JAA: FAA shutdown no concern

Jacksonville International Airport Executive Director Steve Grossman isn’t overly concerned — yet — about the partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration because of federal funding disagreements.

Grossman told the Jacksonville Aviation Authority board of directors Monday during its monthly meeting that the furloughs caused by the shutdown affect the industry’s nonessential services.

Positions like air traffic controllers and others necessary to keep airlines running and secure are continuing to operate.

“All essential personnel are working,” Grossman said after the meeting.

The U.S. Senate and House failed by Friday to agree to reauthorize funding for the administration, causing the partial shutdown.

Depending on how long the stoppage remains, said Grossman, it will affect how JAA is able to apply for grants for projects. He said projects currently funded by such grants will continue to receive the money.

“At worst it will delay it,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, the situation “is troubling.”

The stoppage, he said, also resulted in airlines not having to collect the 7.5 percent federal tax on airline tickets, although he said several airlines raised their rates to continue collecting that amount from customers.

Grossman said he believes the issue will be resolved sooner rather than later and could be finished within a week or so.

In other news:

• JAA Customer Service Manager Bryan Long provided a presentation about surveys that measure customer service levels of satisfaction.

An airportsurvey.com report has JAA faring above similar-sized airports in overall satisfaction with facilities from the third quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2011.

An Airport Service Quality survey from 2008-11 showed varying grades. Grossman said that often the variances come when construction is taking place and passengers see the airport during and after the project.

Grossman said the staff generally compares results to prior years rather than other airports. “We really compare them against ourselves,” he said.

• The FAA inspected JIA June 11-12 and officials said it “passed with flying colors.” There was one problem, though. FAA officials had an issue with a pole installed in the wrong place. Grossman wasn’t concerned. “Luckily, it was a pole installed by FAA,” he said.

• City Council member Richard Clark is the new Council liaison to the board and sat in on his first meeting Monday.

dchapman@baileypub.com, 356-2466

Source: http://bit.ly/onl9IF


Visit our airport system websites