Centerlines - January 2008 - (Page 5)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE U.S. Welcome Mat Not So Welcoming SOMETHING IS WRONG when Mickey Mouse can no longer draw centerlines Airports Council International– North America 1775 K Street NW Suite 500 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 293-8500 ® a crowd. The U.S. Commerce Department recently reported that in 2006 the U.S. drew 17 percent fewer international visitors than it did prior to Sept. 11, 2001. In Anaheim and Orlando—Mickey’s West and East coast homes—the number of international visitors since 2000 is down by more than 30 percent. Why do we have fewer tourists from France, Japan—or even our friends the Brits? The multitude of security measures that the United States has instituted has made tourists nervous, apprehensive and even fearful of entering the U.S. Travel it seems is no longer for the faint-hearted, but for the brave. The Secure Borders and Open Doors Advisory Committee formed by the departments of State and Homeland Security recently received a comprehensive report from the Ports of Entry Working Group. I am the airports’ voice on this 16-member advisory committee and co-chair of the working group. The working group suggests a number of reforms that will maintain our security, but will also roll out the welcome mat to international tourists. Our recommendations: • End the redundant re-screening of baggage arriving from Canada. Many question whether re-screening is an effective use of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) resources and Federal Inspection Services personnel, especially now when many airports are experiencing delays in both passenger screening and processing of international visitors. • Stop re-screening connecting international travelers. They’ve been screened before their flight departed from the foreign location and just been cleared by customs, why must TSA screen them again? • Improve Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The General Accountability Office recently found that CBP needs to hire several thousand for all modes. Furthermore, auditors found some new hires were trained as few as two weeks, instead of the prescribed 12 weeks, before dealing directly with the public. Inadequate staffing means long delays at major airports and great difficulty in handling planes after hours. Congress needs to provide more money to hire, train and retain sufficient CBP officers. It is important to note that Open Skies agreements are empty promises if the CBP can’t properly staff an airport. • Harmonize various government efforts to collect passenger data. Too many uncoordinated demands impose substantial costs on the system and frustrate passengers. The United States should be a model for efficient data processing rather than one that draws comparisons to Third World bureaucracies. • Homeland Security should revamp its procedures to find ways to reduce the “touch time” for each traveler entering the United States. Not only will these travelers have been vetted prior to boarding, but also a number have been extensively interviewed prior to receiving their visa. Submitting these travelers to the third degree questioning at customs simply ties up CBP’s over-taxed staff. • Homeland Security should establish a goal of completing the primary inspections within 30 minutes of deplaning. To improve our global standing and continue the economic benefits of tourism, we must fix these travel hassles. This simple question must be answered: With all of the pre-departure vetting programs, why can’t we make entry to the United States easier and more inviting? ■ GREG PRINCIPATO PRESIDENT ACI-NA 2008 ACI-NA Executive Committee Randall “Randy” H. Walker Chair Clark County Department of Aviation John D. Clark III First Vice Chair Jacksonville Aviation Authority G. Hardy Acree Second Vice Chair Sacramento County Airport System Frank R. Miller Secretary-Treasurer Pensacola Regional Airport Fredrick “Rick” J. Piccolo Immediate Past Chair Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority James C. Cherry Ex Officio Aéroports de Montréal ACI Board Chairman 2008 Board of Directors Bruce Carter Metropolitan Airport Authority of Rock Island County Benjamin R. DeCosta Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport David. N. Edwards, Jr. Asheville Regional Airport Authority Jim M. Ethridge Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority Nuria I. Fernandez City of Chicago Department of Aviation Bradley S. Livingston Dane County Regional Airport William F. Marrison Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority Charles “Skip” T. Miller Louisville Regional Airport Authority Reginald K. Milley Edmonton Regional Airports Authority Stephen J. Mitchell Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Morton V. Plumb, Jr. Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport Mark Reis Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Barry Rempel Winnipeg Airports Authority, Inc. Lester W. Robinson Wayne County Airport Authority William R. Vanecek Buffalo Niagara International Airport Mark VanLoh Kansas City Aviation Department Joseph W. Waller HMSHost Corporation Joseph DiDomizio Hudson Group Shauna Forsythe Alliance Airport Advertising Angela Gittens HNTB Corporation Laddie E. Irion URS Deborah T. Meehan SH&E, Inc. David Naleway Parsons Mark A. Perryman Landrum & Brown, Inc. Randy D. Pope, PE Burns & McDonnell 2008 Associate Board of Directors Susan Kurland Chair Depfa First Albany Securities, LLC Robert A. Hazel Vice Chair Oliver Wyman Joseph W. Waller Immediate Past Chair HMSHost Corporation Fredrick J. (Rick) Piccolo ACI-NA Board Liaison Sarasota Manatee Airport Authority Donald G. Andrews Reynolds, Smith and Hills, Inc. Leslie K. Cappetta Creative Host Services, Inc. | CENTERLINES 5

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - January 2008

President’s Message
Canadian Airports
Associates’ Corner
Policy Center
Regulatory Front
On the Hill and On the Stump
One on One: Dave Barger
Revenue: The Concessions Awards
Environment: O’Hare Expansion
Passenger Focus: Houston Friendly
Safety and Security: After Comair, What Next?
Air Service Recruiting: Charleston’s Acquisition of AirTran
On Management: Performance Benchmarking at DFW
Now Underway
Grand Opening
Conference Previews and Reviews
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - January 2008