We have talked about air service development and what it takes to improve service. These include collecting and interpreting air service data in order to present a business case for new service, working with air carriers for better scheduled times or securing better fares by expanding competitive offerings.
There is also a great deal of collaboration between RDU and regional economic developers, universities and businesses to determine their current and future air service transportation needs. And, airlines have turned to airport communities to market air service directly to their customers, requiring air service marketing campaigns.
In recent years, airports have begun hiring dedicated staff to perform air service development functions. RDU is fortunate to have recently hired David Young in the position of air service development manager. Dave’s background is in the airline industry where he worked for many years as director of schedules for USAir, Inc. and also vice president of schedule development for TWA as its international schedule planning manager. He also worked as air service development consultant and at an airport.
Dave has been on board since mid-September getting to know the area and the assets that drive air traffic demand. In this blog, Dave will be writing to explain what type of information he is looking into, what he needs to know from the community and what the airlines expect. He also will share his insight into how the aviation industry works in today’s environment.
As we look ahead to the economic and aviation landscape, we all hope for an improved business climate to support air service vitality. But today all airports are in competition with one another for air service, passengers and business investment. Throughout the last decade the aviation industry changed greatly due to mergers, acquisitions and alliances. This trend may very well continue and means that we’ll – the airport AND the community –need to aggressively compete for air service investments in our region.
The Airport Authority’s investment in staff is just one part of RDU’s contribution to the economic development of the region. Look for a future post on how airport activity supports the economy.