Category - Landside Development

San Juan Int'l Forges New Territory with Public-Private Partnership

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is forging new territory for a U.S. or U.S territory airport with its public-private partnership (P3). In July 2012, Aerostar Airport Holdings, a joint venture between Highstar Capital and Aeropuertos del Sureste (ASUR), was awarded a 40-year lease to operate SJU via a request for proposals process. Last February, Aerostar received its operator certificate from the FAA and assumed control of the northeastern Caribbean airport.

New Times Call for New Executive Recruitment Methods

The Boomers are bailing - retiring to places where the weather is warm, drinks are cold and taxes low. As they leave the workforce in droves, many organizations struggle to fill their senior-level positions. Further complicating matters, the "milllennials" who hope to fill the Baby Boomers' spots have a distinctly different set of qualifications, personal attributes and attitudes about work. Airports - large and small - are no exception to the trend.

How Austin-Bergstrom Int'l Readies for Race Day

When Formula 1 racing returned to the United States in 2012 after a five-year absence, it drew 265,000 fans to the Circuit of the Americas complex in Austin, TX - a new 1,500-acre facility built just two miles from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS). Needless to say, the Class-C international airport located in Texas' capital was central to the global event and its unique travel logistics.

3-D Computer Modeling Used to Site & Design New Control Tower at O'Hare

Kevin Markwell clearly remembers how officials determined the final site for the main air traffic control tower at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (ORD) in the early 1990s. "Several tower employees went up in a helicopter at the proposed locations and altitudes, sat there and spun the helicopter around in all different directions,"recalls the support manager for tower plans and procedures. "They wanted to see if there were any problem areas for line of sight."

Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Finds Silver Lining in Allegiant's Departure

Officials at Fort Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport (FNL) were understandably befuddled when Allegiant Airlines pulled out of the northern Colorado airport last October after a decade of service there.

Sky Harbor Makes Professional Development a Priority

After a long day of work, most airport employees are more than ready to check out. But once a week, a special cadre at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) stays nearly five more hours to learn more about the airport industry. The employees are voluntary participants of PHX's Management Development Program, a 14-month curriculum administered and taught by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

CDC Report Reignites Debate About Smoking in Airports

Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the terminals at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago; but guests at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International can light up in 12 designated smoking areas spread throughout all seven concourses. Tampa International takes a somewhat middle-ground approach by providing five outdoor smoking patios.

Airports Add 21st Century Twist to Customer Service

A new breed of customer service representatives is popping up in a handful of eastern U.S. airports. They speak to passengers in a clear, pleasant voice and maintain a steady, predictable level of patience and enthusiasm - even though they work 24/7. They're never pulled away on a more urgent matter and hold strictly to the "company line" that airport officials want them to convey.

Tulsa Int'l Develops Electronic Airport Layout Plan with Extra 3D Features

FAA-mandated database mapping and electronic airport layout plan (eALP) standards are ramping up for all federally funded airports throughout the country. Under these requirements, physical airport features are collected in the geographic information system (GIS) format, then submitted to Airports GIS through the FAA's web portal. eALPs can then be assembled from the data.

Halifax Stanfield Considers Airport Service Survey an Important Tool

With 28 customer satisfaction awards to its credit since the Airport Service Quality survey began in 2002, Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) in Nova Scotia has a keen sense of the assessment tool's value in improving visitor satisfaction.

Philadelphia Int'l Tests Web-Based System for Managing Airfield Ops

As the 9th busiest U.S. airport by takeoff and landing volume, Philadelphia International (PHL) faces tough challenges managing aircraft traffic on its airfield and ramp areas. Space is limited, and parts of the airport's design date back to the 1940s.

Kansas City Int'l Develops Unique Solution to Chilled Water Distribution Problem

Kansas City International (MCI) had a decade-long problem with its chilled water system. At more than 40 years old, the underground distribution network providing chilled water to and from each of MCI's three terminals had a long history of line breaks that caused costly disruptions to airport operations.

Van Nuys Airport Achieves Zero Noise Impact Designation

After battling noise issues for decades and spending millions of dollars to reduce its impact, Van Nuys Airport (VNY) recently succeeded in establishing a zero noise impact boundary around its Southern California facilities.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Int'l Leverages Master Planning Process

Collaboration and ongoing updates go a long way in supporting the master planning process at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (MSP). According to Dennis Probst, executive director of planning and environment, the approach has been honed over the years into one that involves all stakeholders and positions the airport for measured growth.

Watertown Municipal Embraces Tenant Management

Although some in the industry may liken tenants managing their airports to inmates running their asylums, the arrangement makes perfect sense to others. Often, it's the owner of the local fixed-based operation (FBO) who assumes the lead role; and it usually occurs at small, general aviation fields.

Rogue Valley Int'l Develops New Method to Diffuse Fog

Surrounded by the Cascade and Siskiyou mountain ranges, Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR) in southwest Oregon has always been prone to freezing fog and the operational complications associated with it. These days, however, MFR is using a new system developed by its own staff to diffuse fog and help reduce flight delays and cancellations. That's good news for passengers on about 56 flights per day, many who are connecting to eight larger hub airports.

Syracuse Hancock Int'l Transitions From City to Public Airport Authority

After operating Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR) since 1946, the city of Syracuse, NY, is gradually turning the facility over to a public authority: the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority (SRAA). Once the process is completed, likely by year's end, officials expect to be in a better position to respond to the needs of the three million people in the airport's catchment area.

Gainesville Regional Pumps Up the Perks with Customer Reward Program

It's a buyer's world these days. From "Have it Your Way" to "Because You're Worth It," businesses appeal to consumers' emotional desires like never before. And airports are no exception. Many use rewards programs to make their customers feel appreciated and encourage repeat visits.

Lehigh Valley Int'l Outsources Airport Management

Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority turned over management of Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE) to a private operator for at least two years. The move to outsource its top job followed a period of management unrest at the mid-size eastern Pennsylvania airport.

Airports Use Web-Based Software to Verify & Simplify Airline Billing

When external auditors reviewed the books at Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS), they encouraged the county-owned facility to start verifying the reports it uses to bill airlines for landing fees - reports generated by the carriers themselves.

Portland Jetport Uses VALE Grant for Geothermal System

A new geothermal heating and cooling system is one of the crown jewels of a recent $75 million terminal expansion at Portland International Jetport in Maine. The project was a creative first in the industry, because the airport used an FAA Voluntary Airport Low Emissions (VALE) grant to fund $2.5 million of the $3 million project. Typically, FAA has awarded VALE grants for the purchase of hybrid carts or the electrification of ground equipment.

Hernado County Adds Contract Control Tower

With private contractors operating towers at nearly 250 U.S. airports, air traffic control isn't a strictly FAA function as the traveling public often assumes. Last year, contract controllers manned fully 45% of U.S. towers and managed more than one quarter of all controlled domestic operations. Such towers cost the FAA a fraction of what it spends to operate fully federal towers with similar traffic volumes.

Professional Accreditation Provides Gateway to Global Expertise

Maintaining a high level of expertise is paramount to moving ahead in any industry. In aviation, however, it can affect the very safety and efficiency of the worldwide air transport system.

Wildlife Working Group Improves Airfield Safety at Southwest Florida Int'l

Wildlife and airplanes don't mix; that's nothing new. What is new is how Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers, FL, is addressing the age-old conflict. Instead of relying solely on deterrence methods, RSW is also using risk assessment strategies and bolstering inter-departmental communication about wildlife management. Last year, its efforts were recognized with an ACI Environmental Mitigation Award.

Airport Movies Take Flight

The movie begins with inspirational music and a single bubble. Soon, the bubble gives way to a bird taking flight, a hot air balloon rising and eventually an aircraft soaring through the air. The footage could be the opening for a feature film, but it actually heralds the beginning of Spirit of Aviation, a 10-minute production designed to promote the Tampa International Airport System - a project that nabbed a Silver Addy award from the American Advertising Federation when it debuted in 2007.

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