Features

Published on May 1st, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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AIRPORT DIRECTOR TESTIFIES BEFORE THE HOUSE SUBCOMMITTEE ON AVIATION

Dan Mann250

Dan Mann

(Cayce) Columbia Metropolitan Airport Director, , represented Columbia on Wednesday morning as part of a panel of aviation experts invited to testify before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation regarding the state of small and rural airports.

As a part of his testimony, Mann emphasized the importance of airports operating as businesses and that local control of revenue will provide airports with the resources needed to better serve their markets. Mann also highlighted the critical role of community support in an airport’s success particularly as airports increasingly must compete for service from airlines; his takeaway being that those communities that do not support their local airports may, ultimately, lose their air service all together.

In his written remarks, Mann cites the success that Columbia Metropolitan Airport has had in reducing airport costs and becoming a more competitive organization stating, “Between 2010 and 2012, we reduced staff by 46%, saving $1.7 million annually. We reduced debt to $122 per passenger and lowered cost per enplanement (CPE) from $12.02 to $9.17 in 2013.” Mann’s testimony continues by highlighting that, as a result of these strategic decisions, Delta added capacity to CAE.

In addition to Mann, the other panelists were Susan L. Kurland, Assistant Secretary for Aviation & International Affairs for the USDOT; Dr. Gerald L. Dillingham, Director of Physical Infrastructure Issues for the Government Accountability Office; Captain Lee Moak, President of the Air Line Pilots Association, International; Bryan Bedford, President of Republic Airways; and Brian Sprenger, Director of Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. The Subcommittee is chaired by Congressman Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey.

Other topics discussed included pilot shortages and airline pilot training hours, the aging fleet of regional jets, how airports keep costs low and miscellaneous unfunded mandates.

Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE) is the premier air travel provider for South Carolina’s Midlands region. The airport offers more than 40 daily non-stop flights to 11 destinations nationwide. CAE is a self-sufficient entity and does not receive any state or local tax dollars. Visit our website at www.columbiaairport.com on Facebook at Facebook.com/flycae or on Twitter @CAE_ColumbiaSC.

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