Delta Airlines will upgrade its fleet to offer area travelers a better product when flying from Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV.) The mainline carrier will replace its current CRJ 200s with several CRJ 900s and one B717, all of which include first class accommodations.
The transition to larger aircraft will take place beginning April 1st. The replacement will mean first class seats will be available on all flights and one flight a day will feature First and Economy classes as well as Economy Comfort which offers more legroom.
The replacement reflects Delta Airline’s move toward a more fuel-efficient fleet. Currently, Delta serves GNV with 50-seat CRJs. The first flight of the day will be on a Boeing-717 which seats 110 people in three tiers. The remaining flights will be on CRJ 900s, a 76-seat aircraft that features first class cabin space.
“Gainesville is a business travel market,” says airport CEO Allan Penksa. “Since many of them earn the upgrades, first class service is an opportunity our most frequent Road Warriors have been asking for from our airlines.”
As the planes are replaced and more seat capacity is added at GNV, the flight schedule will be consolidated. Although GNV will go from seven to five daily Delta departures, there will actually be an 18% increase in the number of available seats each day.
GNV travelers can begin booking flights on these aircraft today.
Schedule Starting April 1, 2014
7 am B-717 110 seats
10:15 am CRJ 900 76 seats
1:10 pm CRJ 900 76 seats
3:25 pm CRJ 900 76 seats
6:15 pm CRJ 900 76 seats
Airport Earns Environmental Award from Florida Airports Council
The Florida Airports Council (FAC) is honoring Gainesville Regional Airport (GNV) for recent sustainability projects. GNV was singled out among commercial airports for the 2013 J. Bryan Cooper Environmental Award during the Florida Airport Council’s annual conference held in Orlando the last week of July.
Projects garnering recognition for the airport include the rental car service facility, the rooftop photovoltaic solar panels and energy-efficient additions to the phase III terminal renovations.
“This is the community’s airport and the facilities and operations are a reflection of the entire region,” says Ian Fletcher, chairman of the Gainesville Alachua County Regional Airport Authority. “Our efforts in sustainability are something in which our passengers and local residents can take pride.”
Photovoltaic solar panels with the capacity to capture 292 kilowatts of power adorn the roof of the John R. Alison commercial terminal, as well as the roof of the rental car wash facility just west of the terminal. The car wash facility features a wastewater recovery/reuse and surface water management systems, as well as an irrigation system utilizing well water.
The annual award is presented for promoting, implementing or undertaking environmental projects and programs that have a positive effect on the Florida aviation system. The FAC looks for projects that demonstrate a balance between environmental benefits and financial viability. They also recognize the importance of partnerships with entities outside of aviation. The photovoltaic solar panel project and the participation in Gainesville Regional Utilities’ Feed In Tariff program were important.
“We are thankful to have so many great partners involved in our efforts at GNV,” says airport CEO Allan Penksa. “The staff at GRU was supportive and accommodating. GNV has had the assistance of focused engineers with Reynolds Smith & Hills and Passero & Associates who put all these pieces of the puzzle together. We must also thank our colleagues with the Florida Department of Transportation for assistance in securing funding for these initiatives.
Gainesville Regional Airport’s Operations Department is commended with an Airport Safety Mark of Distinction from the Federal Aviation Airports Division, Southern Region. The medal of excellence is for work done in advancement of airport safety as well as for the development of an integrated and involved department.
“I am proud of our Operations Department and the safety programs they have helped put in place,” airport CEO Allan Penksa says. “Safety is our number one focus and a team effort among all of our stakeholders. We are pleased to accept this award on behalf of all of them.”
The Operations Department is lauded for exceeding minimum standards as well as for being professional and well-trained. Also noted was proactive involvement with airport staff and the public by developing a number of safety programs. Cited by the FAA was the “ARFF Flyer,” a newsletter designed to facilitate training and communications between the airport and Gainesville Fire Rescue while keeping the community informed.
Airports are nominated for the Mark of Distinction by the Airport Certification Safety Inspector (ACSI). The Southern Region Airports Division Airport Certification team conducted follow-up on GNV’s nomination to determine eligibility. GNV also garnered the recognition in 2004. However, few airports receive the award. Four airports received the honor in 2011 and only one in 2010.
Caption: Ops crew members Mikaela Lunday, Jason Berger, GACRAA board member Mark Minck, Gordon Rowell, Ops Manager Shaun Blevins and CEO Allan Penksa on Wednesday, November 14, 2012.
Gainesville’s City Beautification Board recognized Gainesville Regional Airport’s Phase III renovations at an annual awards presentation on April 24, 2013. The update to the airport’s façade won an award in the Institutional Facilities category.
Updates are not only aesthetically pleasing, but the renovations result in easier accessibility for passengers as well as energy efficiency. Upgrades include replacement of store front glass with energy efficient glass, construction of vestibule entryways to reduce the loss of air conditioning or heating and new curb and sidewalks that feature a unique pattern of colored cement with curved lines.
Exterior, pillar lighting was replaced with new, energy efficient LED lighting for energy efficiency and the safety of late arriving travelers. Fresh paint, new benches and new landscaping create the new welcome for both residents and visitors to the community. The new irrigation system replaced the source from utility domestic water to well water. Finally, handicap parking areas and ramps to the sidewalk were repaved at the front of the short term lot.
Terminal Renovations Phase III began in June 2012 and final touches were completed in February 2013 with a construction cost of $1.3 million. Reynolds Smith and Hills (RS&H) designed the project.
The City Beautification Awards highlighted 27 construction or renovation projects around the community covering categories from Commercial and Retail to Restoration, Revitalization and Adaptive Reuse.
The annual City Beautification Awards recognize excellence in a variety of design categories. They highlight projects of outstanding aesthetic and artistic appeal. Projects are evaluated based on originality, innovation and creativity as well as their sustainability, maintenance and use of serviceable materials.
With four airlines serving five non-stop destinations, GNV is currently at capacity. As part of the update to the Master Plan, engineering firm RS&H has created concept drawings for future expansion. As airlines transition from the less-fuel efficient regional jets, GNV must plan for larger, narrow body aircraft.
A few of the areas that are being considered for expansion include more apron pavement. This is the area where jets park at the terminal gates. The additional apron would allow for adding a mezzanine level bridge or two from a concourse to the west of existing jet bridges. Also needed are more restrooms in the secure area and more space for the security checkpoint. GNV would also expand the back baggage carousel area and offices for existing airlines.
No dates have been set yet for planned constructions. But the work would likely take place in phases as funding became available.