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   Vol. 17 No. 51
Friday August 17, 2018

Once Upon A Time @ The Airport

      Here is a blast from the past. It originally aired in 1998, but it’s still alive on YouTube, where it has been viewed more than 161,000 times.
      International Airports is the title and the program runs about 45 minutes.
      In 1989 we created a book for Airport Council International (ACI) titled Great Airports Worldwide, comprising 800 pages of the soup-to-nuts history of 137 of the world’s airports.
      The late Josh Hanig, a top notch TV producer, contacted us for a series he was producing for The History Channel called Modern Marvels.
      Josh had read our book and said he wanted us to help him put together the show.
      In terms of timeframe, all of this happened before programs like Pawn Stars put The History Channel solidly into the minds of hundreds of millions of people around the world.

Eastern Airlines Bar Wings It

      The evening the show debuted on The History Channel, we were in The Spirit—a great airline watering hole in Miami created by some former Eastern Airlines employees, where aircraft seats served as tables.
      The place was attached to a hotel that also provided low-cost quarters for people like us who were attending Air Cargo Americas.
      I recall the innkeeper—who had an enormous satellite dish on the roof—did not subscribe to History Channel, but was willing to buy a trial subscription, so we ponied up 20 bucks, bought the house drinks, and settled in to watch “International Airports.”
      The show played and folks watched off and on and then went back to whatever was on their minds.
      So we bought more rounds and the show played on.
      It was a great night that we often recall fondly.

Ron Davies Was The Greatest

Geoffrey Arend and Ron Davies      Modern Marvels ran for decades and helped keep the lights on for the History Channel.
      For me, rewatching our episode carries some mixed feelings.
      I am very glad to see my dear friend and colleague, the late R.E.G. Davies, once again.
      We both worked together on this film.
      Ron is/was the greatest aviation historian in the history of the world.
      His 38 books for Smithsonian Press and his 50 years as the dean of aviation historians, including his tenure in The Lindbergh Chair at The National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., places an indelible stamp on aviation history and can never be overlooked or forgotten.

The Common Thread

      Looking at this film, you will notice airports old and new, but here the newest is over 20 years old.
      Without a doubt, today in the age of mega-airports in America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and elsewhere, the art of airports has accelerated quite a distance.

The Higher Truth

      But in the context of time, as this program looks back at airport beginnings, in 2018 this film delivers certain truths.
      Today the destiny and sense of place of every great city in the world is inexorably connected to its airport.
      So it’s good to look back at where we came from.

Jack DriscollAir Cargo On Global TV

      And yes there is a segment for air cargo, so if you stick it for awhile, look for the guy holding up a bag of goldfish against the light in a cargo facility at LAX.
      Thanks to Jack Driscoll (right) who managed that great facility, air cargo is included here.
      To my mind the industry was given a solid bump on global television decades ago and in that effort came further ideas about bringing air cargo to the masses.

ACN FlyingTypers Offices at MAT

      Our “International Airport” segments were created inside Air Cargo News FlyingTypers offices in The Marine Air Terminal (MAT) at LaGuardia Airport.

Geoffrey Arend at the Marine Air Terminal
The Top DOT & FAA Award

      MAT is the building that we saved in 1980 using the clout of our pioneering newspaper Air Cargo News, which began 43 years ago in 1975.
      In 1986 we were given the highest award of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) heralding our “Outstanding Contributions to Public Service & Transportation ” for saving the Marine Air Terminal and declaring the 1939 airport facility an historic landmark.

A Landmark Effort

      As the first active American airport building in passenger use to be designated an historic landmark, MAT undoubtedly led the way for others that followed, including the iconic TWA facility at JFK, which has been saved and is being adapted into an airport hotel.
      My biggest kick occurred when U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Hanford Dole handed me the award, transcribed with a dedication acknowledging the Marine Air Terminal was saved forever by Air Cargo News.

DOT Award and Elizabeth Dole

Live & Learn

      Hope that you can lean back as summer continues, whether on the job or on vacation, and watch the video.
      We would appreciate your comments.
      Thanks for the memories.

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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