Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Board Plans Restore of Merit Raises

Having weathered the January reduction of Delta Air Lines' services, the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Board plans to discuss restoring merit raises for its senior staff Thursday.

In early December, the board announced executive pay freezes to buy time to evaluate the economic impact of Delta's service decrease. Now, with revenues and expenses stabilizing, a review is in order, board chairman Jeff Wentworth said.

"We plan to have that discussion," he said at a Tuesday committee meeting.

Meanwhile, employees throughout the airport are conducting "soft trials" to familiarize themselves with Terminal D, the Skylink people-mover and other new systems coming on line in about 90 days.

"Behind the scenes, we're testing the facilities to make sure everything works on opening day," D/FW Chief Executive Jeff Fegan said.

The Grand Hyatt hotel is 96 percent finished. Target dates for a ribbon-cutting and the first flights have been set, but officials didn't reveal them.

In other news, transportation consultant David Dean invited the D/FW Airport Board to join a consortium supporting high-speed rail from the airport to Austin, San Antonio, Killeen and Houston.

The system, known as the "Texas T-bone," would make it possible for a traveler to book travel through another city and fly out of D/FW, with train fare included and baggage checked at the train station, Dean said.

The board did not vote on the matter. Fegan said the airport would accommodate the transit plans of owner cities Fort Worth and Dallas.