Flight Blog

 

This week we unveiled a new customer service feature in the terminal lobby. It's a 40-inch video monitor that displays three different data feeds:

  1. Flightview map. A live, visual display of Springfield's incoming and outgoing flights. Similar to our web version, but more spiffy.
  2. Animated radar loop of weather in the lower 48.
  3. Map showing major airport delays in the lower 48.

Enjoy.

 

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Aug 05 2010 Jobs Landing at SGF BY adminTAGS How the Airport Works

 

The cat is out of the bag.  This morning Expedia announced it's bringing up to 500 new jobs to Springfield and they'll be working at the old airport terminal. Earlier this year the Airport and Expedia announced that the company would lease about 59,000 square feet of the building, but job details were left for today. Most of the jobs will be customer service and accounting related. If you're interested in applying visit this Expedia web site.

Leasing the old terminal is important to the airport because it generates a revenue stream that is not related to aviation. This is especially important in today’s uncertain economy because the aviation industry is extremely volatile. Non-aviation related revenue helps make up the difference when airline revenue is down. In the big scheme of things, non-aviation related revenue can make it easier for the Airport to keep operating costs down for the airlines.

The Expedia lease is initially for five years, with the option of five, 3-year extensions. The total annual lease amount: $450,760.00.

 

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Jul 26 2010 Airport Master Plan BY adminTAGS Master Plan

 

July marked the beginning of a project to update the airport's master plan. What is a master plan?

It's a planning document that looks into the future and tries to predict what will happen at the airport—how many passengers will use the airport ten years from now? In 20 years? What kind of infrastructure improvements will the airport need to make and when? It really boils down to three main questions: 1) what infrastructure improvements will the airport need in the future? 2) When will the improvements be needed? 3) How will the improvements be paid for?

Airport master plans are written by companies that specialize in airport planning. It's their job to write an objective, fact based plan. The firm updating our master plan is Jviation. The total cost of the plan: $707,819.00. The airport pays $35,391.00 of that total, with the rest picked up by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

If that price tag makes your head spin, stand in line. But that's what it costs to bring in the specialized skills required to do airport master planning analysis. And the FAA isn't likely to help pay for future improvements unless there's a plan in place.

Airport master plans are typically reviewed and updated about every 20 years. Our airport’s first master plan was completed in 1967. It was updated in 1977 and 1993.

How is the master plan used? When you get right down to it a master plan helps you stay ahead of the curve. The airport reviews the master plan on a regular basis to see how the plan’s projections compare with reality. Hypothetical example: suppose the plan projects that an additional parking lot will be needed when the airport has one million passengers a year. As time goes on, and as passenger numbers approach one million, the airport will know, with help from the master plan, that it’s time to start building the additional parking lot.

There a couple of things that a master plan isn't. It's not a wish list for future air service There's nothing the airport can do, from an infrastructure point of view, that will entice an airline to fly from Springfield to New York City. Airline service decisions are mainly driven by the population of the metropolitan area, per capita income, demand, and airline economics.

Here's another thing a master plan isn't: it's not a wish list for airport improvements. The plan merely tells you at what point you'll need to make improvements.

During the next 18 months we'll be talking a lot about the master plan...stay tuned.

 

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Jul 23 2010 Remodeling Old Terminal BY adminTAGS Misc.

 

The rebirth of the airport's old passenger terminal continues. These photos were taken last week and show the extensive interior renovations made by the travel company Expedia. The Internet travel company leased about two-thirds of the old terminal in February and plans to move in later this year. The remainder of the building is leased to the Missouri National Guard.

In the big photo the camera is looking north. The gift shop was to the immediate left; the ticket counters were along the new sheet rock seen on the left. We're told that Expedia plans to leave most of the old terminal signs (like the one in this photo).

In the smaller photo the camera is looking west. The main screening check point was to the right. The restaurant entrance was to the left.

 

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The federal government's preliminary passenger tally for 2009 is out. It's a 14 page document that shows 2009 enplanement numbers for each of the nation's 538 commercial airports. Enplanements are the number of people getting on an airplane. Example: if an airport had 1000 enplanements in 2009, that means it boarded 1000 passengers. The federal passenger tally shows that of the nation's 150 largest airports, we were ranked number 5 in passenger growth. Here are the top five passenger growth airports:

  1. Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, + 52.29%
  2. Fargo International, + 7.68%
  3. White Plains Airport, + 6.68%
  4. St. Pete/Clearwater International,  + 4.76%
  5. Springfield-Branson National Airport. + 4.63%

These numbers are preliminary, but likely won't change much when finalized. It's really tempting to brag about this national ranking, but caution is the better part valor: so far this year our passenger numbers are flat. Take a look at the federal list. It has some really UGLY enplanements numbers for most airports. Here's a sample:

  • Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, - 3.38%
  • Detroit Wayne County, - 10.51%
  • Oakland International, - 17.39%

The negative list goes on and on...it shows in vivid detail the beating the aviation industry took last year. Only one of the nation's top ten airports had positive growth: San Francisco was up 1.77%

Take another look at the top five list. Know what four of those airports have in common? They have service from Allegiant Air (only White Plains doesn't). These numbers are a testament to Allegiant—it's one of the few airlines to grow and make money during the recession. In 2009 Allegiant grew it's Springfield passenger numbers by 41%.

 

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