The American Association of Airport Executives Energy Air/Service Task Force met for the first time this month in Washington, D.C., to discuss several issues affecting the industry.
About 55 people from several stakeholders attended a task force meeting on July 9, and more than 200 gathered for a brief conference the next day. Topics included how airline service cuts are affecting airports – some of which are seeing 60% to 100% reductions – and what can be done both in the short-term and over time to support development of a national energy policy that gets beyond a complete dependence on petroleum.
The task force, which includes about 90 people from the industry, was convened “so airports can shine a light on the problems and discuss ways to mitigate some of the negative impacts of service cuts,” says Sean Broderick, AAAE spokesman.
AAAE will not be supporting the re-regulation of the airline industry as part of a potential solution. But future meetings will include discussion of how to protect smaller airports and their communities from the potentially devastating effects of service cuts.
“We need to find a way to work with government to make sure that doesn’t happen,” Broderick says.
Future meetings have not been set, but AAAE plans to be involved for the long run.
“This is not a short-term thing,” Broderick says. “It was important for us to move very quickly because the airlines are moving very quickly and it’s affecting the airports.”
In other AAAE news…
Jim Elwood, director of !Aspen/Pitkin County (ASE), was named chairman of AAAE. He was elected to succeed Krys Bart, president and chief executive officer of !Reno-Tahoe International (RNO), at the annual AAAE conference in June.
Elwood will become a “familiar face to Congress and a multitude of federal agencies as he testifies on behalf of airports on legislative, regulatory and economic issues,” according to an airport statement.
Among his initiatives will be facilitating industrywide discussions on the impact of energy costs on the aviation industry and the consequences it has on other economic sectors, according to the statement.