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   Vol. 19 No. 73
Tuesday December 1, 2020
The Front Paige Situation In Atlanta
Elliott Paige

     Elliott Paige is Airport Director, Air Service Development for Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia,
     Always smart with good ideas, engaging and outspoken, here Elliott offers the lowdown on living and prospering during the pandemic.
     “ATL is not doing too horrible. Passenger numbers moved from 453,362 in
April to 3,124,231 in September and growing. As a comparison, in September,
pre-COVID, we had 8,733,259 passengers. However, the capacity for pax is not the problem. The problem is that with every spike in COVID cases, 2-3 weeks later, there are cancellations as more people are infected, and others are afraid to travel. International numbers are also picking up but expected to remain stagnant or even slow as more European countries remain in lockdown.
     “Cargo is doing much better. Our peak day of Thursdays sees as much as 75 all-freighter flights. E-Commerce is still booming, and the GHAs, namely Swissport, had to go on a hiring campaign twice in October to get extra staff to handle all the extra flights coming in.
     “We announced that DHL would take 50% of the building leased by WFS, and they are operational since early-November. They are gearing up, like Delta, to handle COVID-vaccines through ATL.
     “We are working internally to get COVID ready by engaging with stakeholders and looking at all the areas, we may have bottlenecks to prioritize COVID vaccine transport. We want to be as helpful as possible to save lives.
     “For the future, we were advertising our modern air cargo terminal RFP,
in November but had some administrative delays. We are still pressing ahead, and this RFP should be advertised within the next few weeks. Interested parties should stay tuned to this link. This is our big vision and showcases our ambitions to make ATL one of the U.S.’s best.”

Outstanding in a Year of Challenge

     “What has stood out for me the most is the airport's partners' resiliency, especially in cargo. We have been struck with waves of COVID, yet we never give up. We continue to add technology on both the cargo and passenger side to protect staff and passengers. It's been a challenge in cargo, as some stakeholders prefer to continue doing things the old way. Part of it may be how divided the country is on the impact of the virus. Yet we continue to push for common-sense approaches:
          •  Touchless directories for passengers in the terminal;
          •  Building awareness for the cargo community system;
          •  Helping with expedited badging for the hundreds of new staff being hired               to work in cargo;
          •  Information and data sharing with stakeholders;
          •  The countless Webinars showcasing what we are doing to keep business               going for the community.”

A Day In The Life

     “It’s Yoga, first thing early in the morning to help me wake up. I then catch up on the news (regular, then industry). I review a few emails, maybe get a call or two in, before our daily team meeting. Usually, there is a stakeholder meeting after that.
     “Then it’s lunchtime but usually I forget to have lunch either because of a meeting or trying to finish an email like this one, so end up getting a late lunch.
     “Afternoons are spent doing more reading, writing, preparing presentations, or strategizing with a team member.
     “I may pause to catch up with a family member, colleague, or friend - something I think we all need during this time.
     “I usually don't notice it's 5:00 PM and I should stop work until 6:00 PM. Then I try to write something for my blog or pause to check the mail or go outside a bit for a walk and some fresh air.”

What Stands Out?

     “It's all interesting.
     “But I am pretty excited about the RFP for the Modern Air Cargo Terminal. I really want that to be successful and like I envision it. I have the whole facility in my head, but my task is to get others to see it as profitable.”

First Moves Post Pandemic

     “I desperately need to travel, more personally than professionally. That's priority #1—a real vacation.
     “Another priority will also be coordinating with the staff of how we work from now on, sometimes in the office and other times at home.
     “Travel will be necessary for work to continue to build a business. This won't go away. The challenge is this: How do we build business through traveling when our budgets have been slashed because of shortfalls in revenue due to the COVID impact? The big task is now convincing our finance people that to return to success, we need to make revenue, and to make revenue, we need to be out there marketing the business we have. To be out there, we need a budget to travel and engage with interested parties and market to them. COVID has made finance people skittish, so that will take some convincing.”

Inspiration & Revelations During The Lockdown?

     “My partner first, absolutely.
     “My conviction that we cannot survive without trade and logistics sector and finally, my belief in supporting "everything trade" to make sure the system works as best it can.
     “I probably don't really need a car. We have survived on one household car for months. I would probably also trade an outdoor space for less indoor space.      “Otherwise, that's a tough question. Maybe, it's just the season, but I could do without hearing any more about politics and politicians.”

If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
Access complete issue by clicking on issue icon or
Access specific articles by clicking on article title
Vol. 19 No. 70
Bubbling Up After Everything Changed
Chuckles for November 2, 2020
Autumn Serenade 2020
Simple Pleasure Returns
James Bond Forever

Vol. 19 No. 71
What Became Small In 2020?
Chuckles for November 10, 2020
Are You Having Any Fun?

Vol. 19 No. 72
Easy to Remember
Chuckles for November 20, 2020
Brush up your Flemish
Hughes & TIACA
And Now for Something Completely Different
More What Became Small

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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