Towers and Tarmacs

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  • Goodbye, Farewell And Amen
    Posted by Benet Wilson 5:00 PM on Dec 19, 2008

    blog post photo

    Photo courtesy of Robert Stack & Brett Snyder 

    Earlier this week, I was delighted to find out that little old Towers and Tarmacs was listed as one of the 50 top travel blogs respected travel writer and TV host Chris Elliott said he could not live without.  But I was also a bit sad, since this post marks my last for Towers and Tarmacs.

    We’ve had some staff changes at the Aviation Week group of publications, and I am moving over to the business aviation team.  I’ll be helping write The Weekly of Business Aviation and taking the Business Aviation online channel on our paid and free sites up to the next level.  I’m excited about the challenge, but I’ll really miss my airports/security beat.  For those of you with general aviation airports/FBOs, don’t cross me off your list – I’ll still be in touch! 

    Please – come and visit me over at Aviation Week’s Business Aviation channel, where, among other things, I will be posting at the Business Aviation Now blog.  The airports-related stories will now be on our Things With Wings blog, and I hope you’ll move your RSS feeds over there. And Scott Wintner, just for you – “Strange But True” will continue.  But I’m going to include airline stuff too, so it will now be “Strange But True Aviation News,” out every Friday afternoon – whether we need it or not.

    I have had the chance to meet some wonderful people who helped me grow and flourish, and I wish I could name every one of them here.  But I would be extremely remiss if I didn’t name a few people.  First I have to thank Sean Broderick and Todd Hauptli of AAAE and Debby McElroy, Greg Principato and Eileen Denne of ACI-NA for always passing along their knowledge of this exciting part of the industry.

    Next up are Nancy Gauthier of ACI in Geneva, Robert O’Meara of ACI-Europe, Daniel-Robert Gooch of Canadian Airports Council, Scott Armstrong of Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Michael Samaras of Sydney Airport and Damon Hunt of BAA.  They all allowed me to expand my coverage of airports beyond my playpen in the United States, and I think my readers definitely benefited from it.

    Ken Capps and his staff at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Pasquale DiFulco at the Port Authority and Julie Rodriguez and Deb Osterich at Phoenix/Sky Harbor were always among my favorites to work with.  Why?  They were all former journalists and structured their operations in ways that warm the heart of a reporter wanting access and needing quick deadlines filled. 

    It was short, but I also have to thank my former boss and former colleagues from Delta Air Lines – John Kennedy and Andy McDill – who are now running the PR shop at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, along with Herschel Grangent, who was there before them.  I also throw out thanks to Roderick Drew at the O’Hare Modernization Program for keeping me in the loop – and allowing me to dance on a runway.

    I also thank Tom Winfrey and Nancy Castles at LAWA, Chuck Cannon at Denver, Terri-Ann Betancourt and Perry Cooper at SeaTac, Michael McCarran at SFO, Rosemary Barnes at Oakland, David Vossbrink at San Jose, David Hebert at San Antonio, Marlene McClinton at IAH, Joe McBride at Kansas City (cool car, babe), Pat Hogan at MSP, Emily Richards at Nashville, Lauren Stover, Mark Henderson and Greg Chin at Miami, Kristie Van Auken at Akron/Canton, Michael Conway and Scott Wintner at Detroit Metro, Cindy Stoller at Fitch, Cindy Rosenthal at Clear, Luke Thomas at FLO,

    Thank you to the public affairs teams at the Transportation Security Administration and the Dept. of Homeland Security – Ellen Howe, Amy Kudwa, Christopher White, Sterling Payne, Lauren Wolf, Greg Soule, and Blogger Bob. 

    And speaking of bloggers, I offer a tip of the hat to Rich Cooper and his team at Security Debrief, Evan Sparks at the Evan Sparks Aviation Policy blog, Brett Snyder at the Cranky Flier, Holly Hegeman at Plane Buzz, Mark Ashley at Upgrade: Travel Better, Wendy Perrin at Perrin Post, Harriet Baskas at Stuck At the Airport, Ben Mutzabaugh and Roger Yu at USA Today, Haldane Dodd at, Trebor Banstetter at Sky Talk, Bill Swelbar at Swelblog, Paula Berg at Southwest Airlines, Chris Babb and Marie Force at Delta Air Lines, Rick Seaney, Jared Blank at Online Travel Review, Matt Phillips at The Middle Seat Terminal and Dave Demerjian at Wired Autopia.

    I give a very special thanks to social media guru extraordinaire Josh Hallett of Voce Nation.  I met him at an ACI-NA conference where he gave a life-changing presentation on what is social media.  I took the lessons from that presentation – and his subsequent BlogOrlando conferences – and never looked back, using it as the basis to reshape my journalism career.

    And last, but certainly not least, I have to thank Carolyn Fennell of Orlando International Airport, Tara Hamilton of Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and Ted Bushelman of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.  I have actually known these 3 for years before I covered airports, and they were invaluable in helping me learn the ins and outs of the airport industry.  I have always appreciated their advice and counsel through the years, and airport PR professionals are lucky to have the benefit of their wisdom.  If I’ve forgotten anyone, please accept my humblest apology – but that man with the stick started cueing the music louder and cutting off the rest of my speech!

    I was a big fan of the television show “The Sopranos.” Once I realize that my satellite dish hadn’t crapped out, I was among those who thought the ending was brilliant.  No real farewell, no nice, sweet ending neatly wrapping up things – just fade to black leaving viewers to imagine what might have happened. Now the ending of  “Seinfeld” – that was a complete rip-off!

    Tags: tt99 airports

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