1 + 1 = 3

Paul Bowers
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At the recent ACC/AAAE Airport Planning, Design & Construction Symposium in Denver, I heard a few people whining about the stimulus package recently signed into law. The comments were that we "only got $1 billion." Unbelievable. This is a tremendous building block. No, on its own, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will not solve all of our aviation woes. But there's a lot more in play here than a "measly" $1 billion with which to chart our future.

Former FAA associate administrator for Airports Woodie Woodward told me that we'll have an unprecedented arsenal of financial resources at our disposal when we combine the stimulus package's money with new AIP dollars and soon-to-be PFC increases.

Ms. Woodward, now a consultant, said that the rate of growth of annual AIP funds has risen remarkably over the last decade, more than virtually any other government spending program. AIP money, plus an additional 35% from stimulus dollars, is more money than any of us would have imagined possible six months ago. There's more from this stimulus bill:

• $1 billion for security and baggage needs

• Exemption for AMT taxes on airport bonds

• 100% fully fundable - no worrying about matching grants

Paul Bowers

While these legislative changes are good news, we need to act quickly. There is a time limit on the stimulus money. The drop off in passenger traffic is also temporary (see Industry Insider on page 46 in this issue) and we'll soon be looking at new capacity issues. You may think it would be easy to spend all of the money, but consider in the last fiscal year there was an AIP carryover of $680 million dollars. FAA's Ben DeLeon says that airport operators need to do their part and "take the risk with planning" to be ready. I'd add that consultants and suppliers need to do the same.

Thanks again for all of your support.

Cheers! Paul

Publisher's Column

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Leveraging Technology Throughout the Airport SMS Lifecycle


RECORDED: Thursday, September 7th, 2017 at 11:00 am EDT

Most airport layouts were designed when passengers played cards while waiting for a flight because an onboard meal was an expectation and the very idea of a smartphone would have been laughable.

What was once a mess of beam seating everywhere now has a multi-function use: part lounge, part cafe, part office and a wealth of amenities. New uses of spaces as well as new types of furniture are finding their way into the airport because today's passenger is really focused on getting to point B rather than the journey itself. Airport design and furniture elements have a stronger impact on the passenger experience than one may realize. There's the comfort. The durability. The usability.

Matt Dubbe from Mead and Hunt and Joe Agati from Agati Furniture will tackle these questions and others in: Airport Interiors are Experiencing Massive Change: What You Need to Know.

View an archived version of this session in its entirety: 

View full webinar:  Airport Interiors: What You Need to Know - (Flash)
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