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The Power of

Collaboration 2015 Year In Review

2015 Year In Review


The Power of

Collaboration From Our Leadership You will soon see that we had another great year—if you don’t already know it! The number of passengers that traveled through Blue Grass Airport was at an all-time high. While we are very pleased to be the airport of choice for our region, we are not resting on our laurels. The airport board and staff continue to improve our guest service amenities—for the best possible travel experience for our local citizens and for a wonderful first impression among business or leisure travelers visiting central Kentucky. We do our best to operate the airport in a prudent, efficient manner on a day-to-day basis, while at the same time reinvesting in our facilities for the long term. That said, we know we don’t do it alone. The following pages reflect the collaboration with our stakeholders who help make the airport successful and contribute to the economic vitality of our community and the quality of life that makes Lexington so unique.

Left to right, Eric Frankl and Larry Deener

During the last year, we continued to partner with the airlines to enhance the level of air service our community enjoys. We worked with our architect, engineers and the Keeneland Association to develop new general aviation facilities that support our private pilots well but also reflect the signature Bluegrass landscape. Along with a number of local sponsors, we researched the airport’s history and recorded the important milestones in our region’s aviation development. We supported our veterans and a number of charitable organizations as they have supported our airport and community over the years. And, we welcomed visitors from all over the globe for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland. We truly are just one part of a special community. We thank Mayor Jim Gray, the Urban County Council, our board, our staff and so many others in our community for the energy and synergy that make Lexington a great place to live and work!

Eric J. Frankl, A.A.E. Larry C. Deener Executive Director Board Chair


Blue Grass Airport

Central Kentucky and Blue Grass Airport share a heritage of collaboration. When prestigious international events such as the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships choose Lexington, Kentucky, our spirit of collaboration—and the resulting energy and synergy—make the difference. That one word is the key to so much of our success. It’s why we accomplish so much as an airport and a region. It means working together for the common good—in our case, the Commonwealth’s good.

2015 Year In Review



To Welcome the World Breeders’ Cup World Championships As the host city for the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland, Blue Grass Airport served as the gateway to central Kentucky for thousands of guests. As an Official Partner of the Breeders’ Cup, Blue Grass Airport literally rolled out the purple carpet as guests stepped off the plane and were greeted with the sounds of a Bluegrass band and the taste of delicious bourbon candies courtesy of Maker’s Mark. The airport worked closely with its commercial airlines and private aviation partner TAC Air to ensure visitors excellent access to our region. We also welcomed our four-legged friends as they deplaned from equine transport provider Tex Sutton’s Air Horse One. And, we were proud to be an Official Partner of the Breeders’ Cup Festival that showcased Lexington and its many tourism opportunities. Grand Slam winner American Pharoah was one of 750 horses that flew through LEX during 2015.


Blue Grass Airport



Commercial Airline Operations


Private Aircraft Operations

2015 Year In Review



For Growth and Development Record Number of Passengers The airport set a new annual passenger record in 2015 with a total of 1,245,251 passengers, making this the highest passenger count Lexington has seen in the airport’s 69-year history. The year 2015 saw a total passenger increase of 3%. This increase is attributed to several factors: new flights, larger airplanes, the overall strength of the Bluegrass region’s economy and our community’s commitment to use Blue Grass Airport.


Myrtle Beach

New Flights to New Places The last two years were banner years for the airport due to new destinations. American Airlines began three daily non-stop flights between Lexington and Philadelphia in 2014, providing the community with access to an international gateway offering access to more than 120 destinations. Allegiant also added to its strong presence in Lexington with the addition of seasonal flights to Myrtle Beach. And, just announced, Allegiant will add two new cities—Baltimore and Savannah/Hilton Head—which will bring Allegiant up to seven non-stop vacation destinations from Blue Grass Airport.

Year 2015:


Blue Grass Airport

623,242 Enplanements 622,009 Deplanements

1.25 million Total Passengers

U.S. Congressman Barr Announced Funding For New Project Blue Grass Airport and U.S. Congressman Andy Barr announced federal funding for a Taxiway Safety Enhancement Program that will enhance operational safety and improve the efficiency of aircraft movement at the airport. This multi-year initiative requires the relocation of the airport’s existing Maintenance/Snow Removal Equipment Complex and Public Safety Building to allow for realignment of the airport’s primary taxiway.

Left to right, Executive Director Eric Frankl, Past Board Chair Nancy Wiser, Congressman Andy Barr, Commissioner of Aviation Winn Turney and Director of Engineering & Maintenance Mark Day

2015 Year In Review


Growth and Development, continued

Section heading here

$15 million

New Maintenance/Snow Removal Equipment Complex

Building for Our Future As part of the first phase of the Taxiway Safety Enhancement Program, the airport completed a $15 million Maintenance/ Snow Removal Equipment Complex. The airport maintains more than 20 pieces of snow removal equipment to facilitate winter operations. To properly house this equipment and to allocate land for necessary elements of the taxiway program, a new 63,000 square-foot facility was constructed. This project was completed thanks to our planning and design teams comprising of Crawford, Murphy and Tilly, Connico and Parsons Brinckerhoff along with our general contractor Messer Construction. Excellence in Procurement Award The airport board and staff were recognized by the Airport Consultants Council for demonstrating excellence in procurement and contracting practices. The airport has an open, honest and professional consultant selection process that is part of its core values and enables us to evaluate fairly the qualifications and experience of all firms submitting proposals. The airport actively includes Disadvantaged Business Enterprises in the procurement process. Architectural Award: Reflecting Our Region The Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) awarded the airport with the General Aviation Architectural Project of the Year. This award recognized the airport and architect J.R. Miller & Associates for excellence in designing new private aircraft hangars that reflect the beauty of surrounding horse farms and neighboring Keeneland Race Course.


Blue Grass Airport

3,478 jobs $104 million in payroll

$370 million

in economic output

As the primary air transportation provider for central Kentucky, Blue Grass Airport is a catalyst for economic growth in the region. 2015 Year In Review



To Serve Our Guests New Parking Option for Passengers In 2015, Blue Grass Airport provided a special complimentary parking promotion to get vacationers off to a great start during college and school spring break. Guests were encouraged to park in the new Overflow Parking lot and take advantage of continuous free shuttle service to the airport terminal. Following the promotion, the airport opened the Overflow Parking area on a permanent basis and is offering passengers discounted parking as well as a special weekly parking rate. Look for the new shuttle bus next time you are at Blue Grass Airport! Traveling in Style Delta Air Lines passengers can now enjoy the premium experience of First-class service on flights between Lexington and Washington, DC. With more comfort and more space, passengers can relax or easily work on their laptop as they travel to the nation’s capital. First-class passengers experience speedy check-in, a seat in the front of the plane and accelerated baggage handling!

Top Destinations from LEX:


Blue Grass Airport

Expedite Your Trip: TSA Pre-Check The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began offering passengers expedited security screenings during peak travel times. When you belong to this trusted traveler program, there is no need to remove shoes, laptops, jackets and 3-1-1 liquids. It makes traveling from Blue Grass Airport even more convenient and efficient!

1 Orlando (Sanford) | 2 Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers | 3 Ft. Lauderdale | 4 Tampa Bay | 5 Chicago O’Hare


To Support Our Community “Digging for a Cure” In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the airport partnered with local heavy equipment manufacturer LBX to introduce a “Pink-Belt” excavator at the airport. This 8.4 metric ton excavator made its debut at Blue Grass Airport and is traveling to charity events and fundraisers throughout central Kentucky. It will eventually be auctioned in Las Vegas in 2017, and all profits will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. Honoring Our Veterans Veterans and their Guardians flew from Blue Grass Airport in fall 2015 to experience a daylong tour of Washington, DC war memorials erected in their honor. Kentucky veterans who fought in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War flew on the complimentary trip arranged by Honor Flight Bluegrass and Kentucky’s Touchstone Energy Cooperatives. Veterans returned to Blue Grass Airport, welcomed by a receiving line of several hundred guests greeting and thanking them for their service. It was an honor for the airport to be a part of this event.

LEX is committed to environmental stewardship.

9.5% savings in energy efficiency achieved.

New recycling containers terminal-wide are reducing waste.

We care about water quality! LEX was recognized for keeping its local water sources clean.

2015 Year In Review



To Educate

An Award-Winning History Book In 2015, the airport’s new illustrated history book was recognized with three national publishing awards. Blue Grass Airport: An American Aviation Story, produced by Blue Grass Airport and West High Publishing, tells the fascinating history of aviation in central Kentucky. The airport was awarded a gold medal in the 19th annual “IPPY” Awards, which is the world’s largest international and regional book awards competition. The book was also a silver medalist in two categories—Best Regional Book and Best Cover—at the Benjamin Franklin Awards hosted by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Marking History The process of researching and writing Blue Grass Airport: An American Aviation Story resulted in a number of projects, including two historical markers dedicated during National Aviation History Month. One marker commemorates Halley Field, Lexington’s first municipal airport, and the other marker acknowledges Lexington’s second airfield, Glengarry/Cool Meadow Airport and the impact of North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction company, Fasig-Tipton. The airport was pleased to collaborate with Meadowthorpe Elementary School, Fasig-Tipton and the Kentucky Historical Society on these projects. A Great Place to Work The Eastern Kentucky University Center for Career and Co-op awarded Blue Grass Airport the Great Place to Work Award for its aviation internship program. Blue Grass Airport hosts an internship that provides aviation students the opportunity to learn valuable experience pertaining to airport operations, security, communications, business management, stakeholder relations and guest services.

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Blue Grass Airport Blue Grass Airport

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Airport Board Like many commercial service airports in the U.S., Blue Grass Airport is owned by an independent unit of local government and is operated by a governing board. Its 10 members are appointed by the mayor and approved by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council. Members serve a four-year term and are eligible to be reappointed for a second four-year term. Larry C. Deener Chair

Roszalyn Akins

W.V. Alford, Jr. Vice Chair

James Coles

Doris Benson Secretary

Richard Hopgood

Elizabeth Woodward Treasurer

Richard Moloney

The airport board provides oversight through its four standing committees: Air Service, Marketing and Community Relations; Construction, Maintenance, Operations and General Aviation; Finance and Audit; and Human Resources. All committees focus on setting standards of excellence by supporting the airport’s vision of being a responsive and essential link in the vibrancy of the Bluegrass region. The year saw several changes to the airport board including Larry Deener becoming chairman in January 2015 and Council Member Richard Moloney being appointed as a member in May 2015.

Incoming Members: Russ Hensley Don Mosier

Kelley Sloane

Nancy Wiser

2015 Year In Review


Financial Review

2015 Gross Operating Revenue $ 16,453 in (000s)

Blue Grass Airport is committed to fiscal responsibility, efficient operations and strategic investment. The airport is focused on maintaining its financial well-being by prudently managing finances and resources to create value for our region.

Parking $5,416

Airline $6,020

The airport continues to generate a consistent revenue stream through various aeronautical and non-aeronautical activities. Our community can be proud that no local tax dollars are needed to support the airport. All operating expenses are funded by the airport’s own revenue.

• Reinvesting annual surplus into long-term capital improvement projects • Building unrestricted reserves • Keeping our cost to the airlines competitive to provide more service for our community

Private Aviation $1,241 Concession $553 Advertising $434 Other $363

During 2015, the airport staff continued to strengthen its financial sustainability and focused on initiatives including: • Managing the airport’s resources consistent with the board’s values and policies

Car Rental $2,426

Maintenance and Supplies $1,487

2015 Gross Operating Expense $ 11,573 in (000s)

Utilities $1,067

Salaries and Benefits $6,333

Other $674 Supplies and Equipment $551 Marketing $506 Professional Services $407 Insurance $381 Travel $167


Blue Grass Airport

2015 Year In Review


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

Photos by Bill Straus Photography, Faron Collins, Mark Mahan and Maurice Quirin


Blue Grass Airport

Š Blue Grass Airport

2015 Year In Review  
2015 Year In Review