The Business of Flying / State of Denver International Airport (DIA) 2012 and Flying For Business program was held March 13, 2012 in downtown Denver at the Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
The keynote speakers were The Honorable, Michael B. Hancock, Major of Denver, and Kim Day, Manager of Aviation, DIA.
A panel discussion moderated by Gregg Moss, Anchor / Reporter, 9NEWS took place with Helgi Mar Bjorgvinsson, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Icelandair; John Hourigan, Director, Corporate Communications, Arrow Electronics; and Brook Sorem, Director, Network Planning, Southwest Airlines.
The news couldn’t be more exciting for the Colorado economy and job market!
Here are the highlights:*
1). DIA is busy and it delivers. In 2011, the DIA passenger count exceeded an all-time high of nearly 53 million and set records for monthly passenger traffic, even as challenging economic conditions curtailed business and leisure travel worldwide.
2) DIA is a leader in sustainability. DIA was the first airport in the nation awarded membership in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Performance Track program which recognizes facilities that exceed regulatory requirements and strive to protect public health and the environment.
3) DIA is preparing for the future and thinking big, long-term and organically. An ‘aerotropolis,’ the aviation concept of the future is underway at DIA. “An ‘aerotopolis’ is a visionary land-intensive, planned expansion of the area around an airport: an urban development that builds on the synergy of an airport, attracting businesses that benefit from a close relationship to the airport.”
4) DIA is expanding and is flyer-centric in its growth to promote tourism. Annual passenger traffic is expected to increase to 62 million by 2020. Growth will likely include a seventh-runway, expansion of concourses, security areas and public parking facilities, and upgrades to the baggage and train systems.
5) DIA is redeveloping to the benefit of the Denver Metro Area. Major program elements include construction of a commuter rail station to connect the airport to downtown Denver’s Union Station, a 500-room hotel and conference center, and an open air plaza connected to Jeppesen Terminal. The $500 million redevelopment program is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs and is scheduled for completion in 2015.
6) Denver Metro Area educational institutions are responding to the call. For example, Metropolitan State College of Denver’s Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science received the 2011 Loening Trophy that recognizes the most outstanding all-around collegiate aviation program the nation.
7) Colorado is a progressive business environment that welcomes sustainable growth. Colorado ranks fifth overall as one of the best states for business and careers (Forbes, 2011). Colorado is the second-most highly educated state in the nation (U.S. Census Burea, 2010).
As an added note: Kim Day, Manager of Aviation at DIA, received the Aviation Director of the Year Award for 2011 in the large airport category from Airport Review News (ARN), a trade publication of the aviation industry.
Denver Metro Area — on its way to world-class.
*DIA data provided by Metro Denver Aviation Coalition, an industry affiliate of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation.