Andrew Compart, a senior editor for Aviation Daily, talks to airline marketing and branding strategist Shashank Nigam about airline use--or lack thereof--of social media in this Things With Wings podcast (14:44).
Editor's note: Aviation Week reporter James Ott gives us an up-close view on the opening of the new Indianapolis International Airport. You can read his story (subscribers only) in today's Aviation Daily. And click here to listen to a quick 1-minute Podcast on new security technology with Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lauren Gaches and Indianapolis Federal Security Director David Kane.
Workmen of all stripes put the finishing touches on the new Indianapolis International Airport for its grand opening Nov. 11. It's the first newly constructed airport facility since the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Local people have already seen the obvious features of the $1.3-billion facility including the new terminal but only from the outside during community days. They and other users of the airport will be surprised when they see the finished product.
Arriving aircraft that landed in the later hours of Nov. 10, unloaded passengers into the new terminal. Departing passengers boarded aircraft on Tuesday, with the first one scheduled to depart at 5:50 a.m. During the day, local authorities and representatives of the dozen airlines at Indy cut a hugely long ribbon to formally open the facility.
There is no comparison between the new and old terminal facilities at Indy. The old one, its fate still in question, was 1950’s’ style that looked almost Victorian and with nary an inch of extra space for anything.
The new Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Terminal, named after the Army Air Corps World War I and II pilot, is truly remarkable. It is an inviting space, open and airy, particularly so in what is called the Civic Plaza. In this area, local and national restaurants, a wine bar or two, are spread around the circumference.
A glass ceiling provides natural lighting. No doubt the plaza be a center of activity for passengers and visitors alike. Airport officials are talking about holding musical events particularly during holiday seasons. Art works are scattered throughout the general lobby reception area, the plaza, and the two concourses, providing a lot of interesting diversions.
The way the Transportation Security Administration and the airport handled security will be a model for any new terminal facility. Passengers may use either of the two 7-lane security areas that are connected by a sterile walkway that connects to both A and B concourses.
The security checkpoint at Indy Airport TSA has established an Expert Lane for frequent travelers who expect few problems; general lanes for those who travel less, and a third one that caters to travelers with children and the disabled. TSA equipment is the latest available.
This week I have a different twist on the radio show. Instead of doing a Podcast, we're doing a video. I interview Bill DeCota, aviation director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. We chat about the new JetBlue Terminal 5 at JFK Airport almost a week after it opened. Click here to watch my 5:46-minute interview. Enjoy!
This week's issue of Aviation Week & Space Technology, commemorating 30 years of airline deregulation, includes my interview with the man considered to be he father, Dr. Alfred Kahn. At 91, he is still a keen observer of the industry he helped change -- drastically -- back in 1978.
I spoke with him at the Airports Council International world assembly held in Boston last month, where he was the keynote speaker. You can click here (subscribers only) to read my interview with him in Aviation Week. You can click here (subscribers only) to read my colleague Adrian Schofield's story on some calls for reregulation as the airline industry continues to struggle with roller coaster fuel prices and the global economic crisis.
You can also click here to listen to a 5:24-minute Podcast of my interview with Kahn. Enjoy!
And the hits from the Airports Council International (ACI) exhibit floor keep coming. I had the chance to visit with NCR and see a demonstration of its new Xpress Entertainment kiosk, which allows travelers to rent DVDs right at the airport.
You can click here to see my amateur video demonstrating how the kiosk works. One unique feature is that NCR places an RFID tag on all the DVDs that travelers rent, allowing the company to remotely perform a physical inventory of the kiosk to validate product inventory at anytime.
And speaking of movies, I also had the chance to see a demonstration from Fadow -- which stands for Fast Download. Fadow can distribute digital content - movies, TV shows, travel guides, games and more -- to travelers directly onto a thumb drive using its Moviecles kiosk. it takes only minutes for an 800 Meg file (the length of an average movie) to download. You can use your own, or get one from Fadow.
The Moviecles is being tested for six months at Boston-Logan International Airport. You can click here for Fadow's photo stream on Flickr.
And last, but certainly not least, I had the pleasure of meeting Harriet Baskas, USA Today and MSNBC travel columnist and keeper of the wonderful "Stuck At The Airport" blog, at the ACI conference. It's nice to see that at least one other person shares my obsession with airports! You can click here to see some of the things Harriet saw while she was on the ACI exhibit floor.