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Airport Report Today, January 30, 2012

April 11, 2012
Congress Extends Aviation Programs, Taxes
Congress has approved a bipartisan measure that extends aviation programs and excise taxes through Feb. 17. 
The extension is the 23rd, and it represents what many hope will be the last stop-gap measure that Congress approves before passing the long-delayed multi-year FAA reauthorization bill. 
The optimism that a final deal on a long-term FAA bill is close at hand stems from an agreement reached among congressional leaders on a controversial labor proposal that has stalled action for several months. Negotiators still need to work out their differences on the Essential Air Service program, slots at Reagan Washington National Airport, and a proposal related to lithium batteries. However, the labor compromise is expected to pave the way for Congress to pass a multi-year bill sometime early next month before lawmakers leave town for the annual Presidents’ Day recess, which is scheduled to begin Feb. 17. 

Twenty-Five Airports To Receive AIT Screening Units
TSA announced that 25 additional airports will receive millimeter wave Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units.
The machines will be deployed with new automated target recognition (ATR) software designed to enhance privacy by eliminating passenger-specific images while improving throughput capabilities and streamlining the checkpoint screening process, TSA said.
The agency said it will deploy units to the following airports in the coming weeks: Atlantic City (N.J.) International, Augusta (Ga.) Regional, Billings (Mont.) Logan International, Blue Grass Airport (Ky.), Central Illinois Regional, Central Wisconsin, Charleston (S.C.) International, Colorado Springs, Columbia (S.C.) Metropolitan, Columbus International, Cyril E. King International (U.S. Virgin Islands), Fargo (N.D.) Hector International, Gary/Chicago International, Grand Forks (N.D.) International, Greenbrier Valley (W.Va.), Hayden/Yampa Valley (Colo.), Henry E. Rohlsen (U.S. Virgin Islands), Montgomery (Ala.) Regional, Newport News Williamsburg (Va.) International, Outagamie Country (Wis.) Regional, Quad City International (Ill.), Santa Barbara (Calif.) Municipal, San Luis Obispo County (Calif.) Regional, Santa Maria (Calif.), and South Bend (Ind.).
In September 2011, TSA purchased 300 millimeter wave units equipped with ATR, which currently are being deployed. Currently, more than 570 AIT units are in use at 130 airports nationwide. President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget included the purchase of 500 units, and the President’s fiscal 2012 budget requests funding for an additional 275 units.

Detroit Metro To Make Refund To Airlines
Airlines serving Detroit Metro will receive a significant refund from the airport due, in part, to larger than anticipated cost savings and a considerable increase in non-airline revenue in fiscal year 2011, according to an announcement from the Wayne County Airport Authority (WCAA).
The authority said it was able to reduce the cost of operating and maintaining Detroit Metro by nearly $1.3 million compared with what had been budgeted. The authority also managed to generate $8.9 million more in non-airline revenue than had been budgeted. Those results contribute to a $13.9 million refund to the airport’s air carriers.
On the cost side, WCAA spent less than budgeted on line items such as insurance, utilities, materials and supplies, security and janitorial, while generating more revenue than anticipated on car rentals, parking, retail, food and beverage and ground transportation such as taxis and limos, according to the announcement.
“Airport management operates Detroit Metropolitan Airport like a for-profit business,” said Interim CEO Tom Naughton, C.M. “However, unlike a private business, we cannot apply any net income from one fiscal year to cover an anticipated shortfall the next year. Management is required, by agreement, to refund any net income to the airlines.” 

U.S. Carriers Report 2011 Financials
A number of U.S. airlines last week released their fourth-quarter and full year 2011 financials.
• Delta posted a $379 million profit for the quarter ended Dec. 31 and a $1.2 billion profit for the full year.
• US Airways Group reported a profit of $21 million for the fourth quarter and a profit of $111 million for the full year.
• JetBlue recorded a $23 million profit for the fourth quarter and a profit of $86 million for the full year.
• Alaska Air Group said it earned a $37.2 million profit in the fourth quarter and full-year income of $287.4 million.
• United Continental reported fourth-quarter net income of $109 million and full-year 2011 income of $1.3 billion.
• SkyWest said that it expects its financial results for the fourth quarter to be lower than previously anticipated. The company estimated that its fourth quarter will reflect a net loss between $17 million and $18.5 million. Aging aircraft issues are among the factors causing the lower financial results SkyWest said.

Dallas-Fort Worth Airport Bonds Rated
Fitch has assigned an A plus rating to Dallas-Fort Worth International’s $487 million joint revenue refunding bonds, series 2012B (Non-AMT) with an expected final maturity of Nov. 1, 2035.
In addition, Fitch assigned an A plus rating to the airport’s planned $1 million parity, private-placement-joint revenue improvement bonds, series 2012A with a final maturity on Nov. 1, 2014.
Fitch also affirmed at A plus the $3.94 billion in outstanding joint revenue improvement bonds issued by the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth for the airport.
The rating outlook for all bonds is negative, the firm said.

Lambert-St. Louis Prepares To Re-Open C Concourse
Lambert-St. Louis International is on track to re-open its tornado-damaged C Concourse in April.
An April 22, 2011, tornado damaged the concourse roof, blew out windows and caused extensive damage to concessions and airline gate areas. The major roof and window replacement projects are completed. Now, the focus is on the restoration of the interior of the concourse, which includes the restoration of the retail stores and restaurants, according to airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. “When it’s all completed it will have the look and feel of a brand new concourse,” she said.

Temporary Control Towers Set For Super Bowl
To prepare for Super Bowl XLVI, FAA has established three temporary control towers in the Indianapolis area.
Eagle Creek Airpark, Indianapolis Regional Airport and Indianapolis Executive Airport will be controlled airfields from Wednesday, Feb. 1, through Monday, Feb. 6. For more information, go to

Republic Airways Names New CEO
Republic Airways announced that David Siegel will join the company as CEO, president and interim COO of Frontier, a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings Inc.
Siegel previously served as CEO of XOJET, gategroup, US Airways and Avis Budget, in addition to other leadership roles in the airline industry, Republic said. Siegel served as lead independent director on the Republic Airways Board of Directors and will relinquish that role, but will remain on the board in this new position.

DOT Fines Carriers For Consumer Violations
DOT has fined Finnair $35,000 for violating federal aviation laws and the department’s rules prohibiting deceptive price advertising in air travel. 
For a period of time in the fall of last year, Finnair displayed three fare advertisements on its website that made no mention of additional taxes and fees that applied to these fares, DOT said. Instead, once consumers clicked on the advertisements, they were taken to a page on the carrier’s website where taxes and fees were displayed in the fine print at the bottom of the page. 
Separately, the department fined Spirit Airlines $100,000 for failing to appropriately record and respond to complaints about the carrier’s treatment of passengers with disabilities, violating DOT’s rules implementing the Air Carrier Access Act, which prohibits discrimination in air travel on the basis of disability.

Krys Bart, A.A.E., Receives Distinguished Service Award
Krys Bart, A.A.E., president/CEO of the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority, has been presented with AAAE’s Distinguished Service Award.
During a ceremony at a recent Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority Board of Trustees meeting, AAAE Chair Kelly Johnson, A.A.E., presented Bart with the honor. “The DSA Award is the AAAE’s highest honor,” Johnson said. “Recipients of this prestigious award are selected based on their outstanding accomplishments in their professional and personal life.”
Bart thanked her staff and members of the airport authority board “past and present, who made this possible.”
Bart came to Reno in 1998 after serving as the assistant director at Mineta San Jose International and as the assistant director at the Fresno Air Terminal. She served as AAAE chair in 2007.

Law Enforcement Officers Training School Planned
Northwest Florida Regional Airport will host a AAAE Regional Law Enforcement Officers Training School onsite course April 16-18 in Destin, Fla. 
Other airport law enforcement officers are invited to attend this training program. For information, contact Kevin Miller at (703) 824-0500, Ext. 157, or email

Academic Update/Student Chapter News
The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University AAAE Student Chapter in Prescott, Ariz., has scheduled a visit to view the construction areas of the Tom Bradley International Terminal and airside operations at Los Angeles International.
In addition, several chapter members will attend AAAE’s Annual Conference and Exposition April 29-May 2 in Phoenix.        
The student group last April participated in a post-security airside tour of Las Vegas McCarran International, which included an inside look at one control tower. The group will revisit McCarran this year to allow new ERAU-AAAE chapter members to tour the airfield.
Other chapter activities during the past year included meetings with members of GA and commercial airports, which resulted in several internships or career positions at airports.

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