YCQM: June 30, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: June 30, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY ON "YOU CAN QUOTE ME." WE'RE FOCUSING ON TRAVEL AND THE BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. WE'RE JOINED BY GENE RICHARDS, WHO WAS JUST NAMED DIRECTOR OF AVIATION AT THE BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AND HEATHER KENDREW IS ALSO WITH THE BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. SHE HELPS RUN EVERYTHING, IN CHARGE OF SO MANY THINGS AND ALSO THE RIGHT HAND OF GENE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU.

>> AND JOINING THE QUESTIONING IS KYLE MIDURA.

>> THANK YOU, KRISTEN. YOU RECENTLY WE LEASED THE AIRPORT STRATEGY. WHAT'S IN THE FUTURE FOR THE AIRPORT?

>> THE COMMISSION PUT TOGETHER THE REPORT FOR THE COUNCIL AND THE MAYOR AND WE'LL REVIEW THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND DECIDE WHAT WE WANT TO USE GOING FORWARD. THE MAYOR HAS NOT REVIEWED IT YET, SOMETHING HE WILL BE DOING IN THE WEEKS AHEAD. PART OF THAT WILL BE POSSIBLY REORGANIZING THE COMMISSION, A STRONGER COMMISSION, BUT THAT HASN'T BEEN DECIDED YET, SO WHAT WE WILL DO IS LOOK AT THE PROS AND CONS OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS AND THEN WE'LL GO BACK TO THE COUNCIL AND SEE WHERE THEY WANT TO GO WITH IT.

>> SO WHAT DOES A STRONGER COMMISSION MEAN?

>> IT'S MAKING MORE DECISIONS FINANCIALLY, DECISIONS ON PERSONNEL, RATHER THAN GOING TO CITY COUNCIL TO BE APPROVED, HAVE A HIGHER SPENDING LIMIT, HAVE MORE TO DO WITH THE DAY-TO-DAY OPERATIONS, PROBABLY A HIGHER TIME COMMITMENT FOR THE COMMISSIONERS, SOMETHING -- HAVING THEM MEET WEEKLY RATHER THAN MONTHLY, SO IT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT WOULD -- THEY DO IN OTHER AIRPORTS AND SOME AIRPORTS AND NOT AT OTHERS, SO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE IT'S RIGHT TO BRG.

>> HEATHER, WHAT ARE YOU HEARING FROM BUSINESSES ABOUT WHAT THEY WANT FROM THE AIRPORT?

>> MORE FLIGHTS TO LOCATIONS THAT ARE SERVING THEIR BUSINESS NEEDS, LIKE THE ATLANTA FLIGHT THAT WE JUST ADDED, THAT WAS ONE THAT THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY REALLY WANTED TO SEE COME IN. WE'VE HEARD A LOT OF REQUESTS FOR FLIGHTS TO BOSTON AND WE'VE WORKED ON THAT CONSISTENTLY FOR A LONG TIME. IT'S JUST HARD BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A SHORT ROUTE, BUT IN GENERAL, KEEPING ALSO THE FLIGHTS WE HAVE TO THE MAIN HUBS SO PEOPLE CAN GET TO AND NEED TO GET TO.

>> AS YOU KNOW, BURLINGTON IS A FAIRLY SMALL AIRPORT WHEN COMPARED TO OTHER AIRPORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. DO EITHER OF YOU SEE THAT SIZE GROWING AT SOME POINT OR IS THIS THE SCALE OF THE AIRPORT THAT NEEDS TO SERVE THIS REGION, INCLUDING CANADIANS WHO COME DOWN TO FLY?

>> I THINK THE AIRPLANE IS A NICE SIZE. WE CERTAINLY HAVE ROOM TO GROW, WE HAVE EMPTY PARKING SPOTS TO HELP US GROW. AS FAR ARS THE TRM NAL, THE ONLY -- TERMINAL, THE ONLY GROWTH THAT I SEE IN THE NEAR FUTURE IS MAYBE COMBINING THE TSA LOCATIONS INTO ONE AND ALSO BRINGING THE CUSTOMS INTO THE MAIN TERMINAL TO MAKE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS MORE CONVENIENT. THAT'S THE ONLY GROWTH. WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL AND WATCH. YOU KNOW, WITH THE RECESSION, IT GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT OUR BUDGETS AND TO BALANCE THEM AND WE HAVE CUT OUT THINGS, BUT WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL ON ANY GROWTH WE DO AND ANY DEBT WE TAKE ON. WE'LL BE VERY CAREFUL ABOUT THAT AND WE'LL MAKE SURE THERE'S INCOME TO OFFSET IT AND WON'T DO IT ON A WHIM OR THE ECONOMY HAVING A TICK. WE'LL MAKE SURE THERE'S GOOD BUSINESS TO MAKE ANY DECISIONS WE MAKE.

>> YOU MENTIONED CONSOLIDATING THE TWO TSA LOCATIONS, FOR PEOPLE WHO FLY OUT OF BURLINGTON INTERNATIONALLY KNOW THAT THERE'S TWO DIFFERENT SERVICE AREAS OR GATES. WHY COMBINE OR LOOK AT POSSIBLY CONBINEG THEM?

>> NUMBER ONE, TO BE MORE EFFICIENT AND ALSO CONFUSION. CUSTOMERS, PEOPLE FLYING OUT OF THE AIRPORT HAVE TWO CHOICES AND SOMETIMES AS MANY AS TEN A DAY GO TO THE WRONG TSA, SO WE'RE TRYING TO CHANGE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE. MANY OF THE IMPROVEMENTS WE'VE MADE IS TO TAKE THE STRESS OUT OF FLYING TO ITS LOWEST LEVEL, SO IF WE CAN DO THAT AND MAKE IT ONE SPOT THAT YOU GO AND MANY AMENITIES AFTER YOU GET BY TSA, THAT IS WHAT WE'RE SHOOTING FOR.

>> HEATHER, HOW MIGHT THAT LOOK IF IT'S COMBINED?

>> WHAT WE'RE LOOKING AT RIGHT NOW AND THAT MAY CHANGE AS WE GO THROUGH THE PLANNING PROCESS, WE LOOK AT WHAT WORKS AND HOW MANY PASSENGERS WE THINK WILL COME IN IN THE FUTURE, WHAT WE'RE THINKING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IS WE'RE GOING TO TAKE THE SOUTH CHECK POINT AND EXPAND THAT SO EVERYONE IS COMING IN, CHECKING IN AT THE TICKET COUNTER.

>> THAT'S THE ONE ON THE GROUND LEVEL AS YOU WALK IN.

>> YES, SO NOW IF YOU WERE GOING TO JET BLUE AND DELTA, THAT'S THE ONE YOU GO TO. THAT WOULD BE ONE STOP FOR EVERYBODY NOW SO YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO SEE IT AS SOON AS YOU GOT YOUR TICKET AND WENT TO THE GATE.

>> SO OTHER PEOPLE WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE UPSTAIRS CHECKPOINT.

>> YOU WOULDN'T HAVE TO DO THAT ANYMORE. YOU GO TO THE TICKET COUNTER, CHECK IN, GO WITH YOUR BAGGAGE TO SCREENING.

>> WE TALKED ABOUT POTENTIALLY ADDING FLIGHTS, CONSOLIDATING THE TSA CHECKPOINT. I KNOW THERE'S QUITE A FEW HEADLINES ABOUT ADDING SKINNY PANCAKE, OTHER RESTAURANTS AND LOCAL FOOD WITHIN THE AIRPORT. HOW THAT IS GOING? ANY MORE PLANS FOR EXPANSION THERE?

>> ABSOLUTELY. THE SKINNY PANCAKE HAS TURNED OUT TO BE AN AMAZING BENEFIT TO THE FLYING PUBLIC AS WELL AS TO THE AIRPORT. THEY HAVE DONE DOUBLE WHAT THEY HAD PROJECTED TO INITIALLY DO, WHICH MEANS THE PUBLIC WANTED IT. ALSO, WITH THE NEW TWO STORES THAT WE HAVE, THEY DOUBLED THEIR SIZE, THEY ALSO DOUBLED THEIR SALES, SO THIS TELLS YOU THERE'S A GREAT NEED AFTER TSA, SO WHAT OUR HOPES ARE DOWN THE ROAD IS TO TAKE CURRENTLY WHERE OUR OFFICES ARE, WHICH IS SOME PRETTY NICE ROOM BECAUSE IT LOOKS OUT ON THE RUNWAY, BUT IT'S WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS TO SEE, SO WE'LL BE TURNING THAT OVER DOWN THE ROAD WITH THE ADDITIONS WE DO, WE HOPE TO HAVE THE NORTH AND THE SOUTH SERVICE AND IN BETWEEN, WE'LL BE PUTTING IN MORE VENDORS SO THERE WILL BE MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WHEN THEY'RE AT THE AIRPORT. WE'LL ALSO BE BRINGING IN A FITNESS PART SO IF YOU WANT TO WALK BACK AND FORTH, IT MIGHT BE A MILE, SO IF YOU HAVE A LITTLE TIME, SO WE REALLY WANT TO TRY HARD TO TAKE STRESS OUT OF FLYING AND BEING AT THE AIRPORT, SO HEALTHY FOOD AT SKINNY PANCAKE, FINE VERMONT PRODUCTS, JUST WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT FOR US.

>> YOU MENTIONED TAKING STRESS OUT OF FLYING. HOWEVER, THERE'S BEEN SOME BIG CHANGES THERE AS FAR AS GREEN ROOF, YOGA AND A PLACE WHERE LACTATING MOTHERS CAN GO AS WELL WHO WANT TO NURSE OR PUMP. WHY IS THAT PART OF THE AIRPORT'S VISION?

>> BECAUSE, WHAT WE'RE LOOKING TO DO IS REALLY ADD THOSE AMENITYIESY AMENITIES. AS GENE MENTIONED, IT'S STRESSFUL WHEN YOU COME TO THE AIRPORT AND WE DON'T WANT YOU TO BE STRESSED. IF YOU'RE WAITING FOR AN AIRPLANE AND YOU'RE, OH MY GOODNESS, WHAT AM I GOING TO DO, WE WANT TO HAVE AMENITIES THERE. YOU CAN GO TO THE YOGA ROOM.

>> ARE PEOPLE USING IT?

>> YES.

>> REALLY?

>> YEAH.

>> THE SET-UP IS THERE, THE PAD IS THERE, THE WHOLE SET-UP, THE MUSIC, EVERYTHING YOU NEED IS THERE, READY TO GO. THE SAME THING WITH THE MOTHER'S ROOM. WHEN YOU NEED IT, YOU NEED IT. IT CAME FROM RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE FLYING PUBLIC. WE DIDN'T JUST ONE DAY SAY, OH, WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS. WE HEARD THE NEED AND WE WANT TO RESPOND TO IT. WE WANT TO BE SENSITIVE TO EVERYBODY.

>> WHAT ELSE DO YOU HEAR FROM THE FLYING PUBLIC?

>> WELL, MORE OPTIONS FOR FOOD, POTENTIAL FOR CHEAPER FLIGHTS, MORE LOCATIONS, DIRECT FLIGHTS TO FLORIDA.

>> THE INDUSTRY IS OBVIOUSLY TRYING TO GET OUT OF THEIR RECESSION. YOU KNOW, THEY GOT HIT REALLY HARD DURING THE RECESSION. THEY HAD THE FUEL PRICES AND THE COST OF AIRPLANES AND CONSOLIDATION, AND SO THEY'RE TRYING TO MAKE IT UP IN OTHER WAYS AND YOU PROBABLY SAW ON THE NEWS LAST NIGHT, THEY TALKED ABOUT THE ASSESSING THE BAGGAGE, HOW MUCH THE AIRLINES MADE. IT ONLY OFFSETS MANY OF THE LOSSES THEY HAD IN THE PAST, SO THEY'RE ASKED TO TRY TO PERFORM AND REQUIRED TO MAKE MONEY AND AT THE SAME TIME, WE ASK THE SAME OF THE AIRPORTS. WE CURRENTLY SUBSIDIZE THE AIRLINES AROUND $6 MILLION.

>> 6 MILLION?

>> 6 MILLION. TO THE FOLKS THAT FLY IN AND OUT OF BURLINGTON, WE NEED TO SEE WHAT WE CAN DO TO KEEP OUR COSTS DOWN. BECAUSE IF YOU'RE AN EXPENSIVE AIRPORT, THEY WON'T FLY OUT OF HERE. WE JUST MET WITH U.S. AIR, OUR MARKETING PERSON MET WITH U.S. AIR TWO WEEKS AGO, AND THE COSTS, THEY SAID THEY WERE DEAD ON, WE WERE REALLY KEEPING THEM DOWN. WE MET WITH POUR TERK IT WAS THE -- PORTER, IT WAS THE SAME THING, AND JET BLUE, THAT'S WHAT THEY ALL CARE ABOUT, WHAT IT COSTS TO FLY OUT OF BURLINGTON. THAT HAD A LITTLE BIT TO DO WITH LAST YEAR US LOSING THE FLIGHT TO ORLANDO, 7%. IT COULD BE DONE SOMEPLACE ELSE CHEAPER. THE FLIGHT WAS FULL, BUT SOMEPLACE ELSE COULD DO IT MORE PROFITABLE.

>> HOW DO THOSE NUMBERS WORK FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE GETTING CONFUSED? I KNOW YOU BOTH DEAL WITH NUMBERS EVERY DAY, BUT IF YOU'RE THE FLYING PUBLIC, IT WAS A POSITIVE FLIGHT, ALWAYS FULL. IT WAS THE AIRLINE OR THE AIRPORT THAT WAS LOSING.

>> IT'S NOT THAT THEY'RE LOSE, JUST NOT MAKING AS MUCH AS THEY LIKE.

>> HOW CAN THEY MAKE MORE AT ANOTHER AIRPORT? IS IT CLOSER?

>> LET'S JUST SAY THE ORLANDO FLIGHT THAT WAS HERE AT BURLINGTON, WENT TO RHODE ISLAND. IT WAS CLOSER TO ORLANDO AND THEY MAY HAVE NOT GONE TO ORLANDO, IT COULD HAVE GONE ANYWHERE, BUT WHAT THEY DID WAS THE PEOPLE THAT WERE FLYING OUT OF RHODE ISLAND ARE MAYBE WILLING TO PAY MORE THAN THE PEOPLE IN BURLINGTON FORT FLIGHT. AND IT'S CLOSER, PAYING MORE PER SEAT. IT STAYED WITH 87% FULL IN THAT FLIGHT, BUT NOT ALL YEAR, ONLY DURING THE WINTER MONTHS, AND MAYBE WENT DOWN TO 60% DURING THE SUMMER MONTHS, SO THEY HAVE TO LOOK AT THE WHOLE YEAR AND SAY HOW CAN WE HAVE A MODEL THAT IS NOR PROFITABLE. THEY LOOK AT EVERY PLANE AND FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE NOR MONEY WITH THAT PLANE. WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS SAY HOW CAN WE KEEP THAT PLANE FULL, WHAT ARE DESTINATIONS THAT WE CAN MAKE, AND CERTAINLY, WE DIDN'T LOSE OUT. WE LOST OUT ON THE DIRECT FLIGHT, BUT WE CAN STILL GET THERE FROM HERE AND THAT'S A GREAT THING. BURLINGTON HAS SO MANY HUBS THAT WE'RE SERVICES. IT'S THE HUBS THAT ARE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. THIS ATLANTA HUB IS AMAZING, LARGEST IN THE WORLD, AND WE'RE VERY LUCKY TO HAVE THAT. THAT'S A TRUE BLESSING FOR BURLINGTON AND THAT FLIGHT IS QUITE FULL. WE'RE IN THE 90% FULL PLANE, WHICH IS ABOUT AS GOOD AS IT GETS FOR US.

>> SO WHAT IS THE BUSIEST FLIGHT DESTINATION?

>> THAT IS OUR NUMBER ONE, BEHIND NEW YORK, SO IT'S A -- THE AIRPORT HAS BEEN BUSY. OUR NUMBERS ARE UP, WE'RE DOING WELL. WE'RE CERTAINLY LOOKING FOR MORE AFFORDABLE OPTIONS, BUT WE HAVE TO BE CAREFUL. WHEN LOOKING FOR THOSE, THAT YOU DON'T KNOCK OFF THE BALANCE OF WHAT YOU HAVE GOING AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE ASKED US, WHY DON'T SOUTHWEST COME, WHY WON'T SOUTHWEST COME.

>> WELL, WE'VE MET WITH THEM AND THEY'RE NOT INTERESTED IN BURLINGTON, THAT'S NUMBER ONE, AND TWO, YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOCK OFF JET BLUE. IF YOU BRING IN SOUTHWEST AND YOU KNOCK OUT JET BLUE, YOU HAVEN'T GAINED ANYTHING.

>> YOU NUMBER OF READING MY NOTE -- MUST HAVE BEEN READING MY NOTES HERE BECAUSE ONE OF MY QUESTIONS HERE IS WHEN IS SOUTHWEST COMING, SO IT SOUNDS LIKE THE ANSWER TO THAT IS NOT ANY TIME SOON.

>> THEY HAVE NOT INDICATED THEY WANT TO FLY OUT OF BURLINGTON AND WE HAVE MET -- WE MEET WITH THEM REGULARLY AND TALK WITH THEM. IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT WE DON'T DO IN BURLINGTON. WE MEET WITH AIRLINES QUITE OFTEN, BUT WE HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN AN INDICATION THAT IT'S A GOOD PLACE FOR SOUTHWEST AT THIS POINT.

>> WHY?

>> THERE'S A LOT OF COMPETITION. WE ACTUALLY DO VERY WELL WITH THE AIRLINES THAT WE HAVE, THEY DO WELL AND I DON'T THINK THAT THEY FEEL THEY COULD BE PROFITABLE ENOUGH HERE. I WOULD BE A LITTLE CONCERNED ABOUT SOUTHWEST HURTING WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY. WE DO NOT WANT TO DEPLETE WHAT OUR CURRENT CARRIERS ARE BRINGING IN.

>> SO IT'S NOT NECESSARILY A FUNCTION OF THEM BEING AM MANCHESTER, ALBANY, BOSTON ALREADY, RHODE ISLAND LIKE YOU MENTIONED BEFORE?

>> AS YOU KNOW, MANCHESTER LOOK A PRETTY BIG HIT LAST YEAR AND LOST UP TO TEN FLIGHTS. I DON'T WANT TO BE MANCHESTER. I WANT TO FLOW SLOWLY AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE CAN -- GROW SLOWLY AND I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE CAN MAINTAIN FOR THE AIRPORT. WE DON'T WANT SOMEONE COMING IN AND GIVING US TEN FLIGHTS AND A YEAR LATER TAKING THEM AWAY FROM US.

>> SO WHEN YOU TALK TO SOUTHWEST, WHAT ARE THOSE CONVERSATIONS LIKE? WHAT ARE YOU BOTH TRYING TO CONVEY TO THEM? IT SOUNDS LIKE IT'S A BALANCE BETWEEN ATTRACTING MORE FLIGHTS THAT ARE CHEAPER, BUT NOT LOSING YOUR PRIME CARRIERS?

>> THEY BASICALLY ASK HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OPERATE OUT OF BURLINGTON.

>> IT'S ALL ABOUT THE MONEY.

>> ALL ABOUT THE MONEY. HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST THEM IN FUEL AND AIRPORT FEES AND DE-ICING AND JET BLUE -- OR SOUTHWEST'S MODEL IS WHEN THEY COME IN, THEY TYPICALLY WANT TO COME IN WITH SEVERAL FLIGHTS IN ONE DAY, AND BURLINGTON PROBABLY DOESN'T HAVE THE PASSENGER BASE FOR THAT QUITE YET. AND IF THEY CAME IN WITH THAT MANY FLIGHTS, IT WOULD DEFINITELY RIPPLE OFF FROM THE OTHER AIRLINES.

>> HOW MANY PASSENGERS DO TRAVEL THROUGH THE AIRPORT ON A DAILY BASIS?

>> WE'RE ABOUT 10,000 A WEEK RIGHT NOW AND ABOUT 600,000 A YEAR.

>> AND DO YOU SEE THAT NUMBER CHANGING OR IS THAT, AGAIN, WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT BALANCING GROWTH BUT MEETING DEMAND, IS THAT THE RIGHT NUMBER?

>> NO. WE ACTUALLY DO WANT TO BE BIGGER BECAUSE WE -- THE BIGGER YOU GET, THE MORE MONEY. IT'S JUST THE NUMBERS. WE NEED THOSE NUMBERS. I'D LIKE TO SEE IT AT 750,000. I THINK THAT'S A GOOD NUMBER FOR BURLINGTON TO STRIVE FOR. I THINK IT WILL TAKE A BIT TO GET THERE. I THINK WE'LL HAVE OUR GROWTH THAT'S GOING TO COME FROM UP NORTH. YOU KNOW, WE HAVE, I THINK, A LOT OF WHAT WE HAVE IN BURLINGTON AND THE VERMONT AREA AREN'T USING THE AIRPORT. WE HAVE SOME FOLKS THAT USE PLATTES BURG AND MANCHESTER AND ALBANY, BUT GENERALLY YOU HAVE TO VALUE YOUR TIME AND SAY WHAT'S IT WORTH AND WHEN I END UP PAYING FOR MY BAGS AND THE TIME AND THE FERRY, IS IT REALLY WORTH IT. IN SOME CASES THE ANSWER IS YES AND SOME CASES NOT. I THINK THE OTHER AIRPORTS, PLATTESBURG, THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT PRODUCT THAN WE HAVE.

>> WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BRIEF BREAK AND CONTINUE TALKING ALL THINGS

>>> WELCOME BACK, EVERYONE. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE AT THE BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. WE'RE JOINED BY THE NEW DIRECTOR AND ALSO THE PERSON WHO HELPS RUN THE AIRPORT AS WELL, HEATHER KENDREW AND GENE RICHARDS, THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING HERE. WHEN WE WENT TO THE BREAK, WE WERE TALKING A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF CANADIAN TRAVELERS. HOW BIG OF A PIECE DO THEY MAKE UP OF THAT 600,000 OR SO THAT TRAVEL THROUGH THE AIRPORT A YEAR?

>> ABOUT 30%. 30 TO 40%. TRADITIONALLY, HISTORICALLY, OUR PARTNERS IN CANADA HAVE ALSO PLAYED A BIG ROLE IN OUR SUCCESS? VERMONT AND THEY CONTINUE TO DO SO AT THE AIRPORT. WE WILL BE REACHING OUT IN A MORE AGGRESSIVE FORM AND AS WE GO FORWARD, WE SPEND A GOOD BIT OF OUR AMERICAN DOLLARS LAST YEAR REACHING OUT TO THEM AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO THIS YEAR, BUT PROBABLY CERTAINLY MORE AGGRESSIVE.

>> IN WHAT QUASE MIGHT YOU REACH OUT?

>> ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS SPECIFIC TARGETING TO THE QUEBEC AND BEG THE MESSAGE OUT THAT THIS IS AN AIRPORT THAT IS CONVENIENT FOR YOU AND COST-EFFECTIVE FOR YOU TO COME DOWN HERE. WHEN THEY COME DOWN TO THE AIRPORT, WE HAVE SIGNAGE IN FRENCH, MESSAGES PLAYING IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH AND WANT TO MAKE IT A WELCOMING EXPERIENCE.

>> WHAT HAPPENS IF CANADIANS STOP FLYING OUT OF BURLINGTON?

>> WE TAKE A DIFFERENT SERVICE IS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. IT REPRESENTS 30% AND THAT'S A SIGNIFICANT HIT. I DON'T THINK THAT WILL HAPPEN BECAUSE IT'S, AGAIN, IT'S A FINANCIAL BENEFIT TO THEM TO COME AND USE OUR AIRPORT AS WELL AS CONVENIENCE. AND SO I DON'T SEE THAT HAPPENING, I DON'T SEE THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT CHANGING THEIR FORMAT. THAT WOULD BE A BIG HIT FOR THEM, SOMETHING THAT HISTORICALLY THEY HAVE NOT DONE, BUT WHAT WE TRY TO DO, I THINK EVEN AT PAR, WE WOULD HOLD OUR OWN WITH THE CANADIAN PASSENGERS. WE DELIVER SOMETHING THAT THE OTHER AIRPORTS DON'T DELIVER.

>> ARE CANADIAN PASSENGERS LOOKING FOR ANYTHING DIFFERENT THAN AMERICAN PASSENGERS?

>> NO. YOU KNOW, THEY'RE LOOKING -- FOR THEM, IT'S PROBABLY A BIGGER SAVINGS THAN THE AMERICAN PASSENGERS HAVE. I THINK THEY ALSO, YOU KNOW, WILL USE OTHER AIRPORTS. THEY'RE DIFFERENT TYPES OF CONSUMERS, BUT I THINK GENERALLY THEY'RE JUST LOOKING FOR GOOD SERVICE AT A REASONABLE PRICE.

>> THE F-35 DEBATE HAS BEEN BREWING HERE IN BURLINGTON FOR SOME TIME. WORKING AT THE AIRPORT OBVIOUSLY SEPARATELILY FROM THE GUARD BUT THEY'RE ONE OF YOUR TENANTS, WHAT'S IT BEEN LIKE TO WATCH THAT DEBATE ONGOING?

>> I THINK DEBATE IS HEALTHY, IT'S THE AMERICAN WAY, AND FOR US TO TALK ABOUT IT AND TO SEE THE PROS AND CONS, LOTS OF THINGS ADD GREAT VALUE THAT THE F-35 AND THE GUARD BRING HERE, THE POTENTIAL IT BRINGS TO THE AREA. I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW THAT EVEN THE GUARD IS HERE AND THEY CERTAINLY NOW KNOW A LOT MORE ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF THE F-35. WE'RE STILL LEARNING ABOUT THE F-35. THERE'S A LOT OF RUMORS AND THAT'S WHAT THEY ARE. I WORK ON THE FACTS AND I DO NO THAT THE GUARD ADDS A HUGE BENEFIT TO THE AIRPORT AND WITHOUT IT, IT WOULD BE A HUGE DETRIMENT, ONE THAT MAY HAVE A REALLY ADVERSE EFFECT IF IT WASN'T THERE. FOR INSTANCE, THEY OFFER THE FIRE SERVICE TO THE AIRPORT, WHICH IS WOULD BE ABOUT A $2 MILLION HIT TO THE AIRPORT A YEAR, PLUS MAYBE A $30 MILLION STRUCTURE THAT WE'D HAVE TO BUILD, AND WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY FOR THAT. SO WE'D HAVE TO RETOOL, REBUDGET, AND THAT WOULD BE INTERESTING.

>> WHAT PLANS IS THE AIRPORT MAKING TO MITIGATE ANY POTENTIAL ADDITIONAL SOUND THAT MIGHT COME ALONG WITH THE F-35?

>> WE HAVEN'T BEEN APPROACHED YET, BUT WE'D CERTAINLY DO EVERYTHING WE CAN. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BUILDINGS, HOTELS ALONG THE RUNWAYS, BUT ONCE THE PLANES ARE OUT, THERE'S NOT MUCH WE CAN DO. CERTAINLY THE GUARD HAS TALKED ABOUT THINGS THEY CAN DO AND WE'RE GOING TO RELY ON THE GUARD TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO MAYBE RUN THE PLANE DIFFERENTLY. I HEAR THE PLANE IS, AGAIN, DEPENDING ON WHO YOU LISTEN TO, THEY COME FROM EAST TO WEST AND THEY'RE QUIETER AND IT MAY BE LOUDER FOR THOSE FOLKS, BUT AGAIN, I DON'T KNOW, I'VE NOT SEEN THE PLANE MYSELF.

>> SO DO YOU SUPPORT THEN THE F-35 COMING TO THE GUARD?

>> I DO PERSONALLY.

>> AND SO WHAT STEPS HAVE MAYBE THE AIRPORT OR IN YOUR ROLE HAVE YOU TAKEN TO MAYBE CONVEY THAT? BECAUSE IT SOUNDS LIKE THE AIRPORT FROM YOUR VIEW COULD TAKE A BIG HIT IF THEY DON'T COME?

>> I ANSWERED ALL THE QUESTIONS CORRECTLY THAT I'VE BEEN ASKED. I'VE COMMUNICATED WITH BOTH SIDES. I'VE TRIED TO BE A VOICE OF REASON, BUT AGAIN, PEOPLE ARE IN THIS FOR DIFFERENT REASONS AND I CERTAINLY HAVE MY OPINION BECAUSE I HAVE TO AND WILL ADVOCATE FOR THE AIRPORT BECAUSE I THINK IT'S THE RIGHT THING, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I DO RESPECT THE OTHER OPINIONS. BUT THAT'S AS FAR AS I -- I WANT TO STAY NEUTRAL, I WANT TO STAY OPEN. I DON'T WANT TO SAY NOTHING CAN CHANGE MY MIND. ANYTHING CAN CHANGE MY MIND, BUT AT THIS POINT FROM WHAT I'VE HEARD, WHAT I'VE READ, I DO SUPPORT THAT DIRECTION FOR THE AIRPORT.

>> IN 2006, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THE SOUND CONTOURS ESSENTIALLY CHANGED WENT THE F-16s BEGAN USING AFTERBURNERS ON TAKEOFF INSTEAD OF THE TRADITIONAL TAKEOFF. WHAT WAS THE EFFECT ON THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITY?

>> ARE WE TALKING ABOUT COMPLAINTS OR --

>> COMPLAINTS OR ANY FEEDBACK YOU GOT FROM THE PUBLIC.

>> I DON'T THINK THE NUMBERS ARE AS HIGH AS EVERYBODY MAKES IT SOUND. WE HAVE A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN COMMUNICATING ABOUT THE F-35, THE F-16s, ABOUT THE NOISE AND COMPLAINING ABOUT THE NOISE. IT'S A SMALL NUMBER. IT'S A VERY -- LESS THAN ONE PERCENT, AND I THINK YOU HAVE TO PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE. THE VALUE THAT IT BRINGS TO THE COMMUNITY AND THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT -- YOU HAVE PEOPLE THAT DON'T LIKE THE NOISE AND YOU ALSO HAVE PEOPLE THAT DON'T NECESSARILY ENJOY IT, BUT THRIVE ON IT. I DON'T GET THAT MANY COMPLAINTS AND WE HAVEN'T GOT THAT MANY COMPLAINTS ABOUT IT.

>> AND LOOKING FORWARD NOW, WHAT ARE YOUR BIGGEST CONCERNS FOR THE AIRPORT? WHAT KEEPS YOU UP AT NIGHT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT RUNNING THE AIRPORT.

>> AIR SERVICE AND MAKING SURE WE KEEP THE PASSENGER BASE WE HAVE, GIVING THE SERVICE THAT WE NEED TO THOSE PASSENGERS AND GROWING THE AIRPORT SO THAT IT CONTINUES TO BE THE ECONOMIC ENGINE THAT IT CAN BE FOR CHITTENDEN COUNTY.

>> THROUGH AIR SERVICE, YOU MEAN JUST SERVICE TO THE FLYING PUBLIC?

>> YEAH, ABSOLUTELY.

>> THAT'S THE KEY THING. I MEAN, WE REALLY NEED TO KEEP AIR SERVICE AFFORDABLE. WE NEED TO TRY TO BRING IN, YOU KNOW, IF WE COULD BRING IN A MORE AFFORDABLE AIRLINE TO PEOPLE WHO ARE FLYING OUT CAN BE GOOD. I THINK THE REGION CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH OF THAT.

>> SO WHAT ARE THE AREAS OF THE COUNTRY THAT AREN'T CURRENTLY SERVED WELL BY BURLINGTON THAT WOULD SERVE WELL TO HAVE THAT KIND OF SERVICE IN THE FUTURES?

>> I JUST THINK AFFORDABLE VACATION DESTINATIONS WOULD BE REALLY HELPFUL, SIMILAR TO WHAT YOU HAVE OVER IN BAXTER. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD STRIVE TO MAYBE HAVE A LITTLE BIT IN BURLINGTON. NOT A LOT OF IT, BUT A LITTLE OF IT. OTHERWISE, BURLINGTON IS SERVING THE COMMUNITY QUITE WELL WITH THE DESTINATIONS THAT WE'RE GOING IN. WE JUST HAVE TO CONTINUE WHAT WE'RE DOING VERY WELL AND BALANCE OUR BUDGET. THAT'S A REALLY KEY THING FOR US.

>> YOU MENTIONED AFFORDABILITY AND MAKING SURE AIR SERVICE IS AFFORDABLE, BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE THE AIRPORT DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF CONTROL OVER THAT IN SOME REGARDS.

>> IT HAS A LOT OF CONTROL ON WHO WE GO OUT TO AND WHO WE TALK TO, MEANING WE NEED TO KEEP GOING OUT AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS AND SEEING WHAT TYPE OF OPPORTUNITIES ARE OUT THERE AND WE DID THAT LAST WEEK. WE WERE OUT TALKING TO DIFFERENT AIRLINES TO SEE WHAT IT WOULD TAKE TO BRING THEM TO BURLINGTON, AND I THINK WE MAY BE SUCCESSFUL, I'M OPTIMISTIC.

>> IT SOUNDS LIKE MAYBE THERE MIGHT BE ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT IN THE NEXT COMING YEAR, IT SOUNDS LIKE?

>> I'M HOPING.

>> AND THIS WOULD BE GOOD FOR TRAVELERS HOW?

>> IT WOULD BE ANOTHER DIRECT FLIGHT AND AFFORDABLE FLIGHT.

>> AND THE FLIGHT WOULD BE WITH?

>> AN AIRLINE. [ LAUGHTER ]

>> EAST COAST?

>> WE KNOW ABOUT SOUTHWEST AS AN AIRLINE, BUT, YOU KNOW, FOR AFFORDABILITY, WHAT DOES IT REALLY -- IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL IN BRINGING THIS CARRIER IN IN THE NEXT YEAR, WHAT WOULD THAT -- BECAUSE YOU MENTIONED THAT YOU IMPACT OTHER CARRIERS THAT ARE ALREADY THERE.

>> THIS WOULD NOT, WE BELIEVE. THIS WOULD ACTUALLY BRING THE FLYER THAT ISN'T ALREADY FLYING OR SLIGHTLY IMPACT VERY, VERY LITTLE. IT'S ONE THAT WE BELIEVE WOULD JUST ENHANCE WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE GOING ON IN BURLINGTON.

>> AND WHAT WAS YOUR PITCH TO MAKE THEM COME? WHAT WORKED?

>> I HAVE TO TELL YOU, NO MATTER WHAT AIRLINE IT IS, IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY. YESTERDAY, I WAS ON A CALL WITH U.S. AIR AND IT WAS ABOUT WHAT ARE WE BEING CHARGED THIS YEAR, HOW MUCH DID YOUR FEES GO UP THIS YEAR. AND WHAT WE DID DO AT THE AIRPORT THIS YEAR AND HEATHER WAS VERY INSTRUMENTAL, WE DID A COMPLETE SURVEY OF THE AIRPORT AND WE ALSO, BY HAVING A SKINNY PANCAKE AND OTHER VENDORS TAKE UP MORE ROOM, IT'S LESS COST TO THE AIRPORT AND AIRLINES, SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO THE DRIVE THE COST DOWN BY UTILIZING DIFFERENT AREAS. THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT TO HEAR, THAT OUR COSTS ARE NOT GOING UP.

>> I'M ADDRESSING BOTH OF YOU AS A FLYING PASSENGER, WHY IS FLYING SO EXPENSIVE AND YET ALL THE AMENITIES THAT FLYING WHEN THEY GAVE YOU FOOD AND SILVERWARE AND IT WAS A LOT DIFFERENT, WHY IS FLYING SO EXPENSIVE?

>> I THINK FUEL, INSURANCE. EVEN THIS WEEK, WE HAD A FAIR AMOUNT OF DELAY AND WHEN THERE'S A DELAY AND YOU HAVE TO REIMBURSE PEOPLE THEIR MONEY, THERE'S A LOT OF LOSS THERE. YOU STILL HAVE THE FLIGHT, YOU HAVE THE CREWS, YOU HAVE ALL THE PEOPLE, AND IT'S WEATHER-RELATED. WE HAD A PRETTY ROUGH WEEK THIS WEEK AND NOT NECESSARILY IN BURLINGTON. BURLINGTON WAS IN GOOD SHAPE, PLANES WERE FLYING OUT, BUT IF YOU CAN'T FLY INTO THE HUB, YOU CAN'T FLY INTO JFK, THAT'S A PROBLEM. I THINK IT'S A HUGE GAMBLE. AS FUEL PRICES GO UP, THAT CAN ALSO HAVE A HUGE IMPACT.

>> HAS THE FEE STRUCTURE ALLOWED AIRLINES TO STABILIZE A LITTLE BIT, ADDING ALL THESE FEES THAT THEY USE TO GET BY. AS I UNDERSTAND IT NOW, THAT'S BECOME ALMOST A STABILIZATION TOOL AS GAS PRICES SHIFT.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

>> YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT BAGGAGE FEES AND ALL THESE THINGS THAT PEOPLE HATE.

>> THEY'RE RUNNING THEIR AIRLINES -- WE NET WITH DELTA ABOUT -- MET WITH DELTA ABOUT A MONTH AGO AND DELTA IS RUNNING THEIR SHIFT A LOT SMARTER. THEY'RE CUTTING WHERE THEY HAVE ANY FLUFFS. IF THE PLANES ARE INEFFICIENT, THEY'RE PULLING THEM OUT, SO ALL THE AIRLINES, I THINK, ARE RUNNING SMOOTHER. THEY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT MODELS. LAST YEAR WE MET WITH MANY OF THE CEOs WITH DIFFERENT AIRLINES AND EACH ONE RUNS THEIR AIRLINE A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. YOU HAVE SPIRIT THAT PUTS AS MANY PEOPLE ON THE PLANE AS POSSIBLE AND IT'S JUST THE OPPOSITE OF JET BLUE. THEY ALL HAVE DIFFERENT MODELS AND WHAT WE LEARNED, SO YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. WE DON'T WANT A PLANE FLYING OUT OF HERE AT 3:00 IN THE MORNING, SO WE DO LIKE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, THEY'RE VERY IMPORTANT TO US, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, WE DO NEED THE VACATION DESTINATIONS.

>> ALL RIGHT. I GUESS I'LL LEAVE IT THERE. THANK YOU BOTH, HEATHER KENDREW, GENE RICHARDS, THEY HELP RUN THE BURLINGTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. YOU GUYS HAVE ANY TRAVEL PLANS?

>> ALWAYS.

>> SOMEONE HAS TO RUN THE AIRPORT. THANK YOU BOTH VERY MUCH. AND THEY ARE BOTH AT THE AIRPORT AND I'M SURE THEY'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR FEEDBACK ON WHAT YOU THINK SHOULD HAPPEN AT THE AIRPORT WHEN IT COMES TO FLYING AND WHAT AIRLINES OBVIOUSLY COST IS A HUGE ISSUE YOU WILL BOTH BE WORKING ON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> THANK YOU.

>> THANKS TO KYLE MIDURA FOR JOINING THE QUESTION AND THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY, EVERYONE. TAKE CARE. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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