An Airport Retrospective

In light of the publication’s 25-year anniversary, airport business canvassed several airports to get perspective on how the industry has changed over the years, and what the future may look like. Commenting on the topic are James Wilding, former...

“In the mid-90s, we were the first airport to implement common use terminal equipment (CUTE). Everywhere in our terminal and gate area, from the check-in kiosks to gate utilization, any airline can power up. There is not a proprietary airline computer here; everything is common use.”

From the customer relations side of the business, Gehman at Harrisburg says her goal in accepting her position five years ago was to put the airport more into the digital sphere; her first major project was an overhaul of the company website in 2006.

“The evolution of content on a website is important; it can change on a weekly basis,” says Gehman. “From a search engine optimization standpoint, obviously making sure the content is rich and being sure the website is indexed properly … that’s always something that needs to be updated. On the front-end, the travelers’ needs are always changing, so the information needs to change as well.”

In terms of partnering with carriers, Gehman says of late, the airport has done a lot with American Eagle. “We’ve made it clear to our airline partners that if they have any message, whether traditional or emerging, we will do our utmost to get it out.

“I think it really comes down to further personalizing the experience for the traveler across the board ... where the Web becomes more of a personal assistant for the user, or in our case, the traveler.”

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