Airport Authority discusses performance issues with airline representatives
Representatives from Delta Global Services (DGS), Delta and United Airlines attended the March 12 board meeting to hear from Airport Authority members and the Fargo business community about growing concerns surrounding service.
Airline service issues, including delayed flights and long waits for baggage pickup have caused the airport to be obliterated with passenger complaints on social media. The airport has been blamed repeatedly for issues caused by airlines. Complaints started escalating just after Thanksgiving when DGS was purchased by Argenbright Holdings and many experienced airline service workers quit their jobs and were replaced with temporary employees.
Joe Raso, president and CEO of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corporation (GFMEDC), and Charlie Johnson, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, explained that members of the business community were extremely disappointed in airline service, which has been negatively impacting tourism. Raso presented findings from a study that revealed airline service workers are severely underpaid and suggested a boost in pay might help improve service.
Airline representatives acknowledged the concerns and indicated they were committed to making improvements.
Q1 2019 StatisticsPassenger enplanements were up for all three months of the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same months in 2018. Even though there were 46 cancelled flights due to uncooperative weather, January saw a record of 37,000 passengers. An increase of 9 percent when compared to January 2018 passenger enplanements of 34,022, it was the busiest January since the previous record set in 2014. Total passenger count was 71,494, which is up 7.8 percent over the same period last year. There were 533 air carrier departures with an average of 85 seats per flight and an average of 2,306 total daily passengers. February airline passenger traffic also increased. Enplanements were 38,035, which is an increase of 3.8 percent when compared to the February 2018 passenger enplanements of 36,655. Total passenger count for the month was 74,424, which is up 3.6 percent over the same period last year. There were 498 air carrier departures with an average of 87 seats per flight in February and an average of 2,658 total daily passengers. Airline passenger traffic also increased in March with 42,630 enplanements. This is an increase of 6.1 percent when compared to the March 2018 enplanements of 40,169. Total passenger count for the month was 86,647, which is up 5.9 percent over March 2018. There were 649 air carrier departures with an average of 79 seats per flight in March and an average of 2,795 total daily passengers.
Airport EventsU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations held a Global Entry Enrollment Workshop in Fargo on April 8-10. The program allows expedited processing at international entry points as well as TSA Pre✓™ benefits. They processed 88 individuals. The next workshop is scheduled for August 2019. More than 3,000 passengers take advantage of new shuttle service Parking services provider SP+ shuttled more than 3,000 passengers this winter. Services began Dec. 17 and ended March 31. Provided at no cost to travelers, the shuttle is available for people using long-term and economy parking lots during the winter months at Hector International. We will discuss extending shuttle operations later this year.
The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds will perform July 20-21, 2019, at the Fargo AirSho. This will be the first time the Thunderbirds have flown in Fargo since 1989.
RECOGNITION AND ACHIEVEMENTSRick Engen appointed to Airport Authority The Fargo City Commission approved the appointment of Rick Engen to the Airport Authority. He was nominated by Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney and will replace Stephen Blazek, whose five-year term ended April 8. Engen has spent more than 20 years in the financial services industry and is a former member of the Fargo Parking Commission. We extend our appreciation to Steve for ten years of dedicated service to the Municipal Airport Authority. Current Airport Authority Board Members Chair – Maj. Gen. Mike Haugen (Ret.) Vice-Chair – Tammy Linn Dr. Virginia Clark Rick Engen Erik Lind