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28 Passenger Air Service Development Techniques Airports and local market. They can organize efforts to gather, analyze, and present that information. They can organize efforts to influence the local demand for travel. They can organize efforts to develop communities can financial incentives to offer the carrier as a way to share the risk of starting new service. They can influence carriers' develop and implement strategies for approaching airlines, including ensuring that high-quality air service decisions information is provided to carriers. Airports and communities can also actively contribute to incentive programs and provide marketing assistance to airlines. by providing The airport is the natural central stakeholder in any ASD effort. The airport is in the best posi- information on tion to understand passenger traffic, service levels, air fares, and industry costs. Passenger and the local market carrier activity directly affect airport revenues and provide the basis for its capital and operating that they cannot budget. But beyond those immediate effects, it can be the role of the airport to educate other community stakeholders on the benefits of the new services and to demonstrate that their com- otherwise find. mitment is a sound investment. The airport manager or ASD officer thus becomes crucial for organizing the local effort and coordinating other stakeholders. Explanatory discussion on involving local stakeholders Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) serves eight What other stakeholders resort cities in the California desert--Cathedral City, can be involved? Desert Hot Springs, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, The airport should not be the lone entity in an ASD ini- Palm Desert, Palm Springs, and Rancho Mirage. Air tiative. However, because the airport is a conduit for eco- traffic at PSP is "unbalanced," in that approximately nomic activity in the region, it is often best positioned to 70 percent of its passenger traffic is inbound tourism. coordinate the community's efforts to retain existing and Many local residents may be more likely to fly from attract new air service. Ontario International Airport, 75 miles to the west, in part because of the large presence of LCCs there. In any community large enough to support commercial air service, there will be a relatively short list of stakeholders To promote additional inbound traffic, PSP coor- with whom the airport should partner: dinates with local tourism authorities and the convention and visitors authority. The airport is · Major employers. Major employers are the principal driver owned by the City of Palm Springs, so it naturally of air service demand in the area. Their travel demands works with the local government's Bureau of need to be met by the carriers. They may have distinct Tourism. The airport also works closely with the inbound and outbound needs. Palm Springs Desert Resort Convention and Visitors · The local chamber of commerce/tourism board. The Authority (CVA). The CVA's board of directors chamber of commerce represents all businesses in the area includes representatives of all eight cities, Riverside and thus can help obtain information on travel demand County, and the Hospitality Industry Business and marshal resources to help. The tourism board may be Council (representing lodging, restaurants, and more concerned about inbound traffic. Local hotel asso- attractions). These groups proactively engage air- ciations and resorts also can be important contributors to lines in partnership with the airport and member an ASD strategy. communities to promote air travel and tourism; · The local economic development agency and/or other direct stakeholder investment has approached parts of the local municipal government. Local govern- $450,000. Airport staff systematically supports ment has an obvious interest in assisting its business sales teams at the large hotels and resorts with community to develop and prosper, as it forms the back- information that those facilities use to help attract bone of the region's economy and tax base. individuals and meetings/convention groups. Each of these stakeholder groups can play critical roles in Because of its high average temperatures, the sum- influencing airlines to operate in the community. They can be mer months are the area's "low" season. The airport, sources of information that are otherwise unavailable to either Bureau of Tourism, and CVA are working to attract the airport or the airlines (e.g., business expansions, sales of additional travel during the "shoulder seasons." existing homes, planned local infrastructure improvements). They can also be important sources of financial assistance.