Internet Dynamics

Internet Dynamics Using the Net to its full advantage By Robert Hager, Michael Schiefer, & Larry Weiner, Creative Force June 2000 Websites have been described as living brochures. Properly created and administered, one can be changed...

Consider also: Does the airport have a FAA tower? Can I link to the FAA from the site? Through the website, pilots of fixed-wing aircraft can get runway information. Helicopter pilots may be able to view visual landmarks along designated routes as they prepare to arrive and depart.

An important caveat: Answers to the technical data cannot be used in any way as navigational aids; they are only informational. This is not to diminish the invaluable help they can provide. For instance, if an FBO is listed on the site, it can also list its radio frequencies. Pilots coming into the airport can then radio directly into the FBO.

Aside from offering data on operations, the site can provide visitors into the area with other vital information, such as nearby hotels, restaurants, even local attractions for those who may have some free time for leisure activities.

A well-planned website can be a tool for overcoming negative press coverage. A Web home page can provide a public relations link giving local and national media — as well as concerned citizens — an opportunity to get the airport's views on hot issues. This may result in more balanced press coverage. Press releases in the news section can be archived so media personnel can retrieve stories that go back a number of months or years. Local residents can even access news information.

Include the airport's Web address on all press releases distributed traditionally to the media. This will encourage editors to visit the site for background information.

If an objective is to present a more positive image to the community, having a section that lets local residents know what airport and non-airport related, non-profit or charity events are being held in the area, can help effect a positive image.

Many organizations sponsor golf outings, the proceeds of which go to various local charities. These can be listed. It can help the outing's sponsor get more golfers, which in turn raises more funds for the recipient organization. Teterboro (NJ) Airport, a general aviation airport near New York, sponsors a five-kilometer run every summer, and the proceeds go to breast cancer research. This event is listed on the airport's website, and it has helped increase the number of entrants into the race each year.

Is one of your Internet objectives to improve two-way communications between airport tenants and management? Rather than letting them find out about what is happening at the airport in the newspaper, provide a section for tenants where you control the accuracy of the message. Include minutes from previous tenant meetings and important bulletins.

Offer information on such important issues as: trends in privatization, government regulations, concessions, civic work with area charities, security, safety, and firefighting.

Something as apparently innocuous as a Job Opportunity section can deliver a number of extremely positive benefits:
• People from the community will think of the airport in a more pro-active light.
• It invites more local residents to visit the website. As a result, they will be reminded of the many jobs the airport provides to the area.
• It shows tenants that management has an interest in them.
• It promotes the career opportunities that exist in aviation as a whole.

There is nothing new to having a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section. Many websites have them. A FAQ section can address customers' most common concerns or other questions the public may have. FAQ sections can also help cut down on the number of e-mails and letters that require timely responses.

FAQ functions can be interactive — an electronic form can be inserted onto one page of the website. The form will capture specific contact information and deliver that information (or question) electronically via e-mail to airport officials.

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