Monday Insight – October 7, 2019

Before We Start This Week…

BGI Participates In Washington Post Futurist Aviation Event

Boyd Group International is honored to participate this week in the Washington Post’s Taking Flight Investigative Program, held at NASDAQ headquarters in New York City.

The program brings together top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers to discuss and explore the most pressing national and global aviation issues of the day.

This week, BGI President Michael Boyd will be with former FAA Administrator Michael Huerta to discuss the material effects of new airliner platforms and how they will affect the U.S. air transportation system.

Other participants in the event include Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue, noted aviation author Captain John Nance, Richard Cotton, Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, Eric Allison, Head of Uber Elevate, and Blake Scholl, CEO of Boom Supersonic.

Plan on some fun discussions and a wide scope of perspectives.

The event will be live streamed at 9 AM EST. Click here for details on the event.


Monday Update….

Guide To Some Aviation Reporting: Stop. Listen. Then Ignore.

In a recent story regarding “decaying” US airports, a major cable news source issued this shocking observation regarding the state of air travel in America:

“Today, at U.S. airports, passengers are forced to wait in long security lines and then line up for fast food before boarding overcrowded airplanes with no free meals. So why are U.S. airports so cash strapped?”

Blanket statement. No qualifications. No reference to any source. No factual back up.

Just take to story on faith… “at U.S. airports…” (all of them, apparently) decay is rampant.

It’s an impressive visual… after being treated to Ellis Island-like conditions at TSA check points, hapless passengers must then again queue up in long, snaking lines to just to order a Double Cheese Whopper, before getting on airplanes that are implied to be like the 7th Avenue subway at rush hour – one that’s also a flying food famine.

Remember, this is from a huge news outlet, (actually, one that usually delivers some of the best business coverage available anywhere) so, naturally it should not be questioned. But today, the name of the game is reader/viewer/listener beware… you’re on your own to determine facts, and they’re sometimes galaxies away from stories like this one.

Does Anyone In The Airport Industry Take Notice? This type of dishonest rhetoric should not be ignored. It needs to be actively addressed and corrected. Plus, the media outlet that let this garbage get published should urge the writer to pursue a new career – he’s not very good at professional journalism.

Long lines? Specifically where? Well, according to what’s almost stated outright, it’s everywhere. All airline passengers are victims, all the time.

“Overcrowded airplanes?” Okay, so this is due to airports being “cash strapped?” And, according to this source, the implication is that airlines are over-stuffing more passengers than what’s legal into airliner cabins. Of course, we all know that flights leaving airports elsewhere in the world aren’t full, right?

ACI, AAAE, Chime In, Please. This is ditsy, inaccurate and unprofessional doggerel, masquerading as hard journalism. Airport planning in the U.S. doesn’t need half-baked ignorant “reporting” such as this. The nation actually has a world-beating airport system – a complete system – that no other nation can match, and which postures America for the new global generation in air transportation channels, such as UAS. But this would take reporting that isn’t consistent with the me-too trendy conclusion that our airport system is an obsolete collection of collapsing terminals and crunchy runways.

Therefore, the folks representing the American airport and airline industries should not let snarky, inaccurate drivel like this stand without responding. It’s materially inaccurate and misinforms the public.

Or, just say nothing. Yes, silence is golden. In this case however, silence is de facto agreement with reports like this one.

… And some folks still claim there’s no such thing as fake news…


Another Fun Media Missive…

Just like the above, at some local news outlets, it seems that ignorance of the subject matter is no barrier to “investigative reporters.”

The M.O. is pretty much the same around the country. Gin up a flashy headline about crummy air service, then go out to the local airport and do some 6PM B-roll, asking pre-prepped passengers what they think about the already-suggested-by-the-reporter conclusion of poor local airline service.

“We really need direct flights to Tucson,” one traveler demands, regardless of the fact that there isn’t enough daily traffic to fill a Ford Econo-Van. “We go there twice a year, and have to make connections to get there…”

Bring In The Clowns. A newspaper at a midsize city in the South recently went this route, exposing that the local airport is falling behind because it “only has three airlines.”

Only three! This is depriving the local populace of air service,  the report implies, with righteous finality. Without more airlines, the local economy is headed directly into the ceramic fixture.

At the airport in question, those three insufficient airline brands are American, Delta and United, which can get businesses from around the entire globe to this city, in many cases with just one connection. But the local TV station, which has spent at least 15 minutes at a coffee break doing research, thinks that there’s a faceless mass of airlines just hankerin’ to come into town.

Usually in these profound investigative tomes, there’s the tag-team telepromter report on the Ken & Buffy Evening news, neither of whom could tell an airline route map from a grocery list. “We’re asking that the airport advise us what they are doing to address this lack of airlines… Our I-team will stay on top of this story and  will be reporting back.”

Subject matter knowledge need not apply. Facts and clear discussion are such a downer.

Again, it’s caveat viewer.