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HSV Takes Fares Issue to Community

With rising concerns over high airfares and less capacity, Huntsville International Airport brought transportation industry expert, Bill Swelbar, from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in to address community leaders, business leaders and elected officials. He shed new light on airline ticket costs, connectivity to key markets, and industry impacts on small-to-medium airports like Huntsville.

Swelbar’s insights touched on the overall changes of aviation and covered topics like the high cost of fuel, the shortage in regional pilots, capacity discipline, the trend for moving away from regional jets so often used in smaller communities, and the lack of competition in the industry due to airline mergers.

The Huntsville Times set down with him while he was in town and did and Q&A with Swelbar that can be found here.

His studies on these topics continue to garner media and industry coverage. His white papers can be found here.

The Port of Huntsville has a very active speaker’s bureau and is happy to speak to community groups and organizations on this topic at any time. For more information, contact

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Chairman/Executive Director Letter

The 2013 fiscal year marked the Port of Huntsville’s 45th anniversary, which was fittingly commemorated with the grand opening of the baggage claim area at Huntsville International Airport. This new area is both a welcoming place for our residents to return, as well as a first class impression to those traveling to our city. As we celebrated the completion of the five-year $92 million multi-facet project, it reminded us all of just how far we’ve come. It’s been an amazing journey and we should all take pride in where we are today, and where we are poised to be in the future.

Every aspect of the Port of Huntsville advanced during FY13 – in ways never imagined 45 years ago. This annual report brings to light all the many accomplishments, despite adversity in the economy, and reflects what significant impacts the Port of Huntsville has on not only the Tennessee Valley, but the global marketplace. We have much to be proud of and celebrate through Huntsville International Airport, the International Intermodal Center and Jetplex Industrial Park.

You will see great advances in technology and facilities, new and expanded companies, strength in our infrastructure, national recognition as the 14th largest air cargo airport in the United States, and a spirit of giving back to the community. However, as we take pride in this growth and improvement, we are ever mindful of the vision and hard work of those that came before us.

We are proud of our accomplishments, thankful for our history, and mindful of our responsibility to serve this great region. Thank you for your continued support as we work to further our mission at hand: to provide quality multi-modal transportation services to a diverse regional customer base and to stimulate the economic growth and development of the Tennessee Valley Region.

Carl J. Gessler, Jr., M.D.

Richard Tucker
Executive Director

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FY13 Tenant List

Huntsville International Airport & International Intermodal Center

Jetplex Industrial Park


• American Airlines
• Delta Air Lines
• United Express
• US Airways Express


• Skyline Aviation
• Fitzgerald Flight Academy
• C-Cubed Avionics
• Signature Flight Support


• Atlas Air
• Delta Air Cargo
• Federal Express
• Mid-South Express Delivery, Inc.
• CEVA Logistics Charter Services
• Panalpina
• Cargolux
• United Parcel Services


• Caldwell Transportation
• Integrated Airlines
• Piedmont
• Total Airport Services


• Avis
• Budget
• Dollar/Thrifty
• Enterprise
• Hertz
• National/Alamo


• Air Host
• Elite Travel
• The Grille
• Huntsville/Madison County Convention
   & Visitors Bureau
• The Paradies Shop


• Federal Aviation Administration
• Transportation Security Administration
• U.S. Customs & Border Protection
• U.S. Department of Agriculture


• Huntsville Foreign Trade Zone #83


• Expeditors International
• Page & Jones
• Panalpina
• J.F. Lumpkin


• Senator Richard Shelby District Office
• Sheraton Four Points Hotel
• Sunset Landing Golf Course
• Executive Connection
• Huntleigh Skycap

• ADEPT Technologies
• Airport Distribution Center
- Perez Services
• ATI Firth Sterling
• Barksdale Dental Lab
• The Boeing Company
• Brenntag Mid-South, Inc.
• CDI Electronics
• Futaba Corp. of America
• Graham & Company of Huntsville, LLC
- Audio Video Systems, Inc.
- Champion Windows
- Cinram
- Cope Plastics
- G&K Services
- Hdk America, Inc.
- L-3 Communication
- Northrop Grumman
- Team Worldwide
- Wayne’s Environmental Services
• Industrial Properties of the South
- Alabama Industrial Development
Training (AIDT)
- Bechtel
- Graham Medical Clinic
- JRM Technologies
- Raytheon
- Synapse
- WestWind, Inc.
- Yulista Management Services
• JIT Services
• Evans Delivery Company
• Hdk America, Inc.
• Innovative Sales & Marketing
- On Semiconductors
• Jetplex Distribution Services
- Aldridge Industries
- Armstrong Relocation Co.
- MJLM Engineering & Technical Svcs
- Multitronics VMI, LLC
- Tec Masters
• Jetplex Tradeport
- Jacobson Warehouse
• LG Electronics Alabama, Inc.
• Morris South
• Navistar Big Bore Diesels, LLC
• Navistar Diesel of Alabama, LLC
• Parfums de Coeur, Ltd.
• Plasma Waste Recycling
• Prep-Tech
• SAIA Motor Freight
• Science Engineering Services Inc.
• T.H. Marine
• TRIAD Properties
- Arrowsight, Inc.
- Jacabson Warehousing
• Turner Universal Construction
• Tyco Fire Products/CPVC Division
• Uniforms 2 U
• Universal Lighting Technologies
• Woodmont Park
- Dynetics

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Board of Directors

Pictured from left to right: Mark McDaniel – Vice Chairman; Betty D. Fletcher – Member; William H. Johnston, Jr. – Secretary/Treasurer; Carl J. Gessler, Jr., M. D. – Chairman; BG (Ret.) Dallas W. Fanning – Vice Secretary

Board of Directors
Executive Staff

Executive Staff

Pictured from left to right: Kevin Vandeberg, AAE – Director, Operations; Stan Hogan – Director of Capital Improvements; Richard Tucker – Executive Director; Brooks Kracke – Director, Jetplex Industrial Park; Mitch Bradley – Director, International Intermodal Center; Paul S. Kelly, Jr., CPA – Director of Finance and Administration; Barbie Peek – Director, Marketing; Luther H. Roberts, Jr., AAE, CMA – Deputy Director

Madison County Commission

Pictured from left to right: Back row – Commissioner Steve Haraway; Commissioner Eddie Sisk; Commissioner Phil Vandiver; Commissioner Phil Riddick. Front row: Commissioner Roger Jones; Chairman Dale W. Strong; Commissioner Robert C. (Bob) Harrison.

Madison County Commission
Huntsville City Council

Huntsville City Council

Pictured left to right: Councilman Will Culver; Councilman Mark Russell, President; Mayor Tommy Battle; Councilman John Olshefski; Councilman Dr. Richard Showers, Sr.; and Councilman Bill Kling, Jr.

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Advancing Technology

Being the high-tech community Huntsville is, the airport is constantly trying to stay on course with the latest trends. The Port of Huntsville completely redesigned its website for a more user-friendly experience, while also upgrading and expanding its free WiFi. Customers continue to praise HSV for this valued service.

One of the most anticipated announcements for passengers during FY13 was TSA rolling out electronic boarding passes. Now HSV customers only need a smart phone to check in with the airlines and to go through screening, eliminating the need for paper tickets.

Copyright © 2013 | Huntsville International Airport

Huntsville International Airport Turns 45!

HSV is 45!

Sunday, Oct. 29, 1967 – the day the Port of Huntsville opened in its current location. “Once just a cotton field,” today the Port of Huntsville has grown to nearly 7,000 acres of land, comprised of the Huntsville International Airport (HSV), International Intermodal Center, and Jetplex Industrial Park.

An editorial from The Huntsville Times – 1967, on the day the Port of Huntsville opened called the airport “a milestone in the region’s development,” and said it “represents a marvel of planning and design.” In 2012 those same sentiments were echoed at the Port of Huntsvilleʼs 45th anniversary celebration combined with the grand opening of it new baggage claim area. An estimated crowd of 600 attended to honor the deep history of the Port of Huntsville, including the reveal of commissioned art from local artist S. Renee Prasil depicting the evolution of the Port of Huntsville since 1967.

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Airport Enhancements

The new baggage claim area wasn’t the only piece of Huntsville International Airport (HSV) that saw enhancements during FY13. Many more improvements were made to help enhance the customer experience at the airport – from roadway entrances all the way to the gates at the terminal.

A new guardrail system was added at the entrance road to keep motorists from using the median unsafely as a turnaround. Additionally, Enterprise Rent-A-Car opened a new HSV location to help better serve its customers. This is the first time North America’s largest rental car brand has been on site at HSV.

The airport also installed shared-use gate counters for the airlines on the concourse, which follows a national trend allowing airlines to operate out of any gate at the airport.

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Port of Huntsville Gives Back

The Port of Huntsville has always been passionate about giving back to its community, and in FY13 it launched a new community service initiative as part of the wellness program. The first official volunteer act was painting interior walls for the Arc of Madison County's Civitans Opportunity Center. Approximately 30 Port of Huntsville employees gave up time on a Saturday to help launch the new program.

This was also a record year for employee contributions and fundraising for the annual United Way Campaign. FY13 totals for United Way reached $17,168.

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Panalpina Hosts New 747-8 Preview

Huntsville International Airport (HSV) hosted the only U.S. preview of Panalpina’s new Boeing 747-8 freighters in September 2012. More than 200 customers, local business leaders and state, city and county dignitaries attended this VIP event which included a tour of the plane and Panalpina’s Air Freight and Logistics operations. The evening was capped off with a flight demonstration from the new freighter called “Passion for Solutions.”

While the 747-8 has a payload increase of 16 percent over the 747-400 model, it has substantial reductions in fuel burn, noise, and CO2 emissions. This Group VI aircraft boasts a 224-foot, 7-inch wingspan and measures 250 feet, 2 inches from nose to tail. The new model is 18.3 feet longer and 13 feet wider than the earlier 747 models.

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New Baggage Claim Opens

December 2012 marked the culmination of a five-year, multi-phased, $92 million capital improvement and expansion project for baggage claim. The footprint of the new area more than tripled in size, expanding from10,620 square feet to 40,738 square feet.

W.G. Yates and Sons Construction was the lead contractor and Huntsville, Ala.-based Chapman Sisson Architects designed the facility.

Total improvements to the area included:

  • Three underground-fed baggage carrousels

  • Addition of second elevated crosswalk to new parking deck

  • Five escalators

  • One glass elevator

  • Two state-of-the-art jumbotrons

  • New ground transportation and rental car area

  • Additional public waiting area

  • Expanded curbside loading and unloading

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Jetplex Industrial Park News

Fiscal Year 2013 brought two new tenants to the Jetplex Industrial Park – CDI Electronics and Georgia-Pacific. Georgia-Pacific houses packaging facility and warehouse space in the park and CDI Electronics was able to expand by more than 50 percent with its relocation. Meanwhile, Yulista Management Services expanded its facilities and Panalpina continued investments in its temperature-controlled shipping and storage.

The Jetplex Industrial Park encompasses more than 4,000 acres and complements the Port of Huntsville complex by offering direct access to a comprehensive multimodal transportation network.

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Accolades and Recognition

It’s been a great year for the Port of Huntsville. Some of the many accomplishments for our facilities and
employees include:

  • HSV jumped from No. 16 to No. 14 in the nation for international air cargo

  • This marked our 16th year with no infractions during FAA certification inspection

  • Rick Tucker was named the 2013 International Trade Advocate from the North Alabama International Trade Association (NAITA)

  • Three Beautification Honor Roll Awards in 2013 – HSV, International Intermodal Center and Signature Flight Support

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Expanding Infrastructure for Air Cargo

FY13 was an extremely busy time for improvements to air cargo operations at Huntsville International Airport (HSV). As the 14th-ranked airport in the country for international cargo, HSV sees up to 10 Panalpina 747-8 freighters a week, in addition to other cargo aircrafts. 747-8s are categorized as Group VI aircraft and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has certain requirements for airports that handle these large planes. Meeting these standards was a priority to keep HSV competitive in this industry and connected to the global market place.

The lion’s share of the work for an improved west runway happened during this fiscal year. Capital improvements include expanding the shoulders the entire length of the 12,600-foot runway and both full-strength pavement and shoulders on the taxiways to match the wider turning radius and wingspan of the newest 747 model. In addition to continuing work on the west runway system, HSV added an additional 492,516 square feet to the air cargo ramp, bringing its total space up to 2.3 million. This allows room for 10 747-8s to park on this ramp. These total improvements not only poise HSV for future growth in air cargo, but add benefits to existing and prospective tenants in the Jetplex Industrial Park, and help stimulate economic growth in the entire Tennessee Valley region.