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.

(more…)

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

Beyond Recovery: New Orleans Boasts as a Top Destination for Tourists

In 2013, New Orleans will host the NFL Super Bowl, which will be played for the tenth time in the city inside the newly-branded Mercedes Benz Superdome.  Though the game will attract thousands of spectators, it will be a chance for the city to showcase itself to over 100 million television viewers, as it has historically been the most watched television show in U.S. history. The last time New Orleans was broadcast nationally to so many televisions was in the wake of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Super Bowl will be an opportunity to show the world a city that is beyond recovery; New Orleans is a thriving and exciting city.

Final Four crowds at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, March 2012. An estimated 71,000 attended the National Championship Game alone.
Source: Yahoo Sports

Though the city has recovered in many industry sectors, much of this activity can be attributed to the bustling tourism industry. Based on data from the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (NOCVB), 8.75 million visitors came to New Orleans and spent $5.47 billion. (more…)

A Tale of Two Super Cities: Indianapolis and New Orleans

February 7th is the two-hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  An enduring required reading masterpiece of his, a Tale of Two Cities, considered characters’ lives in London and Paris during the bloodiest days of the French Revolution.

Without much of a segue to justify my title, I offer a Tale of Two Super Bowl Cities, Indianapolis and New Orleans, that’s XLVI and XLVII to sports fans and 2012 and 2013 to planners.  Basically, London and Paris in either nineteenth century or the twenty-first are far more similar than Indy and the Big Easy as venues.

Memorial Circle, the center of Downtown Indianapolis, Photo: TMG Consulting (Left) and Lee Circle, in New Orleans, Photo:exploreneworleans.info (Right).

Though both cities are sufficiently equipped to handle an event like the Super Bowl, they are in stark contrast to each other in almost every other aspect.

1.   Accommodations:  Indianapolis has approximately 6,500 hotel rooms including a brand new JW Marriott with 1,000 rooms.  New Orleans has about 35,000 hotel rooms including almost 1,200 in the freshly rebuilt Hyatt over-looking the Superdome.

JW Mariott in Indianapolis during the 2012 Super Bowl, Photo: LastAngryFan.com (Left); The recently re-opened Hyatt in New Orleans, Photo: TMG Consulting (Right).

2.   Airports: Indianapolis has a brand new, $1 billion Airport with about seven million passengers per year.   New Orleans has a forty-year old terminal with over eight million passengers per year.

3.   Host Experience: Indy just completed hosting its first Super Bowl to many positive reviews for good planning and a successful event.   New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl nine times before, most recently in 2002, very palpably in the shadow of September 11, 2001.

4.   Activity: The Super Bowl in Indianapolis is the crowning jewel of a rebranding of the city to promote its enthusiasm and involvement in sports, an effort involving acquisition of an NFL team and building two bespoke stadiums. Annually, they are host to the Indianapolis 500 which attracts approximately 300,000 spectators. The Super Bowl in New Orleans will pause Mardi Gras festivities next year.  Mardi Gras attracts over one million revelers annually. Other events hosted throughout the year with huge visitor numbers common in New Orleans are the Sugar Bowl (70,000+), the Final Four (75,000+), Jazz Fest (400,000 +), Essence Fest (400,000+), and the French Quarter Festival (500,000+).

2011 Sugar Bowl, Superdome, New Orleans. Photo: TMG Consulting

5.   Key Industry: While Indianapolis is working to improve their tourism industry while fostering strong corporate business activity. New Orleans has many visitors and, while always seeking to attract more, would welcome the kind of corporate business activity Indianapolis boasts.  In essence, both cities are seeking to further diversify.

Although the challenges are different between a mid-western stalwart city and a world-renowned tourist destination, the logistical and planning challenges associated with delivering a 100,000 plus visitor event are real and critical.  Each year, the NFL flies 1,500 Friends and Families of the competing teams on charter aircraft to and from the Big Game.   Dallas/Fort Worth, the host of Super Bowl XLV, had an additional 40,000 travellers and had to contend with a freak ice storm.

New England Patriots, Charter Flight in Indianapolis, 2012. Photo: TMG Consulting

TMG was able to visit Indianapolis and observe preparations to accommodate heavy aviation demand going to and, most especially, departing the game.  We’re working to assist in planning for a smooth experience for all New Orleans’ visitors come 2013.  We’re committed to making our Super Bowl, like Indy’s, the best of times!

 Contributed by:

Ross Chapman

Principal

rfc@tmg-consulting.net  or (504) 569-9239 x 27

 
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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.

IND Airport Delivers a Touch-Down Performance for Super Bowl XLVI

Over the weekend Indianapolis hosted its very first Super Bowl.  The new airport terminal at Indianapolis International Airport (IND) was the first and last destination for most attendees arriving by air.  Multi-year planning, expansive new facilities and dedicated staff let IND handle the increased passenger traffic in stride.  The Super Bowl in Indianapolis was a defining event for the city’s people and its businesses.  The genuine excitement, planning effort and hospitality were present within the airport and across the city.

From the moment you stepped off the plane in Indianapolis, it was very apparent that you were in a “Super Bowl City”.  The new terminal facility boasts high ceilings and a clean, modern feel. The Airport was accented in tasteful Indianapolis Super Bowl displays that were provided, in part, by the city’s Host Committee.  Immediately upon leaving the concourse area, passengers walk through the centralized Civic Plaza which is surrounded by concessions and comfortable seating areas.  For the Super Bowl, the Civic Plaza put on a series of live entertainment acts; offered a wealth of concessions to help football fans get ready for the big game; and featured numerous dedicated volunteers, greeters and staff wishing everyone a “Super Day”.

At IND, the busiest day for scheduled arrivals was the Friday prior to the Super Bowl.  IND welcomed over 14,000 passengers on that Friday, representing record breaking traffic for the facility. In preparation for the increased passenger volume, IND implemented a strategic Super Bowl plan which included three temporary FAA towers which assisted in air traffic control and management of fleets of charters and commercial aircraft.  The plan also included a comprehensive ground transportation program which assured that taxis, limos, buses and their passengers would not congest any area of the Airport.  Staff, vendors and the Host Committee coordinated with concessions and rental car companies to accommodate the increased demand for all amenities.

When most of the passengers returned to IND on Monday after the game, any worries of grand chaos and congestion were mainly unwarranted.  Most passengers were informed to arrive earlier than normal to deal with the rush of passengers.  Monday morning, between the hours of 6:00 – 9:00AM there were approximately 6,500 passengers scheduled to leave.  Though there were long lines at the ticketing counters, passengers moved at a steady pace in order to check in and drop off their bags.  The Airport was careful to plan for increased security and opened all fourteen of their screening lanes at the security checkpoints.  In addition, the consolidated concourses allowed passengers to clear security at any checkpoint and easily walk to their gate regardless of which concourse they were headed to.

Though the planning and effort exuded within IND was instrumental in the airport’s planning efforts to support the city during its first Super Bowl, the one thing any visitor can attest to is that the city’s people were sincerely happy and excited to host such an epic event.  The overall feeling was simply described to me as “Hoosier Pride”.

In 2013, New Orleans will host its 10th Super Bowl and plans are already underway within the city to plan for the event.  Visitors will hopefully leave the city with the same welcoming feeling and a sense of Mardi Gras cheer and Southern hospitality.

Contributed by:

Nilsa M. Duran

Analyst, Planning & Built Environment

nilsaduran@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.

DBE Master Tracker Program Implemented by TMG Consulting

TMG Consulting has been an expert on the DBE Program since the inception of the DBE regulations in the 1980’s. Since then, TMG has worked with public agencies to write, implement, and monitor DBE programs that are effectively diminishing the barriers that exist for small, minority firms to participate in large government contracts. TMG’s joint mission with our clients is to create a DBE program that is realistic and effective, yet simple to manage. To realize this mission, TMG assists clients in setting realistic DBE goals for federally funded projects, streamlining the bidding process, monitoring DBE participation over the course of a project, and providing reports to the Federal Government and the Agency’s Board.

Over the past few years, the DBE regulations have been modified to require more detailed reporting, including individual tracking of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds. Additionally, Boards have expanded their mission to include participation by small and minority firms on state and locally funded projects, going above the federal mandates. TMG has responded by developing a comprehensive tracking system. The  “DBE Master Tracker” is a TMG exclusive product that monitors payments made to subcontractors (DBE and non-DBE) and Prime firms and produces simple reports that are available at any time to Board members, Federal Agencies, or the public. By creating a database that stores and analyzes DBE participation progress, TMG enables its clients to be confident that they are complying with their grant assurances, meeting the DBE missions of their Board and setting realistic DBE goals for future projects.  Moreover, as regulations and requirements change, Master Tracker can easily output customized reports in response.

Our DBE services include:

  • Developing new or updated DBE Programs
  • Drafting small and minority programs for state and local funds
  • Setting DBE goals
  • Reviewing bids and proposals for DBE compliance
  • Utilizing DBE Master Tracker program to monitor contract participation and to provide annual accomplishment report

A comprehensive DBE Consultant contract is complementary to your current DBE staff and can improve efficiency and confidence in your DBE Program within the parameters of sole source contracting.

TMG DBE Program Division Contact: Bonnie Garrigan, bonniegarrigan@tmg-consulting.net, or 504.569,9239 Ex. 29.

DBE Outreach a Success at Baton Rouge Airport

In early July, TMG assisted the Baton Rouge Airport (BTR) in producing its annual Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Vendor Outreach Conference. This annual event showcases the airport’s DBE program and renews and expands the vendor pool as well as increasing awareness of BTR’s minority inclusion efforts in the community. TMG manages this event every year and works with BTR to maintain and expand their DBE program, establishing participation goals for construction and services contracts, monitoring goal attainment, and preparing regulatory documents and reports.

TMG Consulting and the Airport Community

TMG manages the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program at Baton Rouge Airport. We evaluate procurement, set and maintain goals, monitor payments, and implement outreach efforts to inform minority businesses of available opportunities. We have prepared benefit-cost analyses, master plans, and environmental impact statements for airports such as Baton Rouge, Houma-Terrebonne Airport, Lambert-St. Louis International, and Mobile Regional. We routinely perform independent fee estimates for Armstrong as well as for general aviation clients such as Chesterfield County Virginia.

TMG Consulting has experience providing consulting services to more than 20 airports, large and small. We remain fully committed to serving the needs of the aviation community throughout the Gulf Region and the nation. We have over 25 years of experience to match the toughest challenges our clients have. We actively recruit and train talented professionals from wide and diverse backgrounds to meet our clients’ needs, efficiently and effectively.