Connections – February 29, 2016


shelby_scalesDear Friends and Colleagues:

RE: Call to Action, AMAC 2016 Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill

As we continue to push our legislative agenda forward during the next few weeks of deliberations of the FAA Reauthorization Bill, it is important that we remind our members and key constituents of the policy issues that we support. Over the past two years, we have supported a campaign to increase PFC's for airports while also including the DBE provisions. Most recently, we successfully thwarted efforts by some to haphazardly include veteran-owned businesses into the DBE Program. Additionally, we continue to strive to expand and protect the DBE/ACDBE programs in aviation and where necessary, other modes of transportation.

We find ourselves at a crossroads of support and the need to galvanize the troops! As long time supporters, beneficiaries and leaders, we need your participation. Our goal for March 23, 2016 is to bring 200 plus AMAC members, stakeholders and allies to Capitol Hill. No one can tell our story but those who are involved in the daily business of airports and know first hand how policies and lack thereof, impact minority business participation and diversity inclusion in the industry workforce.

What are our needs?

  • Participation by Informed Members
  • Group Leaders to meet with Congressional members and staffers
  • Financial supporters willing to contribute towards our Government Affairs Agenda
  • Grassroots Advocates to engage other DBE, ACDBES, SBEs in the process

Where do I sign up?

AMAC 2016 Leadership Summit on Capitol Hill

How can I support AMAC financially?

2016 Leadership Branding Guide and Registration Forms

Join the Government Affairs Committee, AMAC Board and the AMAC Team on March 23, 2016. Do not wait to register, sign up today and let me know I can count on your support, leadership and participation.

I thank you in advance for your continued efforts in making AMAC the best brand for diversity inclusion in Aviation!

Shelby M. Scales, President & CEO

Spotlight on AMAC Member Raymond Christy

Raymond Christy’s new position as Salt Lake City Department of Airports’ DBE Coordinator/Airport Senior Planner fits him like a glove. An amiable personality, demonstrated expertise in building strong community partnerships, and a keen understanding of the transportation industry are just a few of the tools that he brings to the job that he started five months ago.

“This is work that I love,” Christy says. “I get to advocate for and assist small business owners in my community.”

His advocacy experience is significant. For the past 15 years he built “windows and doors of opportunity” for businesses owned by minorities, women and emerging new enterprises for the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). His accomplishments in that work, and other community outreach activities, garnered three major awards last year.

Christy was the recipient of the 2015 Civil Rights Worker of the Year from the Salt Lake City NAACP; he received the 2015 Social Justice/Civil Rights Award from his fraternity Omega Psi Phi; and he was honored as Volunteer of the Year by the Epilepsy Association of Utah.

“It was a very good year,” he says with a smile.

In his new job, Christy manages opportunity for diverse businesses with airport concessions and upcoming federally assisted construction at Tooele, West Jordan and Salt Lake City International Airports. He recruits small businesses for DBE certification and helps certify firms for airport contracting opportunities. He analyzes projects to set goals for DBE participation and he works with project engineers, staff and prime contractors to help them understand the DBE program and its implementation.

Christy credits much of his success in his work to a willingness to ask for help from, and provide help to, other DBE Liaison Officers across the country.

“I’m a strong believer that DBE officers should all operate as partners, sharing solutions and helping each other spot common red flags,” he says. “We all encounter similar challenges. We should feel free to pick up the phone and get help with resolution from a colleague.”

It is for that reason he plans to take full advantage of Salt Lake City Department of Airports’ membership in AMAC.  “I’m looking forward to the networking opportunities,” he notes.

“There are education programs offered for DBE Liaisons,” Christy says. “But, when you couple the theory with practitioners’ experience, it becomes golden.”

Legislative updates

President Obama Submits FY 2017 Budget Proposal


President Obama’s final budget submission to Congress last week officially starts the annual federal budget process in Washington, DC.  The $4.1 trillion proposal for fiscal year 2017 outlines various funding requests for each department and agency, in addition to proposed reorganizations and revenue proposals.

Over the coming weeks, Agency officials will testify before various congressional committees to justify the Administration’s requests.  New legislative proposals or new spending programs are unlikely to advance in a Republican-led Congress.  Congress will ultimately decide overall funding levels; however, it is unlikely they will finalize any spending bills until after the November elections.

To read budget highlights regarding the two agencies that AMAC regularly engages on behalf of our membership―the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) CLICK HERE MOVE TO WEBSITE 


FAA Airport Issues in the FY 2017 Budget

The overall FY 2017 budget request for the FAA is $15.9 billion, representing a $381 million decrease from the FY 2016 enacted level. This decrease is largely attributable to proposed changes in eligibility for the Airport Improvement Program.  Budget Highlights include:

Passenger Facility Charges (PFCs)

  • The FY 2017 budget proposes to lift the cap on PFCs for all commercial service airports to $8.00 per flight segment from the current $4.50; this change would be coupled with changes in eligibility for AIP funds.

Airport Improvement Program (AIP) Grants-in-Aid

  • The FY 2017 budget proposes a 14.1% reduction in AIP spending, a decrease of approximately $450 million. In addition, the availability of AIP funds would be restricted to medium hub, small commercial service, and general aviation airports only.
  • The request projects that the increased PFC cap will allow large hub airports to compensate for the new limitation on AIP funding, and allow “all commercial service airports greater flexibility to generate their own funding sources.”
  • The FAA has identified the following priorities for AIP spending in FY 2017:
    • Reconfigure taxiways, perimeter service roads and other facilities to reduce the risk of runway incursions;
    • Fund infrastructure development projects to meet airport safety and design standards;
    • Ensure that 93 percent of runways at more than 3,328 airports in the National Plan of Integrated Airport systems are maintained in excellent, good or fair condition;
    • Fund all approved Runway Safety Action Team (RSAT) recommendations identified in the Airports Capital Improvement Program (ACIP);
    • Fund capacity projects identified in the ACIP;
    • Fund continued support of the Military Airport Program;
    • Fund Voluntary Airport Low Emission (VALE) and Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program initiatives to improve air quality by helping airports reduce emissions from mobile and stationary ground sources; and
    • Incorporate sustainability principles into airport master planning and continue funding sustainable airport master planning
    • Fund eligible energy efficiency projects.
    • Fund airport recycling plans as an element of airport master plans or master plan updates.

 TSA Airport Issues in the FY 2017 Budget

The overall FY 2017 budget request for the TSA is $7.1 billion, representing an increase of $135 million over the FY 2016 enacted level.  Budget Highlights include:

Operations and Support - Passenger & Baggage Screening

  • Transportation Security Officer (TSO) Workforce - Funds an increase in TSO workforce in response to deficiencies uncovered by Office of Inspector General (OIG) covert testing.  The increase is designed to improve screening performance at airport checkpoints.

Procurement, Construction & Improvement Passenger & Bagging Screening 

  • The budget will allow TSA to continue deploying hardware and software improvements to checkpoint equipment through U.S. airports. Specifically, for Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) units, TSA will invest in the deployment of enhanced screening software.
  • TSA fees are generally imposed on air carriers, but may have an indirect effect on airports by influencing traffic volumes. The FY 2017 budget proposes several increases in TSA fees:
    • Gradual increases in the per-passenger aviation security fee, from the current $5.60 per one-way trip to:
      • $6.60 in FY 2017
      • $7.00 in FY 2018
      • $7.25 in FY 2020
      • $7.50 in FY 2021
    • Reinstatement of the $420 million carrier-side security fee imposed after September 11 (and repealed as part of the 2013 federal budget compromise)

House Transportation Committee Moves First on FAA Reauthorization

As March 31st Deadline Looms, another Short-term Extension Likely

H.R. 4441 - The Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (“AIRR Act”) introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) would reshape the U.S. air traffic control (ATC) system by taking most ATC functions out of the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and placing them with a newly established, independent nonprofit corporation. The legislation would also make significant changes to the laws governing aircraft safety and certification, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), and airline consumer protection, among other areas — in addition to providing the first long-term funding reauthorization for the FAA since 2012.

Before the AIRR Act is cleared for takeoff to the president’s desk, a number of hurdles remain in the legislative process. As the measure advances to consideration by the full House, amendment opportunities may arise on the House floor as lawmakers grapple with the sweeping ATC proposal. On the other side of the Capitol, the Senate is working on its own reauthorization proposal, which could offer additional pathways that are sure to impact the final outcome.

The proposed ATC privatization is intended to create a system that is more responsive to users and that is free from federal procurement and funding constraints. However, separating the ATC function — and the associated personnel, property, and technology — from the FAA involves considerable complexity. Questions have also been raised regarding oversight and control of the ATC system post-separation. The core elements of the AIRR Act’s proposed ATC Corporation are as follows:

  • Purpose– The ATC Corporation would assume the ATC services currently provided by the FAA. While the corporation would remain subject to the FAA’s safety oversight, it would be an independent entity and the U.S. government would have no liability for its actions or provide any guarantee of its debt. Separating ATC operations from their oversight is a model that has been pursued elsewhere, notably in Canada and in the European Union.
  • Governance– The ATC Corporation would be led by a chief executive officer (CEO) appointed by a governing board of directors composed of the following representatives:
    • Two directors appointed by the Secretary of Transportation;
    • Four directors representing mainline air carriers;
    • Two directors representing noncommercial owners and recreational operators of general aviation aircraft;
    • One director representing owners and operators of general aviation aircraft for business purposes;
    • One director representing aerospace manufacturers;
    • One director representing air traffic controllers;
    • One director representing pilots; and
    • The CEO.

To assist the governing board, the AIRR Act would also establish a 15-member advisory board, including representatives of stakeholders such as commercial airports, business aviation, aerospace manufacturers, UAS, labor organizations, the Department of Defense, and small communities.

  • Funding– The ATC Corporation would be authorized to charge user fees for its services, consistent with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization. Piston engine aircraft, noncommercial operations of turbine aircraft, and air taxi operations in remote locations would be exempt from such fees. Questions remain regarding the transition from the current system of funding the FAA’s ATC services through the aviation fuel excise tax. It is important to note that Members of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee have expressed concern about losing their “power of the purse” over the ATC system, and senior members of the Appropriations committees in the House and Senate have also raised oversight concerns. The aforementioned concerns increase the likelihood that the FAA reauthorization process will likely take many more weeks, if not months, and compromises will need to be made on both sides of the aisle.

The AIRR Act includes a number of additional proposals that would touch nearly every aspect of the aviation industry. Many of these provisions address aviation consumer protection, which has been an area of increasing regulatory and enforcement activity for the Department of Transportation (DOT) and FAA in recent years.

  • Provide six years of funding for the FAA functions retained by the government.
  • Includes Congressional Findings citing compelling need for the continuation of the airport disadvantaged business enterprise program and the airport concessions disadvantaged business enterprise program to address race and gender discrimination in airport-related business.
  • Expand the federal funding share for projects funded by the Airport Improvement Program at medium-hub and large-hub airports.
  • Require pre-purchase notification if a family will not be seated together on a commercial flight.
  • Prohibit cellphone voice communications on commercial flights.
  • Extend the term of DOT’s Advisory Committee for Aviation Consumer Protection to 2022.
  • Require air carriers to refund baggage fees for baggage that arrives at a destination more than 24 hours after the arrival of the corresponding passenger.
  • Require additional rulemaking with respect to certain issues described in DOT’s 2008 regulations under the Air Carrier Access Act.

Having been approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the AIRR Act now moves on for consideration by the full House. The Senate has not announced a formal timeframe for the introduction of its FAA reauthorization proposal. As the current funding authorization for the FAA expires on March 31, another short-term extension will be necessary if both congressional chambers do not complete their work on the bill before the end of March.

Legislative Alert re: FAA Reauthorization Bill

House FAA Bill Stalls, Focus Now Turns to the Senate

AMAC Members Encouraged to Contact Their Senators on DBE Priorities

AMAC has learned that the House Republican leadership is postponing, indefinitely, plans to pass an overhaul of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The move comes in response to growing concerns over the bill’s plans to spin off the agency’s air traffic control function. This news, combined with less than ten legislative days in the month of March, also greatly increases the likelihood of another short-term funding extension for the FAA as the current extension is set to expire on March 31.

This development now places the U.S. Senate at the forefront of the FAA Reauthorization debate. AMAC has been actively engaged with Senate leaders over the past weeks regarding our priorities and expect possible action as early as April. The Government Affairs Committee strongly encourages members to contact their respective Senators today about policy issues of importance to the DBE community―specifically applying DBE participation goals to the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) program.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this important request.

aviation news

cb-airport-loungeThe Airport Lounge: The New Front Line in the Battle of the Airlines

By Michelle Cohan, CNN

There's a new front line in the battle of the airline carriers -- the airport lounge.

From the opulent and exclusive to the innovative and inclusive, lounges are now more than just a place to relax and have a snack before a flight.

With airports ever more crowded, airlines are realizing the importance of improving the whole flying experience.

"The fight is happening on the ground now," says Nicola Lange, director of Lufthansa First Class Services & Lounges.

She says that with in-flight premium experiences becoming more and more similar across airlines, it's increasingly important to stand out on the ground in airports.

It's about "touching the hearts of passengers," says Attila Dogudan, CEO of Turkish Airline's lounge operator Do&Co.

"There is loyalty which you get back from your clients if you treat them like we do."

So who gets it right and how do they do it?


Orlando Sanford Planning Expansion

Central Florida's second-largest airport plans to capitalize on its "simpler, faster and better" facility and its military heritage as focus turns toward expansion and remodeling. Sanford International Airport made the announcement last week that it hopes to spend $43 million in expanding and improving facilities for passengers and airlines.

The airport, situated to the north of Orlando, is relatively new. Only 20 years ago it was a quiet, private airfield known for executive jet and light aircraft movements. However, through a dedicated focus on attracting airlines to service the booming Florida tourism industry, Sanford has grown to 2.5 million passengers per year in 2015.

Having experienced a growth in passenger numbers for almost every year since 1995, the airport authority is planning for the upgrades it needs to continue handling this growth, which is anticipated to reach 2.7 million passengers by 2018.

"We have to look ahead, and we think this will carry us forward for the next 8 to 10 years," Diane Crews, president and CEO of the airport, told the Orlando Sentinel.



amac news


Airport Directors and CEOs to Attend
AMAC Economic Opportunity and Policy Forum

A distinguished group of Airport Directors and corporate CEOs will participate in AMAC’s 22nd Annual Economic Opportunity and Policy Forum planned for Tuesday, March 22 at the Renaissance DC Downtown Hotel.

The event, which is being co-hosted with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), will offer ​a ​day ​of ​professional ​development, ​business ​networking ​and ​opportunities ​to ​develop ​strategic ​partnerships.

MWAA’s Airport Director John Potter will be joined by Ricky Dorell Smith, Executive Director/CEO of the Maryland Aviation Administration (MAA), and Norfolk Airport Authority Deputy Executive Director Robert Bowen on the Aviation Forecast Panel during the General Session of the event. The Panel will be moderated by Clifford A. Bailey, President/CEO of TechSoft Systems, Inc.

A Luncheon Fireside Chat with CEO’s will include President and Chairman Warren M. Thompson of Thompson Hospitality; Melvin Clark, CEO of railroad construction firm G. W. Peoples; Kevin Kelly, President of Delaware North's travel hospitality division; Leslie Bensen, Founder, President and CEO of Departure Media, and Michael Svagdis, CEO of SSP America. The Fireside Chat will be moderated by Efrain Gonzalez, CFO and CAO at BusinessUSA.

To register, click here:

c_bailey j_potter ricky_smith
Clifford Bailey

President & CEO
TechSoft Systems, Inc.

 Robert Bowen
Deputy Executive Director
Norfolk Airport Authority
John Potter
President and Chief Executive Officer
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
Ricky D. Smith
Executive Director/CEO
Maryland Aviation Administration

AMAC President on Eno/COMTO Top Ten List

AMAC President Shelby Scales was featured this month on “The Top 10 Up and Coming Transportation Professionals of Color” list developed by the Eno Center for Transportation, a nonprofit, non-partisan transportation think tank, and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO)

The list was published in the Eno Transportation Weekly Newsletter with the following introduction: “We have assembled a list of minorities who are doing important work in the industry. Some are high profile executives, some own their own firms, and others are rising leaders who are working to make transportation more accessible in their communities. We take great pride in honoring this slate of professionals who are influencing policy and transportation delivery models across the country. In doing so, we hope to highlight the continued need to nurture diversity in our organizations.”



membership corner


Tonja-Headshot-BWTonja Pastorelle is New AMAC Regional Director

Tonja Pastorelle, President of the Elmhurst IL- based Pastorelle Marketing Group, has joined the AMAC Board of Directors as the new Great Lakes Regional Director. In that role she will coordinate AMAC activity in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Pastorelle’s firm provides business development support for established businesses looking to enter or grow in airport concessions. Her Group offers RFP writing services to clients and helps them get ready to bid.

A passionate advocate for the legislative work that AMAC does keeping the DBE program strong and focused, she says: “Without that consistent political pressure, we could fall back into the days when the small concessionaire had no chance at all of making it into airports.”

Pastorelle has been the catalyst for the formation of the Chicago ACDBE Alliance. The year-old group is focused on networking, mentorship and supporting one another as they enter the industry. The group is also building a fund to offer scholarships and mentorships to high school students who are interested in the airport and aviation field.

Join AMAC Now, Get Up to Two Months Free

If you join AMAC now, you will receive up to two months of free membership!

Membership has many significant benefits. Through our annual conferences, you will be able to further develop your professional expertise and business network. Throughout the year, we bring educational programs to you covering a range of subjects from how to do business at airports to important issues affecting the DBE Program to regional opportunities and policies. Our conferences and other events attract airport executives, concessionaires, professional service providers, and government.

And, that’s not all. Visit our Members Benefits section to learn more about the many advantages and privileges that AMAC membership offers.


from the usdot

USDOT Training Session for Airport DBELOs and ACDBEs Planned

FAA, FHWA, and FTA will be presenting a combined training session for all DOT financial recipients including airport DBE and ACDBE program consultants on April 5-7, 2016 at Chicago, IL.

This 3-day training will be held at the Renaissance Chicago O’Hare Suites (room registration information will be forthcoming).  The first day will be led by USDOT and will focus on the DBE Certification Standards and Procedures, including a discussion on Interstate Certification.  The second day will include a session on Goal Setting, Good Faith Efforts, Counting DBE Participation and Commercially Useful Function (CUF). The third and final day will cover Reporting using the new Uniform Report, and Monitoring and Enforcement requirements.

DBE Liaison Officers (DBELOs), Airport Concession DBE (ACDBE) Liaison Officers, airport program consultants and other program administrators responsible for implementing the DBE and ACDBE programs are invited to participate.

All participants are encouraged to bring existing DBE program plans, goal methodologies, and laptops. The DBE Academy instructors from each mode and participants will work together in small group settings to address areas of greatest concern and provide practical and targeted solutions.  Participants will also receive a certificate of completion on the last day of training.

The DBE Academy is limited to 35 recipients/representatives from each mode (FHWA/FTA/FAA).  To register, please submit the registration form below to Nancy Cibic at by March 11, 2016.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Nancy Cibic at

Click below for Chicago DBE Academy Registration Form




The AMAC Job Board is a nationwide listing of active and upcoming job openings at governments and contractors across the country. If you represent a public or private organization that would like to post an open position, please contact us at

For job postings click here.


The AMAC Bid Board is a nationwide listing of active and upcoming bid opportunities at governments across the country. If you represent a government organization that would like to post opportunities, please contact us at

For bid opportunities click here.