Jan/Feb 2011

Southwest/AirTran Merger Tops Airport Authority Priority List

Although the results of the Southwest/AirTran merger will not be known for some time, the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority is working feverishly to build its case for the Rocket City to remain on Southwest’s list of viable markets. Approval of the merger will not be complete until the first half of 2011 and full integration of the two airlines operating as one could take as along as 24 months thereafter. According to Barbie Peek, Marketing Director, Huntsville International Airport, “Discussions with Southwest have been kept to a minimum at this point while the airline concentrates its full attention on the merger approval, but we are moving full steam ahead to ensure we are prepared and ready when we are given an opportunity to address the airline.” View the entire article.

Introducing Vision Airlines to the TN Valley: New Low-cost, Non-stop Service to Gulf Coast

Earlier this month, Vision Airlines announced it will begin serving Huntsville International Airport with low-cost, non-stop service to Ft Walton/Destin starting March 25, 2011. The service – with roundtrip flights on Fridays and Mondays – will operate on a 32-seat Dornier 328 aircraft. Promotional fares as low as $49 each way will be available if booked by January 23. Thereafter, fares will average $89 each way. View the entire article.

Navistar Engine Group Lauded with US Chamber of Commerce Award

Less than two months after Navistar Plant Manager, Chuck Sibley, was named one of People magazine’s “Heroes of the Year,” the plant has been awarded the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s “Community Service Award.” The Huntsville plant was recognized for its program that paid employees to work in the community rather than be laid off during a drop in production earlier this year. Navistar employees worked on Habitat for Humanity houses, built wheelchair ramps for the Care Assurance Systems for the Aging and Homebound, and assisted the Salvation Army. The U.S. Community Service Award is the nation's highest honor for businesses, trade associations, and chambers of commerce engaging in corporate social responsibility, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Navistar was one of 20 companies nationwide to compete for this distinction, and one of five finalists in the U.S. Community Service category. View the full article.

Announcing AirTran Seasonal Bermuda Service via Baltimore/Washington

AirTran Airways recently announced new non-stop, seasonal service to L.F. Wade International Airport in Bermuda from Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. Nonstop flights to Bermuda will be available daily from Baltimore/Washington beginning April 7, 2011, through October 24, 2011. 
View the full article.

Construction Update: Baggage Claim Renovation & Expansion

According to Stan Hogan, Director of Capital Improvements, Huntsville International Airport, construction of the new $25 million baggage claim renovation and expansion project is running smoothly and slightly ahead of schedule. “I am extremely pleased with the work of W.G. Yates & Sons Construction,” said Hogan. “The crew’s commitment to scheduling has been apparent throughout the project, and I am very excited to see the final product, which will meet the needs of our growing number of passengers for years to come.” The project, which broke ground in August, will be completed in 2012. View construction photographs.

Operations & Maintenance Prepares for Heavy Winter Weather Season

Keeping operations running smoothly and efficiently at Huntsville International Airport in the event of inclement weather is no small task, and with the anticipated heavy winter weather season, the airport’s Operations & Maintenance Department is prepped and ready whenever Mother Nature comes calling. With the first major winter weather event occurring on Christmas Day, the Operations & Maintenance crew was in full swing, keeping flights taking off and landing safely, ensuring passengers reached their destinations in time to celebrate the holiday season. Just two weeks later, the crew would be called upon again as the area was pummeled with more than 8 inches of snow – the largest accumulation in nearly two decades and the third-largest record in the City’s history. View the full article.

Travel Tip of the Month: Acceptable Identification at Security Checkpoint

Adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains the following: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date, and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight. Passengers who do not or cannot present an acceptable ID will have to provide information to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Officer performing travel document checking duties in order to verify their identity. Passengers who are cleared through this process may be subject to additional screening. Passengers whose identity cannot be verified by TSA may not be allowed to enter the screening checkpoint or onto an airplane. View the full article.