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Thread: DFW wants to be the premier airport in the global marketplace

  1. #451
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    I think enough people love JetBlue like they love Southwest. If JetBlue wanted to fly out of Termial E at DFW to JFK, I think travelers will follow. After all, their level of service and their Airbus jets will kick AA's ass anyday of the week.
    By the power of greyskull!

  2. #452
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    Jetblue can serve NY right now from DFW Airport.
    That's what people said about SWA. They could, as could SWA, but if it doesn't fit their buisness model, then they won't period. Most governments would try to find a way to get Jetblue service, but not here in Dallas. We make compromise to keep a public entity underutilized.

  3. #453
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    ^The difference is that SW HAS BEEN FLYING FROM LOVE FOR 35 FRIGGIN years. Jetblue could pick Love or DFW RIGHT NOW. Jetblue is just trying to be difficult.

    Now, don't get me wrong, I think that this compromise is not the best--but that is usually what a compromise is. I think the City of Dallas should go back and get 5 more gates added to it--all common use.

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    O'Hare passes Atlanta as busiest airport


    Updated 7/5/2006 10:12 AM ET
    CHICAGO (AP) — O'Hare International Airport was the nation's busiest airport in terms of air traffic during the first half of 2006, surpassing Atlanta's, according to government statistics released Monday.
    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport had the second-most flights from Jan. 1 through June 30, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. In third place was Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

    The number of flights encompasses both takeoffs and landings, according to the FAA.

    Chicago and Atlanta have run neck-and-neck in recent years to claim the title of busiest airport.

    O'Hare registered 477,001 flights, down 1.3% from last year but still enough lead the list, according to the FAA. Atlanta registered 472,431 flights, down 5%.

    Chicago officials attribute the modest decrease to an FAA-imposed limit on the number of flights at O'Hare to help relieve congestion there. A major expansion project at O'Hare is scheduled to be completed in 2013.

    Atlanta has been affected by airlines cutting down on flights that are not full or near full because of high fuel prices, spokeswoman Felicia Browder said. She also noted that Delta Air Lines Inc., which operates the most flights at the airport, has ramped up its international operations and ramped down its domestic operations.

    Atlanta argues that it is consistently the nation's busiest airport in terms of passengers. Passenger statistics are not maintained by the FAA and were not immediately available for the first six months of 2006.

    Dallas/Fort Worth airport recorded 348,434 flights through June of this year, down 2.1% from the same period last year.
    Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.







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  5. #455
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    ^The difference is that SW HAS BEEN FLYING FROM LOVE FOR 35 FRIGGIN years. Jetblue could pick Love or DFW RIGHT NOW. Jetblue is just trying to be difficult.
    But that doesn't change the underlying problem that the deal seemingly agreed upon now exculdes ANY NEW carriers from having more than a token operation at DAL. This isn't to say that the airport should be opened up to allow for a huge hub, but the principle is that competition is extremely limited and reeks of collusion.

    In any event, I think your idea about the additional 5 common use gates has some merit. Personally, I would prefer for the exisiting 32 gates to stay with 5 of those reserved exclusively for common use.

  6. #456
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    oops, wrong thread!

  7. #457
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    D/FW pitches plan for shopping center

    By DAVID WETHE
    STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

    D/FW AIRPORT -- Hungry for more money that can be generated aside from airlines, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport is looking to break new ground by putting a large-scale retail development on its sprawling 18,000 acres.

    On Thursday, airport executives pitched an idea to board members for a 600-acre mixed-use development that would include a retail tract of 125 acres, and 700,000 to 800,000 square feet of space. The development would sit at the southern tip of the airport and be called Passport Park.

    Over the past year, D/FW has been trying to boost the retail offerings in its five passenger terminals, with several of its executives likening it to a mall. And for many years, the airport’s been carving up some of its land for large warehouse leases.

    But this would be the first time that D/FW or any airport has taken on this large of a retail project outside of a terminal, airport officials said.

    “This is something very different for us,” said Ken Buchanan, D/FW’s executive vice president of revenue management. “It represents something very new to the airport.”

    The retail center would sit east of International Parkway, north of Texas 183, west of Valley View Lane, and south of Rental Car Drive. International Parkway is the main north-south boulevard that runs through the airport.

    In addition to the 125 acres of retail, the airport is also considering an additional 30,000 square feet of restaurant space north of Rental Car Drive along International Parkway.

    The development, which is still being studied and has not received final board approval, would be the first of its kind because most airports don’t have the amount of unused land that D/FW has.

    D/FW’s size is second in the country, trailing only Denver International Airport’s 34,000 acres.

    That airport is also looking to do a similar retail development outside of its terminals, but it would only be about 17 acres, said Steve Snyder, an airport spokesman in Denver.

    Development rights in the Denver project are being entirely contracted out to a private developer. That was awarded earlier this year to Denver-based CMCB Development.

    D/FW officials are still looking at whether they should also farm the project out to a private developer or possibly partner up with someone and possibly share in more of the revenue that comes from being a part owner in the buildings, in addition to the land they’re built on.

    John Terrell, vice president of commercial development at D/FW, said after the meeting that he’s had talks with several “top developers” and other retailers, all of whom said they’re very interested in the project.

    But he’s not signed up anyone specifically, and that would likely be a year and a half to two years away.

    The 125-acre retail piece would consist of several big box tenants, the likes of which often include at other shopping centers Target, Wal-Mart or PetSmart. The center also would include smaller stores, which often include Ross, Ulta or Ann Taylor Loft.

    Airport officials are envisioning a retail environment dominated by tall trees, similar to what’s found in The Woodlands, just north of Houston.

    The shopping center would have some land set aside for a light-rail connection some time in the future, Terrell said. However, he added that could be way down the road, because the airport would first have to get connected to the DART light-rail system on the north end around 2012 or 2015.

    The shopping center would likely have an upscale feel similar to many seen in suburban cities such as Southlake or Flower Mound, Buchanan said. It would mostly be targeting local residents in the area and some of the 5,000 employees who work at the airport on a daily basis.

    However, the restaurant plaza, which would include anywhere from five to seven upscale restaurants, is definitely trying to go after more travelers, Terrell said.

    He has visions of putting out electronic signs that drivers could see from far away that indicate whether there are any seats available at each of the restaurants, or if the time-starved traveler should move on to catch his flight. Terrell said he’s also looking at trying to install TV monitors that would display up-to-the-minute flight times.

    Opening a retail development would possibly be two to three years away, Terrell said. It would take at least a year to plan one.

    This is all being done now for several reasons. The airport is in the midst of planning the future use of about 7,000 acres outside the main area where it has its terminals. That’s because it wants to be ready when gas wells start to be drilled within the next year or so.

    Also, the airport has taken a stronger interest in generating revenue outside of the turbulent airline industry, Terrell said.

    “The airport traditionally has not had the need to go out and look for a lot of non-airline revenues,” he said. “And about a year ago, we took a new approach and we decided what can we do to further develop non-airline revenues across the airport.”

    The more the airport generates in non-airline revenue, the less it has to charge the airlines who use it. Airport officials say that could lead to lower airfares overall.

    Board members generally liked the retail idea, but also urged caution.

    “I think we need to be sure we look carefully before we step, especially if you look at where those possible wells are going to be,” Mike Moncrief, Fort Worth’s mayor, said. “Obviously that’s not going to be as big a deal to someone who’s got a warehouse as it is to someone who has a restaurant or more pedestrian traffic.”

    Developing retail on the south side of the airport is a challenging proposition because the location is relatively far removed from one important retail ingredient – homes where shoppers live, said Bob Ginsburg, vice president in CB Richard Ellis’ Dallas office.
    The shopping center would also need to rely on shoppers from outside the area, not just airport patrons, he said. At least the north side of the airport is closer to dense apartment complexes and more housing, he said.

    It may need a so-called destination retailer such as IKEA or Cabela’s, he said.

    “When you talk about large-format retailing, you need a lot of shoppers,” Ginsburg said. “I’m not a person who would be very optimistic about a big-box development (there) – unless it is a destination.”

    Staff writer Andrea Jares contributed to this report.

    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/14981766.htm

  8. #458
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but is that side of the airport really where you'd want to build a new retail development? I mean, Irving Mall is just down the street and look at how badly that area has declined over the past few years. If I were going to build a retail shopping center on the airport's property, I'd look at the vast tract of land they own on the north side of 114/121 in Grapevine.
    By the power of greyskull!

  9. #459
    Skyscraper Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but is that side of the airport really where you'd want to build a new retail development? I mean, Irving Mall is just down the street and look at how badly that area has declined over the past few years. If I were going to build a retail shopping center on the airport's property, I'd look at the vast tract of land they own on the north side of 114/121 in Grapevine.
    You are absolutely correct. I was discussing this last night with my Wife, and neither of us could believe that area could benefit from additional competition. Don't get me wrong, I would love to have additional retail choices close to me (3 miles east of me on 183) right on my work commute. However over the last five years, I have watched the Irving mall area declining as the population mix has changed drastically. The customer service levels in almost all of the stores I used to shop in has declined to poor levels. Lots of empty properties are a result. I don't think adding retail space to an area that can not sustain what is already there would be wise, and few, old or new would survive.
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  10. #460
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Lighting the way
    A program tested at D/FW could help prevent deadly runway accidents - if it receives funding

    11:20 AM CDT on Sunday, July 16, 2006
    By SUDEEP REDDY / The Dallas Morning News

    WASHINGTON – Many aviation officials consider it the most dangerous part of a plane trip: moving across a runway just as another aircraft is taking off.

    The U.S. averages almost one runway incursion a day, creating the potential for serious accidents. Ground collisions between commercial airliners have been among the deadliest plane disasters. Pilots and safety officials are watching a program at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the primary test bed for preventing such runway incidents.

    The system uses a series of computerized lights embedded along a runway to signal pilots. It's more useful than the way they now get information – by looking out a cockpit window or relying on controllers.

    A year into tests at D/FW, the Runway Status Lights program has won broad support from pilots and airport officials. But with funding constraints at the Federal Aviation Administration, the program may not expand fast enough to prevent another serious accident.

    Incursions represent "a highly dangerous situation," said Capt. William Mino of the Allied Pilots Association, the union for American Airlines Inc. "The chance of loss of life is so great that any of them is too many."

    Since 1990, the National Transportation Safety Board has included stopping runway incursions as one of its five "most wanted" aviation safety improvements. The independent agency, which makes safety recommendations to the FAA, wants pilots to get immediate warnings of possible ground collisions instead of waiting on air traffic controllers.

    Airports in Boston, New York and Las Vegas have experienced high-profile near-collisions since last summer, prompting heightened attention from safety officials.

    In the incident at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, a controller confused two departure aircraft and cleared an Air Canada jet just as an America West plane was taking off.

    The America West pilot later said he was 100 feet above the Air Canada plane as he passed over it, according to the NTSB. (America West is now part of US Airways Group Inc.)

    The worst runway incursion occurred in March 1977, when a KLM Boeing 747 attempting to take off from Tenerife in the Canary Islands collided with a Pan Am 747 coming from the other end of the runway. The crash, the deadliest in commercial aviation, killed 574 people.


    How it works

    At D/FW, Runway 18L/36R features the series of red lights embedded in the runway, flush with the pavement.

    If another plane is crossing a runway, "takeoff hold" lights illuminate to warn pilots to stop their departure. If a runway is unsafe for entry or crossing because a plane is taking off, runway entrance lights illuminate to warn pilots to stay away.

    The system operates for every plane moving across the runway, not just when someone has made an error, said Jonathan Bernays, assistant group leader for surveillance systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory.

    That means the system must be able to process as many as 3,000 light activation commands a day for a busy runway – one that operates up to 20 hours a day, with 50 takeoffs or landings an hour, at several intersections.

    "If all we had to do was turn on one light every few minutes, it would be trivial," Mr. Bernays said. "What's hard about the status lights is doing it right every time."

    The takeoff hold lights have been in place for four months. They're the second phase of the safety lights program that launched in March 2005 after two years of engineering and software testing.

    The runway entrance lights were initially intended for a three-month evaluation.

    But after an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction during initial testing, the program has remained in place, said Jaime Figueroa, the FAA's surface systems manager in Washington.

    "The response has been very positive, from pilots, air traffic controllers and airport operators alike," Mr. Figueroa said.

    But the system hasn't been flawless. Some pilots have been reported to taxi over illuminated lights. Other concerns remain about pilots seeing the lights go off and moving ahead without clearance from a controller, though officials say that properly trained pilots have handled the system well.


    'Layered defense'

    The system's designers are quick to note that the lights were never meant to be a first-line defense but a tool that helps in case of human error. "We have a very low tolerance for accidents," said Mr. Bernays. "You need a layered defense. The expectation of this program is it provides an independent backup to all of the procedures and training that currently give us a very safe system."

    The program's cost for one runway at D/FW was $2 million, though other sites could be less. The San Diego airport is launching its own lights test program using a different surface radar.

    When the program might expand beyond there is unclear. The FAA is revamping its funding structure to implement key technology upgrades and has fallen short on plans to expand other surveillance infrastructure.

    Meanwhile, airport officials and pilots in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles are interested. The FAA even hosted a Japanese delegation interested in the safety lights technology, Mr. Figueroa said.

    Pilots and safety officials say they're hopeful that the program will attract the funding needed.


    The U.S. had 324 incursions in the fiscal year that ended last fall, including three close calls between commercial jets that were deemed the most serious, according to FAA data. That figure has dropped from 424 incursions in 2000.

    "We are working hard and making progress, but we are not there yet," FAA administrator Marion Blakey told a Senate panel last fall.

    The D/FW test grew out of more than a decade of efforts to build an effective warning system for pilots.

    MIT researchers, working with the FAA, sought to use marine radar technology for a pilot warning system in the early 1990s. The project, tested at Boston Logan International Airport, had too many false alarms and was discontinued until new surface surveillance systems could be deployed.

    D/FW Airport has been the test bed for other aviation systems, including one to help pilots and controllers predict the weather planes would fly through. As the nation's third-busiest airport, D/FW is a top candidate for such projects.

    The airport invested in the advanced technology at the beginning of this decade as part of a broader construction effort. The system, which gives controllers a comprehensive view of planes on the ground, also provides the foundation for the runway lights program.

    E-mail sreddy@dallasnews.com

    Ground Safety

    To help reduce near-collisions on the ground, the Federal Aviation Administration is:

    •Providing more educational information to pilots, airlines, mechanics and others who work with aircraft.

    •Standardizing rules on airport surface operations.

    •Reworking runway markings and signs so they can be more easily seen.

    •Testing automated lighting systems.

    SOURCES: Air Line Pilots Association; Federal Aviation Administration

  11. #461
    Mid-Rise Member kenc's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=PuddinHead]Forget the Mall!

    DFW should have built Terminal D with shopping and retail in the pre and post security area. With the current security arrangments only travelers are able to spend money at the airport. Take a close look at Narita or Frankfurt for an example of an airport that caters to travelers but also non travelers as well. QUOTE]

    Thank You! I thought a mall on airport property but not connected was stupid. Irving doesn't need more retail and since 9/11 airports have become unfriendly. Hard to make a profit now because only ticket holders...or those on the other side waiting for a flight to arrive, are your customers. The key to successful retail at DFW, or any airport, is to find a way to capture both markets and still maintain security.

  12. #462
    Low-Rise Member Fobulous's Avatar
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    Non-stop to Shanghai,China from DFW??

    Quote Originally Posted by star telegram
    :American Airlines hopes to launch nonstop service from D/FW Airport to China, a move that would greatly simplify travel between North Texas and one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

    Executives with Fort Worth-based American are expected to announce Thursday that they will petition the Transportation Department to operate a nonstop flight from the airport to China, several sources close to the deal said.

    http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/15076641.htm

  13. #463
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    D/FW giving passenger flight screens an upgrade
    New system to replace computers hidden behind each monitor

    12:00 AM CDT on Sunday, August 6, 2006
    By CRAYTON HARRISON / The Dallas Morning News



    Not too long ago, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport had hidden computers all over its terminals, stowed away in compartments 20 feet in the air. They were linked to the monitor screens that show departure, arrival and gate information. Each individual screen had a personal computer – a Dell OptiPlex, to be exact – tucked behind it, uploading information to display on the screen.

    It was a woefully inefficient system, but it was the best the airport could do, given the technical challenges. Now it has finally gotten an upgrade, a high-tech system that sends data to the video screens from servers hundreds of feet away.

    It's not wireless, but it will save technicians a ton of legwork. With the old system, updating anti-viral software, for example, required them to remove the PCs, take them to a staging area and install new software. "It was a terrible hassle," said John Parrish, the airport's associate vice president of information technology.

    Now technicians doing maintenance work can just walk into the closets that store the servers.

    ClearCube Technology Inc. of Austin provided the technology. The company has installed similar systems at one other airport, Las Vegas' McCarran International. It also makes systems for trading floors, hospitals and other places where workers need some access to digital information but can't have or don't require a full PC in front of them.

    Samsung Electronics Inc. makes the new, flat-panel screens that passengers see.

    The ClearCube system is already installed throughout D/FW's Terminal D, in the airport's car rental facility and the Skylink train stations in other terminals.

    Many airlines operate their own flight schedule screens in other parts of the airport, but D/FW plans to work with American Airlines Inc. to supplement its older system with ClearCube's technology. Terminal B is next in line.

    The more screens D/FW can replace, the better for passengers, Mr. Parrish said.

    Giving the flight information monitors a common look and feel makes it easier for travelers to spot them, he said.

    A feat of technology
    Supplying up-to-date information on large video screens is something of a technological feat.

    Some airports simply broadcast the information in a system akin to a closed-circuit TV network, but the type of cable required for such a network is fairly expensive.

    Sending the data over a computer network has its drawbacks, too. The typical connection between a computer and a monitor – the same type used on home computers – doesn't work over long distances.

    The technology exists to transmit the video data from a server to a monitor through modemlike devices, but it's expensive, too, Mr. Parrish said.

    That's why it made sense for many years for D/FW to use individual PCs behind each monitor, despite the unwelcome maintenance challenges.

    "I've not really ever thought about it either," said Ken Knotts, senior technologist at ClearCube. "But the data's there, and a PC is having to get that information."

    To work on the older system, technicians often had to rope off the area underneath, interrupting passenger traffic, and climb up ladders to do their jobs.

    "If you've ever had to go from one gate to another to catch a flight, you know how long of a walk it is," Mr. Knotts said. If two PCs, three PCs crash a day, you're walking miles to fix a machine."

    Easy transmission
    In the new system, ClearCube servers translate the video data into computer code, then transmit it through the network to small boxes behind the video monitors.

    Each box translates the computer code into video that can be displayed on three screens.

    So what happens to the old Dell computers?

    The airport won't be redeploying them elsewhere, Mr. Parrish said.

    "They do still run, but no, the technology in them is too old to make them useful for anything," he said.

    E-mail charrison@dallasnews.com

  14. #464
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    More LCC cuts at DFW. If only Love could fly unfettered and without constraints as to who can enter the airport.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallas Morning News
    Two low-cost carriers reduce service at D/FW

    10:58 PM CDT on Thursday, September 7, 2006


    Two low-cost carriers have trimmed their schedules at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

    AirTran Airways Inc. suspended its daily Las Vegas service on Tuesday and is scheduled to stop flying to Baltimore on Nov. 7. Service to both cities is expected to resume in the spring, airport officials said Thursday. The carrier cited a seasonal drop in service and higher fuel costs.

    AirTran, which also serves Chicago Midway from North Texas, made similar schedule reductions to its Baltimore service last year.

    Spirit Airlines, which offered twice weekly service to its hub in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., stopped service from North Texas last month.

    The carrier, which launched daily service earlier this year, previously cited fuel costs and a fleet change for the schedule reduction. Airport officials said Thursday that Spirit indicated plans to return to the market but did not know when.

    Suzanne Marta

  15. #465
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    I'm shocked, SHOCKED to hear this news.

  16. #466
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    Surprise, surprise.

    And now, 8 more years of this bs.

  17. #467
    High-Rise Member GuerillaBlack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    I think enough people love JetBlue like they love Southwest. If JetBlue wanted to fly out of Termial E at DFW to JFK, I think travelers will follow. After all, their level of service and their Airbus jets will kick AA's ass anyday of the week.
    Why wouldn't they? AA's service is like a truck stop in the sky.

  18. #468
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    I fly jetBlue quite a bit from here in Boston, and it's great. Best in the American skies in economy class, no question. But, I also like American's product for a different reason--it's dependable and standardized. AA's planes, seats, flight attendants and everything else may not be the newest in the sky, but there's a certain sort of well-worn dependability and professionalism that AA exudes more than any other airline in the US.

    I think there's room for both of those products in the Dallas area (and anwhere else, really).

  19. #469
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    To woo elite customers, American brings back old perks, adds new ones
    08:19 PM CDT on Sunday, September 17, 2006
    By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News

    The metal cutlery is back. And so are the steamed towels and tiny salt and pepper shakers.

    American Airlines Inc. has been quietly bringing back some of the amenities in its first and business class cabins that were eliminated after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and a 2003 financial crisis.

    The carrier is also adding some new perks: artisan breads with dipping sauces and after-dinner sweets. As an alternative to the small dish of warmed nuts, American is offering a cheese-and-olive antipasto.

    Hot and cold breakfast options will now be available on flights with multiple meal services. And fans of the airline's baked-onboard cookies will now be able to enjoy them during shorter flights and lunchtime.

    Lauri Curtis, American's vice president of onboard service, said the changes are part of the Fort Worth-based carrier's effort to keep its lucrative elite customers happy. "We're trying to make our food investment in a way that our customers would really value it," Ms. Curtis said.

    The upgrades come as American shifts capacity to more profitable overseas routes, where the airline faces stiff competition from foreign flag carriers known for lavish service in their premium cabins. This year, international flying is expected to account for about 35 percent of American's schedule, up from 30 percent last year.

    This month, American began installing its new lie-flat business class seats and new interiors – an overdue project that was also put on hold in 2001.

    During the last several years, American has been criticized for some of its attempts to cut costs. When warm cloth towels were replaced with a paper version in 2005, some frequent fliers derided the new "wet naps" on Internet chat boards.

    Other travelers protested when American trimmed back its custom sundae service, which was also reinstated for some flights.

    "We tried to find items that we didn't think customers valued as much," Ms. Curtis said.

    But American soon learned that customers preferred cost-cutting efforts that weren't as obvious. "Customers told us, 'I know you want to save money, but when I pay all this money, I don't want to know that in the cabin,'" Ms. Curtis said.

    E-mail smarta@dallasnews.com
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  20. #470
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    I was on an AA flight in first class recently where I got the hot towel treatment. I can't remember if I was going to Tampa or San Antonio, but it was nice.
    By the power of greyskull!

  21. #471
    Skyscraper Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Delay Could Wreck Open Skies Deal

    Forbes.com

    International
    Delay Could Wreck Open Skies Deal
    Oxford Analytica 09.22.06, 6:00 AM ET

    The European Union's Council of Ministers will be asked next month to ratify the U.S.-EU Open Skies Air Services Agreement. The two sides reached a tentative agreement in November 2005. However, opposition in the United States has led Congress to cut key provisions and could prevent EU ratification.

    Following the 2002 ruling by the European Court of Justice outlawing all existing bilateral air services agreements with the United States, the European Commission has been seeking a comprehensive regime to meet the court's demands. A tentative agreement was reached in November:

    --The EU wanted to open the U.S. market by winning so-called "cabotage" rights, the ability to operate inside the U.S. market with no restrictions. Failing this, the EU wanted the United States to drop its strict foreign ownership requirements. The EU airline industry would also benefit from an end to national designation of air routes limiting access to named national carriers.

    --U.S. supporters of Open Skies wanted to gain better access to key European airports and were also keen to see overseas capital invested in an ailing U.S. airline sector. The U.S. administration rejected the EU's demands for cabotage and only made a limited offer on foreign ownership liberalization of U.S. airlines.

    On the European side, airlines that stood to gain from the agreement welcomed the accord. However, others were less enthusiastic:

    --Virgin Atlantic Airways has called the ownership offer a transparent device to fool the EU into agreeing to an unbalanced deal.

    --British Airways in particular was disappointed with the agreement. However, BA has expressed interest in forging closer links with its alliance partner, American Airlines, a subsidiary of AMR, but only if it has more influence over strategy and operations.

    --Aer Lingus Group wants to build up Dublin as a transatlantic hub. Widening its long-haul network is its best hope of boosting the value of its planned floatation.

    --The British Airports Authority was badly hit by last month's security clampdown. BAA fears that with an Open Skies agreement, it could not cope with demand.

    While the tentative agreement was regarded as a relatively modest proposal, its U.S. supporters felt that it would signal a new direction for international air transport and would challenge government subsidies.

    U.S. critics of the deal include a coalition of airlines and labor unions, with the active support of several key congressmen. Opponents of the agreement contend that it will have deleterious consequences for U.S. safety and security, as well as the economic and strategic effects of diluting U.S. sovereign control over domestic airlines.

    Egged on by opponents, Congress has vetoed changes to foreign ownership provisions. In this context, the Department of Transportation has delayed its plans to loosen foreign ownership rules.

    This delay threatens the whole Open Skies agreement, since European negotiators have made it clear that the ownership rule is a prerequisite to signing the deal. However, the Department of Transportation remains hopeful that a final Open Skies agreement with Europe can be struck toward the end of this year.

    EU Transport Commissioner Jacques Barrot is also optimistic that the EU's Council of Ministers will ratify the Open Skies agreement next month despite the U.S. administration's stance on airline ownership. The commission was surprisingly unwilling to press the United States on cabotage.

    Failure to confirm the Open Skies agreement would be highly damaging to the transatlantic air transport market and would also delay a much-needed rationalization of the EU airline industry. However, the most likely outcome is that the council will ratify the existing agreement next month and hope to secure more concessions at a later date.

    To read an extended version of this article, log on to Oxford Analytica's Web site.

    Oxford Analytica is an independent strategic-consulting firm drawing on a network of more than 1,000 scholar experts at Oxford and other leading universities and research institutions around the world. For more information, please visit www.oxan.com. To find out how to subscribe to the firm's Daily Brief Service, click here.

    http://www.forbes.com/2006/09/21/ope...ord_print.html

    __________________________________________________

    US protectionism. While the tentative agreement was regarded as a relatively modest proposal, its US supporters felt that it would signal a new direction for international air transport and would challenge government subsidies -- such as UK government protection of BA's position at Heathrow. The proposals received strong support from American Airlines, Delta and Hawaiian Airlines, as well as Boeing and several US airports.

    The US critics of the deal comprise a coalition of airlines and labour unions, with the active support of several key Congressmen. Continental Airlines was particularly exercised by the agreement, threatening legal action to block it. Opponents to the agreement contend that it will have deleterious consequences for US safety and security, as well as the economic and strategic effects of diluting US sovereign control over domestic airlines (see UNITED STATES: Congress considers trade restrictions - March 22, 2006). The unions were especially suspicious that loss of control would further weaken of their collective bargaining power.

    Egged on by opponents to the agreement, Congress has vetoed changes to foreign ownership provisions, refusing to dilute the 25% cap on foreign ownership. Protectionist sentiment has been fuelled by the fallout from the Dubai/P&O ports affair (see UNITED STATES: Ports row reveals Republican divisions - March 6, 2006). In this context, the Department of Transport (DoT) has delayed its plans to loosen foreign ownership rules, in order to give itself more time to win congressional support.

    Outlook. This delay threatens the whole Open Skies agreement, since European negotiators have made it clear that the ownership rule is a prerequisite to signing the open-skies deal. However, the DoT remains hopeful that a final Open Skies agreement with Europe can be struck towards the end of this year.

    http://www.oxan.com/display.aspx?ItemID=DB129175
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

  22. #472
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    Airport gets higher-than-expected bonus in gas deal
    11:17 PM CDT on Friday, October 6, 2006
    By ELIZABETH SOUDER / The Dallas Morning News

    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport said Friday it got a check for $185 million as it completed a deal to allow Chesapeake Energy Corp. drill for natural gas on airport property. That's $4 million more than the airport had expected when it first announced the bid in August.

    Industry observers say the deal was one of the sweetest ever signed in the North Texas Barnett Shale natural gas field – and all the more so because Chesapeake was the only company that bid.

    Insiders said Chesapeake had made it clear that it would bid aggressively. Plus, the airport set very specific standards on drilling and pipelines, and on partnerships with women- and minority-owned businesses, that made the deal less attractive for some players. "The terms in the lease agreement are pretty onerous. It's thick as a phone book," said John Pinkerton, chief executive of Range Resources, which had considered bidding on the deal.

    That didn't stop Chesapeake, an independent Oklahoma City oil and gas producer. "The D/FW lease itself represents a significant opportunity to explore one of the largest remaining contiguous prospective areas in the natural gas rich Barnett Shale," Chesapeake chief executive Aubrey McClendon said in a press release Friday.

    Chesapeake will also give the airport royalty payments worth 25 percent of the value of the natural gas the company produces on the airport's 18,000 acres. That's in addition to the $185 million bonus payment, which is about a third of the size of the airport's entire annual budget.

    D/FW said Friday that Chesapeake also agreed in the natural gas lease to allow firms owned by women and minorities to invest in the project. Such firms would own more than 20 percent of the drilling project.

    Also, Chesapeake agreed that 39 percent of the subcontract work would be performed by businesses owned by minorities or women. Several industry insiders said rules about women- and minority-owned business partnerships made the deal more difficult.

    "It's kind of like a marriage. ... You're in the oil and gas industry, prices go up and prices go down, you need a partner you can live with for 25 years," said Range Resource's Mr. Pinkerton.

    Others shied away

    The airport published a list in March of 10 potential bidders, including big Barnett Shale producers Devon Energy Corp. and XTO Energy.

    Other companies on the list: Shell Exploration & Production, Encore Acquisition Co., EnCana Oil & Gas, Harding Co. (which has a partnership with Exxon Mobil Corp.), Williams Production Gulf Coast LP, and Chief Oil & Gas, which was recently bought by Devon.

    Officials with Devon and Encore said the deal wasn't right for them, but declined to say why. Shell declined to comment.

    Too risky

    "It's not a proven area," said Mr. Pinkerton of Range. Few wells have been drilled in that particular corner of the Barnett Shale play.

    He estimated the deal would require about $500 million in investment. "If the project works, it's going to be a very good project for Chesapeake. The question is, will it work?" he said.

    Further, word got around that Chesapeake would bid aggressively, according to Mr. Pinkerton and other industry insiders. "I commend the airport. Their timing was impeccable. With gas prices down, I doubt, if they rebid that thing, they would get that again," he said.

    E-mail esouder@dallasnews.com

  23. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by njjeppson
    Airport gets higher-than-expected bonus in gas deal
    11:17 PM CDT on Friday, October 6, 2006
    By ELIZABETH SOUDER / The Dallas Morning News

    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport said Friday it got a check for $185 million as it completed a deal to allow Chesapeake Energy Corp. drill for natural gas on airport property. That's $4 million more than the airport had expected when it first announced the bid in August.
    Any updates on what the Airport Board intends to do with the windfall? Last I heard, American Airlines was lobbying hard to get the Board to simply give AA the money to prop up its balance sheet (via a reduction in landing fees).

    Such an action would be bewildering, to say the least.

  24. #474
    Super Moderator Tnekster's Avatar
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    ^Don't laugh, it could happen. Nothing about AA would surprise anyone.

  25. #475
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    I guess lower landing fees would help attract additional carriers??

  26. #476
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon
    I guess lower landing fees would help attract additional carriers??
    Maybe... yet the DFW Airport Board claims in a presentation they made to Dallas City Council last month that DFW landing fees are already among the lowest of any major airport in the U.S. They have also (according to the same presentation) already reduced landing fees by 9.9%.

    In addition, American Airlines also appears to be behind a separate initiative to slap an 8% gross revenues tax on all off-airport parking operators (this would be one of the highest taxes of its type in the nation) and to further increase on-airport parking rates by $1.00 per day-- the stated objective of this initiative is to also reduce landing fees.

    http://www.dallascityhall.com/counci...DFW_Budget.pdf

  27. #477
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    Pay down bond debt from building Terminal D and Skylink! Upgrade terminals!

    Landing fees aren't the problem, but could be gradually reduced with paying down the billions in debt used to fund the latest renovations. Passengers would benefit from nicer facilities. DFW is falling behind other megahubs in terms of passenger ammenities.

  28. #478
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Use the bonus money to pay for the DART interface with the people mover, additionally extend the people mover to the Centerpoint TRE station. The airport is public property, and the public should directly benefit. If Chesapeake Energy Corp. strikes gas, the airport's annual cut should be applied to airport operating expenses.

  29. #479
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon
    Use the bonus money to pay for the DART interface with the people mover, additionally extend the people mover to the Centerpoint TRE station.
    Great idea but the Skylink trains are behind security.
    By the power of greyskull!

  30. #480
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantboston
    DFW is falling behind other megahubs in terms of passenger ammenities.
    In my mind, the only thing they are behind on is selection of different carriers.

  31. #481
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FoUTASportscaster
    In my mind, the only thing they are behind on is selection of different carriers.
    Really? Which carriers could they add?

  32. #482
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    Great idea but the Skylink trains are behind security.
    The Centerpoint TRE-DFW Skylink interface incorporates airport security. I have no idea how the Centerpoint train station is configured, but with the $180+ million bonus, DFW should be able to afford a remote passenger/luggage checkpoint and employee entry, as well as a secure route from Centerpoint to airport terminals.

    This time around, the North Texas public's share of the mineral wealth of Texas must go toward improving the quality of life through transportation options which reduce air pollution and highway congestion from personal vehicular trips to/from the airport.

  33. #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantboston
    Really? Which carriers could they add?
    Allegiant Air (serves 43 destinations), JetBlue (serves 47 destinations), Spirit (serves 29 destinations), USA3000 (20 destinations), WestJet (34 destinations), Aviacsa (Mexican airline with 26 destinations serving Houston), Aeromexico (Mexican airline with 40 destinations including several major U.S. cities)

  34. #484
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    Quote Originally Posted by tamtagon
    The Centerpoint TRE-DFW Skylink interface incorporates airport security. I have no idea how the Centerpoint train station is configured, but with the $180+ million bonus, DFW should be able to afford a remote passenger/luggage checkpoint and employee entry, as well as a secure route from Centerpoint to airport terminals.

    This time around, the North Texas public's share of the mineral wealth of Texas must go toward improving the quality of life through transportation options which reduce air pollution and highway congestion from personal vehicular trips to/from the airport.
    I can't figure out why (other than money), the skylink does not continue south to the Car Rental facility? which would also start a southern line towards the TRE.

    Its a whip to wait for the shuttle that picks up for the rentals.

  35. #485
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    ^Probably because most people go to baggage claim after they get off their plane and then you can't get back in to access skylink.

  36. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrowl
    I can't figure out why (other than money), the skylink does not continue south to the Car Rental facility? which would also start a southern line towards the TRE.

    Its a whip to wait for the shuttle that picks up for the rentals.
    The primary purpose of the Skylink is to facilitate connections for American Airlines passengers transiting DFW. Running Skylink to the rental car facility would have run up project costs (which are primarily borne by American Airlines) without generating any additional passenger traffic.

  37. #487
    Incoherent Rambler grantboston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Allegiant Air (serves 43 destinations), JetBlue (serves 47 destinations), Spirit (serves 29 destinations), USA3000 (20 destinations), WestJet (34 destinations), Aviacsa (Mexican airline with 26 destinations serving Houston), Aeromexico (Mexican airline with 40 destinations including several major U.S. cities)
    Ok, let's take these one by one:

    Allegiant: Serves destinations with little or no air service to major vacation areas. DFW does not fit their business model. Not by a long shot. This geographic area is simply too big.

    jetBlue: I'd love to see their service at DFW, too. But we're told by some on here that they only want to serve DAL. I hope that isn't the case.

    Spirit: Going through the motions of changing out their entire fleet and is therefore short on planes. They still have a gate ans signs at DFW. I would expect them to be back. Also, I feel like they could add a flight to Detroit since they seem to be building a hub there. Of course, DFW has service on AA and Northwest to Detroit already, too.

    USA3000: Serves major NORTHEAST cities in flights to vacation areas. Last I checked Dallas is not in the Northeast. (And thankfully so )

    Westjet: This one is something that is unaffected by the entire Wright debate since there would be international flights involved. As luck would have it, they're in talks to join the OneWorld alliance of which AA is a founding member. So, that big-bad villain AA might draw Westjet service because they might want all the feeding traffic AA could provide. You know, hubs and such.

    Aviasca: Another airline that is based in Monterrey, Mexico that is entirely unrealted to the Wright-related hand-wringing. They're also short on planes because they're undergoing a fleet renewal. I would like to see them here, too, but their presence would be undeniably small. One 737 to Mexico each day isn't a whole lot.

    Aeromexico: Skyteam member that left once their Skyteam partner (Delta) left town with its hub in hand. The airline has no feed from other cities because they don't codeshare with AA. Mexicana, on the other hand, could quite possibly join OneWorld and increase its presence here. Again, this is another airline that exists entirely outside the scope of the Wright-related hand-wringing.

    While I would love to have every international airline in the world at DFW, we all know that isn't possible. The strength of the Dallas international air travel market will depend on the business climate and on those who live or vacation in Mexican cities. This will unfold over time and has little to do with DFW itself, but rather what airline calls this place its hub.

    As for the domestic airlines you mentioned, with the exception of jetBlue (who FoUTA seems passionate about having at DAL) they're not going to fly here because Dallas isn't the type of city they serve.

  38. #488
    Administrator dfwcre8tive's Avatar
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    D/FW breaks ground on $66.7 million taxiway system
    03:59 PM CDT on Tuesday, October 10, 2006
    By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News

    For passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, taking the scenic route could mean getting to the gate faster. The airport began construction today on a $66.7 million taxiway system that runs along the perimeter of D/FW busiest runways.

    Once the 18-month construction project is complete, air traffic controllers will be able to direct pilots to taxi around the runways rather than wait until it’s clear to cross in the middle. “This project is just another step toward efficiency and safety for the flying public,” said Ava Wilkerson, a regional director for the Federal Aviation Administration.

    On a given day, aircraft landing at D/FW navigate across active runways more than 1,600 times while departing flights wait.

    Even if it's clear, it can take between 40 seconds and a minute for each aircraft just to get the necessary approvals and drive across. During the busiest times of the day, the carefully choreographed dance between arriving and departing flights leaves aircraft — and passengers — in a holding pattern.

    D/FW, in coordination with FAA and NASA Ames FutureFlight Central, has been studying the project since the early 1990s, starting with a simple drawing on a napkin.

    NASA used a special simulator to get a clearer picture of how the new taxiway system would work in 2003, and the FAA, which is paying for 75 percent of the project, gave its approvals last year.

    Airport officials estimate the project will increase D/FW’s capacity by 30 percent and put off the need to build an eighth runway.

    E-mail smarta@dallasnews.com

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    Last edited by dfwcre8tive; 10 October 2006 at 09:17 PM.

  39. #489
    Land and hold short Route Pack Six's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njjeppson
    For passengers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, taking the scenic route could mean getting to the gate faster. The airport began construction today on a $66.7 million taxiway system that runs along the perimeter of D/FW busiest runways.
    The image is too light on the DFW website so I adjusted the brightness and contrast so you can see where the perimeter taxiways will be:



    I put a star in the southeast side where Founders' Plaza is located (the local spotting spot).

  40. #490
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    What a surprise... the DFW Airport Board buys off local politicians and friends...

    ...where's the Dallas Managed News on this story? Did they even bother reporting the Dallas City Council action (which apparently approved this deal earlier this month).

    An earlier article stated that American Airlines was behind the move... 84% of the proceeds will be used to defray AA's operating costs.

    As I recall, the Star-Telegram previously reported that this would be one of the highest parking taxes of its sort in the country.

    Fee vote could put officials on spot
    By Dave Lieber
    Star-Telegram Staff Writer


    Fort Worth City Council members are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal that could raise costs for Dallas/Fort Worth Airport passengers who park in off-site lots.

    Airport officials want to charge parking lot operators a new fee; the operators say they will pass the cost on to their customers.

    Yet most of the council members who'll make the decision aren't likely to be affected by new fees.

    They already park for free at the airport.

    Free parking is offered to dozens of public officials in the region as part of the airport's little-known Courtesy Parking Program.

    Airport records provided to The Watchdog under the Texas Public Information Act show that the airport has given away about $125,000 worth of free parking this year to those lucky enough to be in the program.

    The program is offered to members of local city councils, mayors, airport board members, federal and state lawmakers, business leaders and some Chamber of Commerce leaders. A brochure explains that the program shows "appreciation for the voluntary service and support" given to the airport.

    The Watchdog compiled a list of well-known public officials who have parked for free this year. At the top are U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, who got $2,232 worth of free parking; state Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, $2,054; state Rep. Fred Hill, R-Richardson, $1,576; U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Dallas, $1,506; and state Rep. Bob Griggs, R-North Richland Hills, $1,105.

    Members of the program display stickers on their car window, and their license plates are noted in the airport's computer system. When a car's license plate number matches, it is waved through the airport gates without the driver having to pay.

    Here are the values of the parking that Fort Worth council members got:

    Donavan Wheatfall, $335

    Wendy Davis, $296

    Carter Burdette, $181

    Sal Espino, $97

    Jungus Jordan, $59

    Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks, $11

    Mayor Mike Moncrief, $9

    New Councilman Danny Scarth is not enrolled in the program. Nor is Councilman Chuck Silcox, who says he hardly used the privilege when he had it.

    The Dallas City Council approved the change in airport regulations this month. Some Dallas council members also use the free-parking program.

    Last week, the Watchdog contacted all Fort Worth council members by e-mail and phone for comment. Only Wheatfall and Silcox responded.

    Wheatfall said that if the council approved the fee, it would not be raising costs for consumers, since the lot operators would make that decision.

    "If that business decides to pass on the increase to its customers because they want a higher profit margin, then we can't be held accountable for that," Wheatfall said.

    Business owners say they have no choice but to do so.

    "I don't think there's a parking company at the airport that can absorb that and stay in business," Kenneth E. Kundmueller, president of FreedomPark Airport Valet Services, said of the proposed increase. "The margins in the business aren't enough to absorb that."

    Airport officials say the fee is fair because it gives the businesses the right to operate at the airport. The new fee would replace smaller fees now paid by those businesses.

    Mark Wildman, vice president of The Parking Spot, said he and others in the company were "pretty stunned" to learn from The Watchdog that some council members who will vote on the proposal receive free parking.

    "When you look at who is voting to approve the gross-receipts fee, it just doesn't seem right," Wildman said.

    Currently, off-site parking companies pay the airport $290 for an annual permit, $10 per shuttle vehicle and $1.25 per trip per vehicle.

    Airport spokesman Ken Capps said: "I think you are making a leap to say that the courtesy parking program influences how council votes. There is nothing expected. It's really what it is. It's a courtesy. To say otherwise is unfair."

    Capps said the program has been around for 30 years and is common at airports nationwide. He said that no taxpayer funds are involved and that some business leaders and airport board members also get the privilege.

    San Francisco International Airport has a similar program for public officials, but it was scaled back this year because of "some abuse," airport spokesman Mike McCarron told me. Officials now can park for free only when traveling for government-related trips.

    D/FW's program has no similar restrictions.

    State Rep. Kent Grusendorf, R-Arlington, who used $424 worth of parking this year, said: "It's one of the perks. With a salary of $600 a month, I don't feel bashful taking it. One thing they give you is free parking."

    Geren said: "I think it's a courtesy they extend to us. We do a lot of work for them."

    Former Fort Worth Councilwoman Becky Haskin, who left office in May but whose sticker has not yet expired, accepted $489 worth of parking. She told me, "It's the only perk you get."

    Grapevine Councilwoman Clydene Johnson, who got $120 worth of parking this year, said she used it more for her insurance business than for city business.

    She votes on airport issues, but when asked whether there was a conflict of interest, she answered: "I don't think I'm influenced by dollars in any way. It's not enough, certainly, to influence me."

    Former Fort Worth Councilman Jim Lane used $383 worth of free parking when he went on an overseas vacation in late July. He left office 17 months ago. "Maybe that's a little extra perk they gave," he said.

    Former Fort Worth Councilman Clyde Picht, who used $86 worth of free parking this year, said that if he were voting Tuesday on the airport's proposal, his free parking pass would not "have occurred to me" as a potential conflict.

    "I didn't even know they racked up a value to that parking," he said. "If I were voting on that, I would probably vote against it just because it's another tax. We don't need any more taxes."

    Wheatfall said, "If the citizens think there is a problem that we have a conflict of interest because we have courtesy parking, I would gladly give up courtesy parking. It's just a convenience when we fly out, especially on city business."

    Final note: I'm hosting a Veterans Day homecoming party from 2 to 4 p.m. next Sunday at the Colleyville Center, 5301 Riverwalk Drive. Admission is free, and all veterans and their families are invited.

    Free parking

    The Watchdog called more than 40 public officials who receive free parking at D/FW Airport. One officeholder disputed the charges. A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Henry Bonilla, R-San Antonio, questioned the $447 in free parking services listed under his name in airport records. Bonilla's spokeswoman, Brittany Eck, said Bonilla was not at D/FW on the 2006 dates shown in airport records.

    It turns out that the vehicle using the free parking privilege under Bonilla's name belongs to a Dallas fundraiser. She worked for Bonilla's campaign last year, but she no longer does. The sticker on her car has not yet expired. Eck said, "We requested that the unauthorized charges be reimbursed and also requested that the airport discontinue authorization in the congressman's name." Contacted by The Watchdog, the fundraiser said, "It's an adhesive sticker. So there's not a way to take it on and off. I'm glad to reimburse or do whatever."

    -- Dave Lieber

    Free parking at D/FW Airport

    Some public officials with ties to Tarrant County who have gotten more than $300 in free parking at D/FW Airport this year.


    Name Title Free parking value*
    Michael Burgess U.S. representative-Lewisville $2,232
    Charlie Geren State representative-Fort Worth $2,054
    Bob Griggs State representative-North Richland Hills $1,105
    Glen Whitley Tarrant County commissioner $722
    Robert Cluck Arlington mayor $699
    Jane Nelson State senator-Lewisville $674
    Glenn Porterfied Euless councilman $577
    Darlene Freed Grapevine councilwoman $516
    Lon Burnam State representative-Fort Worth $513
    Carl Tyson Euless City councilman $513
    Joe Barton U.S. representative $513
    Roy Brooks Tarrant County commissioner $454
    Kent Grusendorf State representative-Arlington $424
    Donavan Wheatfall Fort Worth councilman $335
    Vicki Truitt State representative-Keller $350
    Pete Sessions U.S.representative-Dallas $334
    Kim Brimer State senator-Fort Worth $312

  41. #491
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    Posted on Fri, Nov. 03, 2006



    Projected bumpy ride ends in unexpectedly happy landing

    By DAVID WETHE
    STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER


    D/FW AIRPORT - Think you've got problems staying afloat? Try balancing the checkbook for the world's third-busiest airport.

    Dallas/Fort Worth Airport reported Thursday that 60.3 million passengers came through the airport over the past fiscal year, just shy of its record 61.1 million travelers in 2000. The airport did see record numbers this fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, for international fliers, passengers on low-cost airlines and travelers on American Airlines.

    But even with all of those superlatives, Chris Poinsatte, D/FW's chief financial officer, relied on a little financial wizardry to eke out a $5 million surplus that will be distributed to the airlines next month. The airport is not allowed to keep any gains it makes in a year.

    Soon after starting the 2006 fiscal year, D/FW was projecting a $35 million shortfall.

    That was caused by two factors. American Airlines' move into the new Terminal D was delayed more than three months. The Fort Worth-based carrier also shifted many of its flights to Dallas Love Field to compete with rival Southwest Airlines after recent changes to the Wright Amendment. At that time, in November, Missouri became the ninth state to be exempted from the 1979 federal law that allows nonstop flights to go from Dallas only to short-haul destinations.

    Poinsatte's calculations were based on an 8 percent reduction in American flights.

    He also expected the number of passengers to drop at a similar rate.

    That was anything but the case.

    To combat rising fuel prices this summer, airlines across the country have been squeezing more passengers into fewer planes. D/FW actually made $7 million more than expected off various passenger-related categories such as parking, rental cars and the new Grand Hyatt hotel. The bulk of that money, about $3 million, came from more people renting cars that were priced higher than in previous years.

    The airport's Grand Hyatt hotel, with its average 69 percent occupancy and $183 room rate, also did better than expected for the year.

    "I am extremely pleased with the performance of the Hyatt financially," said Ken Buchanan, the airport's executive vice president of revenue management.

    But there was also plenty of belt-tightening over the past 12 months.

    Poinsatte refinanced D/FW's $2.7 billion debt to save $21 million this year.

    The airport slashed various other costs, including energy use, by $21 million.

    Finally, the projected loss from fewer planes landing at D/FW was about $1 million better than expected.

    It all adds up to a $15 million profit evenly spread among the airport's pension plan, a reduction in landing fees by 50 cents in hopes of luring new airlines and a refund to the existing airlines.

    "That was a little bit of a surprise," said Poinsatte, who was expecting to only break even this year.

    His year-end presentation impressed board members Thursday.

    "I have never seen any organization have as consistently good news in one year that this airport has had," Jan Collmer, the board's chairman, told his colleagues. "This has been the most incredible ride this year that I think any of us will ever experience."
    By the power of greyskull!

  42. #492
    Skyscraper Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    "That was a little bit of a surprise," said Poinsatte, who was expecting to only break even this year.
    Interesting to speculate as to whether DFW Airport management intentionally misled DFW Airport Board members and others when it came to the state of the airport's finances (due to the whole Wright Amendment fiasco).

    I recall at one point that the airport posted and then immediately pulled off their website traffic figures which showed the airport traffic numbers significantly above what the general perception at the time was... the numbers weren't reposted until a couple of key dates in the Wright Amendment discussion had passed by.

  43. #493
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantboston
    By DAVID WETHE
    STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

    ...airport executives pitched an idea to board members for a 600-acre mixed-use development that would include a retail tract of 125 acres, and 700,000 to 800,000 square feet of space.
    ...
    But he’s not signed up anyone specifically, and that would likely be a year and a half to two years away.
    ...
    The shopping center would likely have an upscale feel similar to many seen in suburban cities such as Southlake or Flower Mound....However, the restaurant plaza, which would include anywhere from five to seven upscale restaurants, is definitely trying to go after more travelers, Terrell said.
    ...
    The shopping center would also need to rely on shoppers from outside the area, not just airport patrons, he said. At least the north side of the airport is closer to dense apartment complexes and more housing, he said.
    I wonder what the future is for this idea.

  44. #494
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UptownDallas
    Interesting to speculate as to whether DFW Airport management intentionally misled DFW Airport Board members and others when it came to the state of the airport's finances (due to the whole Wright Amendment fiasco).
    It is very curious, and I wouldnt be surprised if there was some intentional weaving of worst case scenerio possibilities into official financial forecasts which almost always seem to come with a best case scenerio tint.

    I'm glad most of the fiasco aura surrounding the Wright Amendment Reform Act (WARA) is behind us. It's probably still too early to really make a call, but the WARA just might be right on time to allow the Metroplex air travel industry the simultaneous expansion from contemporary market conditions as well as a retroactive gain of business lost due to Wright Amendment restrictions:

    -comes at a time when the travel industry seems to have recovered from terrorism fear;

    -the decision to persue bankruptcy protection among most service carriers is either avoided or embraced;

    -DFW facilities have been vastly improved (with more efficiencies in progress);

    -larger, longer range aircraft will make DFW competitive against the East and West Coast airports as a Gateway into the U.S. from most of the world.

  45. #495
    Administrator tamtagon's Avatar
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    Anyone know if Quantas or Air India have come any closer to decisions which would put them at DFW?

  46. #496
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geaux Tigers
    The Fort Worth-based carrier also shifted many of its flights to Dallas Love Field to compete with rival Southwest Airlines after recent changes to the Wright Amendment. At that time, in November, Missouri became the ninth state to be exempted from the 1979 federal law."
    What?? Many of it's flights??? AA "shifted 14 of 800+ flights to Love.

    What a bogus article...shows who owns the StAAr-Telegram!

    :realmad8:

  47. #497
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by St-T
    What?? Many of it's flights??? AA "shifted 14 of 800+ flights to Love.

    What a bogus article...shows who owns the StAAr-Telegram!
    Oh well, this is the Ft. Worth paper after all. I thought it was good news that DFW's passenger count (both international & domestic) is up to close to pre-9/11 levels.

    As for the question concerning Qantas above, last I've read on Airliners.net, it's just a matter of waiting on Boeing to finish the long range version of their 777. It's really no longer a matter of if, but when will Qantas start flying to DFW. I'd say within the next three years, we'll see a few red kangaroo tails parked at Terminal D. To be honest, I'd look for Qantas to shift a majority of it's North American operations from LAX to DFW.
    By the power of greyskull!

  48. #498
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    ^Agreed. Do you know if the 777-300ER has the range to fly that? Delta just bought a few of them. I know Emirates uses them to fly from JFK.

    As for Air India, I would be a little more skeptical. They're a Star Alliance carrier that lacks any connecting feed in DFW. There's some talk that Jet Airways/Air Sahara might join AA's alliance (One World). That might make a DFW-India flight a possibility.

    Of course, I imagine there are several markets AA would love to serve if they had the planes. The biggest obstacle to international expansion at DFW is AA's lack of excess long-haul aircraft to deploy to new markets.

  49. #499
    In the O.R. Geaux Tigers's Avatar
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    ^I believe the 777-300ER has the range, and those are the birds Qantas are waiting on. I think Qantas' engineers may be asking Boeing to tweek a few things here and there to make sure the range is adequate to fly SYD-DFW nonstop.
    By the power of greyskull!

  50. #500
    Skyscraper Member TexasPlus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grantboston
    ^Agreed. Do you know if the 777-300ER has the range to fly that? Delta just bought a few of them. I know Emirates uses them to fly from JFK.
    Cliped from Boeings website, dated Feb. 24, 2003:

    There are two Longer-Range 777 models. The 777-300ER carries 365 passengers up to 7,420 nautical miles (13,742 kilometers) while the 777-200LR can carry 301 passengers up to 9,170 nautical miles (16,983 kilometers).

    Both the 777-300ER and the 777-200LR were launched in February 2002 by Boeing and GE Aircraft Engines at the request of customers who asked for an airplane with additional flexibility to serve the non-stop routes that passengers demand.

    The 777 family has captured nearly 70 percent of the market since the airplane's October 1990 launch. Thirty-nine customers and operators worldwide have ordered 619 777s, including 61 Longer-Range 777s ordered by seven customers: Air France, All Nippon Airways, EVA Airways, GE Capital Aviation Services, ILFC, Japan Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines.

    http://www.boeing.com/news/releases/...r_030224g.html

    More at:
    http://www.geae.com/aboutgeae/pressc...0_2003224.html

    http://www.flug-revue.rotor.com/FRtypen/FR77730e.htm

    http://www.airliners.net/info/stats.main?id=107

    http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...0400170700.htm
    "Liberalism: Moochers Electing Looters to Steal from Producers."

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