Change is inevitable in life and in business, and especially at the Flagstaff Airport. The Flagstaff Airport sees change daily in security and the convenience of flying. If you haven’t flown out of Flagstaff this summer, you should be aware of some important traveler information for the next time you do.
Travel by air is still one of the best values in regards to price and convenience. Flying can sometimes seem harder than it used to be but there are reasons for the extra precautions our airlines are taking. In November 2001, Congress enacted the Transportation Security Act, forming the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA has a list of prohibited items that are not allowed on the aircraft. This list has changed over the years. We often get calls at the airport administrative office to find out if a certain item can be carried on. This is a difficult call to answer because we, locally, do not make those decisions and are not able to speak for TSA. Airlines and the airport recommend that you go to the following website prior to planning your flight tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/prohibited-items. This website is updated regularly.
In 2005, Congress passed the “Real ID Act.” Since then, the Department of Homeland Security has been working with each state to develop an Identification they can issue that is federally recognized. The state of Arizona will now issue an Arizona Voluntary Travel ID, azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/arizona-voluntary-travel-id/overview. It is called voluntary because not all facilities require this kind of ID at this time, as a passport will serve the same purpose. We suggest you review the information on the AZDOT website before you make a decision to obtain a Voluntary Travel ID. By Oct. 1, 2020, the current Arizona state driver’s license will not be accepted for air travel.
Recent changes have been underway at the Flagstaff Airport and are to enhance your travel experience. Pulliam Drive, the main loop into the airport terminal area, was recently repaved. This was long overdue, but a vast improvement. American Airlines has added two ticket kiosks in the lobby to print out boarding passes to help expedite the enplanement process. Other changes include a water bottle refill station inside the gate hold area. Some of our changes are more subtle and may not be noticed by the general public, like all our fluorescent tube light bulbs have been replaced with LED light bulbs. This creates a more natural looking luminescence and will help reduce costs by using less energy. You will soon see new carpet and cell phone charging stations. Correspondingly, we expect to add some incumbent bikes that will generate electricity to charge electronic devices, via usb, as you pedal on the second floor of the terminal.
We continue to court new services and routes for our community. You hopefully have seen some of our advertising, “Always Fly Flagstaff First,” in publications such as this one. This marketing campaign is intended to raise awareness about our airport and hopefully increase the number of people flying out of Flagstaff on a regular basis. The number of enplanements is a statistic that air carriers will observe to see what our market is doing and helps them determine if they want to bring additional service. As our enplanements continue to rise, this will pique air carrier interest in providing new service. Watch for our new marketing efforts as they will lend an opportunity for you to engage with our airport. For now, we ask that you, your family, business partners and more always fly Flagstaff first and to encourage others to do the same. FBN
By Barney Helmick
Barney Helmick is the Flagstaff Airport director.