New address

Terminal Q is moving to Flight Global.


Frontier nixes Colorado Springs maintenance plans

A new heavy maintenance facility will not be built on the west side of Colorado Springs Airport.

Frontier Airlines decided against constructing a heavy maintenance facility in Colorado Springs as the low-cost carrier attempts to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Capacity cuts and fleet reductions eliminated the need for the facility, Frontier spokesman Steve Snyder says, noting the airline has been reviewing all projects as part of the bankruptcy process.

Instead of building its own facility, Frontier will continue to lease part of Continental Airlines’ hangar in Denver for heavy maintenance work.

Construction on the 100,000-square-foot hangar (30,480 square meters) had not started. The facility had been slated to open in or after April 2009.

The airline selected Colorado Springs because of the financial package offered by the airport and the ease of flying between Denver and Colorado Springs, roughly 100 miles (160 km) south, Snyder said when plans for the facility were first announced.

Incentives offered to Frontier and other airlines include a 100% rebate of personal business property taxes related to hangar construction materials, Colorado Springs airport director of aviation Mark Earle says.

The airline also received a combination of rebates and exemptions that equate to a 100% abatement of sales and use taxes for activity in the hangar for the life of the project, he says. Aircraft, aircraft parts, equipment solvents, materials, “anything used in the maintenance process” is included.

"Airport staff will continue to market the airport in an effort to attract successful airline maintenance projects such as the SkyWest maintenance facility which has been in operation since July 2007,” Earle says in a statement.


JetBlue's photo shoot

JetBlue's photos and blog for their new terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

And real-time updates here.

My earlier posts about the terminal: trial-run and gastronomic descriptions.


Quirky airport stories

Japan's New Chitose Airport is using stockpiled snow in its cooling system.

Singapore's Changi Airport is working on customer service with a smile. The effort somehow involves celebrities such as Tommy Lee. Sounds counterintuitive...

While this has nothing to do with airports, consider this your Friday bonus.


Panama Photo Shoot

Construction of Florida's new Panama City-Bay County International Airport is four months ahead of schedule, says Roy Willett, senior project manager for project/construction manager Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR).

Runway and taxiway paving begins this week. Pictured: The 10,000-foot, north-south commercial runway facing south.

By the time the new facility opens on May 31, 2010, some six million yards of material will have been moved at the airport, Willett says.

Eight gallons of fuel is used daily during construction, which began in January, he says.

The 105,000-square feet terminal will be built according to the US Green Building Council’s standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

Pictured: The passenger parking lot.

Pictured: Airport executive director Randy Curtis.


The Northwest Florida office

I am flying to Panama City, Florida, today to check out the forthcoming Panama City-Bay County International airport. The replacement facility is set to open in 2010. See my earlier post here.

In other construction news, JetBlue Airways has postponed the opening of its new terminal at New York JFK until October 22. T5 was supposed to open October 1.

“All operational systems have been tested and are ready for customers, but the retail and dining elements needed a little more time to complete construction and inspections," JetBlue spokesman Bryan Baldwin says in an email.

On the bright side, the project is still six months ahead of schedule.

Construction plans initially called for a February 2009 opening, Baldwin says.


Pink slips

Airlines aren't the only ones cutting staff.

Northeast Florida's Jacksonville Aviation Authority has laid off workers because of declining air traffic and is planning for additional cuts across Jacksonville International Airport and general aviation facilities Craig Airport, Herlong Airport and Cecil Field.

Jacksonville Business Journal reports the authority expects to trim roughly $809,000 worth of salary and benefits, which is about 1.2% of its $65.1 million operating budget.

The authority has not identified how many jobs will be lost because it is looking for other means to cut expenses and or raise revenues, authority director of external affairs Michael Stewart tells me.

"Everybody is hoping the industry will turn around quickly," he says.

Capacity is down 8% year over year in Jacksonville.

Lost service includes ExpressJet flights to North Carolina's Raleigh-Durham International Airport and twice weekly flights to Denver operated by Frontier Airlines.

Other carriers have reduced frequencies or cut seat capacity by down gauging aircraft, Stewart says.

As more of a business rather than leisure destination, Jacksonville will probably not experience as severe job losses as more vacation-oriented destinations, he says.

Other airports may not be as fortuitous.

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) says airlines have already abandoned 60 communities and roughly 40 more communities will lose service this year. The airline group also says it is "not unrealistic" to expect as many as 200 communities could lose air service by early 2009.

In more upbeat Jacksonville news, authority executive director and CEO John Clark was elected chairman of Airport Council International–North America (ACI-NA) for 2009.