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Harvard Gets General Manager’s Flight Plan for the Future
By John McCullough

“Technology and innovation will play tremendous roles in helping aviation serve as the connector in our expansive, open, global economy.” That prediction was among the views Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Ben DeCosta presented recently during an executive education program at Harvard University.

DeCosta spoke with nearly 30 architects, engineers and airport designers during the Harvard University Graduate School of Design’s Executive Education Program. “I am a big proponent of continuing education,” said DeCosta. “These programs are a wonderful way to sharpen one’s skills and expand one’s knowledge base.”

DeCosta’s presentation was titled, “The Airport Industry: Yesterday’s Lessons, Today’s Realities and Tomorrow’s Opportunities,” which was delivered with a broad overview of the current aviation landscape and a look toward the future.

Among the topics in DeCosta’s presentation:

  • Checkpoint Evolution – A Transportation Safety Administration program aimed at providing a calmer environment at the checkpoints for screeners to better identify threats.
  • Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology – This enables remote data storage and retrieval through use of small devices called RFID tags or transponders. A receiver, using radio waves, can access and read the data on these tags. In an airport environment, RFID tags can be used for, among other things, baggage handling.
  • Greater perimeter protection – Security doesn’t begin at, nor is it exclusive to, the checkpoint. Modern and future security must focus on the entire terminal – from the roadway to the runway.

Hartsfield-Jackson’s Dan Molloy, assistant general manager for Planning & Development, also presented to the class. Molloy’s presentation focused on the current state of Airport development as well as planning and design trends for the future.

“It was a privilege to hear Mr. DeCosta share his vision for not only Atlanta’s airport but also his views on the wider aviation industry,” said Steve Sanderson, CEO of New Zealand’s Queenstown Airport Corp. “While airports in New Zealand are somewhat smaller than Hartsfield-Jackson, at the end of the day it’s only a matter of scale – the same challenges exist for all of us.”

Download a PDF of the presentation below:
The Airport Industry: Yesterday's Lessons, Today's Realities & Tomorrow's Opportunities.

© 2008 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.


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