Airport Business

FEB-MAR 2018

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EXECUTIVE INTERVIEW February/March 2018 airportbusiness 39 a conversation with Frontier CEO Barry Biffle, he said 'I don't know why anybody from the Centennial on south doesn't think about Colorado Springs [Airport] first.' We have advantages including easy entry and exit, quick access to the terminal, lower-priced parking, shorter check- point lines, no lines at our concessions and much shorter walks to our gates. At Denver, you really do need to plan on two hours to get to your gate. I'm not maligning large hubs because they have a huge place in the nation- al airspace system. But for small airports, what we sell is convenience and simplicity. You add to that, a level of customer service that a small airport is capable of providing that is hard for a large hub to match. By building up the routes and opportunities, particularly from the ultra-low-cost carriers like Allegiant and Frontier, it has put downward price pressure on all the other carriers as well. In fact, the Colorado Springs Gazette did an article looking at the fourth quarter 2016 here and our average fares went down 11 percent. When you talk about that, along with all the great things a small airport has, then all of a sudden, you've got a real strong opportunity. AB: What do you say to people who see you as a competitor to Denver International Airport? GP: I'm kind of funny because I tend to think that if one airport profits and succeeds, then other airports do too. What is it we're trying to do? We're trying to get people traveling and make make it easy for them. Does our leakage go to Denver? Yes it does. But I think there's enough opportu- nity across the state for both of us. I just don't tend to think the same as others do because I think that if Denver succeeds, we have a chance to succeed and if we succeed, hopefully we can compliment Denver as well. Colorado Springs is never going to beat Denver. We don't really want to beat Denver. When we did a two-market study in May, we found a catchment area of 7.1 million people looking from the south edge of DIA all the way south. We don't ever expect that we'd get anybody bypassing DIA to come through Colorado Springs, but that's still a lot of people. Our leakage report shows that we're only getting about 17.8 percent of that, so there's plenty of opportunity for southern Colorado citizens to use the local airport. As I-25 gets more and more congested between Denver and Colorado Springs, once again, it just continues to make sense to at least consider Colorado Springs as an option, even if you are north of Colorado Springs. A lot of this relates to our effort to offer more destinations. It's one thing to say that, but if you only have five destinations, it's going to be a tough sell. But we have 17 direct destinations right now. A few of them are seasonal, but with that, and with the growth that we continue to promote, we hope it will continue to make it easy for southern Colorado citizens to use the airport. AB: What construction projects are on the books or being planned? www.aviationpros.com/10017652 www.aviationpros.com/12342963 LEKTRO 1-800-535-8767 1-503-861-2288 sales@lektro.com Models Ranging 15,000 to 280,000 lbs. The Original Aircraft Tug www. .com LEKTRO Easy to Use Simple to Maintain Electric Towbarless Rugged Universal Certified Since 1945

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