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About ACI-NA
Airports Council International-North America
is the "Voice of Airports" representing local, regional and state governing bodies that own and operate commercial airports in the United States and Canada. ACI-NA member airports enplane more than 95 percent of the domestic and virtually all the international airline passenger and cargo traffic in North America. ACI-NA Associate members represent a wide variety of businesses that provide products and services to the aviation and airport industry.

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Jobs & RFPs
Don't forget the ACI-NA Web site when you are trying to fill a staff position. As a member benefit, airports and associate members can post free job announcements. In addition, member airports can post their RFPs and other contract solicitations on the ACI-NA Web site.

Contact ACI-NA's webmaster for more information»

ACI-NA 2010
Board of Directors
Executive Committee

Frank R. Miller
Chairman
Aviation Director
San Antonio Aviation Department
San Antonio

 

Thella Bowens
First Vice Chair
President/CEO
San Diego County
Regional Airport Authority
San Diego

 

Thomas J. Kinton, Jr.
Second Vice Chair
CEO & Executive Director
Massachusetts
Port Authority
Boston

 

David. N. Edwards, Jr. 
Secretary-Treasurer
Executive Director
Greenville-Spartanburg
International Airport
Greer, S.C. 

 

G. Hardy Acree
Immediate Past Chairman
Director of Airports
Sacramento County Airport System
Sacramento

 

William Restall
Ex-Officio
President & CEO
Saskatoon Airport
Authority
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

 

Directors
Iftikar Ahmad

Director of Aviation
New Orleans
Aviation Board
New Orleans

Kim Day
Manager of Aviation
Denver Department
of Aviation
Denver

Laddie E. Irion
Vice President/Director,
Air Transportation
URS
Tampa

Bernard Leblanc
President/CEO
Saint John
Airport Authority
St. John, N.B.

Bradley S. Livingston
Airport Director
Dane County
Regional Airport
Madison, Wis.

John Martin
Airport Director
San Francisco Airport Commission
San Francisco

Lloyd McCoomb
President/CEO
Greater Toronto
Airports Authority
Toronto

Richard McConnell
Airport Director
Boise Airport
Boise

Reginald K. Milley
President and CEO
Edmonton Regional
Airports Authority
Edmonton, Alberta

John Mok
CEO
Kenton County Airport Board
Cincinnati

Brad Penrod
Executive Director/CEO
Allegheny County
Airport Authority
Pittsburgh

Raul Regalado
President & CEO
Metropolitan Nashville
Airport Authority
Nashville

Maureen Riley
Executive Director
Salt Lake City
Department of Airports
Salt Lake City

Tom Ruth
President & CEO
Halifax International Airport
Authority
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Brian Searles
Director of Aviation
Burlington International
Airport
Burlington, Vt.

Elsie Rast-Stuart
Commissioner
Columbia Metropolitan
Airport
Columbia, S.C.

Jim Trout
Commissioner
Glacier Park International Airport
Kalispell, Mont.

William Vanecek
Director of Aviation
Buffalo Niagara
International Airport
Buffalo

Russ Widmar
Director of Aviation
City of Fresno
Fresno, Calif.

 

ACI-NA President
Greg Principato

 

2010 World Business
Partners/ Associates
Board of Directors
 

Executive Committee

Laddie E. Irion
Chair
Vice President/Director,
Air Transportation
URS
Tampa

 

Steven T. Baldwin
Vice Chair
Senior Vice President
The Louis Berger Group
Albany

 

Robert A. Hazel
Immediate Past Chair
Partner
Oliver Wyman
Reston, Va.

 

John D. Clark, III
ACI-NA Board Liaison
CEO
Indianapolis Airport Authority
Indianapolis

 

Directors 

Roddy L. Boggus
Senior Vice President,
Aviation Market Leader
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Dallas

 

Paul Bowers
Publisher
Airport Improvement Magazine
Brookfield, Wis.
 

Leslie K. Cappetta
President and CEO
SSP America
Lansdowne, Va.

 

Armen DerHohannesian
General Manager
Armen DerHohannesian
& Associates
Hampton, N.H.

 

Bruce Feuer
Vice President,
Business Development
The Paradies Shops
Atlanta

 

Kitty P. Freidheim
President
Freidheim Consulting
Chicago

 

Evan C. Futterman
President and CEO
Futterman Consulting
Springfield, Va.

 

Kurt Krummenacker
Assistant Vice
President/Analyst
Moody's Investors Service
New York

 

Randy D. Pope
Associate Vice President,
Aviation & Facilities Group
Burns & McDonnell
Kansas City

 
     
     
 
View past issues in the @irports update archive
 
 
 
 
 
Top Stories
 11.3.2010
 
     
     
   
 
Hot Topics
Airports Need To Be Included in Cargo Security Discussions

Posted on Centerlines Blog on Nov. 1 by Debby McElroy
I just returned from attending the ACI World Governing Board meeting on Sunday, held in conjunction with the Annual General Assembly and ACI Latin America/Caribbean General Assembly in Bermuda.  Yeah, tough duty I know… If you haven’t been there- go!  It is a beautiful place with warm and charming residents who made me feel very welcome even though I was only on the island for two days.

Key House Committee Leaders Want GAO to Assess Cargo Security

Two key House committee chairs want the Government Accountability Office to assess the TSA progress in securing U.S.-bound air cargo.

ACI-NA Hosts SMS Webinar on Thursday

On Thursday, ACI-NA will be hosting a free webinar for ACI-NA Members and World Business Partners to discuss the FAA’s proposed Safety Management Systems for airports. The proposal will be reviewed and ACI-NA comment strategy will be discussed.

ACI Launches New Safety Program for Airports

At the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Bermuda, airport representatives voted unanimously to launch a new safety advancement initiative that will ensure that airports contribute proactively to the demands of a safe and secure air transport system.

TSA Hosts Cyber Security Summit

On Oct. 21, the Transportation Security Administration hosted its first Cyber Security in Transportation Summit. This summit provided an opportunity for industry officials to come together and share their expertise and knowledge.

ACI World Assembly Approves Move to Montréal

ACI Director General Angela Gittens, in her address to the 20th world annual assembly of airports, has called on ACI members to rally behind several new initiatives, making the association’s anniversary year a meaningful milestone in the life of the organization. Members unanimously approved a series of proposals and resolutions that call for heightened action in the areas of safety, security, environment, operational efficiency, regulatory framework flexibility, economic regulation and business viability.

ACI-NA Seeks Info to Update Airport Passenger Services List

Just in time for the Christmas travel season, ACI-NA will release its 2010 Airport Passenger Services Survey and it is now reaching out to members for updated information. The newly-developed survey asks questions regarding the conveniences, entertainment, and amenities available at each airport.

Airport Issues Emphasized in NextGen Forums

ACI-NA was well represented at several recent industry conferences focused on NextGen issues.

Open Doors Conference Discusses Universal Access in Airports

Experts from federal agencies, airports, airlines, and disability organizations gathered at a conference sponsored by Open Doors in Houston for three days of sharing information on making “airports” universally accessible to all passengers. James Briggs, ACI-NA’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, was one of the featured speakers. While the focus of the conference primarily concerned the needs of passengers with disabilities, improving access typically benefits travelers of all ages and abilities. Making airports accessible becomes even more critical as the “baby boomer” generation, which composes 40 percent of the flying public, begins to reach the golden years.

Events On Approach

Airport Concessions Conference:  Onsite Registration
The Airport Concessions Conference will be held Nov. 8-11 at The Westin Kierland in Scottsdale, Ariz. The agenda also includes Rotating Roundtable sessions on Nov. 10. Onsite registration:
 

  • Nov. 8: 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 9: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Nov. 10: 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

International Aviation Seminar: Agenda Posted
The 2010 International Aviation Seminar brings together top airport and airline management, government officials and consultants in Washington on Dec. 9 to explore the latest developments in international air travel, government air transport policies and negotiations and facilitation policies/procedures which impact airports' ability to retain and secure new international air service. An updated agenda is now posted.

ACI-NA's Annual Holiday Reception will be on Dec. 10 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Nov. 15 is the Early Bird deadline to obtain discounted registration and the group rate of $234 at The Fairfax at Embassy Row. Contact the hotel directly at (202) 293-2100 to make a reservation. Conference registration is now available online for an additional $35 discount off the Early Bird rate.

Insurance & Risk Management Conference: Agenda Updated
The ACI-NA Insurance and Risk Management Conference will be held in Atlanta on Jan. 12-14 for airport risk managers and insurance professionals. The in-depth program will focus on critical risk management, insurance and employee safety issues facing the industry. The agenda has been posted. This year the conference has added two brand new sessions, Terrorism and Enterprise Risk Management.

Dec. 21 is the Early Bird discount deadline and the last day to obtain the special group rate of $169 at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta. Call the hotel directly at (800) 937-8461 or reserve your room online. An additional $35 discount off the Early Bird conference rate is available with online registration.
 

See upcoming ACI-NA Events

Committee Update
U.S. Governmental Affairs Committee

The U.S. Governmental Affairs Committee is the policy making body for federal government programs, legislation and regulations affecting airport operators. Through the committee, airport directors and government relations staff from small, medium and large airports meet and discuss a wide array of issues and concerns. The members develop consensus policy positions on federal legislative and regulatory matters for the ACI-NA's Board of Directors. The committee guides ACI-NA's government relations activities to represent and advocate the interests of U.S. airports before Congress and the Administration, particularly the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration.

As we near the end of 2010 and the 111th Congress, there are several issues of importance to airports that Congress must deal with prior to adjourning for the year.  These were discussed at the U.S. Governmental Affairs Committee meeting in Pittsburgh along with the airport issues likely to be before the 112th Congress, which convenes in January.

During the upcoming Lame Duck session, which begins Nov. 15, Congress will need to take action on the pending FAA reauthorization bill.  There are two possible scenarios for the FAA bill:  The Senate reaches agreement on the issue of slots at Reagan National Airport and passes their version of the FAA bill, which includes a $1 hike in the Passenger Facility Charge and (we’ve been told)  no ARFF language and sends the bill to the House.  The House will either accept the Senate language, most of which has been worked out through negotiations between the Senate Commerce and House Transportation Committees or the House sends back the agreed upon language with minor changes, including their $7 PFC ceiling.  Or, the House and Senate pass yet another extension of FAA’s operating authority – it would be number 17 – for a period of time that could range from four or five months to two years.

The House and Senate are also expected to take action on several tax issues, including the extension of major provision in the 2001 and 2003 tax bills as well as a package of tax extenders (i.e. other tax provisions such as the research and development tax credit, that are set to expire at the end of the year).  Congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate John Kerry (D-Mass.), a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, continue to work with ACI-NA on obtaining an extension of the AMT relief for private activity bonds included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that is set to expire at the end of this year.

Congress also has to deal with the appropriations bills for the current fiscal year (2011) and debate continues on whether the two chambers will pass a continuing resolution setting funding levels for all 12 bills at a specified level (there is discussion on setting domestic discretionary spending at fiscal year 2008 levels) or trying to work out provisions in all 12 bills and passing them as a package in omnibus appropriations bill.

As for the 112th Congress that will be sworn in next January, ACI-NA staff will be carefully reviewing the results of the mid-term elections and the changes that will require in the makeup of key committees, including the Commerce, Finance and Government Affairs and Homeland Security in the Senate and Transportation and Infrastructure, Homeland Security and Ways and Means Committees in the House, as we prepare the legislative agenda for new congress.

The ACI-NA/AAAE Legislative Conference Feb. 1-3 in Washington will provide an early opportunity for airports to educate the new members of Congress on issues of importance to our industry.

Contact ACI-NA’s Jane Calderwood for more information.

Learn more about ACI-NA Committees and Programs

People on the Move

Stephen D. Van Beek
Stephen D. Van Beek, the president and CEO of the Eno Transportation Foundation, will rejoin LeighFisher on Dec. 1 as chief of policy and strategy. Van Beek will have the responsibility for coordinating policy, strategy, and regulatory advice to clients across all modes and will help launch LeighFisher’s new surface transportation practice. He previously served as ACI-NA’s executive vice president. Earlier in his career, he was the director of the federal practices group at Jacobs Consultancy (now LeighFisher).

Asheville Regional AirportAuthority Board
The Asheville Regional Airport Authority Board recently re-elected its leadership. David Hillier will continue serving as chairman, a position he has held since January, 2008. Hillier is an attorney. David Gantt, a board member since 2004, will retain his role as vice chairman. He is also the chairman of the Buncombe County Commission. Jeffrey Piccirillo was elected secretary/treasurer. Piccirillo has served on the board since 2008. He is the executive food and beverage director at The Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa. All three individuals will serve two-year terms.

Industry News

Aviation Loses a Knowledgeable Voice On the Hill
Airport Business, Nov. 3, By John F. Infanger
“It was shocking,” said ACI-NA President Greg Principato about the defeat Tuesday of ,Rep. James Oberstar, the chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “He’s someone who had a wonderful career, as a staff person on the Hill and then a Congressman for several decades. Anytime you lose someone who has that experience, knowledge, and that commitment and passion and got things done — you have to take that into account."

TSA Chief Urges Global Security after Bomb Plot
USA Today, Nov. 2, By Kevin Johnson
The nation's top aviation security official said Tuesday that the disrupted package bomb plot rooted in Yemen underscores a critical need for an enhanced global aviation security system.

International Flights Get a Pass on Fines for Tarmac Delays
USA Today, Oct. 31, By Gary Stoller
The Transportation Department is considering extending its tarmac-delay rule, which took effect in April and applies to flights scheduled inside the USA's borders, to international flights. The proposal is part of a set of passenger-protection rules proposed in June.

Canada Needs to Overhaul Tourism Industry
Ottawa Sun, Oct. 28, By Sharon Singleton
The National Travel and Tourism Coalition paper calls on the government to take action to help Canada regain its top 10 ranking in world tourism destinations. Canada has dropped from 8th place in 2002 to 15th last year, the coalition said.

 

aci-na.org

New Research Posted
Guidebook Informs Nation’s Smaller Airports: ACRP Impacts on Practice, October 2010: In February 2010, the Airport Cooperative Research Program released a Guidebook for Managing Small Airports, which is designed to help operators and managers of small airports find resources and identify techniques that they may apply to meet their responsibilities. Since its release, the report has quickly become a valuable reference on the myriad of responsibilities and challenges that the nation’s small airport operators and managers face every day. ACRP’s first issue of its new Impacts on Practice series highlights the value of February report. ACRP’s Impacts on Practice series is designed to provide examples of how airport industry practitioners are using ACRP research.

Training
Airport Resource Management

Find out how airports throughout the world are saving millions of dollars and reducing their environmental impact by implementing Resource Management Plans through  Airport Council International’s new online course on Airport Resource Management. The course introduces airport staff to the basic principles of resource management associated with airport operations, airport waste prevention and management.

The course can be taken as a stand-alone module or as part of the ACI Certificate in Airport Environmental Management.

Cost: $120 for this module or $695 for the seven-part certificate program.

Contact enrolments@olc.aero for more information.

Airport Waste Prevention & Management

Find out how airports throughout the world are saving money and reducing their environmental impact by implementing effective Waste Management Plans through Airport Council International’s new online course on Airport Waste Prevention and Management. The course identifies the major wastes that are produced by a typical airport operation and how these wastes can be effectively managed using industry best management practices within a reduce-reuse-recycle waste management hierarchy.

The course can be taken as a stand-alone module or as part of the ACI Certificate in Airport Environmental Management.

Cost: $120 for this module or $695 for the seven-part certificate program.

Contact enrolments@olc.aero for more information.

Info Desk
2nd-Quarter 2010 Domestic Air Fares Up from 1st Quarter

Average domestic air fares rose to $341 in the second quarter of 2010, up 3.8 percent from the average fare of $328 in the first quarter. This is in the fourth consecutive increase from the previous quarter, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported on Monday. During those four quarters, fares increased 13.1 percent after falling to a recent low of $301 in the second quarter of 2009.

BTS reports average fares based on domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is purchased. Fares are based on the total ticket value which consists of the price charged by the airlines plus any additional taxes and fees levied by an outside entity at the time of purchase. Fares include only the price paid at the time of the ticket purchase and do not include other fees, such as baggage fees, paid at the airport or onboard the aircraft. Averages do not include frequent-flyer or "zero fares" or a few abnormally high reported fares.

Hot Topics Full Text
Airports Need To Be Included in Cargo Security Discussions

Posted on Centerlines Blog on Nov. 1 by Debby McElroy
I just returned from attending the ACI World Governing Board meeting on Sunday, held in conjunction with the Annual General Assembly and ACI Latin America/Caribbean General Assembly in Bermuda.  Yeah, tough duty I know… If you haven’t been there- go!  It is a beautiful place with warm and charming residents who made me feel very welcome even though I was only on the island for two days.

ACI-NA President Greg Principato and ACI World Director General Angela Gittens sent a letter today to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA Administrator John Pistole stating that “In the wake of the attempted cargo bombings, the world's airports reiterate our strong desire to work with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration on coordinated measures to mitigate current and future threats.” Centerlines Blog posting.

Key House Committee Leaders Want GAO to Assess Cargo Security

Two key House committee chairs want the Government Accountability Office to assess the TSA progress in securing U.S.-bound air cargo.

Prompted by last week’s discovery of bombs hidden in printer cartridges hidden in cargo shipments to the U.S., House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) along with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who chairs the Subcommittee on Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection, asked for the GAO probe.

The 9/11 Commission Act required TSA to establish a system to screen all U.S.-bound cargo transported on passenger aircraft by Aug. 3. TSA has said that they have been able to meet that deadline for all domestic cargo, but have fallen short of meeting the deadline for cargo originating overseas.

The congressmen want the GAO to address the following:

  • What are the major challenges to ensuring that cargo on U.S.-bound passenger planes is screened?
  • To what extent do existing procedures allow for shrink-wrapped or palletized cargos to be screened?
  • Are overseas DHS personnel integrated to address the terrorist threat generally and the cargo security challenges specifically?
  • How does DHS use its TSA and CBP overseas workforce to foster greater security of U.S.-bound flights?

The GAO study will take several months. 

Contact ACI-NA’s Channon Hanna for more information.

ACI Launches New Safety Program for Airports

At the ACI World Annual General Assembly in Bermuda, airport representatives voted unanimously to launch a new safety advancement initiative that will ensure that airports contribute proactively to the demands of a safe and secure air transport system.

“Our industry has undergone much change since ACI was founded 20 years ago in 1991, and the need for our strong airport voice has grown,” said ACI Director General Angela Gittens. “We have witnessed a progressive evolution in airport management that has tipped the scales from the public utility model that characterized us to an entrepreneurial business model that prizes management efficiency, financial vitality, and customer service excellence and retains the traditional values of safety, security and environmental responsibility. That model requires that we chart our own course, initiating action and taking a leadership role, rather than merely drifting through the channel designed for us by others.”

Members of ACI were presented with a proposal for a new safety initiative, developed with the seal of approval from ACI World Governing Board. “The new program, APEX in Safety, which stands for Airport Excellence in Safety,” Gittens said. Air transport is today the safest form of transportation available, and we will focus our efforts on upholding universal standards and improving on this excellent performance record.”

The initiative has been formulated based on extensive consultation with a variety of stakeholders, including an initial survey of ACI members, the ACI World Safety and Technical Committee, the ACI Regional offices and their regional safety committees and with ICAO, the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization.

This multi-pronged proposal is designed to unite all regions in a proactive global safety improvement initiative which will focus on a management systems approach with an emphasis on improving runway safety. Documentation, training, and mutual assistance based on a strong airport-to-airport mentoring program are key pillars of the new initiative and will be tested through pilot programs involving each of the five regions.

Four sets of strategies underpin the APEX in Safety initiative:

  • Plan – Do – Check – Review process for each airport to implement, leading to a safety certification program;
  • Airport exchange program to develop a network of knowledge sharing, peer support and mentoring;
  • Temporary assignment of ACI staff to selected ICAO regional offices who will help identify deficiency areas and will support the effort;
  • Champion a special project to focus on decreasing runway excursions, with development of key performance indicators.

“There is a compelling case for change and action,” said Ad Rutten, CEO of Schiphol Airport, and World Governing Board Liaison to the World Safety and Technical Committee. “ICAO findings, from the audits they have performed in recent years, show that 58 percent of audited states have not established procedures for aerodrome certification; 69 percent of audited states have not established a runway safety program. According to the Flight Safety Foundation, 30 percent of major damage accidents that occurred between 1995 through-2008 were runway related.”

The APEX in Safety objective is to ensure that all airports have the necessary knowledge, management structures and assistance they need in order to implement international safety standards and meet audit requirements.

ACI was a key contributor to the Flight Safety Foundation report, “Reducing the Risk of Runway Excursions.” The findings and guidance will be incorporated in the new ACI initiative. Furthermore, ACI will build on both ICAO and Flight Safety Foundation principles of non-punitive data reporting and data sharing in order to identify safety gaps and effective remedial actions.

TSA Hosts Cyber Security Summit

On Oct. 21, the Transportation Security Administration hosted its first Cyber Security in Transportation Summit. This summit provided an opportunity for industry officials to come together and share their expertise and knowledge.

 Cyber Security is increasingly becoming a top priority in the transportation sector, and as such there is a growing need for collaboration and information sharing between federal agencies and with the private sector. The summit began with a keynote speech from Howard Schmidt, the Cyber Security Coordinator and Special Assistant to the President, where he discussed the potential that cyber threats pose to the transportation sector, and what the industry can do to combat them.

Subsequent presentations throughout the day highlighted the emerging threats and trends for 2011, which are centered around two main things – the insider threat, such as disgruntled employees; and malware, such as the Stuxnet worm that can attack Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition systems that used to control and monitor industrial processes including manufacturing, production, power generation, fabrication, and refining – the essential processes necessary to run the country.

Contact ACI-NA’s Miranda Horan for more information.

ACI World Assembly Approves Move to Montréal

ACI Director General Angela Gittens, in her address to the 20th world annual assembly of airports, has called on ACI members to rally behind several new initiatives, making the association’s anniversary year a meaningful milestone in the life of the organization. Members unanimously approved a series of proposals and resolutions that call for heightened action in the areas of safety, security, environment, operational efficiency, regulatory framework flexibility, economic regulation and business viability.

In each area, Gittens emphasized the critical importance of strengthening the application of global standards and policies that enable airports to achieve the highest standards of performance. She highlighted strategic alliances and cross-industry efforts where airports can participate on equal footing and take the lead on any airport-related decisions.

A key step in this process is the relocation of the main ACI World office to Montréal, where ACI currently has an ICAO liaison office. The objective is to bring the organization closer to the UN International Civil Aviation Organization and the important strategic work accomplished there on behalf of the airport community.

“The World Governing Board considers that this move will bring closer alignment with ICAO, strengthening our ability to promote airport interests and performance excellence in the global arena,” said ACI Chair Max Moore-Wilton. “By concentrating ACI World subject matter experts in Montréal, we increase our ability to represent airport interests with the ICAO staff, Council members and permanent delegations. By continuing to pursue coordination with ICAO on safety, training and a wide range of ICAO headquarters and regional initiatives, ultimately we help our members to raise the bar on airport performance.

“MontréalInternational, an organization that promotes international business development in Montréal, has been very helpful in our planning phase and supportive of this move,” added Moore-Wilton. “Now, with the Assembly approval, ACI can conclude an agreement with MontréalInternational that will also ensure that this move is financially sound and has long-term support in establishing our new home base in Montréal.We are grateful for this backing which helps us to make the transition under the best conditions possible.”

“We are delighted that a high-profile international organization such as ACI has chosen to relocate its headquarters in Montréal,” said Montréal International CEO Jacques St-Laurent. “The arrival of ACI confirms Montréal’s status as the world capital of civil aviation. ACI thus joins some 70 international organizations already present in the metropolitan region and further enhances Montréal’s international status.”

ACI-NA Seeks Info to Update Airport Passenger Services List

Just in time for the Christmas travel season, ACI-NA will release its 2010 Airport Passenger Services Survey and it is now reaching out to members for updated information. The newly-developed survey asks questions regarding the conveniences, entertainment, and amenities available at each airport.

Once tallied, the results will be sent to the national media and will also be posted to a fresh, prominent link on the ACI-NA home page.  In order to have the results posted and publicized in the media early in the Christmas travel season, please respond by the Nov. 8 deadline.

Contact ACI-NA's Morgan Dye for more information.

Airport Issues Emphasized in NextGen Forums

ACI-NA was well represented at several recent industry conferences focused on NextGen issues.

On Oct. 19 and 20, the fourth annual Global Performance Based Navigation Summit in Seattle brought together several hundred experts on advanced airplane navigation systems and procedures to discuss the impact of performance based navigation on NextGen. For the first time the conference had a strong focus on airport interests and concerns.

One prevalent theme emphasized on a panel by ACI-NA member Mike Ehl, Director of Aviation Operations for the Port of Seattle, was the need to involve airports early in the process of designing new procedures and to take advantage of the airport’s intimate familiarity with local community and political issues. Associate member Greg Albjerg, HNTB, continued the theme of needing early airport involvement in his discussion of the environmental advantages and risks of NextGen procedures. An environmental panel featuring World Business Partner Paul Dunholter of BridgeNet International and Dick Marchi, ACI-NA Senior Advisor, also emphasized the need for early recognition of the potential negative consequences of advanced procedures, which can result in flight paths with railroad-like concentrations of high frequency overflight and the attendant concentration of noise impacts.

In separate sessions, associate member Rich Golaszewski, GRA Inc., reviewed the economic arguments for NextGen equipage and Marchi outlined the operational capabilities airports need, in order for NextGen to successfully address their capacity and delay issues.

At the Air Traffic Control Association annual conference in Washington on Oct. 27, an airport panel featuring Tom Bock, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and ACI-NA associate members Bill Dunlay, Leigh Fisher Associates, and Laddie Irion, URS, presented similar concerns to a large audience of air traffic specialists, including much of the FAA senior leadership. This panel, too, emphasized the need for early attention to airport and environmental issues as NextGen procedures are implemented, as well as the need to transition from vague, generic descriptions of NextGen’s value at airports toward much more specific identification of operational capabilities, quantified capacity increases and delay savings.

Contact ACI-NA’s Dick Marchi for more information.

Open Doors Conference Discusses Universal Access in Airports

Experts from federal agencies, airports, airlines, and disability organizations gathered at a conference sponsored by Open Doors in Houston for three days of sharing information on making “airports” universally accessible to all passengers. James Briggs, ACI-NA’s Vice President of Legal Affairs, was one of the featured speakers. While the focus of the conference primarily concerned the needs of passengers with disabilities, improving access typically benefits travelers of all ages and abilities. Making airports accessible becomes even more critical as the “baby boomer” generation, which composes 40 percent of the flying public, begins to reach the golden years.

Some of the emerging technologies that assist not only passengers with disabilities, but all passengers, are visual paging interfaces with FIDs, television monitors, advertisers, and bag claim; mobile check-in, boarding passes, and flight information; and mobile detailed maps and tactile visual maps of airport terminals.

The FAA provided an overview of its fairly new program for conducting a document and onsite review of ADA compliance at airports. Some of the items the FAA will examine are accessibility of an airport’s website and the documents on the website, the airport’s ADA coordinator, the airport’s complaint process, and the mandated nondiscrimination language in contracts. As part of this review, the FAA also will spend three to five days at an airport interviewing airport personnel and tenants on regulatory requirements, examining lease agreements, and inspecting accessibility features and requirements at the airport. During this review, the opportunity may arise for the FAA to conduct formal training sessions for airport employees.

Some of the potential service gaps identified by the speakers included wayfinding and signage, accessible websites for providing valuable information before arriving at the airport, accessible hotel and transportation courtesy phones, accessible taxis and hotel shuttles, paging systems for blind or deaf passengers, accommodating the needs of passengers with disabilities during delays caused by cancelled flights, assistance at terminal entrances to airline counters, elevator layouts, steep inclines or long travel distances for wheelchairs, screening checkpoint equipment and procedures not conducive to wheelchair users. One speaker pointed out that the major risk area for passengers with disabilities is the movement from the gate to the aircraft.

The session on emergency preparedness pointed out an issue that should be considered when a terminal must be evacuated, such as for a security breach.  As the service providers evacuate wheelchair passengers from the concourse, the service providers for the airlines will need to re-access the concourse in order to take wheelchairs to, and to evacuate, other wheelchair passengers. If TSA closes the screening checkpoint, service providers will not be able to continue the evacuation of the remaining wheelchair passengers. Another consideration to keep in mind is where to stage these wheelchair passengers upon evacuation from the concourse.  An example was given of a recent terminal evacuation where 250 wheelchair passengers had to be evacuated and the evacuation and clearance of the concourse took six hours.

Contact ACI-NA’s James Briggs for more information.

 
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