Airport

Monday, April 13, 2015

Report: More Delays, Customer Complaints for U.S. Airlines

Posted By on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 at 9:10 AM

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It shouldn't come to many travelers' surprise that the performance of U.S. airlines worsened last year.

In an Airline Quality Rating report released early today, the overall industry performed worse in four main areas: baggage handling, consumer complaints, on-time arrivals and denial of boardings. The report had particularly bad news for Frontier and United Airlines, which had the most complaints in 2014. Alaska Airlines had the best record when it came to customer complaints.

Co-author Brent Bowen of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona said, "Delta has worked its way back to the top tier" after it merged with Northwest Airlines in 2008, but United Airlines "has not fully bounced back from its 2010 merger with Continental Airlines."

Both Southwest and American Airlines declined in all four areas tracked by the report.

Hawaiian Airlines posted the best on-time performance (91.9 percent) last year. Envoy Air, a regional carrier for American that flies as American Eagle, had the worst on-time record (68.8 percent).
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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Idaho Leaders Fight for A-10s and F-35s at Gowen Field

Posted By on Thu, Feb 19, 2015 at 12:09 PM

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Several elected officials, business owners and community members have spent the past two days showing Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James why the Gowen Field National Guard Base should stay in Boise. James flew in from the Pentagon after discussions began about retiring Gowen Field's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II jet planes.

A-10s are being retired from the Air Force's inventory nationwide starting next year. The problem, though, is Gowen Field doesn't yet have aircraft to replace the outgoing fleet. 

Boise mayor Dave Bieter, Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo, U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador and Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce President Bill Connors held a press conference Thursday, Feb. 19, to discuss how their meetings with Secretary James went. 

"We are hopeful that the future of Gowen Field is a bright one," Bieter said, explaining that Gowen Field participated in a highly-competitive process to receive the Air Force's next generation of aircrafts: the F-35 air superiority fighter, and that Gowen ended up in the top three on that list. 

However, no one could say for certain whether Gowen Field will receive the F-35s, or where the A-10s will end up in the meantime. 

"The Air Force has put out its timeline," said Risch. "It's a timeline we don't agree with as a delegation and we want to see it adjusted. The Air Force's timeline is set to begin next year. Its pre-stated position has been that it's going to start retiring the A-10s this time next year, but the deployment of the F-35s [to national guard bases] may be two, three, four, five, six years down the road. It's the dovetailing of the retirement of the A-10 and the implementation of the F-35 that we think is not on the right time scale."

Members of Idaho's delegation said they showed Secretary James the benefits of Boise in terms of a location for a national guard base. The infrastructure is already in place, they said; the experience of the national guard here is strong, and combining the national guard with the Air Force base in Mountain Home may hurt recruitment, as many who live in Boise would not be willing to drive more than an hour to go to work out there.

"To me, one of the most important things about this visit is that she [James] has now been here on the ground in Idaho," Sen. Crapo said. "She sees the commitment we have, she sees the strength of Gowen Field."

The press conference ended without concrete resolution, but on a note of hopefulness. Now, the Secretary of the Air Force will travel back to the Pentagon with new considerations about the fate of the A-10s at Gowen Field.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Delta Adding Nonstop Boise to Seattle Flights in May 2015

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 4:08 PM

A major airline plans to begin nonstop service between Boise and Seattle.

Beginning in May 2015, Delta Airlines will add four daily flights between the City of Trees and the Emerald City. Tickets will go on sale beginning Saturday, Nov. 22, and the first direct flight between the two cities takes off May 4, 2015.

"We are so pleased that Delta is bringing the residents and businesses of Boise more connections to Seattle, a key city in this region of the country," wrote Boise Mayor Dave Bieter in a press release. 

Though the first tickets will go on sale this weekend, there's no word yet on how much they'll cost. Alaska Airlines also offers nonstop flights to Seattle.
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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Boise Airport Wins Big Grant to Help Secure Atlanta Nonstop Service

Posted By on Thu, Oct 2, 2014 at 12:34 PM

The Boise Airport took a giant leap today in its effort to secure nonstop service to Atlanta.

Airport officials announced that they had secured a $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Small Community Air Service Development Program. The Boise metro Chamber had already secured $273,000 in matching funds from Treasure Valley businesses and organizations to help the effort.

In particular the funds will incentivize Delta Air Lines to offer nonstop flights to and from its Atlanta hub, which will be a giant stepping stone for travel across the Eastern Seaboard and onto Europe and Africa.

"It has been a goal of ours to improve connections from Boise to the East Coast and this grant is essential in attracting the new route," said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

Boise Metro Chamber President Bill Connors said with an Atlanta addition, Boise would have service to the three busiest air service hubs in the nation.

In fact, Boise would have connections to Atlanta (No. 1), Los Angeles (No. 2), Chicago (No. 3), Dallas/Ft. Worth (No. 4) and Denver (No. 5).

"Boise and its Airport are on a roll," said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
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Friday, September 26, 2014

AP: Emergency Landing of Small Passenger Jet at Boise Airport

Posted By on Fri, Sep 26, 2014 at 11:02 AM

An investigation continues Friday into an emergency landing at the Boise Airport on Sept. 25.

The Associated Press reports that a warning light signal alerted the pilot of a chartered passenger jet, prompting the emergency landing at approximately 4 p.m. Sept. 25. The Boeing 737 had taken off from Lewiston and was en route to Laughlin, Nevada, when the flight was interrupted by the warning light.

The AP reports that emergency response crews found no evidence of a fire, and that Sun Country Airlines had not returned AP's phone call requesting a comment.
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Boise Airport: Federal Grant Would Propel Daily Flights to Atlanta

Posted By on Sat, Jul 26, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Boise Metro Chamber President Bill Connors is flanked by public and private officials at Boise Airport announcement.
  • Boise Metro Chamber President Bill Connors is flanked by public and private officials at Boise Airport announcement.

Boise officials insist that connecting the City of Trees directly to a main airport hub on the U.S. East Coast isn't just a nice-to-have; it's imperative. When, for example, you're connected to Atlanta (one of Delta Airlines main hubs), Boise is only two flights away from Europe's top cities.

But incentivizing an airline such as Delta to add daily Boise-to-Atlanta flights is tricky business; beginning with the fact that a number of other U.S. cities want that same advantage.

Boise Weekly first chronicled the effort in May 2012, when we talked with just-hired Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp.

"All things being equal, [airlines] are going to go to the place where they can get that extra incentive." Hupp told BW.

And over the last couple of years, the Treasure Valley has tried different incentive programs, but on Friday, July 25, a full-court press was unveiled as Hupp was joined by local business leaders, the Boise Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Boise Valley Economic Partnership and the Idaho Department of Commerce to fight for a federal grant that could help secure a nonstop flight to Atlanta.

Specifically, local businesses have pledged nearly $250,000 in supporting funds to secure a U.S. Department of Transportation grant. Application for the federal grant is due this coming Tuesday, July 30. The grant funds would help shore up start-up costs to bring in the new service.

But when you talk about Atlanta, you're talking about Delta; and the good news is that Delta already flies in and out of Boise, with regular flights to Salt Lake City and Minneapolis/St. Paul.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Boise Airport Officially Announces New Partnerships with 94.9 the River, Idaho Statesman

Posted By on Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 10:09 AM

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Officials from Boise City Hall and the Boise Airport are officially announcing something that Boise Weekly readers have know about for a few weeks now: that the airport is about to dramatically re-do its concessions offerings, including some new partners like the Boise Co-Op, 94.9 the River and the Idaho Statesman.

On June 22, we reported that the airport was planning a reset of more than 5,700 square-feet of retail space, designing new concessions that will include:

- The River 94.9 FM store will sell newspapers, magazines, beverages, apparel, electronic gadgets and grab-and-go items from the Boise Co-op. The store will also feature a live on-air stream from the station, and a large HD screen playing video from popular artists. 94.9 FM the River is also promising live "mini-concerts" for visitors.

- The Idaho Statesman store will obviously sell newspapers, snacks and gadgets, as well as local beers and wines. The store will also have a large interactive Statesman display at the entrance.

- The Greenbelt: It's a Boise Thing store will offer several local vendors, with four distinct sections: apparel and gifts from Boise State University, grab-and-go selections from the Boise Co-op, wine and beer from Payette Brewing and Williamson Orchards, and an electronic gadget location featuring Apple products. Additionally, a large HD display will promote notable landmarks such as the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Hawks Stadium and the Greenbelt.

- The CNBC Store (one of these is already at the airport) will sell the usual selection of magazines, snacks and gadgets.

To sweeten the deal, Paradies-Taters is also promising to make commitments to the Boise Parks and Recreation Department (through its Adopt-a-Park program), make annual donations to the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and participate in the Treat Our Troops program, delivering items to local military support organizations.

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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Boise Airport Proposes Big Changes Including Shops for 94.9 FM the River, Idaho Statesman

Posted By on Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM

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Airport concessions—where travelers rushing for a plane grab some over-priced chewing gum or bottled water—are nothing new. But the Boise Airport is proposing a dramatic change to its concessions offerings, including some unusual new partners: the Boise Co-op, 94.9 FM the River and the Idaho Statesman.

In an elaborate packet to be placed before the Boise City Council Tuesday, June 24, the city's Department of Aviation will propose a a 5,720-square-foot reset of the Boise Airport's retail space, including a River 94.9 FM shop in the pre-security area and a much bigger area beyond security for shops sponsored by the Statesman, CNBC and a Boise Greenbelt-themed location.

Paradies-Taters has provided airport gift and news concessions since the terminal was remodeled in 2003. Its current contract expires later this year, but the company has emerged as the winning bidder in what airport officials call a "sense of place unique to Boise." Paradies-Taters has proposed investing $1.9 million in the new development in exchange for a 10-year contract. Competitive proposals came from the Hudson Group and Delaware North, but Boise's Aviation Department scored Paradies-Taters' bid higher.

The proposal includes:

- The River 94.9 FM store will sell newspapers, magazines, beverages, apparel, electronic gadgets and grab-and-go items from the Boise Co-op. The store will also feature a live on-air stream from the station, and a large HD screen playing video from popular artists. 94.9 FM the River is also promising live "mini-concerts" for visitors.

- The Idaho Statesman store will obviously sell newspapers, snacks and gadgets, as well as local beers and wines. The store will also have a large interactive Statesman display at the entrance.

- The Greenbelt: It's a Boise Thing store will offer several local vendors, with four distinct sections: apparel and gifts from Boise State University, grab-and-go selections from the Boise Co-op, wine and beer from Payette Brewing and Williamson Orchards, and an electronic gadget location, featuring Apple products. Additionally, a large HD display will promote notable landmarks such as the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Hawks Stadium and the Greenbelt.

- The CNBC Store (one of these is already at the airport) will sell the usual selection of magazines, snacks and gadgets.

To sweeten the deal, Paradies-Taters is also promising to make commitments to the Boise Parks and Recreation Department (through its Adopt-a-Park program), make annual donations to the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and participate in the Treat Our Troops program, delivering items to local military support organizations.

The Boise City Council will take up the proposal at Tuesday's meeting, which gets under way at Boise City Hall beginning at 12:30 p.m.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Federal Dollars Secured to Fuel Sun Valley Airport Renovation

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 9:39 AM

The huge $34 million re-do of Hailey's Friedman Memorial Airport—expected to be completed by July 2015—got a big boost April 14, when the Federal Aviation Administration granted $18 million to help fund construction work through much of the next year.

The Idaho Mountain Express reports that the $18 million is expected to cover much of the construction through spring of 2015. More federal grants are also anticipated, with U.S. dollars expected to cover nearly 94 percent of the entire project.

Approximately $1.5 million will also help fund the project, coming from a $4.50 per passenger fee tagged onto each airline ticket at Friedman Memorial.

The Mountain Express reports that in the coming months, the south half of the airport's west taxiway will be shifted west, requiring the runway to be closed from April 28 through May 22. This coming fall and winter, the airport terminal will be partially relocated and expanded, while new hangars are constructed. In the spring of 2015, a new administration building will be constructed and the north half of the west taxiway will be shifted, again closing the runway for approximately 25 days.


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Boise Airport Officials Want More Incentives to Lure Even More Flights

Posted By on Sun, Apr 6, 2014 at 3:00 PM

The Boise Airport wants to "up" its game when it comes to attracting more commercial air service to the Treasure Valley.

In June 2013, Boise Weekly reported that the Boise City Council gave its blessing to the "Air Service Incentive Program," designed to encourage air carriers to add additional routes and increase capacity in the Boise market.

"You have to kiss the airlines' Godfather ring," said Mike Boyd, president of Boyd Group International, an aviation consulting group. "If you show that respect for the airlines, it is more likely to work."

And while no one is talking about kissing rings, officials at the Boise Airport are looking to sweeten the pot by offering additional incentives to any airline that moves more passengers in and out of Boise:

The current financial incentive offers a credit of up to 75 percent of total landing fees incurred during the first 12 months of new service. But the proposed additional incentive would also kick back terminal rental fees for additional gate/counter facilities required to provide the new service. The maximum credit would be $100,000.

Additionally, Boise Airport officials want to update what they say would be their "priority destinations"—Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Detroit, Houston, New York City and Washington, D.C.


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