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FLY MGM
By WEDI LEWIS

The Montgomery Regional Airport is the key to open doors for continued growth.

A regional airport is critical to a community’s growth, prosperity and viability. Don’t believe it? Think about this: The airport is the first and last impression of our community, and the state of Alabama for many, when passengers arrive. As Alabama’s capital city, it is crucial for Montgomery to be accessible, particularly for the business of state government, economic development and military operations. The airport is the conduit to move people into the national air traffic network, connecting them with the world.

Two commercial airlines serve Montgomery: Delta Air Lines with seven flights daily to Atlanta, and American Airlines with two flights daily to Charlotte and one to Dallas. Montgomery has seen three straight years of passenger growth, and it is an important connection for air travel to and from Korea, as well, as the location of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing North America and its many suppliers. Since June 2017, four daily flights (two American and two Delta) to and from MGM have carried Korean Air flight numbers.

“It is absolutely essential that we communicate how important it is to Fly Montgomery,” said Tammy Knight Fleming, Chair of the Montgomery Airport Authority. “With anything we do, we en- courage the community and the region as a whole to Fly MGM. That’s the key. That’s how we keep the airport here.”

An increased emphasis on customer service is an important part of the plan. A recent addition to the services offered by the airport is the Sky Cap Ambassadors, operated through Air Chef, providing curbside baggage handling as well as wheelchair service. Customers can call ahead to be met curbside for assistance. “This new pro- gram exemplifies our overall commitment to good quality customer service, which in turn we hope will increase passenger usage of the Montgomery airport,” Fleming said. “I believe that service will be critical to helping to develop the use of MGM and to bring more airlines here, which is our number one goal for strategic planning.”

  Getting Social  

Need for the concierge service was discovered through passenger surveys and social media feedback, and The Montgomery Regional Airport is utilizing cutting-edge technology to promote the airport to potential customers through social media and digital marketing. The airport has become an early adopter of geofencing, using location data to identify potential customers and analyze consumer movement.

This technology helps the airport identify “leakage” – customers who bypassed the Montgomery airport to fly out of Atlanta or Birmingham instead – and educate them about the benefits of flying MGM.

“This technology helps push through the psychology of the decision-making process, and aims to help customers break the habits they are in that may make it easy to forget the alternatives,” explained Scott Bell of Bell Media, which is spearheading the airport’s digital marketing efforts through platforms including display, banner, social media and video. The technology also allows the airport to accurately track how many people were reached that actually converted into a flight booked out of Montgomery. The campaign has been active for about 18 months now.

MGM is one of the few regional airports utilizing geotracking and digital marketing, putting it ahead of the game in the industry. This not only positions the airport to target its audience of potential customers – saving time and advertising dollars – it dovetails with the Airport Authority’s partnership with the City of Montgomery. “It’s the board’s direction and commitment to improving passenger experience while at the same time staying in step with the city’s initiatives, which include moving technology forward with the development of the Internet Ex- change,” Fleming said.

  Forward & Future Thinking  

Another way the Airport Authority is supporting city and regional economic development initiatives is in its commitment to bringing the F-35 to Montgomery. Dannelly Field is home to the 187th Fighter Wing of the U.S. Air National Guard. The 187th currently utilizes F-16 aircraft, but is
in the running to be the new home for a squadron of fifth-generation fighter jets, the F-35 Lightning II. The Montgomery Airport Authority has been working tirelessly in conjunction with the City of Montgomery and Montgomery County governments to secure the F-35 program. “Our number one focus in the short term is being the best community partner we can possibly be to help land the F-35,” Fleming said. “We’re in- credibly hopeful that we’ve done everything we can do, and we believe we’ve assisted in making Montgomery number one.”

This includes committing the land for a new entryway to the 187th Fighter Squadron headquarters, as well as purchasing additional acreage to expand, eventually adding a second runway to accommodate larger aircraft and work with the military.

The Montgomery Regional Airport is perfectly positioned for growth, from a literal standpoint, with land all around it that can be developed for cargo, storage and other commercial air development projects. This will allow the airport to generate non-aero- nautical business and diversify the airport’s revenue stream. Montgomery is also perfectly located centrally in the state be- tween other aeronautical developments like Boeing to the north and Airbus to the south, and the land is primarily flat acreage that is development-ready.

“There is so much potential right now, in Montgomery and at the airport,” Fleming said. “Montgomery Regional Airport is a key piece of the economic development puzzle on so many fronts. But the airport can’t succeed if people don’t use it. It would be unthinkable to lose this critical resource.”

Related Links


Calendar of Events

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 23 Oct 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Business After Hours
Thu, 26 Oct 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Family Business Bootcamp
Fri, 27 Oct 2017
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 30 Oct 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Chamber Orientation
Wed, 01 Nov 2017
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Scaling a Mission-Driven Brand
Thu, 02 Nov 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Military Appreciation Week - Freedom Isn't FreeEvent spans multiple days
Sun, 05 Nov 2017 -
Sat, 11 Nov 2017

All Day Event

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 06 Nov 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Business 101: Start It Up
Tue, 07 Nov 2017
8:15 AM - 9:30 AM

Past Performance in Government Contracting
Tue, 07 Nov 2017
9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

60 Minute Coffee
Wed, 08 Nov 2017
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

EVERYONE COMMUNICATES, FEW CONNECT
Thu, 09 Nov 2017
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Small Business Success Virtual Conference
Thu, 09 Nov 2017
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Veterans Day Parade Reception (Invitation Only)
Sat, 11 Nov 2017
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

INNOVATE MGM Event spans multiple days
Mon, 13 Nov 2017 -
Fri, 17 Nov 2017

1:00 PM - 1:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 13 Nov 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

River Region Economic Summit
Tue, 14 Nov 2017
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
(America/Chicago)

Apps Unleashed: Grow Your Business Using Just Your Phone
Thu, 16 Nov 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Business After Hours
Thu, 16 Nov 2017
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Point of Light Award Deadline
Mon, 20 Nov 2017
5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

BizTalk MGM Radio Broadcast
Mon, 20 Nov 2017
6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Business 101: Start It Up
Tue, 21 Nov 2017
8:15 AM - 9:30 AM

4 Ways to Market Your Business Locally
Tue, 21 Nov 2017
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


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