Airport Business

AUG-SEP 2018

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38 airportbusiness August/September 2018 COVER STORY and dining in the BNA Vision, how did you come to the planning on this? Was it passenger driven or from operations? DK: A little bit of both. Our city, besides being a beautiful city that supports tourism and the music industry and healthcare, we feel like we have a Nashville sense of place in the terminal. We’ve reached out to the local businesses here and they want to be more of a participant with us in our future concessions program. We like to say that we’re the first impression when they arrive and we’re the last impression when they depart, so it’s really important for us that our new mall concept reflects what they see downtown, so you’ll feel like you’re in Nashville the minute you step off the airplane. AB: What were the travelers in the community telling you they wanted to see focus on with BNA Vision improvements? DK: They wanted a higher quality of food and beverages and in the same way with the shopping opportunities. We like that idea because it generates additional revenue for the airport, but as anybody travels with our security regulations, you try to get here a couple of hours before the flight and you want to be able to enjoy yourself and shop for something to take to your friends and family. We’re also growing out of a small-medium sized, medium hub to a large-medium hub and maybe someday to a large hub. We’re now operating almost 22 hours per day, so we didn’t want to stay and offer the same sorts of services from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. We’ve got flights departing at 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. and not landing until Midnight, so we wanted to offer all of our passengers more of those comforts they’d appreciate coming or going. AB: Can you tell me about Nashville’s recent plans to overhaul its concessions and why you’re looking at the developer model? DK: We’re excited about the possibility of doing the developer model. When we started working with our board in the January time period, they gave us some pretty clear goals and improve customer service was No. 1. If you look at the passenger surveys we’ve done, we’re normally in all the different types of things like security, restroom cleanliness, we’re getting grades around 94-95. But if you look at our food and beverage or retail, we’re at a 70-72. We wanted to improve customer service, we wanted the lower prices for our customers so we could increase sales and we really put the bar out there to increase local participation and the same with our ACDBE. We’re picking a partner that we wanted 40 to 45 percent local participation and they think they can get 90 percent. On minority participation, we’re looking for somewhere around 22 to 25 percent and they think they can get it at 40 percent. That will be a homerun for our community. Lastly, the developer model also gives us an opportunity with whomever is selected, invest some capital in the airport. As we do BNA Vision we will spend $1.2 billion and we’ll get a new concourse, we will get a new parking and transportation center, we will get a new central terminal and marketplace with six new gates. That will spend $1 billion in a heartbeat. We want this new developer to come in and invest capital with us to renovate Concourses A, B and C so in the end, when we finish the whole BNA Vision, the whole airport looks brand new and our customers look happy. AB: When do you expect to start seeing operation impacts from BNA Vision and how are you preparing? DK: If you ask my board, they’ll tell you there better not be any operational impact. Airfield wise, I don’t think we will have any operational impacts. Every Thursday morning, we do BNA Vision planning meetings. The first half of the meeting is all focused on the customer and what’s going on. As we grow and construct, we’re really focused on how are we communicating the impact of this construction. Customer Smith comes No. 1 for us. We want him to be able to get off the highway, get into parking, get into the terminal and onto the concourses without a lot of confusion or any problems. I think we’re doing a good job of that so far. We’ve still be getting pretty good reports and grades from our passengers during our surveys. When we started more than a year and a half Baggage Handling Systems (BHS) -Design & Consultation - Analysis & System Optimization -Assessment & OAR Services -BHS / PBB Operations & Maintenance Designed for the Future. Maintained for Performance. www.jsmandassociates.com www.aviationpros.com/10743199

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