MESSAGE FROM AMAC's NATIONAL CONFERENCE CHAIR
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
This year, AMAC’s popular Annual Airport Business Diversity Conference will be held in my city, Cleveland, Ohio. As Manager of Emerging Business Enterprise Development at the Cleveland Airport System, I am pleased and proud to be the local chair for this highly anticipated national event.
The AMAC conference, which is in its 32nd year, regularly draws more than 1,000 aviation industry professionals and opinion leaders as well as influential business and community stakeholders. It is THE place to be for young men and women interested in careers that take flight. It is a magnet for entrepreneurs who want to do business in the wide range of related commerce that surrounds the airport industry. It is a proven valuable experience for established airport professionals and business owners to gain new insights into what lies ahead for the industry.
We will offer speakers, panels and exhibitors that can help pave the way for business and professional success in an industry that is in an upwardly spiraling growth mode. We are planning opportunities for access to seasoned airport business concessionaires who will share best practices. We hope to expose DBEs, WBEs and MBEs to AMAC match-making success stories and to all the ways that membership can be valuable to them.
One focus of the conference will be on airport construction which is in a boom phase as more and more facilities are upgrading and repairing aging infrastructure. But additionally, we want to point out to small construction industry businesses that new concessionaires are looking for architects, engineers and artisans to design and build their shops inside the airport.
Cleveland is abuzz with new construction, including the airport’s new façade and ticketing level upgrades, to get ready for the July Republican National Convention. AMAC conference participants will see a shiny, spruced up city and will enjoy an enhanced mix of world class art, lush landscapes, culinary treasures and, of course, rock and roll!
Stay tuned as we continue to announce our speakers and expand our schedule. Register now to be a part of this year’s exciting conference.REGISTER NOW
AMAC Annual Business Diversity Conference
Spotlight on AMAC’s Scott Baker
Scott Baker comes from a family that celebrates entrepreneurship. That’s why, right after earning a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from the Boston University Questrom School of Business in 1986, he jumped right into the fray. That year, he started Skycom Courier in Allston, MA.
Today Baker’s company has evolved into RTD Logistics/Skycom Courier. The fast-growing business is a full-service 24-hour express delivery enterprise, which focuses on expedited package delivery, logistics planning and consultation.
His company delivers coast to coast for law firms, medical suppliers, banks, supply chain managers, among many others. “We deliver everything, from the smallest envelops to massive equipment and materials,” he says with enthusiasm. “We deliver on track, on time, on line, all the time!”
Baker has found a way to co-exist comfortably with massive competition like Fedex and UPS, he notes. “We often work with them to manage that last mile of unpacking and delivering,” he says.
An avid consumer of continuing professional development opportunities, Baker has been a participant in the 2007 class of Boston’s Inner City Entrepreneurs’ (Interise) program and in the Dartmouth (Tuck) School of Business Minority Business Executive Program and similar programs.
With a family member in the airport concession business, Baker was encouraged to join AMAC and explore the possibilities of networking to provide transport services to other concessionaires.
“The AMAC experience opened the door to a wide range of possibilities including partnering with airport freight businesses that need support for local delivery and airlines who may need help getting lost luggage back into the hands of owners,” Baker notes.
His company has a number of certifications including HUB Zone, DBE, MBE and SLBE, he says. “A partnership with us can help major airport contractors meet their minority requirements.”
Senate sends FAA reauthorization to House
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a long-term reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday, kicking the measure over to the House, where similar efforts have stalled.
In a 95-3 vote, lawmakers approved an amended bill that would greenlight FAA programs through fiscal 2017. The agency’s current legal authority expires on July 15.
The chamber was unable to adopt a final package of over two dozen amendments just prior to the vote because of a lone objection from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), according to a Senate aide. Senators spent two weeks debating the measure and added over 19 amendments on the floor and 57 in committee.
Senate leaders ultimately decided to drop renewable energy tax breaks from the bill, which Democrats had said were unintentionally left out of last year’s package of tax extensions, but that drew the ire of conservative groups.
“To get to this point has been no small task,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.
The bill would address drone safety and privacy issues, with Nelson highlighting a provision that would establish a pilot program to test and develop technologies to intercept or shut down drones if they get too close to airports.
A drone reportedly struck a British Airways plane near London’s Heathrow Airport over the weekend. The plane landed safely, but the incident stoked public fear about drones flying near planes.
“Remember what happened when two seagulls were sucked into the engines of a flight called the Hudson River miracle,” Nelson said. “That’s feathers and webbed feet and a beak. Can you imagine the metal and plastic of a drone being sucked into a jet engine?”
The FAA legislation also would beef up airport security, increase authorized funding for the Airport Improvement Program and establish new consumer protections, such as requiring airlines to offer refunds for lost or delayed bags and standardizing the way airline companies disclose fees.
Now all eyes turn to the House, where a six-year reauthorization of the FAA was advanced out of committee but has stalled largely due to a contentious proposal to separate the nation's air traffic control system from the FAA.
Bill sponsors hope Tuesday’s strong vote increases pressure across the Capitol to swiftly advance the Senate’s version.
“In a complicated bill like this, it doesn’t contain everything that everybody wants. But we hope our counterparts in the House will take up and pass this bill without delay,” Nelson said, who warned against adding the air traffic control proposal. “We’ve given them a good, bipartisan blueprint.”READ MORE
Great Lakes Forum offers Scholarships and Project LIFT to Area Youth
Scholarships and speed dating, two concepts that wouldn’t normally mesh, were both part of an exciting program for youth offered during the two-day Great Lakes Regional Forum, held in the Detroit area on April 20 and 21.
On April 20, Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the AMAC Foundation honored four college-bound Detroit Public Schools students who plan to pursue careers in aviation. The juniors and seniors from Davis Aerospace Technical High School received a total of $10,000 in scholarships.
- Albert Houser
- Jared Jenkin
- Jose Rubio
- Dezmond Stover
WDIV-TV’s Paula Tutman, an Emmy-winning broadcast journalist, emceed the event. Monica Starks, an accomplished entrepreneur who owns GS Group LLC, inspired the students with her keynote message. She encouraged them to celebrate their accomplishments, take advantage of opportunities, keep their spirits up during tough times and remember the sky’s the limit.
The next day, approximately 25 Davis Aerospace students participated in DTW’s version of Project LIFT as part of the Forum. AMAC’s Project LIFT (Leaders Inspiring Future Talent) exposes students to potential careers and educational paths to success in the aviation industry, while providing opportunities to network with professional mentors to further academic development. Using a “speed-dating” approach, the students interacted with a new group of professionals—across a variety of airport and aviation disciplines—every 15 minutes.
During lunch, Tanya R. Allen, partner and vice president of HBF APU, shared her career path and achievements in several industries, including airport concessions.
Students ended their day with a tour of DTW’s airfield, maintenance complex, public safety building and more.
DEN Now Offering Loan Fund For Women, Minority Entrepreneurs
Women and minority entrepreneurs now have the opportunity to apply for gap financing from Denver International (DEN) Airport.
The $1 million revolving loan fund, called the Airport Concession Loan Program, provides financial help for first-time concessionaires. The airport’s revenue management division administers the program and will provide up to $250,000 per loan for gap financing during initial construction of retail or dining spaces.
“Denver International Airport generated a record $336 million in gross concessions revenue in 2015, making DEN a very attractive place to do business,” says Bhavesh Patel, chief revenue officer for DEN. “But getting your start in the highly competitive airport business environment requires a tremendous amount of time, energy and capital investment. This revolving loan program provides a mechanism for new airport concessionaires to tap into gap financing during build-out and helps support our newest partners as their business venture takes off.”
Business owners must be certified within the Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, must be new to airport concessions and show a need for gap financing to be eligible, among other requirements.
Atlanta Airport Eyes Techniques to Speed Security Screening
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport general manager Miguel Southwell said he hopes to begin testing new technology to speed security screening by this summer.
One of the methods under discussion to test at the Atlanta airport is a system with a secondary conveyor belt where passengers put their carry-on items in bins to go through the X-ray machine. The system will allow people to pass those who are slower in separating their items into bins.
Such a system might help address one of the main areas of conflict between frequent travelers raring to go and others who are slower, less-experienced or have more complex carry-on items to sort through.
“The system we have here permits one person to dispose of their items onto the belts at a time, and if you happen to get stuck behind someone with a lot of stuff, you’re going to wait a long time,” Southwell said. New systems have a longer table where three or five people can start putting their items into trays at the same time, “then there’s a secondary conveyor belt right behind that, and the person that finishes first would put their items on the belt, so you wouldn’t be stuck behind,” he said.
It’s similar to a system used at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, according to Southwell. Schiphol uses a new model for security screening lines that includes trays with RFID chips.
As lines at Transportation Security Administration screening checkpoints stretch into the atrium regularly and generate complaints about wait times nearly an hour long during busy periods, Southwell has pushed for ways to make security lines run more efficiently — and more staffing.
Southwell said the airport is also getting more staff and is more than doubling its number of canine units.
“We’ve gotten additional resources,” Southwell said.
“We are extremely happy with the progress TSA is making,” he said, adding that he believes the agency has turned the corner on wait times.
Park and Fly a Key Selling Point for Regional Airports
By Tim Landis
Federal warnings of long security lines at major airports this summer have become a selling point for park-and-fly regional airports.
"We definitely promote convenience. We suggest they be here an hour ahead of domestic flights and two hours for international flights," said Leslie Fella, director of marketing and air services at Evansville Regional Airport.
The Indiana airport is coming off a 19.2 percent increase in passenger traffic last year. More than 208,000 passengers connected to hubs in Chicago, Detroit, Dallas-Fort Worth and Charlotte, North Carolina. Discount carrier Allegiant also serves the Florida market.
Fella said the fact that passengers who clear shorter security lines at regional airports do not have to repeat the process at connecting hubs likely contributed to the increased traffic, though the Evansville airport also added flights in the past few years.
She said Transportation Security Administration advisories about long lines at major airports have not affected local waits.
"It's been about the same the last few years," said Fella.
Passenger numbers at Springfield's Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport rose for the third year in a row, to nearly 184,000 in 2015. The 5.5 percent increase came after a 20 percent jump in 2014.
Airport executive director Mark Hanna agreed that backlogs at major airports have not affected local security lines. The Springfield airport serves hubs in Chicago and Dallas-Fort Worth, as well as Florida through Allegiant.
"If you check in early and you have a boarding pass, you can go right to the security checkpoint," said Hanna, who added that security clearance typically takes 10 to 15 minutes.
The Bloomington airport serves hubs in Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta, Detroit and Minneapolis, and also has Allegiant flights to Florida.
Great Lakes Forum Draws Crowds and Sparks Discussion
Wayne County Airport Authority welcomed aviation industry leaders and contractors to AMAC’s Great Lakes Regional Forum for two days of networking and learning on April 20-21. WCAA operates Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) and Willow Run Airport (YIP).
The forum, held at DTW’s Westin Hotel, brought airport operators, airline executives, government officials and contractors together for professional development, networking and exposure to business opportunities in the region.
Leslie Proll, Director of the Departmental Office of Civil Rights – Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, delivered the keynote address. Her office enforces civil rights and labor laws, as well as coordinates oversight of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.
Other highlights of the forum included the Aviation Forecast Panel featuring WCAA CEO Thomas Naughton; Robert Selig, President & CEO, Capital Region International Airport; and Susan Warner-Dooley, First Deputy Commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation.
The Fireside Chat with the CEOs of local businesses generated a lot of discussion and several sessions drew large crowds.
The forum ended with a concessions tour of DTW’s McNamara Terminal, spotlighting award-winning and innovative concepts developed by current and former ACDBEs. HBF APU sponsored a reception in the terminal to celebrate the conclusion of a successful forum.
Ron Evans, WCAA Deputy Director of Procurement, led the local planning committee.
New Member Benefits Program Offered
AMAC has engaged Affinity Group Underwriters (AGU), a leading national association benefits consultant and administrator, to create and manage a portfolio of group and individual insurance coverages exclusively for our members.
Benefit programs offered:
- AffinityChoice voluntary employee benefits (life, dental, vision & disability)
- Gap Insurance supplementary coverage for high deductible health plans
- Government Contractor health & welfare group benefit plans
- MEC Plus - low cost solution for compliance with the Affordable Care Act
- Individual & Family Dental & Vision insurance
- Healthcare Discount Program - savings on dental, vision, telemedicine, lab tests, chiropractic care and more
FREE BONUS BENEFIT
for all AMAC members, families and employees of members
WellCardRx pharmacy savings card. Save up to 65% on prescriptions.
Download to your smart phone.
For more information, visit our program website:
Business Conference for Black Entrepreneurs, Business Executives and Chambers of Commerce Planned
AMAC members will receive a $50 discount off registration fees to The U.S. Black Chambers' School of Chamber & Business Management Conference when they use the promo code: AMAC50
The Conference is a 4-day event featuring business educational workshops, real networking opportunities, unprecedented access to business resources, and an awards gala honoring influential Black business leaders. For more details and to register visit:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For job postings click here.