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2010 Year in Review


Message from the Executive Director >

What a great year 2010 was for Blue Grass Airport! On behalf of the Airport Board and staff, we would


sincerely like to thank our customers, the community, our airline and aviation partners, and all of our stakeholders for a fantastic year. Together, we exceeded the one million passenger mark, experienced more than 19% growth in passenger traffic and completed $66 million worth of airport improvement projects. The airport experienced its most significant growth in the Fall when it served as the Official Airport of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Our airlines, our fixed-base operator TAC Air, our vendors in the terminal and our employees provided outstanding customer service. It was a privilege for us to serve as the central Kentucky gateway for international visitors, foreign dignitaries and athletes. Over the past year, we have been fortunate to receive new service from our airlines. Our strong passenger activity demonstrates that current air service offerings are being well received by the community. We are pleased to see the response to the competitive fares, new destinations and additional flights. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with an Airport Board whose leadership, commitment and innovation has been instrumental in our success during 2010, and I look forward to working with our incoming 2011 Airport Board Chairman—Richard Hopgood—as we soar into the year ahead.

Eric J. Frankl, A.A.E. Executive Director Board of Directors J. Robert Owens Chairman

Porter G. Peeples Vice Chairman

Richard Hopgood Treasurer

Ed Lane Secretary

Roszalyn Akins

Doris Benson

Larry Deener

Les Kimbrough

Kelley Sloane

Nancy Wiser

2010 At A Glance Commercial Passenger Statistics Statistics

Top 10 Passenger Destinations












Total Passengers



1. Orlando

5. New York LaGuardia

8. Chicago


2. Ft. Lauderdale

6. Dallas

9. Houston



3. Atlanta

7. Washington, DC

10. Orlando Sanford



4. St. Petersburg/Clearwater

Non-Stop Destinations

Airline Market Share

Minneapolis Detroit

Delta 51% US Airways 14% American 10% Allegiant Air 8% United 8% AirTran 5% Continental 4%


New York


5% 4%






Washington, DC

Memphis Atlanta



Orlando Sanford Orlando International

Houston Tampa Bay Punta Gorda


Ft. Lauderdale



Air Service Even in the aviation industry’s current competitive climate, Blue Grass Airport expanded its air service offerings to include a new airline, more destinations and additional flights.


Blue Grass Airport welcomed AirTran Airways to Lexington in February 2010. Low fares to non-stop Florida destinations Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale have quickly made AirTran an attractive option for central Kentucky travelers. Allegiant Air expanded upon its existing service to St. Petersburg/Clearwater and Orlando with new non-stop flights to Punta Gorda, located in the Southwest Florida and Ft. Myers area. Flight offerings to Chicago O’Hare increased when American Eagle resumed its previously successful non-stop service, which complements its existing service to Dallas. US Airways added a non-stop flight to New York’s LaGuardia International Airport. And, Delta Air Lines added Minneapolis as a non-stop destination, providing our travelers with two westbound flights to this large hub.

“Exceptional air service helps us attract and retain businesses, makes traveling easier for visitors and enables business people to quickly get to other cities for meetings and events.” – Bob Quick, President & CEO, Commerce Lexington

Customer Experience Blue Grass Airport prides itself on offering passengers a positive travel experience from their regional airport. That experience begins with convenient parking and continues with efficient security checkpoints that minimize wait times. On-site amenities such as free Wi-Fi make getting to the airport early worthwhile. Airport parking operator, Republic Parking, partnered with the airport to offer a new car detailing service.

Customers who take advantage of valet parking can now return to a clean vehicle by using this service. The recently completed Welcome Center within the terminal now provides additional assistance to customers. Guest Services assistants offer insightful information on local tourism attractions, hotels, restaurants and ground transportation. All Guest Services staff are Certified Tourism Ambassadors and have taken classes

with the Lexington Convention and Visitors Bureau and routinely visit area attractions and attend events to remain familiar with all that central Kentucky has to offer.

staff as well as modern meeting facilities and business services. Blue Grass Airport is one of only six smallhub airports nationwide to offer an airport-operated executive lounge.

The year 2010 marked the fifth anniversary of The Club at Blue Grass, an airport-operated executive center that overlooks the active airport ramp. More than 11,000 passengers visited The Club in 2010 and enjoyed personalized service from airport

As part of the airport’s youth outreach program, we distributed more than 12,000 activity sheets and toy airplanes to children in the terminal.

“There is not a more beautiful landing approach in America than Blue Grass Airport. Matched by a warm, friendly greeting once in the terminal, this is a wonderful first and lasting impression that makes our job of promoting the area that much easier!” – David Lord, President, Lexington Convention & Visitors Bureau


Airport Development Over the past several years, Blue Grass Airport initiated multiple construction projects to ensure that it provides an airport worthy of the region. The year 2010 marked one of the busiest construction seasons in the airport’s history. From inside the terminal to outside on the airfield, more than $66 million worth of airport improvement projects were made to ensure a safe and efficient airport.

In addition to Runway 9-27 (opposite page), other projects recently completed include:

facilities, energy efficient lighting and better accessibility

• Main entry signage and landscaping reflective of the Kentucky Bluegrass region

• Terminal exterior renovations and a redesigned access road with enhanced passenger wayfinding markers

• Terminal interior improvements including new ticket counters, a terrazzo floor with an equine theme in the lobby, modern restroom

• State-of-the-art general aviation terminal built by fixed-base operator TAC Air and more than 45,000 square feet of new hangar space

• Taxiway D was redeveloped and a corporate ramp addition was constructed to provide valuable ramp area that allows for growth in general aviation facilities • Refurbishment of the airport’s regional fire training center, including modernization of the equipment and classroom instruction building

The National Air Transportation Association awarded Blue Grass Airport a 2010 Industry Excellence Award for its outstanding efforts in fostering its relationship with on-site fixed-base operator TAC Air and creating an environment for it to grow.

Left: Government and airport officials gather to cut the ribbon for the new general aviation runway. Top: Special guests included (left to right) FAA Regional Administrator Doug Murphy, Governor Steve Beshear, Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and Kentucky Department of Aviation Commissioner R. Winn Turney.

Runway 9-27 The airport hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony in August 2010 for its new general aviation runway, Runway 9-27. This 4,000-foot runway is used by private and corporate general aviation aircraft and enhances safety during crosswind conditions. General aviation activity accounts for approximately 65 percent of the total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings) at Blue Grass Airport.

The airport’s new electrical vault replaces a World War II-era underground facility and controls more than 800 lights on the airfield. Its amenities include touch screen technology to control all airfield lighting components and digital monitoring for lighting circuits.

Above: LexTran generously provided guests with trolley transportation to the event location.



Operations and Safety Blue Grass Airport maintains rigorous standards when it comes to keeping our passengers safe. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently awarded Blue Grass Airport with the Airport Safety Mark of Distinction Award for construction of its new general aviation runway and for the development of an airport operations department. This significant award recognizes an airport’s actions and efforts for the advancement of safety.

A new operations team was developed during the past year. The team coordinates all safety and operational activities with external agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, Transportation Security Administration, airlines, general aviation tenants and other organizations. Three members of the airport management team became Accredited Airport Executives by the American Association

of Airport Executives—a respected designation that recognizes an individual’s ability to handle the responsibilities of airport management. The airport continues to build relations with its general aviation tenants and visitors at multiple gatherings throughout the year. Groundbreaking began in late Fall for a self-serve fueling facility, which is expected to be completed in Spring 2011.

In 2010, our partners at the Air Traffic Control Tower and Transportation Security Administration oversaw safety operations for more than 69,000 takeoffs/landings and security screening of more than one million passengers. Of course, we cannot forget our unique visitor – the horse. In 2010, H.E. Sutton Forwarding Company provided over 650 world-class equine transports for Thoroughbreds and sport horses.

In 2010, Blue Grass Airport continued demonstrating excellence in surpassing its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal for 15 consecutive years. In 2009, Board Representative P.G. Peeples (left) and Deputy Director Mark Day (right) accepted the national DBE Advocate Partner Award from Federal Aviation Administration representative Fanny Rivera.

Community Outreach In 2010, Blue Grass Airport hosted one of the most successful community events in its history. In partnership with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Downtown Lexington Corporation, the airport opened its newly constructed runway for a rare opportunity to walk, bike and exercise as part of the “2nd Sunday” initiative. Families also enjoyed the opportunity to explore aircraft and emergency vehicle displays and watched airplanes take off on the neighboring runway.

Members of Blue Grass Airport’s management team play active roles on the boards of non-profits and community organizations, including the Bluegrass Hospitality Association, Kentucky Blood Center, Lexington Dream Factory, Hospice of the Bluegrass and LexArts. To advance aviation education in Kentucky, Blue Grass Airport created a school tour program for visiting school groups and scout troops.

Children can learn about the history and operations of the airport and then can visit our partners at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky. Blue Grass Airport has strengthened its community outreach program by collaborating with many organizations. In partnership with the Lexington Sister Cities Commission, airport and government officials unveiled artwork promoting Lexington’s four partner cities in an area

The airport supported the Minor League Lexington Legends baseball team for another exciting summer of family fun, and we will celebrate our tenth consecutive year of sponsorship in 2011.

of the terminal with high passenger foot traffic. And, in support of the local arts, Blue Grass Airport and AirTran Airways sponsored five performances of Broadway Live’s Beauty and the Beast and awarded a lucky family in the audience with complimentary airfare to Florida.


2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Blue Grass Airport served as the Official Airport of the largest sporting event ever to be held in Lexington, Kentucky—the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Attendance for the event exceeded 500,000 and included representation from 58 countries. At Blue Grass Airport, we are always prepared to step up our game.

October 2010 passenger enplanements increased by 39 percent over October 2009, and every area of airport operations saw heightened activity. During the 16-day event, Blue Grass Airport and its partners welcomed more than 460 international athletes, provided security for international dignitaries and hosted 18 special event charter flights, including those for

horse transports, athletic teams, dignitaries and the world-renowned Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Private aircraft activity, hosted by fixed-base operator TAC Air, grew to three times its normal activity. Approximately 700 private and corporate airplanes received services at Blue Grass Airport during the Games.

The airport property was enhanced by three painted fiberglass horses from LexArt’s Horse Mania collection, a public art initiative, benefitting local arts and charities, including the Aviation Museum of Kentucky.

Special customer service amenities were offered in the terminal to greet visitors to our region. These included currency exchange, language translation, Kentucky food tastings, a tourism information program offered by Certified Tourism Ambassadors and more than 30 live Bluegrass music performances.

Financial Overview Blue Grass Airport made a commitment to the community and its stakeholders in 2010 to adhere to the strongest ethical standards and ensure fiscal responsibility. Despite the challenging economy and a year of heavy construction projects on an accelerated schedule in preparation for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, the airport successfully worked within its budget and acted prudently to monitor and control expenses. 2010 Gross Operating Revenue

2010 Gross Operating Expense

in (000’s)

Airline 4,064 Car Rental 2,270 General Aviation






Salaries and Benefits

$ 5,535

Marketing 1,385


Maintenance and Repairs 1,375 4,123

2,270 4,064

Utilities 1,019 Professional Services


Supplies and Equipment









364 356 122

520 1,019


1,375 1,385


579 556

$ 4,123



in (000’s)



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

Blue Grass Airport 2010 Year In Review  

An overview of 2010 improvements and events.

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