Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport Prevails in Challenge to Public Bid

Court Formally Recognizes TMG’s Knowledge and Experience in Victory for Client

Since 2001, TMG Consulting has administered and monitored the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBE) at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport (BRMA). One of our responsibilities is to review the bid documents submitted on federal projects to ensure compliance to the DBE Program. In short, did the bidder meet the DBE project goal and/or make Good Faith Efforts (GFEs) to utilize DBE participation?

This month, TMG participated in a hearing on behalf of the BRMA.

BTRRecently, BRMA solicited sealed bid responses for Wildlife Hazard Mitigation Improvements, a drainage and infrastructure project to eliminate potential attractions to wildlife near the airfield. The apparent low bid was contested by another bidder for a number of reasons, including a DBE-related matter. The bidder filed a temporary restraining order and writ of mandamus on the project in Baton Rouge Civil District Court.

Specifically at question was whether the apparent low bidder made adequate Good Faith Efforts to include DBE participation on the bid.

The Judge ruled in favor of the Airport:

(1)   Rejecting the plaintiff’s claims to award the contract to the plaintiff (writ of mandamus); and

(2)   Deeming that the burden of proof required for a permanent restraining order trial was not met, thereby removing the temporary restraining order.

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Lower Airfares Coming in 2015

Airlines Expect Record Profitability on Falling Oil Prices

Drivers across the country have seen noticeably lower prices at the pump lately, with the price of crude oil falling to five-year lows and closing in on $60/barrel.

Now, air travelers may be seeing lower prices in the New Year as well.

jet fuel coffeeBecause of oil price drops attributed to a glut in US supply from shale, and corresponding reductions in the cost of jet fuel, the International Air Transport Association announced today a revised airline industry 2014 profit estimate of $19.9 billion (up from $18.0 billion just this past June). Profits are expected to balloon to a record $25.0 billion in 2015.

The industry expects to pass along a portion of the savings to consumers, with passenger fares projected to fall 5.1% and cargo rates coming in 5.8% lower, after adjusting for inflation.

Just a 5% price cut, though? On record profits?

The fact remains that the airline industry is more competitive than ever and is dealing with cost pressures that will eat into any savings on jet fuel. Next year, the industry will have to take in $783 billion in revenues to see their $25 billion in profits, for a margin of 3.2 percent.

IATA Chief Executive Tony Tyler made a comparison to a familiar brand – Starbucks, which has a profit margin of 14 percent. “[This company] will retain as much from selling seven cups of coffee as an airline will make selling an average ticket,” Tyler noted.

Just don’t mix flying with drinking seven cups of coffee.

Contributed by:

Ryan McNeely, MPA

Associate

TMG Increases Engagement for DBEs and SBEs at Airport Event

On July 30th, 2014, TMG Consulting organized the 9th Annual Business Opportunities Workshop for the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport. This year featured a small business trade show, where small and disadvantaged businesses, along with resources agencies, tabled to showcase their talents. Attendance at this event topped over 120 small and disadvantaged business, prime contractors, resource agencies, and airport staff! The purpose of the Business Opportunities Workshop is multi-faceted:

  • to educate firms about the Airport’s Disadvantaged Enterprise (DBE) program and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program;
  • to inform attendees about upcoming work opportunities at the Airport;
  • to facilitate networking among prime and potential subcontractor firms in order to create connections now, learn what businesses have to offer and prepare a qualified team when the next Baton Rouge Airport bid is released.
  • and to provide resources to help small businesses grow.

Small businesses are an integral aspect of the Baton Rouge Airport’s long-term vision and the airport has a history of actively engaging the DBE and small business communities on Airport contracts. The Airport DBE Program is mandated by the federal government under FAA grant assurances and aims to ensure that government grant funds are distributed equitably.

TMG Consulting has assisted the Baton Rouge Airport to draft and administer both DBE and SBE programs and regularly sets DBE project goals, conducts compliance reviews of bid, and monitors ongoing DBE participation on projects. Events such as these are hosted to help communicate the wide range of opportunities at an Airport for businesses and to demystify the DBE program for all contractors.

 

Contributed by:

Bonnie Garrigan
Manager of Economic Analysis
bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 ext.29

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

 

 

Airport Strategy – Invest in Assets that Reduce Costs

Most public agencies are dependent on revenues from taxes or fees, with constant pressure to deliver service for the minimum absolutely necessary.  While airports are usually self-supporting and funded with rents and fees, there is always pressure to economize.

A simple example is relocating concessions from before a security check point to after.  Because of Transportation Security Administration restrictions, concessions revenue at locations before security check points have fallen dramatically since 2002.  Most airports have now readjusted and reallocated concessions to post-security locations.

Armstrong Airport in New Orleans is seeking to reinvent itself with a much larger concept, to create a facility that reduces its costs by increasing revenues and limiting the burden on its rate payers, the commercial air carriers leasing terminal space.  By re-configuring concessions and right-sizing its new terminal, Armstrong seeks to reduce its operating costs while increasing sales, thus producing more revenue with a public asset and delivering the same or better service, i.e. more flights to more places, with the same cost.

Contributed by:

Ross Chapman
Principal
rfc@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Current and Future Economic Impacts of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

TMG Consulting has been commissioned to update the economic impact analysis for the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport. Our team will work in partnership with Timothy Ryan, Ph.D., distinguished local economist and former Chancellor of the University of New Orleans who conducted the previous economic impact analysis that was completed in 2004.

TMG will utilize the latest available data on expenditures, payroll, and recurring capital investments related to the Airport to determine the Airport’s annual impact on jobs, spending, and tax generation in the region. For this analysis, we will utilize the Regional Input Output Multiplier System (RIMS II) published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in order to estimate the impact for the New Orleans Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In addition, TMG and Dr. Ryan will also develop a projection of the future economic impact of the new terminal on the North side of the current MSY site announced by Mayor Mitch Landrieu in January 2014 that is scheduled to open in 2018, in time for New Orleans’ tri-centennial celebration.

Portions of the current airport terminal have far exceeded their useful life and have been adapted and repurposed over the years in order to accommodate changes in the aviation industry and TSA security requirements.

Aging Infrastructure of the Current MSY Terminal

Half of the current terminal is over 40 years old (and in some cases, 50 years old.) Source: Crescent City Aviation Team – Long Term Infrastructure Development Plan (April 2013)

Half of the current terminal is over 40 years old (and in some cases, 50 years old.)
Source: Crescent City Aviation Team – Long Term Infrastructure Development Plan (April 2013)

The new terminal will feature a modernized design and increased functionality over the current MSY terminal, with consolidated security checkpoints that will allow passengers to access all concourses after security screenings. Combined access to all concourses is expected to increase the number of concessionaires that are willing to operate at MSY and generate additional revenue for concessionaires due to increased exposure to passenger demand.

Moving the terminal to the North will also allow for repurposing of existing Airport properties on the South side of the MSY site. Reuse of the existing south side properties will also result in additional jobs, earnings, and output for the regional economy.

Proposed Repurposing of South Side MSY Properties

Redevelopment plans have yet to be finalize, but the most recent concepts include additional General Aviation (GA) and Fixed Based Operator (FBO) hangars and facilities, long term parking, mixed use and office buildings, as well as space for air cargo expansion. Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Land use and Development Services for Long Term Airport Development (January 2014)

Redevelopment plans have yet to be finalize, but the most recent concepts include additional General Aviation (GA) and Fixed Based Operator (FBO) hangars and facilities, long term parking, mixed use and office buildings, as well as space for air cargo expansion.
Source: Jones Lang LaSalle, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport Land use and Development Services for Long Term Airport Development (January 2014)

In a previous study for the Airport in March 2013, TMG projected that the one-time impact of building the proposed new terminal on the North side along with redevelopment on the South side would result in over 13,000 new construction related jobs for the region.

Conceptual Design for the New MSY Terminal

Source: City of New Orleans (January 2014)

Source: City of New Orleans (January 2014)

We anticipate that the combined impact of all these changes and redevelopment efforts will bring more jobs, more spending, and more tax revenues for the Greater New Orleans Area. Greater economic impact will lead to greater opportunities for local businesses and additional resources for local governments in the region.

Contributed by:

Eric Melancon
Associate
ericmelancon@tmg-consulting.net or 504.569.9239 x 32

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

Issues in Airport Perimeter Security

Twelve years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, airports in the United States and across the world have steadily increased their security measures. Today, most major airports are equipped with hi-tech luggage scanners and full body x-ray machines. Tens of thousands of trained security personnel occupy airport terminals to ensure the safety of passengers. Terminals and passenger concourses are now designed and built or retrofitted to accommodate the extra floor space, loading space, scanning equipment and other requirements necessary for this effort. Consequently, securing commercial air travel throughout the United States has been an expensive endeavor, with the Transportation Security Association (TSA) requesting an $8 billion (or greater) annual budget since 2001.

With the commitment evidenced by these investments over the last decade, airport terminals are safer than ever by every considered metric established to measure the threat. However, airport perimeter security remains the weakest link in the security chain. Federal agencies, such as the TSA and the FAA, need to become more aware of this pressing issue.

Recent perimeter breaches

  • In August 2012, a man unintentionally breached the $100 million sensor-equipped security perimeter at JFK International Airport in New York City after his jet-ski broke down in Jamaica Bay and he swam to land.[1]
  • In February 2013 in Brussels, $50 million worth of diamonds were stolen from an aircraft about to depart by eight men disguised as police who forcefully breached the airport’s security perimeter and performed the heist.[2][r1]
  • In August 2013, a Nigerian boy was found in the wheel well of a commercial aircraft headed to Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital.[3]

Since 2001, there have been over 1,300 breaches to airport security perimeters in the U.S. alone.[4]

Challenges in Airport Perimeter Security

  1. Geography: Airports are generally on very large, expansive plots of land. It is a daunting and expensive task to successfully maintain fenced perimeters for such large properties.
  2. Expense: Devices such as dedicated sensors along perimeter fencing allow authorities to be alerted of perimeter breaches.  However, these systems must be operable at all times and in all weather conditions to be effective.
  3. Insufficient Regulation: Without specific guidance from the FAA and TSA, airports must work to assess and counter perimeter threats independently. So far, there has been no unifying perimeter security regulation established for the over 450 commercial airports in the United States.

Best Practices for Designing Efficient Airport Perimeters

  • Taller fences, especially ones equipped with barbed wire, provide not only a greater physical barrier but also a greater psychological disincentive.
  • Fencing should protrude well into the ground to prevent trespassers and wildlife from entering the property from the bottom of the fence. This also reinforces the strength of the fence.
  • Limit the number of points of entry into an airport’s property. The fewer gates or guarded entry points, the fewer opportunities a trespasser has to breach the restricted area.
  • Ground-sensor systems are popular solutions to airport perimeter security issues but may not be feasible for smaller commercial airports (due to cost).

TMG experience in airport fencing solutions

In August, 2013, TMG Consulting completed a perimeter security project that was commissioned by Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (LANOIA). TMG provided professional services to replace the Airport’s perimeter fencing and, with its designs, gave recommendations as to how the perimeter fencing could be made more secure and effective. Among TMG’s recommendations were the following:

  • Make the entire fence eight feet tall and extend two feet into the ground where possible.
    • The upgrades to the perimeter fencing should better deter wildlife (LANOIA is in a naturally swampy environment) from breaching the perimeter.
  • Make the fence able to withstand 130 mile per hour winds in the event of a Category 3 hurricane.
  • Redefine the secure perimeter to remove areas that do not need to be included.
    • Over time, some buildings located within the Airport’s perimeter became vacant or demolished.
  • Replace underutilized gates with fencing.
    • Eliminates excessive access points and increases security.
  • Implement better signage to the perimeter fencing.
    • Should discourage accidental perimeter breaches.

While these recommendations are specific to the LANOIA, the methods and analysis that created them can be applied to any facility that requires perimeter security.  TMG excels at creating focused solutions to perimeter security as well as a host of other airport capital planning needs.

Contributed by:  

Jan Garbers

Director of Geomatics

jangarbers@tmg-consulting.net or (504) 569-9239 x25

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 Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.

[1] Avila, Jim. “Jet Skier Who Exposed JFK Airport’s Security Tried to Get Caught.” ABC News Network, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[2] Ca Sert, Raf. “Multimillion Dollar Diamond Heist in Brussels.” Associated Press, 19 Feb. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[3] Si, Eno-Aba. “State of Security at Nigerian Airports.” The Guardian, Nigeria, 2 Sept. 2013. Web. 10 Sept. 2013.

[4] US House of Representatives. Office of Congressman William Keating. Perimeter Security: Weakest Link in Airport Safety. N.p., 1 Mar. 2012. Web.


Superbowl 2013: New Orleans Welcomes Visitors with Improved and Modernized Airport

On January 15, 2013 New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu hosted the official opening of Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport’s Terminal Interior and Exterior Improvements Airport Modernization Program.  This capital program, comprising more than $300 million of infrastructure improvements, was begun before the impact of Hurricane Katrina and successfully completed ahead of a make-or-break event for the city and the region: Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome on February 2.

“An expected 42,000 visitors to the city will be greeted and hosted in world-class style with Armstrong’s newly renovated terminal and concourse spaces, windows and lighting, fully reconstructed restrooms throughout the terminal, together with new information displays, baggage claim and security checkpoint upgrades, a new walk-to-rent consolidated rental car facility, rental car service centers and six new gates in a renovated and expanded Concourse D. The Jerome S. Glazer Access Road has just been renovated for a smooth ride direct to Interstate 10.  After their visit, on the way home, there are new landmark local gift and dining venues such as the Saints store and Dooky Chase’s – more than $6 million of improved concessions offerings.  What the visitors won’t see is just as important: a new airfield fire station, rehabilitated airfield pavement and lighting controls, a $30 million state-of-the-art security system and emergency operations center and security fencing.

As significant as all of these improvements are for the visitors, they are lasting investments made for the long term benefit of the community here in South East Louisiana.  And they were all done without taxpayer dollars, with user fees and self-generated airport funds.

TMG Consulting has been assisting the New Orleans Aviation Board in realizing their plans for more than twenty years.  We have been able to advise Armstrong on planning, programing and funding their capital investments.  And we’ve been able to help build our hometown while doing it.  We’re proud of our efforts and those of our partners at Armstrong and throughout the local consultant community.  We’re continuing in our service and excited by the future.  As satisfying as the Airport Modernization Program is, we believe the best is yet to come…

Contributed by:

Ross F. Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  

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Disclaimer
The views, interpretations, or strategies expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the position of TMG Consulting. This site is meant for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. TMG Consulting makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this site and will not be liable for damages arising from its display or use.