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Our Personalized Approach 2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

2012 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

our personalized approach In 2012, the airport strengthened its online presence through a new website and social media efforts. Below is a sample of customer feedback received via twitter.

At Blue Grass Airport, we’re fond of saying, “Our approach is different.” If you’ve flown into Lexington’s airport, you’ll recall a descent to the Bluegrass that never fails to delight even the most seasoned traveler. Emerald green pastures, mile upon mile of plank fencing and orderly barns dot the landscape and reflect our equine heritage.

@rblalock “You all have a great airport. Loved it.”

Our approach is more than just different, though. It’s personal. At Blue Grass Airport, we understand the importance of having the right people on our team with a passion and dedication to serving our customers and partners. Personalized service is a core component of our business, and on a daily basis we continue to refine our passenger experience and aim

September 11, 2012

economic impact o f

B l u e

G r a s s

A i r p o r t

Blue Grass Airport provides a multitude of benefits to the economies of Lexington and Kentucky. In order to quantify the economic benefits of the airport, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board commissioned an economic impact study of Blue Grass Airport.

jobs 3,478 payroll $104 million output $370 million

to surpass expectations. This is so important because for many people their arrival at Blue Grass Airport makes an excellent first impression about central Kentucky. Whether it’s greeting customers at our Information Center, maintaining the landscaping for visitors to enjoy or keeping the terminal clean, the airport team is focused on providing a quality facility. Airport administration provides the backbone

and support to airport operations including air service development, accounting, community relations, engineering, human resources, maintenance and public safety. Through a collective effort, our staff strives to provide a seamless airport experience for our guests.

Main cover image by Melissa Farlow Photography

@ElwellJoy “Blue Grass Airport, Lexington, KY wins the award today for most polite TSA agents.”

August 16, 2012

2012 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

Message from the Executive Director In more than 20 years in the aviation industry, I have seen some dynamic changes – including the growth of the regional jet and the struggles of the years following the September 11 attacks. During challenging times and weak economic periods, the airlines have experienced bankruptcies, mergers and consolidation. The airline industry now may be settling into a more stable business climate—nearly 35 years after airline deregulation.

year 2012 was no exception. We continue to provide our customers with central Kentucky’s renowned hospitality, a clean and inviting airport and an array of passenger amenities. Whether passengers are returning home to Lexington or visiting our region for the first time, the Airport Board and staff are committed to working on the front lines and behind-the-scenes to ensure quality experiences for all of our customers.

Despite these dramatic changes, fortunately for our region, Blue Grass Airport has continued to grow moderately. For each of the past two consecutive years, more than one million passengers have traveled through Blue Grass Airport. Today, while there are only four major network airlines remaining, we are happy to have all four serving our region plus Allegiant’s low fare service to four Florida destinations.

“What happens if oil prices surge?” or “What is the future of the 50-seat regional jet?” While questions such as these remain in our industry, at Blue Grass Airport we will continue to provide attractive flight options—and of course—the best possible customer service for our community.

Through the years, Blue Grass Airport has focused on what matters most – providing our customers with high-quality service and a safe travel experience. The

Eric J. Frankl, A.A.E. Executive Director

2012 Board of Directors Les Kimbrough, Kelley Sloane, Chuck Ellinger, Doris Benson (Secretary), J. Robert Owens, Nancy Wiser (Vice Chair, 2013 Incoming Chair), Porter G. Peeples, Larry Deener (Treasurer), Roszalyn Akins, Richard Hopgood (Chair)


2012 At A Glance Commercial Passenger Statistics Statistics






550,607 547,115 (3,492) 0.6%


550,194 544,363 (5,831) 1.10%

Total Passengers






Airline Market Share

1. Orlando 2. Ft. Lauderdale


3. Punta Gorda


Delta 43%

Top 10 Passenger Destinations

4. Chicago

Allegiant Air 15%

5. St. Petersburg/Clearwater


US Airways 15%


American 12%

6. Dallas 7. New York LaGuardia

United 10%

8. Atlanta


AirTran Airways 4%

9. Las Vegas 15%

Continental 1%

10. Washington, DC

Non-Stop Destinations

Minneapolis Detroit


New York Washington DC

Lexington Charlotte Atlanta Dallas Orlando Sanford

Houston Tampa Bay Punta Gorda/ Ft. Myers

Ft. Lauderdale

2012 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

customer experience Blue Grass Airport made travel even easier this year with the introduction of new mobile products for its customers. In addition to launching a new mobile airport website optimized for smartphones and tablet computers, passengers can now take advantage of mobile boarding pass check-in. Passengers can have their boarding pass sent directly to a mobile device, which can be scanned for entry through the security checkpoint and at the gates. It’s paperless and hassle-free!

What people are posting about LEX:

Passengers traveling on Allegiant now have more options. Serving four Florida destinations—Orlando Sanford, Tampa Bay, Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers and Ft. Lauderdale—Allegiant has increased the number of non-stop flights it offers from Lexington, giving travelers greater flexibility. In September 2012, Allegiant corporate representatives visited Lexington as part of a promotional bus tour and competition called “Vote4Vacation,” a playful nod to the presidential election year hype that encouraged participants

“I have flown out of Blue Grass Airport about 40 times a year for the past 14 years, and I highly recommend it for your business travel or just a vacation.”

airport and air service development As part of its commitment to maintaining modern and comfortable facilities now and in the future, the airport has invested much time into planning efforts. The airport is currently finalizing a master plan process to guide its role in serving its customers and supporting the broader air transportation system. In November 2012, the airport hosted a Public Information Workshop to share data on the airport’s current and projected aviation activity and provide recommendations for future facility requirements.

ing hangar and general aviation facilities, increasing parking capacity, improving and consolidating rental car service facilities and implementing a taxiway safety enhancement program.

Looking to the future, the airport and its consulting team have forecast that the airport may serve approximately 628,000 departing passengers in 2032 and 57,000 general (private) aviation operations. These projections are based on Lexington demographics, current airline industry conditions, airline hub strategies, economic conditions and historic growth and competition.

• Pavement rehabilitation of two ramps and two taxiways

Based on this aviation demand and considerations such as existing facility conditions and operational enhancements, the master plan recommends expand-

These improvements provide the airport with the ability to operate more efficiently today and properly manage future growth.

In addition to coordinating the master plan process, the airport completed multiple construction projects in 2012 including:

• Widening a taxiway • Installation of wider revolving doors exiting to baggage claim • Renovation of the terminal roof • Installation of a new escalator to baggage claim

to vote for their favorite Allegiant vacation destinations. In partnership with Blue Grass Airport, Allegiant hosted a contest giveaway during Thursday Night Live in downtown Lexington. Customers arriving at the airport early now have a new full-service dining option—the Kentucky Ale Taproom. Airport dining concessionaire Creative Food Group collaborated with local corporate partner Alltech to open this new restaurant with a focus on delicious local flavors. Continued on following page.

“Blue Grass Airport is fantastic! Easy to come and go from, very clean facilities, friendly staff. I love Blue Grass Airport!”

2012 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

customer experience Continued

From Kentucky Bourbon Ale and Town Branch Bourbon to Alltech’s high-quality beef products, travelers are sure to find something they enjoy from the Bluegrass region. Plus, plans are underway for several new dining options in Summer 2013. In appreciation of the one million passengers who travel through the airport annually, Blue Grass Airport celebrated National Tourism Week by conducting an open house in The Club at Blue Grass. Passengers enjoyed complimentary

What people are saying about LEX:

admission to this airport-operated business lounge, which is known for providing excellence in personalized customer service. Approximately 300,000 visitors to central Kentucky pass through Blue Grass Airport every year and spend more than $103 million locally. National Tourism Week was a fitting occasion to thank our visitors for their business and the economic impact they provide to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

“This is THE MOST beautiful facility I have ever visited, and I travel extensively. Good work.” – Blue Grass Airport customer

operations and safety Blue Grass Airport continues to provide the highest standards of safety and security. Through strong partnerships with local agencies, investment in quality equipment and frequent participation in emergency training exercises, the airport demonstrates its preparedness and creates a safe environment for its traveling passengers.

With the Vice Presidential Debate held at Centre College in nearby Danville, Kentucky, Blue Grass Airport had the honor of welcoming Vice President Joe Biden and Republican candidate Paul Ryan to

Photo courtesy of Paul Atkinson

Airport officials continue to be acknowledged within the industry and community for their leadership skills and achievements. At the 36th annual Kentucky Aviation Association Conference in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Aviation, Airport Board Member and Past Chair Bobby Owens was recognized as Airport Board Member of the Year for a Commercial Service Airport, and Executive Director Eric Frankl was honored as Airport Manager of the Year.

Lexington. The airport’s public safety team worked closely with the Secret Service and local law enforcement officials to ensure a smooth arrival for the candidates. In addition, the college and airport collaborated to provide welcome banners throughout the terminal for the many members of the media who traveled to our region to cover the debate. Congratulations were in order for the University of Kentucky Men’s basketball team, who returned from the NCAA tournament in New Orleans as national champions. Blue Grass Airport and the airlines played a significant role in transporting the team, band, alumni and many fans to the SEC tournament, NCAA Elite Eight and the NCAA Championship. The airport hosted more than 2,500 fans for the arrival of the UK Wildcats as they returned from the championship to a water cannon salute provided by the airport’s public safety team.

by the numbers LE X serve s THE big blue n ation

Seven charter flights to the NCAA Championship game in New Orleans 40,000 lbs. of checked and carry-on baggage from New Orleans charter flights 4,500 airport pom-poms distributed to fans and traveling passengers 800 charter flight passengers 750 checked bags from charter fans screened

“We enjoyed the time we spent at The Club at Blue Grass during a flight delay, and we especially appreciated the hospitality and great service.” – Club at Blue Grass customer

2012 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

community outreach Blue Grass Airport continues to serve as an active member of the business community and works diligently to maintain the trust and support of its stakeholders. The airport supports the local community through key memberships and partnerships, including the American Red Cross, Aviation Museum of Kentucky, Bluegrass Hospitality Association, Bluegrass Tomorrow, Commerce Lexington, Kentuckians for Better Transportation and the Kentucky Aviation Association.

What people are tweeting about LEX:

In 2012, the airport continued to build upon its relationships with corporate partners by transferring its terminal advertising program from a third-party concessionaire to its internal marketing team. This change allowed the airport to build stronger relations with those who invest in the airport, and it provides staff with the opportunity to offer more personalized service for both advertising and corporate travel needs. Plans are underway in 2013 to unveil several new advertising opportunities including modern, high-technology video displays located in the baggage claim area.

@ClaireNovak “Arrive @bgairport en route to @clubhawthorne at 5:10 a.m. Check bags, through security, sitting at gate by 5:22 a.m. #bestairportever� April 3, 2012

financial overview Blue Grass Airport makes a commitment to the community and its stakeholders that it will adhere to the strongest ethical standards and ensure fiscal responsibility. The airport remains financially healthy during a year of instability within the aviation industry. The airport staff has prudently managed its operating expenses as well as expenditures of more than $5 million in airport capital improvement projects.

We are pleased to report that the relationships with our air carriers and on-site stakeholders remain strong. These partnerships are critical to the airport’s long-term success and have been mutually beneficial.

Fiscal Year 2012 Gross Operating Revenue

Fiscal Year 2012 Gross Operating Expense

in (000s) Airline


$ 5,032

Parking 4,455 General Aviation 1,032



Concession 714 Other 338 $ 13,673

Salaries and Benefits $ 5,622


Car Rental 2,066


in (000s)


Maintenance 1,084 and Supplies


Supplies and Equipment



Other 406 Insurance 348 Professional Services


Training and Education



$ 9,950

Note: Revenue and operating expense reflect Blue Grass Airport’s fiscal year, which began in July 1, 2011 and ended June 30, 2012.

During this past year and in the year ahead, Blue Grass Airport is placing an emphasis on documenting its history along with that of the two early central Kentucky airfields – Halley Field and Cool Meadow. Approximately 20 oral histories were recorded, preserving the memories of those who worked for or visited the airport in its early days. In the summer of 2012, the airport hosted a “Collecting History” event in which members of the public were encouraged to bring in pre-1980 photographs, correspondence, postcards and

mementos documenting the history of the airport. The goal of this project is to publish a book that permanently records the remarkable history of central Kentucky’s early aviators, airfields and the growth of Blue Grass Airport. New in 2012, the airport collaborated with the United Way of the Bluegrass to host a morning 5K run/walk on the runway. Participants of all ages enjoyed the unique race course with a rare view of airplanes landing and taking off on the adjacent runway.

@RunTheBluegrass “Our course! RT @caitbry: I forgot how beautiful it is flying over the horse farms to the airport. So happy to be back in the bluegrass!” March 18, 2012




Utilities 941 Marketing 475




5,622 1,084

4000 Terminal Drive, Suite 206 Lexington, KY 40510-9607 859.425.3100

Photos by Bill Straus Photography, unless otherwise noted

2012 Year In Review  

An overview of 2012 improvements and events.

2012 Year In Review  

An overview of 2012 improvements and events.