C O V E R STORY
Airports Council International-North
By John F. Infanger, Editorial Director America
AN INDUSTRY Answers provided by Greg Principato, president
On what the aviation industry will look like in five years and,
IN A STATE OF FLUX specifically, the airport segment ...
Over the long-term, FAA and industry analysts agree that pas-
senger enplanements will continue growing, reaching about 850
million in 2014 and one billion by 2021. That means that airports
Our annual report with a twist — getting must invest additional resources in capital projects to increase the safety and efficiency
of their operations.
the trade groups’ perspective in one forum Increasingly airports are recognizing that reliance on aeronautical revenue to fund
the needs of passengers and shippers is not an effective long-term strategy. Throughout
Since our annual ‘State of the Industry’ report of June 2008, the world has North America, airport managers are developing creative ways to diversify their revenue
stream, focusing on a wide variety of non-aeronautical revenues including retail and
turned upside down. About the only positive since that last report is that other concessions, indoor and outdoor advertising, parking fees, and real estate develop-
the price of oil, skyrocketing one year ago, has stabilized. Serious issues ment. A recent ACI World survey indicates that non-aeronautical revenues [currently]
challenge the aviation industry — from airports to airlines to business and generate around 50 percent of airport industry revenues globally.
general aviation. For a comprehensive perspective on the issues and the
On the top three issues facing airports ...
potential solutions, AIRPORT BUSINESS asked the key trade groups • FAA reauthorization. H.R. 915 provides $16.2 billion for the Airport Improvement
representing the various aviation interests to offer their insights into where Program and a $2.50 increase in the Passenger Facility Charge. Fully adjusting the PFC
the industry is headed overall, and the specific challenges facing each to account for construction cost inflation would place the fee at $8.18.
group. Their edited responses are featured here, along with insights from a • Reduced air service and capacity cuts. Since last summer, airports have carefully
evaluated their operations, cutting their budgets and in some cases reducing their airline
business aviation analyst. landing fees and rental charges in an effort to maintain current levels of air service.
Interestingly, one of the top issues in 2009, followed by average growth of • Security. It continues to be a critical issue for airports. H.R. 2200, the Transportation
of the past three years, reauthorization 2.7 percent through 2025. Last year, FAA Security Administration (TSA) Authorization bill [includes] a requirement that an air-
of the Federal Aviation Administration predicted that the U.S. carriers would port security plan put procedures in place to ensure the federal security director of the
and the U.S. aviation system, appears to transport one billion passengers by 2016; airport is notified whenever federal, state, or local law enforcement is called to an aircraft
be nearing a resolution. they are not expected to do so now until or onto the airfield; a section establishing an Aviation Security Advisory Committee,
The two top roadblocks that have 2021. In 2008, domestic enplanements consisting of 27 members of the aviation industry; and a section which creates a biometric
held that up in Congress have been pro- dropped to 679.6 million, down from identifier airport access enhancement demonstration program.
posed new user fees and the ongoing 690.1 million in 2007. It is clear that more effective security procedures can be developed in cooperation
dispute between FAA and the air traffic Regarding general aviation IFR with airports; [an H.R.915] amendment would return the well-established “notice and
controllers. Congress has at least tempo- operations, FAA sees total ops dropping comment” protocol that unfortunately TSA has not often used.
rarily moved past the user fee issue, while some 5.5 percent in 2009, followed by an • Environment. Airports have been taking steps to reduce pollution, consume less
a mediation group has been set up with annual growth rate of 1.7 percent. energy, and reduce consumption of scarce natural resources. Airports are community
former FAA Administrator Jane Garvey Meanwhile, airlines in the U.S. and leaders initiating voluntary environmental programs rather than just responding to state
to resolve the controllers dispute. globally continue to bleed money. With or local mandates. ACI-NA is seeking federal help in the United States to go further
Yet, the Obama Administration indi- each new forecast by the International with funding assistance for pilot programs that will allow airports to continue their
cated this spring that the user fee debate Air Transport Association comes more environmental leadership.
may be taken up another day. dire projections on airline losses for the ACI-NA remains a member of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative
On May 21, the U.S. House of foreseeable future — that despite lower Coalition to identify alternative aviation fuels. We ar