I was among a group of private and public sector folks visiting Austin, TX this week attending the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Inter-City Visit and Leadership Conference.
The group spent three busy days touring Austin’s metropolitan area and learning about its infrastructure, tourism and government. There are a lot of similarities between the Triangle and Austin, and we learned a lot from the trip about this Texas community.
As I mentioned in my previous post, we were eager to attend this trip because of Austin’s recent success in securing a nonstop international flight to London. On Tuesday, I was privileged to talk about RDU’s international and domestic air service development alongside my colleague Jamy Kazanoff of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. Hearing Jamy and other Austin representatives tell their story reinforced one central theme: airports and their communities need to have a shared focus for their collective future.
We learned of the strong community partnership the airport has with the public and private sector and their joint efforts to secure London service which began in March 2014. This reminded us of how our community came together in support of RDU to London service in the early 1990s.
We learned that Austin considers economic development and air service as being closely related and that air service is a committee focus of its Chamber of Commerce.
The Austin area is in a growth mode and so is its airport. Leaders are planning today for additional services both domestic and international, just as we are doing at RDU.
Increasing air service was a key economic development tool for Austin, and it will be for the Triangle too.
We look forward to working with our region’s leaders, our customers and the region’s citizens to develop a shared community vision for our airport.