Mayor wants airport marketing consultant


Colorado Springs Mayor Steve Bach is putting out a call for an airport marketing expert.

The expert ought to be familiar with strategies on marketing a regional airport in the shadow of an international airport, like Denver.

City officials announced Friday that Colorado Springs airport aviation director Mark Earle was stepping down. Earle, city officials said,  would stay on as an adviser while the city searches for a new director. Meanwhile, Bach wants a marketing consultant.

“The City has issued an RFP (request for proposal) for a marketing consultant expert in mid-sized, regional airports in proximity to major hubs, such as DIA,” he said. “Separately, I’ll be convening a promotions brainstorming session with local airport stakeholders, including airline station managers, CVB (Convention and Visitors Bureau), the Pikes Peak Lodging Association and others to talk about ideas we could quickly implement.”

Earle could not be reached Friday for comment. His base annual salary as the aviation director was $165,899. He will continue at this base salary rate as the senior adviser – airport and aviation affairs, city officials said.

Assistant Aviation Director Dan Gallagher will assume the role of interim director while the City conducts a national search for a new director.  Gallagher’s base annual salary as the assistant aviation director was $110,819. His base salary rate as the interim aviation director will be $132,719, which is the minimum pay rate for the aviation director position, city officials said.

Gallagher has been with the Colorado Springs Airport since September 2010.

Colorado Springs Airport enplanements have been on a downward trend since 2007, according to the most recent report by the Southern Colorado Economic Forum. In 2011, enplanements in December were 820,573. In December 2012, enplanements dropped to 809,097. In December 2007, enplanements crested 90,000 but have been declining since then.

Then, the airport took a loss when in February, Frontier Airlines announced that was ending its five-year presence in the Springs. The airline, which had cut its service from the Springs to Denver effective March 2, also  ended its remaining nonstop flights, including those to Phoenix and Los Angeles. Frontier flights represented about 19 percent of the airport’s traffic.

Frontier has a hub in Denver and since 2008 had been maintaining a healthy schedule of flights from Colorado Springs to Denver and back to get passengers to connecting flights. Earlier this year, Frontier was told by its holding company, Republic Airways, that it no longer could fly the smaller Embraer aircraft between Colorado Springs and Denver.





  1. I Fly COS

    One group of airport stakeholders I don’t see mentioned is customers; unless, they are included in “others” as merely an afterthought instead of the most important part of the business. For without us, there is no COS. While the city seeks yet another expert, this one to analyze how best to position and market our airport for expansion, I encourage Mayor Bach to seek out and include the airport’s most frequent customer, the local business traveler, in these discussions. What we want is trumped by what we need: To be safely transported to our clients and job sites in a timely manner via the most direct routes by a carrier who provides quality customer service. In order to meet this need, service at COS must be expanded.

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