HARTFORD, Conn. and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (January 5, 2012) – JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today launched nonstop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Flights are on sale today through January 13, 2012 at www.jetblue.com/new as low as $139 (a) each way for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between January 19 and February 15, 2012.

“We are proud to support the strong business and family ties between Hartford and San Juan with this new nonstop service,” said John Checketts, director of route planning for JetBlue Airways. “JetBlue thinks the flight should be an enjoyable part of the journey, from the most legroom in coach to unlimited name brand snacks, and your own personal entertainment choices. We would like to thank the communities in Connecticut and Puerto Rico for their strong support of JetBlue.”

“The mutual commitment between JetBlue and Bradley continues to grow. New travel options opening new destinations draw more customers, which benefits everyone,” said Mary Ellen Jones, Chair of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “With Connecticut’s special ties to Puerto Rico, I am confident that this non-stop service to San Juan will add another chapter to JetBlue’s success story in our state.”

“Puerto Rico had a 4.1 percent increase in tourists during the fiscal year 2010-2011, as measured by hotel registrations. For the 2011-2012 season, we expect better results with more visitors heading this way to discover why Puerto Rico does it better. JetBlue’s new non-stop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) now provides additional flight options to travelers from one of our top markets in the East Coast to our Island. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company welcomes this new service and thanks the airline for the additional seats,” said the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Mario González Lafuente.

 

Groton New London Airport gains safety upgradeFederal Aviation Administration Regional Administrator Amy Lind Corbett and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker visited in December and unveiled the newly installed emergency arresting system at Groton-New London Airport designed to stop planes that overshoot the runway. It is the first such system installed in Connecticut.

“With this system, we have taken another major step toward making this airport safer for everyone,” said DOT Commissioner Redeker. “This system has a 100 percent success record everywhere it has been installed and it is great news that we have been able to get it here in Groton.”

“With the installation of this system at Groton-New London, pilots and passengers will begin reaping the safety benefits of this technology immediately,” said Corbett, regional administrator for FAA’s New England Region.

The “Engineered Materials Arresting System,” or EMAS, is a bed of customized cellular cement material, according to Zodiac Aerospace’s Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation, the manufacturer. It is designed to crush under the weight of an aircraft, thus providing safe, predictable, controlled stop.

Mary Ellen Jones, chair of the new Connecticut Airport Authority, said the system is “consistent with the objectives of the Authority in keeping Connecticut at the forefront of technology and safety.”

The $9 million Groton-New London system, at both ends of the 5,000-foot main runway, is one of some 67 EMAS systems that have been installed at airports around the world. Other airports in the region, including JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Boston Logan, have EMAS systems.

“The controlled deceleration achieved with EMAS reduces the risk of personal injury and damage to the aircraft. Yet, the bed remains accessible by rescue and recovery vehicles, so runway downtime is minimized,” according to a statement by Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation. “Winter weather conditions do not affect the system’s performance and snow can be easily removed.”

Funding for the EMAS project came almost entirely through the Federal Aviation Administration. The state contributed $790,000 for the project.

The EMAS system successfully stopped a plane on November 3, 2011, at Key West International Airport in Florida, with minimal damage. Four days earlier, another plane overshot the other end of the same runway, which did not have an EMAS system; although it stopped safely at the end of the airfield, the second plane was heavily damaged.

Mary Ellen Jones, Chair of the newly-formed Connecticut Airport Authority and Commissioner James P. Redeker today celebrated the grand opening of Traveltini Martini Bar in Terminal A, Concourse C, at Bradley International Airport.
“Traveltini is a fabulous addition to other wonderful concessions at Bradley Airport,” said Ms. Jones. “The martini bar has a very upscale feel and offers a quiet respite from the hustle-bustle inside the airport. Passengers can sit back, relax and enjoy a cocktail and selections off a casual menu.”

Commissioner Redeker added, “Bradley’s customers asked for new and interesting offerings at the Airport, and we heard their requests. Many months of planning and design occurred before the first martini could be poured…the result is a fantastic new venue for our customers. In addition, five new jobs were created with the opening of Traveltini.”

Bradley International Airport is the second largest in New England and serves an extensive geographic area, as its customer base covers the entire Northeast including Western Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey. According to the most recent economic impact analysis, Bradley contributes $4 billion in economic activity to the state of Connecticut and the surrounding region, representing $1.2 billion in wages and 18,000 full-time jobs.

Industry exports exhibit double-digit growth for seventh consecutive
month

The U.S. Department of Commerce recently announced that international
visitors spent $13.0 billion on travel to, and tourism-related activities
within, the United States during the month of September – nearly $1.5 billion
more (13%) than was spent in September 2010. Travel and tourism-related exports
have increased, on average, nearly $1.5 billion a month in 2011 and now account
for more than 25 percent of all U.S. services exports.

  • Travel Receipts: Purchases of travel and
    tourism-related goods and services by international visitors traveling in the
    United States totaled $9.8 billion during September, an increase of 10 percent
    when compared to last year. These goods and services include food, lodging,
    recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation in the United States, and
    other items incidental to foreign travel.
  • Passenger Fare Receipts: Fares received by U.S.
    carriers (and U.S. vessel operators) from international visitors increased
    appreciably for the month. When compared to September 2010, U.S. passenger fare
    exports increased (21%) to $3.3 billion forthe month.

International visitors have spent an estimated $112.8 billion on U.S. travel
and tourism-related goods and services year to date (January through September),
an increase of 13 percent when compared to the same period last year.

Americans have spent more than $82.3 billion abroad year to date (up 8%) –
resulting in a $30.6 billion trade surplus for travel and tourism through the
first nine months of 2011.

The Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) is responsible for collecting,
analyzing, and disseminating international travel and tourism statistics for the
U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. For more monthly travel and
tourism-related trade data dating back to 1992, please visit: <
http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/outreachpages/download_data_table/Monthly_Exports_Imports_Balance.xls
>.

Travelers in and out of Bradley now have a new option inside the secure area – a Martini/Wine Bar.

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As you read here earlier, Delta Airlines’ BDL Station Manager challenged his staff and the airport community to raise $5,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “Raise five thousand dollars in 30 days and I will wear a pink dress to work” he ventured. Raise it they did…in less than a week. And then the stakes escalated as others joined in. At the end of the month, the BCRF folks were $20,550.00 closer to beating Breast Cancer.

As in everything he does, Al was a great sport on this effort. He actively went out and promoted the drive, and brought the entire airport Community into this important challenge.

Al has completed the Boston Marathon a few times, but not yet in pink slippers. He is also a Board Member of “Bradley Family Day”, a wholly volunteer effort to raise funds for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp…over $700,000 to date.

Flying Typers Publisher Geoffrey Arend has circled the globe for decades interviewing Airline, Airport, and Industry Executives. He is shown here in the lobby of the DoubleTree Miami Convention Center working the crowd, recording comments from fellow air cargo industry veteran Tony Romeo. Keep up the great work Geoffrey.

 

Director Johnson welcomes the delegates to Air & Sea Cargo Americas 2011

The first full day of the bi-annual event saw an extremely busy exhibition floor at the newly renovated Doubletree/World Trade Center Miami. The first conference was welcomed by Bill Johnson, Director of the Port of Miami, who spoke of this year’s 6% increase in cargo throughput, on top of last year’s 5%.

The show seems to be back to its old form, following a few lackluster years hampered by a sour worldwide economy and turmoil in the air cargo industry. The exhibition space sold out early, and every booth space was occupied.

 Southwest Airlines celebrated its 12th Anniversary at Bradley on October 31st, 2011. The entire airport was still recovering from a historic Northeaster that dumped over a foot of snow, shattering a 32 year old record.

CT Governor Dannel Malloy kicks off the CT Airport Authority’s first meeting

After decades of discussion and a long history of resistance
from the Connecticut Department of Transportation that previously ran the
State’s airports, the newly created Connecticut Airport Authority (CAA) started
its mission of re-creating the way that Connecticut’s 6 State owned airports
are governed, managed, and marketed. To get the new Authority started, CT
Governor Malloy addressed the 11 member Board prior to the beginning of their
first meeting. Specifically to Bradley, the State’s largest airport, the
Governor commented, “We are not maximizing the potential of this airport,” a
theme he has carried from the campaign a year ago into the new Authority.

The Governor left the CAA to their task at hand, telling the
members to “get to work” after his comments at the Legislative Office Building.
The Chairwoman of the CAA, Mary Ellen Jones, quickly did so and began the
meeting by noting the need for quick action. The Governor’s choice as Chair and
the President of Engine Alliance, Ms. Jones directed “We need to establish some
sub-committees and get some real work going”.  Jones also emphasized the need to get an
Executive Director, a position created by the legislation, onboard quickly “and
set priorities and an action plan.”

In the case of Bradley International, this is the third
Board in a long evolution from the Bradley Airport Commission from the early
1980’s, to the 2001 creation of the Bradley International Airport Board of
Directors. This has all been done in search of creating a more nimble,
proactive, and successful airport.  In
explaining key points on behalf of the Governor, his Director of Policy Liz
Donohue explained “I’m so glad to be meeting after all this work” in the past
Legislative session, and continued, “for years this has been championed by
many, including the business community.”  In the transition from an advisory Board (both
former entities had no budgetary or Legislative powers other than to advise the
DOT) to a full Authority, the new independent Authority would be chaperoning
“the best economic asset in the State” in the opinion of the Governor’s office.
Director Donohue also assured, “Hire an Executive Director, that’s something
that can happen sooner than later, to help you move forward.”

The first priority as far as the legislative requirements to
transition to a fully independent Authority, as pointed out by the Chairwoman,
is to create a Memorandum of Understanding between the State of Connecticut
Department of Transportation and the CAA. Ex officio Board member and CT
Department of Transportation Commissioner James Redeker assured, “the DOT will
provide ongoing support” to facilitate the process, which is a stark contrast
to the posture of the agency historically. When asked about a timeframe,
Commissioner Redeker explained, “There’s an obvious process, an FAA (Federal
Aviation Administration) checklist.” The commissioner estimated that it would
take approximately 6 months, and that Bradley would be the first in the
sequence of airports.  Later, Board
member Robert Aaronson stated that he previously worked for the FAA in the
office that oversaw the process, and hoped that he could expedite the
move.  Redeker did say that in his
position as DOT Commissioner he had to look at the process from two sides; one
as the head of DOT and its workforce, the other as a member of the Board that
the legislation dictated be implemented to overcome a bureaucratic process that
has stymied previous efforts at real growth. “I can’t wait for the transition
to be done” he stated, “It’ll free me up to be more of a Board member.”

 

CT Department of Economic and Community Development
Commissioner Catherine Smith, another ex-officio member, emphasized the need to
benchmark, “to get facts, figures, and costs versus the competition.” That
point was later echoed by fellow board member Brett Browchuk, a CIGNA executive
in charge of procurement “everything we buy and sell including real estate,”  who urged “let’s create some competition to
Logan and those great New York airports.”

A good portion of the conversation, including the
introductions, centered on the importance of CT’s airports and transportation
in general to the State’s economic well-being. Commissioner Smith reiterated
the same, as did several others of the varied professionals that make up the
board.  To get this going, again as urged
by Chairwoman Jones, the board all agreed that getting a new Executive Director
in place was critical. There was the question as to whether a temporary person
in this capacity made sense, and board member Scott Guilmartin added “it is
absolutely critical that we have a Marketing person.” The question as to
whether or not the Authority should have a legal consultant, or whether or not
the Authority has a budget to get started ensued, but it appears that the CT
Airport Authority is in motion to get a lot accomplished soon. Treasurer Denis
Napier, another member, confirmed through her designate Peter McAlpine that
there “was a roof in place” to facilitate financing during the transition, via
the Bradley Enterprise Fund.

At the end of the second hour, the board broke into sub
committees focused on Procedures, Personnel, Outreach and Facility Operations.
Those groups were later condensed, and Procedures and Personnel seem to be the
immediate areas of concern. The members of the new Board offer a wide array of
strengths ranging from aviation, retail, finance and airline organizations, and
have the institutional history of retired executive Michael Long, who served as
the first Chairman of the original Bradley Airport Commission in the 1980s, as
well as the hands on airport experience of Matthew Kelly, who in 14 years with
the DOT has worked at every State owned airport and currently is the General
Manager at Waterbury- Oxford Airport. Member Andrew Gray brings 20 years of
retail related IT experience, Robert Aaronson a career of State, Federal, and
Industry aviation experience; and business owners Scott Guilmartin and Karen
Jarmoc, also a former State Representative, offer local insight as well. Under
the leadership of Mary Ellen Jones, the group has a lot to accomplish prior to
their next meeting, to be held in November.