Event Highlights

In September, Airport Business attended two major annual aviation events: the ACI-NA/World Annual Conference and Exhibition held in Calgary, and the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit held in Dallas.

At this year’s ACI-NA event, technology was heavy on the scene at the show floor. Everything from surface management solutions that incorporate collaborative decision making (CDM) to interactive wayfinding solutions that give passengers/airport customers the most critical day-of-travel information in real-time.

At the annual summit, the primary message was the expectation for slow growth (see page 7 of this issue for more highlights from the event). Boyd Group predicts there will be approximately 740-745 million U.S. enplanements in 2012, at or slightly below 2011’s figures. Because U.S. airlines are restructuring to accommodate higher fuel costs, capacity will be adjusted to capture the maximum revenue per seat.

Also, while the replacement of regional jets by mainline carriers will spike traffic at several markets, air access to and from a particular region will focus on fewer airports, says Boyd Group chairman Mike Boyd.

On technology, the summit’s host airport, DFW, had something to say. Remarks airport CEO Jeff Fegan, “IT is a very significant part of our overall investment,” he relates. “When you look at all of our departments, public safety is number one, and IT is number two in terms of money we spend each year.”

Finally, the issue focus for this month is sustainability, and within the pages you will find many specific avenues taken by the industry in a continued effort to ‘go green.’ In early November, Airport Business will once again attend the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA)/AAAE’s Airports Going Green conference.

Chicago is making a name for itself with regard to environmental responsibility (think green roofs, and the Sustainable Airport Manual), and each year I gain more perspective from airports who are trying like hell to manage a heathly triple-bottom line — that is, those primary values for measuring organizational success: the economic, the ecological, and the social.

Thanks for your interest.