Publisher's columns

Visionaries Needed

These days, there seem to be more airports trying to accommodate current growth than expanding for anticipated traffic in 2030.

These Are the Best of Times

A string of year-over-year passenger gains has created a new norm.


In late August after the AMAC Annual Conference in Seattle, my wife and I decided to explore the beautiful Northwest by visiting nearby Victoria, BC, on Vancouver Island. It’s quite impressive!

Info Coming Soon

This was the message I saw on an airport website recently. Could you imagine if that were posted on the benefits page of your insurance company’s website, or under the “About” tab on AAAE’s site?

Sophia, Olivia, Jackson & Liam

These are the top four baby names of 2017. They’re hot and trendy. But what’s trending today will likely be forgotten by 2027.

Not So Dynamic

Transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber and Lyft continue to shape airports. Some may not like how it’s happening, but it’s happening; and we have to embrace the evolution. There’s a myriad of discussions and changes taking place as a result of TNCs, and our story sets the stage about how airports have been responding and planning for the future.

No Substitute for Experience

This winter, we hired a contractor to plow our driveway at home. I had shoveled the snow for years, and it was time to turn the job over to a professional.

Podcasts Arrive at Airport Improvement

My wife, Lisa, is hooked on podcasts. She used to listen to music; now she’s into podcasts. Same for my kids. The episodes are educational as well as entertaining, and time whizzes by when listening to them.

You Can’t Do That! Can You?

At first thought, you wouldn’t imagine that Pittsburgh International and Rogue Valley International have much in common. However, as you’ll learn in this issue, they do have one strong similarity...

Airports Front & Center

There are certain truths involving airports and the customers they serve. Public scares involving health and safety often seem to position airports front and center. It may not always be warranted, but it's something we need to deal with.

See You on Insta or at ACI-NA

When Facebook launched in early 2004, I wasn't one of its earliest adopters. (I'm simply not that trendy-just ask my family.) But as it gained traction, I joined and Airport Improvement did, too.

Is Different a Good Thing or Bad?

That's probably the connotation many of you have for the word "different," too. We often associate it with strange, unknown or other qualities that make us uncomfortable.

Unleash PFCs: Payments From Congress

The airport market is red-hot, serving more passengers in 2016 than ever before. The Department of Transportation recently reported that U.S. airlines served a record 823 million passengers in 2016, up 3.1% from the 798 million served in 2015.

Group Hug for TSA

These days much of what you see in the press is negative. And part of the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of my brothers and sisters in the media. Some feel that it's easier to sell subscriptions and ads with outrageous or negative headlines, stories and images. I think that's just lazy.

Good Grief! It's Hangar With an "a"

One of my recent Google Alerts included a newspaper article about an aviation company that received a grant to help fund its new corporate office complex. Part of the project was going to include a "hanger." Yes, hanger with an "e" instead of an "a."

Western Michigan Scores Big

No, I'm not talking football. But there's something brewing at airports in the western part of Michigan that's worth cheering for.


It's no accident that newspapers don't let newsmakers write the news. There are issues of research, time, credibility, balance and ultimately publication readership. The same shouldbe said for credible industry and business-to-business publications

Big Thanks

You're about to page through our largest edition ever. It's a hefty 88 pages, with 14 stories, a couple personal perspective columns and plenty of pertinent industry advertising-all bound for four trade shows: ACI-NA, Boyd Forecast Summit, NASAO and SWIFT. Whew, I get winded just thinking about it!

Where to Turn?

Like many people of our vintage, my wife is handling more and more of her aging mother's affairs. After her recent move into an assisted care facility, there was a lot of follow-up paperwork. Our experience changing my mother-in-law's address with one insurance carrier was particularly frustrating.

Got CSR?

Harkening back to my early days in business school at UW-Whitewater, I'm reminded of freshman speech class. I like to talk, so giving speeches was no big deal. However, before we began writing, practicing and delivering speeches, much of our time centered on the topic of listening. That's right, listening.

Good Ideas to Pass Along

We’ve been getting a lot of press releases lately reporting individual airports’ annual passenger counts. And the news is good!

Fresh Blood

There are certain moments in life that stick with you forever. I vividly remember my first AAAE annual conference at the Dallas Loews (or whatever it was called back in 1993). The airport industry was new to me, and it was quite intimidating to watch industry veterans interact so easily.

Oh, What a Feeling!

Over the last few months or so, I've detected a change in attitude, and this sense was validated at the national conferences I attended in fall. What is it, you ask? That airports and other aviation sectors are now enjoying the best of times.

Who's Your Role Model?

Recently, I read an article about the steps Pfizer has taken to shape its internal culture. It really caught my attention that the pharmaceutical giant explicitly uses the provocative phrase "no jerks" to convey how management expects employees to behave.

Carpe Diem

Recently, I had a spirited discussion with a friend about a particular airport. After quite a bit of back and forth about what is good and not so good about the facility, my friend finally said, "I don't know what the big deal is. It's very functional."


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