TerminalB_001By The Airport News

Demolition of Bradley International Airport’s Terminal B is getting underway, 62 years after it opened and four years after its last flight left for Chicago.
When it closed it April 2010, it was the oldest operating airline terminal in the country. After American Airlines and Air Canada moved to Terminal A, it housed offices of the Transportation Security Administration and Connecticut State Police Troop W.
Troop W’s move to the new airport security building in mid-July and the TSA’s move to Terminal A in mid-August cleared the way for demolition to begin, said Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority.
The demolition contract was awarded to S & R Corp., of Lowell, Massachusetts, on July 30. S&R bid $12,572,622 for the project, which is expected to take 18 months.
“It was a very good bid,” Dillon said. “There will be other expenses allocated to the project … but we will be well below our $19 million budget,” he said.
The demolition project is beginning inside with the removal of hazardous substances, such as asbestos and lead. Some sections of the building might start to come down by the end of the year.
Other matters that preceded the go-ahead for demolition were the relocation of the airfield lighting vault, an agreement with the Connecticut Army National Guard to provide a holding area for international flight diversions, and an agreement with the owner of WFSB-TV to move its Doppler radar equipment to another site.
Relocation of the airfield lighting vault involved moving equipment and controls, rewiring lighting systems and cabling to the air traffic control tower, and installing new power feeds and emergency generators, according to Urban Engineers, a design firm based in Philadelphia.
The holding area for flight diversions is needed in case space is needed to house passengers of international flights that might be rerouted to Bradley temporarily. Dillon said the airport reached an understanding with the Guard and U.S. Customs to use the Army readiness center, if necessary.
At its August meeting, the Connecticut Airport Authority board of directors authorized Dillon to enter into an agreement with Meredith Corp., owner of WFSB, for leasing an airport site for its Doppler radar equipment. WFSB had planned to move its radar system from Terminal B to Avon Mountain, but those plans have hit a snag in Avon.
Terminal B, which opened in 1952, was first known as the Francis S. Murphy Terminal, named for the editor and publisher of The Hartford Times who was also.the chairman of the state aeronautics commission. He was referred to as the “father of Bradley Field.”
The demolition of the old terminal and the elevated road in front of it will make space for a new ground transportation center with a consolidated rental car facility, an enclosed connection to Terminal A, and more parking. A new Terminal B is contemplated, but is not likely until 2025, provided passenger traffic justifies it.

Connecticut’s first-ever aerospace summit will be held Sept. 21-23 in Groton. The Aerospace and Defense International Trade Summit will invite manufacturers from all over the world to attend the event. Nations expected to be represented include the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Spain and Canada. More from The Day of New London

RickDiegoRichard A. “Rick” Diego has been named publisher of The Airport News, the independent news publication serving the Bradley International Airport community.
Diego’s appointment comes as The Airport News celebrates its 20th year and is increasing its publication frequency from quarterly to monthly.
Diego came to The Airport News from the U.S. Postal Service marketing department. He was the periodicals expert on the Connecticut Valley District staff as the mailing standards specialist.
He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts; served in the U.S. Coast Guard in New London; and is a 1979 graduate of the University of Hartford.
Diego started with The Airport News working to increase distribution and advertiser support. During a recent change of management, he was asked to also assume the role of publisher.
He can be reached by email at rick@airportnews.com or by phone at 860-681-5871.

By The Airport News

Passenger traffic was up more than 10 percent at Bradley International Airport in the first half of 2014, thanks to an improving economy in Connecticut and additional airline service. Airport officials are optimistic about continuing progress.
Bradley traffic was up 9 percent in May and 9.3 percent in June, the latest numbers available when Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, gave his monthly report to the CAA board of directors in August. The year-to-date traffic increase at Bradley was 10.6 percent through June. The report compares 2014 totals to totals from similar periods a year earlier.
Dillon described the trends as “continued very good success.” He compared Bradley’s first-half gains to numbers from T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode island (down 6.8 percent), Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire (down 13 percent), and Logan International Airport in Boston (up 4.4 percent).
He attributed the declines at Providence and Manchester to reduced flights by Southwest Airlines, which has added flights at Boston. Bradley has its own market, Dillon explained, while the other regional airports rely on “bleedback” from Boston.
“The success here is really as a result of an improving economy,” Dillon said at the Aug. 11 board meeting, “as well as our continued focus on adding additional capacity.” He said he’s working with all of the airlines serving Bradley — “as well as some carriers that aren’t operating here today” — to try to increase service levels.
JetBlue Airways launched service in June between Bradley and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. United Airlines will begin daily nonstop service in October between Bradley and Houston-George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
Not mentioned in the public portion of the CAA board meeting was American Airlines’ decision to end nonstop service between Bradley and Los Angeles. The daily flights launched with a big celebration in August 2013 and were Bradley’s only nonstop West Coast destination. Service ended in mid-August.
“They weren’t making any money on the flight,” said John Wallace, the CAA’s manager of communications, even though the planes “were pretty full — almost 80 percent.” He added: “We’re hoping they come back with a new pricing scheme.”
There has been speculation in online passenger bulletin boards that American may resume Bradley-Los Angeles flights as seasonal service next summer.
Meanwhile, Bradley continues its focus on international traffic. Dillon told the CAA board that returning trans-Atlantic flights is one of the airport’s top goals. There’s strong trans-Atlantic travel in Connecticut, but much of that comes from Fairfield County, with some from southeastern Connecticut, he said.
Bradley is looking to those areas to boost traffic. The CAA is beginning a new advertising program in the southeastern and southwestern parts of the state, pitching the ease of using Bradley, compared with the New York airports. “JFK: great president, tough airport — come home to Bradley” could be the message, Dillon said.
Dillon also reported good numbers on airport finances to the CAA board in August: Year-to-date operating income was $4.7 million higher than expected, he said. Efforts to control expenses, as well as the increased passenger traffic, were a big help, he said.
“We hope for a mild winter to hang on to some of that money,” said Mary Ellen Jones, chairwoman of the CAA board.

SheratonChefShaneArnoldWINDSOR LOCKS — Shane Arnold has been appointed as the executive chef for the 237-room Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport. Arnold’s responsibilities include menu creation and management of all food departments throughout the Sheraton, including the hotel’s restaurant, Concorde’s. Waterford Hotel Group manages the Sheraton Hartford.
Arnold joins the Sheraton team from his most recent position as executive sous chef and assistant restaurant manager for the 409-room Marriott Hartford Downtown, a post he held for nearly 10 years. Arnold had also previously serviced as a task force chef for Waterford Hotel Group, lending his culinary management expertise to several properties in the company’s portfolio including the Gettysburg Hotel and the Andover Inn. In 2011, he was awarded the Outstanding Manager of the Year recognition by the Connecticut Lodging Association.
“We are pleased to welcome Chef Arnold to the Sheraton Hartford,” said Chris Allen, general manager of the hotel. “His culinary experience and familiarity with the day to day operations of a large hotel make him a welcome addition to the Sheraton’s food and beverage team,” he said.
Arnold holds an associate degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University. He resides in Rocky Hill.