Port Columbus International



Portland (Ore.) International










Raleigh-Durham International Salt Lake City International Savannah/Hilton Head International Seattle-Tacoma International
















South Bend (Ind.) Regional Tucson International Wilmington (N.C.) International Domestic and International Fares Airlines Reporting Corporation

08 Domestic Fares 08 International Fares 09 Domestic Fares 09 International Fares



Dollars in Billions



The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners awarded contracts totaling $1.26 billion to reconfigure the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT). Walsh Austin Joint Venture, Los Angeles, was awarded two contracts. One contract for $545.6 million provides construction services for the “Bradley West Gates Project,” which includes nine new boarding gates; dual passenger loading bridges; concourses with larger passenger lounges/holdrooms; aircraft tarmac areas and associated structures; and aircraft support equipment to accommodate newgeneration aircraft. The new boarding gates are scheduled for completion in 2012, officials said. The second contract for $584.2 million covers upgrades to the Federal Inspection Service/Customs and Border Protection facilities; addition of secured corridors between Terminals 3 and 4 and TBIT so passengers with connecting flights do not have to exit the terminals and go through security screening again; and more than 1.25 million square feet for food/beverage and retail concessions and other passenger amenities located beyond passenger security screening. The core improvements are scheduled for completion in spring 2013. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has awarded a $59 million contract for construction of a new mid-level domestic departures hall at Newark Liberty International’s Terminal B. Construction is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2012. The project includes installation of new check-in counters, baggage handling systems and airline offices, and is part of the port authority’s overall $324.6 million project to modernize and enlarge Terminal B’s facilities to accommodate future passenger growth. Broward County, Fla., has awarded the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Runway 9R/27L expansion project to the team led by PBS&J and RS&H. The project, an $810 million capital improvement effort, involves the complete reconstruction of the south runway at the airport, expanding it from 5,000 feet in length to more than 8,000 feet. A

Grey- 09 Domestic Black- 09 International












June July






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continued from page 9

a total ban on night flights, saying that the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority had not met the statutory requirements for approval of a ban. An airport operator proposing a noise or access restriction affecting Stage 3 aircraft operations must meet six statutory criteria in order for FAA to approve the restriction, the agency said. The authority’s application did not provide substantial evidence to meet the criteria.

TSA Orders Scanners From Smiths Detection Smiths Detection announced it has received a $21.9 million delivery order from TSA to supply portable liquid detection scanners for the agency’s Bottle Liquid Scanner program. The detectors, based on Smith Detection’s RespondeR RCI scanner, are tailored to meet specific TSA requirements. Following a competitive evaluation by TSA, the order was awarded under an Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity contract and was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The RespondeR scanner uses spectroscopy to penetrate containers without opening or damaging them in order to detect and distinguish threat liquids from benign liquids, according to Smiths Detection. In less than 20 seconds, advanced spectrometry

content analysis compares the results to a proprietary library of threat substances that can be tailored to include toxic or hazardous chemicals and explosives.

O’Hare Gains Grant For Inline System TSA announced a $13.6 million grant to Chicago’s O’Hare International for construction of a new inline baggage handling system. TSA Federal Security Director Kathleen Petrowsky noted that, “When this project is completed, more than 80 percent of the checked baggage at O’Hare will be screened inline.” The $13.6 million award will come from fiscal 2009 funds and will pay for the design, construction and installation of an inline baggage screening system in Terminal 1.

DOT Issues Rule On Bag Compensation Airlines may not arbitrarily limit compensation for passengers who purchase necessities because their baggage is lost or delayed, DOT has ruled. The department’s aviation enforcement office reported that a number of carriers have policies stating that they will reimburse passengers only for buying necessities purchased more than 24 hours after arrival and limiting such

reimbursements to the outbound legs of trips. DOT said this violates the department’s regulations that require that airlines cover all expenses caused by lost or delayed baggage up to $3,300 per passenger on domestic flights. The department said airlines should review their passenger handouts and contracts of carriage to make sure they comply with DOT rules.

Travel Rebound Projected In 2010 The U.S. Commerce Department projects that international travel to this country will regain its footing by 2010 following an expected 8 percent decline this year. A 3 percent rebound is projected for the U.S. by the end of 2010, followed by 5 percent annual increases through 2013, Commerce said. In 2009, 22 of the top 25 arrival markets will post declines, the department said. The largest declines in 2009 will be from Taiwan (down 17 percent), Ireland (down 14 percent), Sweden (down 13 percent), Mexico (down 12 percent), the U.K. (down 12 percent) and the Netherlands (down 10 percent). These declines come after the U.S. hosted a record 58 million international visitors in 2008, Commerce noted. The department’s visitor forecast for 2009-2013 predicts that the

A rendering shows the design of the new ARFF station at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International, now under construction. 44

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010

Newark Liberty International’s Terminal B will gain a new, mid-level domestic departures hall.

2008 record will be broken in 2012 and in 2013. International arrivals will reach almost 64 million, an increase of 9 percent between 2008 and 2013.

New Orleans Breaks Ground On ARFF Station The New Orleans Aviation Board recently broke ground on a new aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) station at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International. The new ARFF station will include a multipurpose training room, which can be used for meetings or during incidents. It also will provide room enough to offer mutual aid training to the surrounding local fire departments.

New Aviation Group Formed A new group — Gays and Lesbians in Aviation (GALA) — has formed to support gays and lesbians in the airport industry. GALA aims to serve as a networking group for gay and lesbian aviation professionals from airports, consultants, airlines, and other businesses and organizations in airport development. Prominent industry leaders, including Elaine Roberts, A.A.E., president and CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority; John Martin, director of San Francisco International; and Evan Futterman, president of Futterman Consulting, are founding members of the organization. To participate or learn more, e-mail GALAaviation@gmail.com.

AAAE Security SmartBrief Now Offers Job Listings

Siemens Studies Market For Interim Terminal

AAAE now offers job listings in its Security SmartBrief newsletter, which is delivered each business day to some 4,000 airport professionals. Subscription to AAAE Security SmartBrief is free and available by visiting http://www.smartbrief.com/aaae/. Job postings appear in every issue of the newsletter for a month. The rate for a posting on AAAE’s job board, www.airportjobsonline. com, plus a 30-day listing in the Security SmartBrief is $335 for AAAE members and $570 for non-members. Advertising employers also receive complimentary postings in Airport Report, AAAE’s member newsletter; Airport Report Express, the association’s newsletter for regulatory members; in the daily, subscriptionbased Aviation News Today e-mail; and in the searchable classifieds database at www.aviationnews.net. To post your job, visit www. airportjobsonline.com. For additional information, contact Holly Ackerman at holly.ackerman@aaae.org.

Siemens Corp. is studying the potential U.S. domestic airport market for its CapacityPlus, an integrated interim terminal that was initially deployed in Lisbon for the 2004 soccer championship games. The interim terminal, which can vary in size, is provided on a turn-key basis, complete with security equipment, ticket counters, shopping areas and baggage handling capability. Airports can rent, lease or purchase the temporary facility, which can be used to compensate for lost terminal capacity or provide extra temporary passenger capacity during special events.

Organization Provides Information To Disabled The MrPAWS by Snow Web site (www. mrpaws.com) provides individuals traveling with a service dog information on what to expect at various airports — what facilities are offered, where they are located, size and amenities. Airports may send information on facilities available to MrPAWS to be posted on the Web site. There is no cost to airports for the service.

Contract Awarded For Newark Domestic Hall The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has awarded a $59 million contract for construction of a new midlevel domestic departures hall at Newark Liberty International’s Terminal B to accommodate future passenger growth. The project is expected to take twoand-a-half years, with completion scheduled in the second quarter of 2012. The project includes installation of new check-in counters, baggage handling systems and airline offices, and is part of the port authority’s overall $324.6 million project to modernize and enlarge Terminal B’s facilities to accommodate future passenger growth. A

AirportMagazine.net | December/January 2010


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The power of integration A first-of-its-kind deicing/anti-icing stormwater treatment system will help Pittsburgh International Airport to protect the environment by restoring stream quality while continuing to ensure safe travel for fliers. The innovative and economical system collects runoff via in-line retention basins, treats it biologically, and releases it into one of two perennial streams— reducing environmental impacts, preserving wildlife, and meeting or surpassing state water quality criteria.

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Building the Great Airport Experience Whether your airport is ready for a terminal upgrade, new fueling system, high-tech control tower or runway paving, Burns & McDonnell can help you create great airport experiences. Because it’s not just about what the passenger sees. It’s about everything behind the scenes, too. Great Airport Experiences — Every Flight, Every Traveler, Every Time

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Profile for Airport Magazine

Airport Magazine December/January 2010  

An Interview With DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

Airport Magazine December/January 2010  

An Interview With DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

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