Thoughts from West Virginia and Atlanta

I’m back from Ghana and have spent much of the time clearing out all the emails Greg Principato - ACI-NA Presidentthat backed up in my blackberry while I saw gone. I got phone and text service but not email. You don’t realize how much you rely on these little machines till they’re gone!

On Monday I attended the West Virginia Aviation Conference. Governor Joe Manchin spoke at lunch and they had me for dinner. Several small commercial service and general aviation airports were represented, as were a number of other aviation professionals.

Air service cuts were Topic A of course. In addition, I talked to several airport leaders about the additional costs they face in meeting energy needs and other imperatives. Still, the mood was largely upbeat.

When I worked in state government in Virginia, we were told by businesses we tried to woo to Virginia that the two things they cared most about were transport links and education. That’s why we invested in the commercial service and general aviation airports in Virginia. Companies want to know they have a way to move their people and products. And the professionals I met in Martinsburg, W.V. last Monday night do a great job providing that service to the citizens of West Virginia.

I am writing this from the airport in Atlanta. I flew down here this morning to participate in an airport economic development and best practices conference organized by the airport, the city of Atlanta and UNITAR which is a United Nations training organization. Delta Airlines and SITA also sponsored.

This meeting featured aviation professionals from across the country. The Atlanta-based counsel-general from Canada also participated. There was a lot of talk about what people are doing to alter capital improvements and other plans in the face of the industry downturn. There was also a lot of discussion about providing security in a way that is passenger-friendly and helps enhance the economic development mission of the airport.

ACI’s World office also co-sponsored this meeting and I was thrilled to represent the ACI family.

By the way, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson has some of the best marked and cleanest restrooms of any airport in the world. These kinds of things make a big impression on passengers and it is noticeable.

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  1. Pingback: Postscript to Atlanta trip « Airport Check-In

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