Centerlines - December 2009 - (Page 5)

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE COLUMN Airports: Complex Responsibilities in Challenging Times F O R T R AV E L E R S I T is easy to overlook the complex operations of centerlines Airports Council International – North America 1775 K Street NW Suite 500 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 293-8500 ® a commercial airport. After all, most the action takes place in areas they never see. However, each airport is a major economic enterprise with all the challenges, responsibilities, inter-relationships and number-crunching of a small city. Just about every business and local government has faced a steep decline in revenues during the recession, and airports have not been exempt. As airlines have reduced or scaled back flights in a market, the airport suffers a loss of aeronautical revenue — or fees from airline space rental and landing fees. The drop in passenger traffic has triggered a compounding loss for airports as fewer passengers are spending less money in airport concession outlets and using fewer parking spaces. Many of our member airports have laid off employees; imposed furlough days or cut back on non-essential services to close their budget deficits. A city may reduce payroll, trim the street crews or reduce garbage pick-up, but when it comes to public safety they are hard pressed to cut police and fire services. Both common sense and federal regulations prevent airports from imposing deep cuts. Even though there may be fewer flights, runways still need to be maintained for the operational safety of aircraft. The fire-rescue service standards still must be met and security requirements may not be diminished. The footprint of the airport terminal doesn’t change and thus operating costs — heating, lighting and cleaning — remain the same. Similar to a small city, airports face a multitude of environmental regulations. And, just as cities can’t reduce efforts to minimize environmental impacts because tax receipts are down, airports must continue to work toward sustainability during a recession. Indeed, airports face an increased challenge — to maintain and even improve customer service to retain customers at a time when most airlines are cutting services. And not only are airports working to remain competitive with the traveling public, they must also do all they can to attract new services. The business acumen of our airport directors has been put to the test as they reduce expenses while maintaining full operations. These individuals have met the challenge of managing a complex 24/7 organization with hundreds of airport employees that serve as the face of the community to the traveling public. The recession has forced those in both the public and private sector to focus their energy on effectively managing the current budget cycle. But an airport may also not have the luxury of putting off long-term capital improvements as forecasts continue to point to increased air travel with a greater demand for expanded airport facilities. If an airport focuses only on the short-term, then its community may be faced with gridlock problems down the road. U.S. airports have tapped into the rescue-programs extended to local governments — the stimulus construction dollars and the temporary waiver of the alternative minimum tax — to continue to invest in their infrastructure projects. U.S. airports need permanent relief from the AMT for their bonds and a hike in the maximum Passenger Facility Charge so that they finance the projected infrastructure improvements. Airports are indeed major economic enterprises. ACI-NA continues to work with our members and their sponsors — state and local governments, to provide the tools to work more efficiently and effectively and at the same time maintain safe and customer service focused operations. ■ GREG PRINCIPATO PRESIDENT ACI-NA 2010 ACI-NA Executive Committee G. Hardy Acree Chair Sacramento County Airport System Frank R. Miller First Vice Chair San Antonio Aviation Department Thella Bowens Second Vice Chair San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Thomas J. Kinton, Jr. Secretary-Treasurer Massachusetts Port Authority John D. Clark, III Immediate Past Chairman Indianapolis Airport Authority Barry Rempel Ex-Officio Winnipeg Airports Authority 2010 Board of Directors Iftikar Ahmad Dayton Department of Aviation David. N. Edwards, Jr. Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Robert A. Hazel Oliver Wyman David Jennings Charleston County Aviation Authority Bradley S. Livingston Dane County Regional Airport Richard McConnell Boise Airport Reginald K. Milley Edmonton Regional Airports Authority Brad Penrod Allegheny County Airport Authority Raul Regalado Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority Mark Reis Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Willam Restall Saskatoon Airport Authority Maureen Riley Salt Lake City Department of Airports Brian Searles Burlington International Airport Elsie Rast-Stuart Columbia Metropolitan Airport William Vaecek Buffalo Niagara International Airport Mark VanLoh Kansas City Aviation Department Greg Principato ACI-NA President 2010 World Business Partners/ Associates Board of Directors Robert A. Hazel Chair Oliver Wyman Laddie E. Irion Vice Chair URS Randall H. Walker ACI-NA Board Liaison Clark County Department of Aviation Donald G. Andrews Reynolds, Smith and Hills Steven T. Baldwin The Louis Berger Group Leslie K. Cappetta SSP America Armen DerHohannesian Armen DerHohannesian & Associates Bruce Feuer The Paradies Shops Kurt Krummenacker Moody’s Investors Service Deborah T. Meehan SH&E David Naleway Jacobs Mark A. Perryman Landrum & Brown, Inc. Randy D. Pope Burns & McDonnell | CENTERLINES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Centerlines - December 2009

Centerlines - December 2009
Table of Contents
President's Message
Canadian Airports
Associates' Corner
Policy Corner
Training Center
On the Hill and On the Stump
Cover Story: Time to Look Ahead
Griesbach Concessions Award Winners
Passenger Focus: Enabling the Disabled
Environment: Sustainable Aviation Guidance Alliance
Now Underway
New Members
Index of Advertisers/
Box Scores

Centerlines - December 2009