Airport Consulting Weekly
Oct. 3, 2013

ACC Legislative Alert — Government shutdown underway
Monday night, Congress failed to reach agreement on temporary funding to keep federal agencies running in the new fiscal year, which began Oct. 1. As a result, many agencies have suspended programs and initiated employee furloughs. The Departments of Transportation and Homeland Security developed plans in the event of a shutdown - a summary of FAA program impacts can be found here, and a summary of impacts to DHS can be found here. At this time it is unclear how long the government shutdown may last, as both the House and Senate seemed entrenched in their respective positions regarding whether a temporary continuing resolution (CR) to fund agencies should be "clean" or have provisions seeking to delay or modify the Affordable Care Act. Contact ACC Executive Vice President T.J. Schulz at for additional information.More

Furloughing FAA inspectors and NTSB investigators may violate international aviation treaty
FAA's furlough of 3,000 aviation safety inspectors and NTSB's furlough of its accident investigators may put the United States in default of its treaty obligations under the Chicago Convention and the obligations of member states of the International Civil Aviation Organization.More

US companies warn of delays, furloughs from shutdown
The U.S. government shutdown is beginning to hit the factory floor, with major manufacturers like Boeing Co. and United Technologies Corp. warning of delays and employee furloughs in the thousands if the budget impasse persists.More

Plan for furloughed FAA inspectors unclear
Aviation Week
The FAA plans to call in — on an as-needed basis — some Aviation Safety Organization (AVS) employees, including safety inspectors, if the government shutdown is not resolved quickly, the agency says.More

American Airlines antitrust case won't be delayed by shutdown, Judge says
Tulsa World via
The federal government shutdown apparently won't delay the antitrust trial over the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways, even though the Justice Department says its lawyers aren't available to prepare their case.More

Government shutdown could delay FAA electronics decision
The Hill
The Federal Aviation Administration’s decision on allowing airlines passengers to keep their electronic devices on during flights could be delayed by a government shutdown. The FAA had been planning to receive a recommendation from a committee it created to study the impact of electronic devices on airplane safety equipment.More

Chicago's privatized parking meters sour airport lease deal
Close to 19 million passengers come through Chicago's Midway Airport each year, and many will spend a lot of cash here — on food, drinks, books, gum, parking and rental cars — not to mention the landing fees and gate fees paid by airlines. More

Airline profits soared in second quarter
The Washington Post
Airlines are making money, and if you think that's not news, you've not been paying attention. The federal Bureau of Transportation Statistics just announced that, boosted by baggage and ticket-change fees,  the largest passenger airlines had a net profit of $2.1 billion in the second quarter of this year. That's a big increase from their $700 million profit during the same quarter of 2012 and way up from the anemic profits or net losses of the past decade.More

DHS faces long-term challenges, uncertain time frame for biometric exit system
Homeland Security Today
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) still faces a "range of management challenges ... in its effort to fully deploy a ... biometric exit capability to track foreign nationals when they depart the country," according to Congress' investigative branch. Funding to develop adequate technologies and for implementation are part of the problem.More

Seeds of hope as Pittsburgh reopens concourse areas
By Matt Falcus
Pittsburgh International Airport was once the largest hub of US Airways, handling almost 20 million passengers per year in 2000. Since those heady days, the airport has seen major decline and a fight to retain jobs and profits. But seeds of improvement are starting to show, with the airport announcing the reopening of two sections of its concourses. Nevertheless, passenger figures still pose challenges for the airport management.More

New Orleans Airport has cleaned up its contracts, IG finds
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, long plagued by poor accounting and operating for years with little oversight of its outside contractors and venders, has cleaned up its act, Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux said.More

Opinion: Setting priorities for NextGen
Aviation Week
Significant budget cuts are the latest threat to the FAA's vision for a 21st century air traffic system that already faces formidable challenges. The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) needs to integrate a complex web of air traffic management capabilities to serve growing needs in the world's busiest airspace, while enhancing safety, saving fuel and reducing environmental impacts.More

Worcester, Mass., airport gets grant to promote new JetBlue service
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Worcester Regional Airport has been awarded a $350,000 grant from the US Department of Transportation to pay for a campaign that will promote JetBlue's new service that takes off from Worcester Nov. 7.More

Should Santa Monica Airport be closed?
After the crash at the Santa Monica Airport that has apparently claimed at least two lives, one city councilman is calling for the airport to be permanently closed.More

At Kennedy Airport, a complex dance over a UN meeting
The New York Times
The prime minister of the Czech Republic was due to fly in at just about the same time that contingents of diplomats from Brazil and Ukraine were scheduled to take off. At many airports around the world, this confluence of very important persons would presumably cause havoc.More

How bad will a government shutdown be for travelers?
The United States federal government has shut down precisely 17 times since 1976, as various elements of the Legislative and Executive branches — which the Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, set in opposition to each other — failed to agree on various measures necessary to keep the government operating.More

FAA opens the Arctic to commercial small unmanned aircraft
A research vessel plying the icy waters of the Chukchi Sea above the Arctic Circle seems an odd place for a Federal Aviation Administration employee. But that's exactly where Alaskan Region inspector Jay Skaggs was on Sept. 12.More

Airbus: China will trump US with flight demand
The amount of passengers taking domestic flights in China in twenty years' time will dwarf that in the United States, leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus said.More

IATA: Global Airlines' August passenger load factor at record level
The Wall Street Journal
The International Air Transport Association said the passenger load factor for global airlines in August hit 83.4 percent, matching the record level achieved in July 2011, due to strong travel demand in both developed and developing economies. "August was a positive month for passenger travel," IATA Director General Tony Tyler said in a statement, adding passenger traffic looks set to accelerate in the fourth quarter.More

Designed for success: Incheon Airport's Terminal 2
The Wall Street Journal
Keith Thompson estimates that he spends about 230 hours a year in the sky, jet-setting more than 100,000 miles. The architect says he enjoys flying, but knows most international passengers don't share his enthusiasm.More

Could Dubai shut airport to support bigger 'super-hub?'
Dubai International Airport is in the midst of an expansion that will allow it to handle as many as 90 million passengers a year. But there's already talk it could be closed as part of an effort to support a new "super-hub" airport under construction at another site near Dubai.More

ANA wins more slots than Japan Airlines at Haneda Airport
ANA Holdings Inc., Japan's biggest airline, won more take-off and landing rights than Japan Airlines Co. at Tokyo's Haneda airport in a distribution of new international slots by the government.More

Where are the world's busiest airports?
The Guardian
China's airline industry is struggling to keep up with growing passenger numbers and Dubai's airport traffic shows no signs of stopping. So which airports in the world have the most traffic?More

China's big state carriers still lagging
Aviation Week
For insight into the competitiveness of China's main airlines, overlook their domestic operations, which are generally profitable — though not lately. Domestically, the carriers compete mainly against each other. Their true strengths and weaknesses are evident in international operations, where the big Chinese carriers shy away from fully competing with experienced foreign airlines.More

The ACC Engineering committee is compiling comments for draft AC 5370-10G — Comments due October 25
The FAA is accepting comments from industry representatives on Draft AC 5370-10G, titled: "Standards for Specifying Construction of Airports."  Please send all comments to by COB Friday, Oct. 25, 2013 using the FAA Draft AC Comment Matrix. For more information, visit the FAA website or contact ACC Executive Vice President T.J. Schulz at tjs@acconline.orgMore

NextGen making a difference
NextGen is the continuous improvement and modernization the invisible infrastructure of our national airspace. This comprehensive initiative integrates new and existing technologies, including satellite navigation and advanced digital communications. NextGen's improvements to the infrastructure will continually share information in real-time to improve air transportation's safety, speed, efficiency, and environmental impacts. The combined initiatives that make up NextGen will provide the consumer with a better travel experience.More