SBA eNewsletter - October 2018
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In This Issue

  • Current Clients: We would like to thank all our current clients for the trust they put in our services and becoming their trusted partners in success. 
  • Project Updates: We're happy to provide updates on some of the many interesting projects we are currently helping clients with. The variety provides a comprehensive example of the range of services we provide. 
  • Client Feature: We take a look at the Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) in Traverse City, MI, its recent accomplishments, and our work there. We also feature Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV) in Savannah, GA and our executive recruiting services. 
  • Client Milestones:  Several noteworthy updates from our clients; we congratulate them all on their many exciting successes. 
  • Conferences & Events: We attended the ACI-NA Annual Conference in Nashville in late September. 

Current Clients

Serving clients and helping their airports become best-in-class in safety, customer service, operations, and air service is what drives us every day. We are very appreciative of the trust our clients put in our services and we are proud to work with each and every one supporting their business models and strategic goals. Below is the roster (listed alphabetically by airport code) of clients we have been working with in 2017-2018: A big thank you to these 10 airports in 7 states for choosing us as their partner in success.

Project Updates

The 2018 calendar year has proven to be a rewarding and active one for our docket, helping long-term clients on new projects and bringing on board new clients. With our over 100 years of combined industry experience from our team of aviation professionals, we are capable of taking on a wide range of assignments, as exhibited below. 
  • We are in the end stages of conducting a year-long strategic planning study to determine how to best optimize the use of the airport and its economic impact. This has involved review and assessment of multiple operational and structural items, including: air service development; the economic impact of airport operations on the region; a benchmarking study with peer airports on key operational indices; operations and FBO services; and governance models, among other aspects.
  • An expedited programatic review of a key internal department to assess management effectiveness, operational efficiencies, policies and procedures, and structural organization. This review also included a benchmarking study comparing staffing and structural analysis of peer airports. 
  • A comprehensive salary analysis comparing current salary & benefit structures with industry norms as well as hand-surveyed comparable airports; this project also included a parallel review of organizational structure and staffing resources for optimal efficiency and effectiveness.  
  • A complex administrative review and application for an FAA land release. 
  • Comprehensive program management of two signature, high-priority strategic projects, consisting of the coordination of FAA approval of a new air traffic control tower and the creation of a Federal Inspection Station for international travel.
  • Multiple instances of executive staff and Board on-site strategic planning workshops, producing highly-detailed action plans and road maps for successfully planning and completing complex projects. 
  • Executive recruitment services, placing key high-level directors and other executive management personnel, including an Assistant Chief of Police position and a properties manager position. 
  • A comprehensive strategic planning overview consisting of a review of all operational and strategic aspects, including organizational structure, salary competitiveness, land parcel development for non-aeronautical revenue, energy review and assessment including the possibility of geothermal alternatives, air service development assessment and analysis of potential markets, a benchmarking study with peer airports on key performance indicators, and governance model review and guidance. 
  • Serving as consultant of record on an-going retainer basis providing management and strategic expertise on an on-going, day-to-day, and as-needed basis for special projects for multiple clients. 
  • We have conducted several governance review projects, from informational overviews of industry trends and pros/cons of particular models for a specific situation, to full-scale reviews with recommendations regarding transitioning to new governance models.
Thanks to our clients for their trust in our services to help them achieve their objectives and goals, supporting their growth and sustainability, and becoming best-in-class facilities and operations. 

Client Feature

  • Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), Traverse City, MI
  • SBA has been working with TVC executive staff and Board of Commissioners on a year-long strategic planning study, reviewing all aspects of the airport's operations including: land-side parcel development, air service development assessment, comparable benchmarking of operational indices, review of operations and organizational structure, and governance issues. We recently delivered to the executive staff and Board an overview of progress and a summary of the multiple tasks involved with this review, and we were given additional tasks to carry on, particularly around land development, air service development, and governance models. Recently, TVC has been growing and scoring many accomplishments including: 
  • Record passenger numbers nearing half a million;
  • New air service with American starting in the summer of 2019 with a non-stop to Charlotte, NC. 
  • An unprecedented number of summer flights, including Delta to Detroit (daily), Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta, and New York City; United to Chicago (daily), Denver, and Newark; and American to Chicago (daily), Dallas-Ft. Worth, and New York City;
  • Technology upgrades in the terminal and online, including a new TVC mobile app;
  • Plans for physical upgrades to the beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright inspired terminal building; and
  • A recent study by the Michigan DOT found that TVC's economic impact on the area stood at nearly $1 billion, ranking it third in the state after the much larger airports at Detroit and Grand Rapids. 
  • And all of this is after receiving the "Airport of the Year" award earlier this year from the Michigan Department of Transportation Aeronautics division. 
Cherry Capital Airport is well positioned to continue to capitalize on its strengths and continue its growth into the future, and we look forward to our continued work together.   
  • Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV), Savannah, GA
  • SBA recently worked with SAV on executive recruitment services, specifically for the position of Assistant Police Chief which will transition into Chief of Police within six to eight months following the successful completion of required trainings and certifications. We worked with SAV on all aspects of the recruitment from developing a solicitation brochure, to recruiting and vetting candidates, to interviews and background checks, to negotiations and final candidate selection support. After a very competitive selection process, the airport selected Sedrick Rivers for the position. Mr. Rivers was previously the Chief of Police for the Jacksonville Airport Authority which oversees a system of airports in the Jacksonville, Florida area including Jacksonville International Airport (JAX). We were delighted to help assist SAV find their next policing executive following the retirement of their long-term Police Chief. 
  • This represents the second executive recruitment we've worked on with SAV; we wish Mr. Rivers all the best in his new position and we look forward to continuing our executive recruitment services with SAV and other airports, which has become a growing and exciting part of our business.
  • For more info: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

Client Milestones
We are always excited about the successes of our clients and enjoy celebrating with them. Here are a few of the latest:

Congratulations to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minneapolis, MN for completing a key goal of its strategic plan by restructuring the public safety department, and naming its first director:
  • Congratulations to Mike Everson of who was named the new Public Safety Director. Currently the chief of police at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Mike will lead the department that consolidates the airport’s police, fire, and emergency programs under one umbrella for improved coordination of services. Mike will continue to serve as chief of police in addition to his role as director of public safety.
  • Also, we were pleased to work with Mike recently as a consultant for the executive hiring position in the policing arena at SAV. 
  • For more info: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Congratulations to Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) as it redevelops its airfield to support its growth in air service and passenger numbers, as well as prepare AVL for sustainable growth for the next 50 years. Read all about it in the Project Soar (Significant Opportunity for Aviation and the Region) announcement.

Congratulations to Christina Callahan, Director of Syracuse Hancock International Airport (SYR), who was named the 2018 Airport Director of the Year (Small Airports category) by Airport Experience News  (AXN). The announcement provided a summary of her career:

Callahan has spent her entire aviation career with the Syracuse Department of Aviation, beginning in 1997 when she was hired as secretary to then-commissioner of aviation Charles R. Everett, Jr. In the following years, she advanced to the roles of ground transportation officer and public information officer. In 2011, Callahan served as interim commissioner of aviation and was tasked with overseeing a $60 million passenger terminal security improvement project. When the FAA approved the Syracuse Regional Airport Authority’s Part 139 operating certificate, Callahan became the authority’s first executive director. Currently, SYR is nearing the end of a Terminal Improvement Project that includes a $49 million terminal makeover to update the aging facility. The project is expected to be complete later this year. Callahan has also been instrumental in a recent build-up of air service to the market.

Callahan was interviewed in and featured on the cover of AXN’s September issue.  
Congratulations are in order to the Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) which won the 2018 AAAE Airport Innovation Award for Small/Medium Hubs. "ROC is honored to have been selected as the winner of the 2018 Most Innovative Small/Medium Hub Airport by the Airport Innovation Accelerator of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)," stated Andrew G. Moore, Interim Airport Director. "The ROC Renovation project underway is incorporating 1) cutting-edge technology for safety and security, 2) enhanced airport communication technology that will reduce barriers for deaf and hearing impaired passengers, and 3) enhanced airport communication that will provide all passengers with complimentary access to live gate video in real time via their mobile devices to create a better passenger experience for all travelers."  

Below is a photo of the team accepting the award at the AAAE 4th Annual Airport Innovation Forum in Atlanta, Georgia in July. Left to right: Fabio Bendana, CHA Engineers; Brian Cieslinski, SEI Design Group; Bill Johnston, ROC Construction Manager; Todd Hauptli, AAAE President and CEO; and 
Andy Moore, ROC Interim Airport Director. 

Congrats to all our clients on their ongoing successes and accomplishments. 

  • ACI-NA's 70th Anniversary Conference We attended this always productive conference which was held in "Music City" Nashville (BNA) from September 30 - October 2. We enjoyed networking with current clients and industry leaders at this premier event for airport industry leaders. We were also able to meet with prospects and look forward to announcing new clients in the future. 

We thank you for your interest in and support of our work, and we look forward to being able to serve you the next time you need management support services.

SBA Core Services:
Increase Your Competitive Edge

Effective airport management consulting involves blending policy, management, and technical expertise as well as assisting clients with a variety of ever-changing needs in a dynamic and competitive marketplace. 

Our Services

As one of the leading airport management consulting firms in North America, SBA provides strategic planning, analysis, and review; financial analysis; and management and policy support to airport managers and policy-makers. The professionals at our firm have over a century of combined aviation experience and are known for providing the highest quality of management and airport advisory services available in the industry. Our staff have dedicated their entire careers to the effective and efficient management of airports, both through hands-on airport senior management positions and through consulting assignments at more than 100 airports throughout North America, from large commercial hubs to small general aviation enterprises.

Increase Your Competitive Edge

Since 2011, we have been delivering aviation solutions to make your operations safer, more efficient, and more cost effective -- solutions which help you:

  • expand and increase revenue sources
  • be more cost competitive
  • employ best practices and increase operational excellence
  • improve customer satisfaction

Our strategic, management, and financial services include:

  • governance and organizational review/analysis
  • revenue optimization
  • economic development
  • extension of staff services, including executive hiring and compensation reviews
  • tenant negotiations
  • FBO assistance
  • RFP development and solicitation
  • and much more

Call us today at (518) 478-6321 ext. 101 or email us at to see how we can support your management needs.

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And, remember, to find out about the latest activities at SBA, be sure to visit the "News" page of our website. 
About Steven Baldwin Associates
Steven Baldwin Associates focuses solely on airport management consulting for airport operators, owners, and policy makers. As a leader in developing best practices in contemporary airport management, the professionals at SBA have decades of hands-on experience running airports and consulting for them. For more information, contact us at (518) 478-6321 ext. 101 or, or visit our website at
As always, thank you for your business and your trust in us.
If we can be of any additional assistance to your airport, don't hesitate to contact us. 
Copyright © 2018 Steven Baldwin Associates, LLC, All rights reserved.

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