What’s Your Claim to Fame?

Paul Bowers

If you mention Charlotte Douglas International (CLT), many people immediately think of rocking chairs. By infusing the terminal with a symbol of North Carolina charm and hospitality, CLT has actually managed to slow down harried passengers. Its white wooden rockers are often busier than more traditional seats with power outlets.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International (PHX) is following the “build it and they will come” philosophy by branding itself as America’s Friendliest Airport®. The phrase is used liberally on the airport’s website, press releases and social media.

Long Beach Airport (LGB) leverages the region’s world-famous sunshine with outdoor boarding stairs and ramps. Alfresco concessions, local landscaping and fire pits further drive home the point in casual SoCal style.

And one of my personal favorites is landing at San Diego International (SAN). The downtown skyscrapers seem to be just a few feet below as your aircraft descends to the runway.

Of course, some airports are known for subpar facilities, chronic parking shortages or governance issues. The great thing, however, is that you can determine your airport’s claim to fame. This issue of Airport Improvement—and all others, for that matter—is filled with industry leaders doing just that.

Our lead story from Boston Logan (BOS) features the newly completed Terminal E. Its stunning “Boston Red” exterior is sure to become a city landmark, just as airport and Massport leaders planned.

Montgomery Regional (MGM) is crafting its narrative by installing state-of-the-art electric aircraft chargers. By doing so, the small Alabama airport claimed a spot in aviation history as new propulsion technologies evolve.

So I ask: What do you want your airport to be known for?


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