Managing Deputy Commissioner
Chicago Midway International Airport
The long-term outlook for aviation
— especially at Midway and
O’Hare International airports —
shows tremendous opportunity
for growth. Due to the strong
presence of Southwest, passenger
activity at Midway continues its growth of more than 4
percent over last year. In fact, 2014 was another record-
setting year for Midway — the airport’s busiest in its
Coupled with O’Hare, Chicago’s airports are on pace
to handle more than 90 million passengers in 2015 — an
increase of 3 percent over last year. It is a trend that we
expect will continue, especially for international traffic.
The demand for air service at Chicago’s airports is the
direct result of the Chicago region’s strong and diverse
With growing activity levels, the focus will be
on investment in infrastructure and enhancing our
customers’ experience through innovative concessions
programs and concierge services. The airport industry
will need to find new funding sources and revenue-enhancing opportunities.
TORY RICHARDSON, A.A.E.
Vice President, Human Resources
Port Columbus International
What a difference a year makes!
2014 was a year of many successes
for the Columbus Regional Airport
Authority, with 2015 looking to
be positive as well. We completed
several key projects such as: the South Replacement
Runway Program — six projects totaling $130 million
over the past seven years; Rickenbacker Parkway — a
three-phase roadway project spanning nine years and
totaling $35 million; a new $12.6 million Fairfield Inn
and Suites hotel; the development of a new Flight Safety
facility; and Phase I of our Airside Business Park at
Port Columbus. We are in the midst of our $80 million
terminal modernization program and also are wrapping
up a year-long, $400,000 Loop Road Study that revisited
the timing for the future terminal building and the
location of a future consolidated car rental facility.
From an air service perspective, we’re ending the year
on a high note with enplanements up approximately
2 percent over last year. We successfully negotiated
a new, five-year use agreement and lease with the
airlines serving Port Columbus. The agreement includes
a new revenue-sharing methodology that should help
incentivize the airlines to add flights and capacity.
We’ve also started international cargo exports out of
Rickenbacker and our Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) made
the list of the top 10 FTZs in the country based upon
value of goods.
Our biggest challenge in 2014 was the continuation of
our $80 million terminal modernization program, while
providing the least disruptive experience for our tenants
and customers. We are halfway through a series of
more than 30 projects that make up the modernization
program. Some of our most difficult work is underway
and will continue for another year. When complete,
the modernized facility will feature timeless fixtures,
additional natural lighting, and improved wayfinding
for our customers.
As we look forward to 2015, we expect passenger
traffic to increase slightly. We also recognize that
our growth in cargo activities at Rickenbacker has
resulted in the need to build new facilities. Major
capital investments for aircraft ramps and an air cargo
building, along with the planned new air traffic control
tower, will be a big part of our 2015 capital budget.
The Columbus market remains very strong and will be
another key driver to our passenger and cargo demand,
Several members of Airport Magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board
offered their assessment of events last year and their outlook
for 2015. Many offered their “one wish” for 2015. We hope these
wishes come true.