A New Kind of Airport
In case you didn't know, most of our national airports are owned by the government, and most of the employees there work either for the government or for the airlines. This practice of staffing the counters and gates at hundreds or airports costs the airlines a lot of money. A new airport, recently opened in Branson Missouri, is looking to change all that. Branson Airport, which is what it is currently unofficially referred to as (unofficially because an official name has not yet been chosen), is a privately owned and financed airport. This airport will employ all persons working there, which means that the airlines (currently only AirTran and Sun Country) will not have to staff their ticket counters and gates there.
How will this airport support the hundreds of employees it will need to keep on staff? Reportedly they have struck an agreement with the airlines that they will pay a certain fee per passenger that comes through that airport. Either way, this represents a huge savings for the airlines because they will save on salaries, pensions, insurance, etc. If the privately owned airport experiment works, we might see a restructuring of the national airport system, and if that happens, we will hopefully see a decrease in ticket prices. Though that's probably very wishful thinking. My questions is how this will affect service, safety, and performance?