After more than 30 years at Salt Lake City International Airport, Larry Bowers is set to retire

Larry Bowers has occupied just about every role there is during his 30-plus year career at the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).

Larry Bowers

Airport police? Check. Firearms trainer? Check. Terminal Services? Double check. Parking Liaison? Been there. Ground Transportation Supervisor? He could do it in his sleep. Airport Service Agent for Continental Airlines? Done that. Landside Operations Manager? Doing it.

Now, there’s a new role for Larry: retirement. Larry has worked since he was 14 years old, so retirement is a foreign concept. But, as with most things in his life, Larry’s ready to face this unknown terrain with vim and vigor. (We’ll get to his retirement plans later.)

Everyone said the 2002 Winter Olympics were going to be the biggest challenge to date for SLC, particularly the coordination of ground transportation, but Larry says that went off without a hitch. The biggest challenge he faced during his time at the airport was keeping the shuttles running when the airport was rebuilding landside infrastructure in the late 2000’s. But even then, Larry was optimistically up for the challenge.

“I got lucky, because I’ve done everything out there,” Larry said. “That shaped my knowledge of the whole operation. It helped me understand that when something happens, it creates a ripple effect, so understanding the bigger picture of how everything is connected helped get me through.”

It’s that can-do, “not gonna fail” attitude of Larry’s that has uniquely positioned him to not only take on numerous roles, but to succeed in them as well.

His retirement to-do list includes moving to Huntsville to be closer to his two daughters, maybe take a yoga class or two, buy a houseboat, join the Yacht Club at Pineview Reservoir, and most of all – travel.

We’ll miss seeing Larry at the airport—his jokes and his contagious laugh—but as with his airport career, Larry’s retirement days will no doubt be full, and full of purpose.

The world is your oyster, Larry!

SLC Decks Its Halls for the Holidays

Christmas trees ready to be placed throughout the airport.

It’s not uncommon for airports to get in the festive spirit. Holiday displays attract travelers for layovers and give passengers a glimpse into the traditions and culture of the community they are passing through. Perhaps more importantly, holiday decor can help cheer travelers during the busy holiday travel season.

For the holidays, Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) definitely decks its halls. The SLC Airport has a greenhouse on-site, where thousands of poinsettias are meticulously cultivated and grown each year to adorn the terminals during  December. Lighted Christmas trees and wreaths hung with ornaments are placed throughout the terminals and concourses. On Christmas Eve, Santa hands out candy canes, and musicians serenade travelers on the way to and from their gates.

But what will The New SLC look like for the holidays come December of 2020? For starters, larger than life

Nutcrackers for The New SLC.

nutcrackers (ranging from 6- to 12-feet tall) will be placed near the elevated roadway leading to the airport. Inside, a 35-foot tree will be placed in the terminal plaza where 6 ½ foot stars will hang from the ceiling. Giant wreaths, lots of garland and snowflakes along the pedestrian walkways will transform SLC into a winter wonderland.

If you find yourself at SLC this holiday season, take some time to wander the terminals and enjoy the festivities. The last holiday season at the existing airport will be in 2019. And if you’re in The New SLC come holiday season in 2020, you may not want to leave.

 

Poinsettia tree at the top of Concourse F.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLC Airport’s Shoe Shiner Extraordinaire

If you’ve visited the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) over the past 28 years, chances are you’ve seen JC Wilson, shoe-shiner extraordinaire at Goodfellow’s Shoeshine. Positioned at the top of the escalators in Terminal 1 after security screening, he sits in a leather-backed chair in front of his elevated wooden workstation, waiting for customers and watching passengers make their way through the airport.

At 6:00 a.m., he’s open for business. It’s hard to give an accurate description of how many customers he sees a day, JC says, because traffic and demand ebbs and flows. Depending on the flow of customers, though, he’ll stick around as long as there are shoes to shine.

JC Wilson, Goodfellow’s Shoeshine

“It’s different every day,” says JC. “Sometimes it’s a madhouse, sometimes it’s quiet. You never can tell, you’ve just got to play it by ear. As long as people are here needing my services, though, I’ll stay all day!”

There’s never a dull moment at the airport for JC. He encounters people from all over the world, and from all walks of life, and that’s the way he likes it. JC remembers a time when, unbeknownst to him, he was shining the shoes of a famous person. Were it not for an enthusiastic traveler passing by, Wilson might have never known he was shining Colin Powell’s shoes.

“I do a lot of work with my head down,” JC explains. “So I’m just shining his shoes, not paying attention to the customer’s face. That’s when a passerby in military fatigues engages him and says ‘I just saw your picture in Jet Magazine and you were in uniform, but I can’t remember which branch.’ And my customer replies ‘sir, at one time, all of them!’ And that’s when I looked up and saw that I was shining Colin Powell’s shoes.”

A lot has happened in the 28 years that JC has worked for Goodfellow’s Shoeshine at SLC. Get him talking about how much things have changed over the years, and how things are continuing to change with the construction of The New SLC, and he’ll tell you about a quieter time when the airport was just a single building.

“There used to be a little dusty parking lot across the street where the post office is,” he says. “You could turn in there and park and head to the observation area where you could watch planes take off and land.”

Regardless of the seemingly constant changes happening all around him, JC loves his perch at Terminal 1. The people he meets, the interactions he observes, the conversations he has with his customers as he shines their shoes, are all constant pieces of the job he’s loved for 28 years.

On your next trip through SLC, be sure to swing by Terminal 1 and see JC. Stop for the shoe shine, stay for his wit, charisma and stories. It will be a charmed interaction you won’t soon forget.

Salt Lake City International Airport Renews its Airport Carbon Accreditation

  1. The Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) has been recognized by Airports Council International (ACI) for renewing its Airport Carbon Accreditation.  The Airport Carbon Accreditation is an independent program administered by WSP, an international consultancy appointed by ACI EUROPE to enforce the accreditation criteria for airports, and is overseen by an advisory board.

As part of the accreditation, airports must commit to reducing their emissions by making investments in heating and lighting efficiency as well as investing in electric, hybrid or gas-powered vehicles and transportation incentives.

SLC has implemented improvements and changes in infrastructure for more than a decade to reduce its carbon footprint. Following are some of the improvements made:

*Installed 12 Electric Vehicle (EV) dual port charging stations, with standard connectors to accommodate all models of electric vehicles. Each port supplies up to 7.2 kilowatts of power. In the first month of service, the EV charging stations saved 1.26 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

*Equipped SLC runways, taxiways, roadways and the facility with more than 5,500 LED fixtures, which will save approximately 3,000,000 kWh of electricity annually.

*Reduced electricity use at the airport by 10 percent since 2009.

*Increased miles driven by alternatively fueled vehicles by 29 percent.

*Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 14 percent per passenger.

*Installed water bottle filling stations throughout the airport and filled 6 million bottles with 938,000 gallons of water, saving 1,480 cubic yards of plastic from ending up in landfills.

Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) Executive Director Bill Wyatt and Airport Environmental Programs Manager Patty Nelis receive SLC’s Airport Carbon Accreditation renewal.

In addition, The New SLC, opening in 2020, has been designed to meet high environmental standards and strives to achieve a LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. A “Roadmap to Net Zero,” is in development, which gives designers a plan for how the facility can generate as much power as it uses.

The Airport Carbon Accreditation program has identified four levels of certification: mapping, which measures the carbon footprint; reduction of the airport operator’s carbon footprint; optimization, which engages others on the airport site to reduce their CO2; and neutrality, which offsets any residual CO2 emissions from the airport operator.

SLC is currently at the “reduction” level, meaning it has proven it has reduced its carbon emissions. Check out this interactive map to see how other airports around the world are doing and how SLC compares.

SLC adds EV charging stations

Passengers, guests and employees at the Salt Lake City International Airport can now charge their electrical vehicles for free while at the airport. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) is doing its part to clear the air and has installed 24 electric vehicle (EV) charging ports for public and employee use.

The 12 EV charging stations are dual port, Level 2 with standard connectors to accommodate all models of electric vehicles. Each port supplies up to 7.2 kilowatts of power. The charging stations include an instruction video that shows users how to operate the station—including phone support available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

After registering with ChargePoint to use the stations, EV owners can download a mobile application in order to locate an available Airport charging station.

“The Airport is implementing programs to help improve Utah’s air quality,” said Bill Wyatt, Salt Lake City Department of Airports executive director. “Come 2020, The New SLC Redevelopment Program will incorporate 50 EV charging stations in the new parking structure as we strive for LEED Gold Certification for the program.”

Wyatt also thanked Rocky Mountain Power for covering 50 percent of current project costs, which totaled $306,000.

Electric Vehicle charging stations are clearly marked.

The Airport stations are located in the following four locations: employee parking lot (4 dual ports), economy parking lot (4 dual ports) parking garage level P1 (1 dual port) and parking garage level P2 (3 dual ports). In addition, the Touch n’ Go Convenience Store- has one EV charging station.

The new parking garage, currently under construction as part of The New SLC, will also have EV charging stations. Phase 1 of The New SLC, which includes the new parking garage, is scheduled to open in 2020.

Access to all EV charging stations is on a first come basis and cannot be reserved in advance. There is currently no charge to use the stations. The Airport encourages drivers to follow EV etiquette and safety practices when using the charging stations.

Lost & Found reunites misplaced items with owners

With more than 24 million passengers traveling through the Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) each year, there are bound to be some misplaced, forgotten or lost items that are left behind. From skis and computers to wallets and phones, there is a variety of passenger belongings that end up in the SLC Airport’s Lost & Found office.

Passengers may not realize the SLC Airport has a lost and found service that aims to reunite owners with lost property. Every week hundreds of items are turned into Lost & Found, which is located in the SLC Department of Airports office in Terminal 1, second floor. (The entrance is through the glass doors at the top of the escalators.)

During the past month, nearly 1,600 items have been dropped off at the Lost & Found office. The number one item turned in is clothing, followed by computer and electronic items. Occasionally, unique items—such as fresh-cut elk antlers or a prosthetic leg—find their way into the Lost & Found office as well.

The SLC Airport has recently implemented an online lost item claims process that allows users to view items that have been returned in order to better identify whether or not it is their item. It’s important to note that if passengers leave an item on an airplane, they should contact the airline directly.

To access the webpage, click here. Users can file a lost item claim form on the webpage.

Once Airport staff determine the rightful owner of an item, they will either mail it at the owner’s expense or arrange for a pick-up at the Lost & Found office, which is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (MST), Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Most items are held for up to 30 days before being disposed, auctioned or donated, if the owner is not located. Due to health and safety reasons, food items/containers, drink containers, neck pillows and soiled clothing are only held until the end of business day before being discarded.

More information on Lost & Found is available here on the Airport’s website.

Meet Bill Wyatt: The Salt Lake City Department of Airports New Executive Director

Late last June, Bill Wyatt had just wrapped up 16 years directing the Port of Portland and was getting a feel for retirement when he got a curious call. It was Korn Ferry—an executive search firm—asking if he’d be interested in a position at the helm of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports.

Not long after, Bill was boarding a plane to SLC to interview for the position of Executive Director of the SLC International Airport. “I began poking around and realized the magnitude of what was happening in SLC,” Bill remembers. “I couldn’t imagine not taking advantage of the opportunity—building a major hub from scratch.”

After a few more visits, where he explored the area, the decision to move was made. “It’s very similar to Oregon,” Bill said, “but more outdoorsy than Portland.” For someone who likes to cycle, golf, ski and spend time outdoors, there was a lot he found appealing.

Soon after accepting the job, Bill bought a house in the avenues and started work at SLC. “This is new chapter in my life in a new place,” he says. “I like it here a lot.”

Bill has been impressed with the day-to-day operations of the airport—functioning at a capacity twice than what it was built for—as well as how lean the operation is. In addition, Bill said he has great confidence in the Airport’s leadership team and the magnitude of the work that preceded him.

“You have to tip your hat to the people in charge in the nineties who developed and began executing a plan—even to build a portion of the concourse connecting tunnel,” he said. “I’m not sure we could do what we are doing today without this foresight. It took courage and vision.”

Empowering People

As Executive Director of the Port of Portland, Bill oversaw four marine terminals, two general aviation airports and the Portland International Airport. Prior to this, Bill honed his political acumen as Chief of Staff to an Oregon Governor as well as served as a state representative from his home town of Astoria, Oregon. Working for the Oregon Business Council, as Executive Director of the Association for Portland Progress and Portland’s downtown development association gave him a well-rounded management background.

“My management style is to empower people to do their jobs,” Bill says. “I’m not a micromanager, not a meddler,” he continues. “I have high expectations for people and lean forward, not backwards.”

But it was Bill’s time spent overseeing the Port of Portland where he came to understand the valuable and unique role an airport plays in a community. “Airports keep us connected to the rest of the country and the world,” he said. These connections foster greater understanding in a time with so many challenges.”

In addition to overseeing The New SLC Redevelopment Program and ensuring the project is completed on time and on budget, Bill believes in building bridges between the SLC airport and the community and help others come to see the airport as a valuable asset. “We have a unique opportunity to guide construction of a brand new airport that will usher in tremendous opportunity for the future of the entire state”, he said. “An airport should reflect the community, and the incredible asserts of Salt Lake City and the great State of Utah.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLC adds new convenience store and gas station to Park and Wait lot

The Salt Lake City International Airport recently opened a convenience store to better serve the traveling public. The Touch n’ Go Convenience Store includes a Chevron gas station and—eat-in or drive-through food options—Burger King, Costa Vida and Beans and Brews.

The Touch n’ Go Store is located adjacent to the Park and Wait lot, which is located to the left of Terminal Drive exiting the freeway. The location couldn’t be any more convenient for those traveling to the Airport to pick-up a friend or family member and to get a quick bite to eat. The drive-through window is time-saver and the flight information monitors will make sure customers are not delayed getting to the curb on time.

The 8,400 sq. ft. store is open 24 hours a day. The food options operate during select hours. Burger King is open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m., Costa Vida is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Beans and Brews is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

An electric charging station located on the east side of the building.

The $4 million facility was built by Kellerstrass Oil Company, along with HB Boys and Big D Construction. Kellerstrass operates the facility and HB Boys is the third-party manager that is responsible for daily operations. Construction began on the facility in June 2017.

Airport Works to Preserve Resources by Recycling Deicing Fluid

When temperatures drop below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, frost, ice or snow can accumulate on an aircraft’s wings and tail and must be removed before a plane can safely take-off. That’s where deicing comes in.

At SLC International Airport, deicing an aircraft takes place on one of four deicing pads, which are located on both sides of the airfield near the runways. After the deicing fluid (a mixture of water and propylene glycol) is sprayed on the aircraft, the fluid collects through a drainage system that transports the fluid more than 5 miles to the SLC Airport’s deicing fluid reclamation facility. The fluid is then stored in holding ponds before being pumped into the facility to begin the process of separating the water from the glycol.

The goal is to convert the liquid to 98 percent pure propylene glycol, which the Airport then sells to companies for use in products, such as paint and antifreeze. The money generated from the sale of the recycled glycol goes back into covering the cost of recycling.

In 2016, the SLC Airport processed 3 million gallons of fluid and recycled more than 100,000 gallons of glycol. Recycling deicing fluid is one way the SLC Airport works to preserve resources. Learn more about the SLC Airport’s sustainability efforts at https://slcairport.com/about-the-airport/community-and-environment/

Mayor Jackie Biskupski selects airline industry and logistics expert Bill Wyatt to lead Salt Lake City Department of Airports

On Oct. 12, 2017, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski announced Bill Wyatt as her choice for the Executive Director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports.

Bill has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, most notably in his role as CEO of the Port of Portland. For the past 17 years, Bill oversaw the complex logistics of day-to-day operations of all Port activities as customer-focused leader. He handled $2 billion in capital construction projects, managed a $330 million annual operating budget with fiscal prudence, developed a workforce of 800 employees, and maintained excellent relationships with many stakeholders, including elected officials, community partners, Delta, TSA, and more.

“I have great appreciation for the enormous value airports serve in our communities,” said Bill Wyatt. “I’m drawn by virtue to the ambitious opportunity in Salt Lake City, and I’m eager to join the team and get to work.”

“As the Salt Lake City International Airport undergoes the largest construction expansion in its history, it is critical that we have an individual at the table with extensive management and logistics experience,” said Mayor Biskupski. “I am confident that Bill’s expertise and knowledge will lead us well as we enter into an exciting new chapter of operations.”

Currently, Salt Lake City International Airport in the midst of a more than $3 billion Terminal Redevelopment Program, which will address operational needs, seismic and security standards, and modernize facilities. No local tax dollars are being used for the redevelopment program. The airport serves over 23 million passengers a year from facilities designed 50 years ago to accommodate half as many travelers. Bill will oversee the massive project, which is scheduled to be completed in phases by 2024.

“I’m excited to be part of the most consequential airport project in the country,” said Bill Wyatt. “Great institutions are made great because people are the foundation, and Salt Lake City International Airport has an exceptional reputation.”

The Department of Airports oversees a portfolio of three airports, including Salt Lake City International Airport, South Valley Regional Airport in West Jordan, and Tooele Valley Airport. As director, Bill will manage operations including over 500 employees, 1,000 contracts, and an annual budget of $367 million.

“Not only will Bill oversee airport construction and run operations, but his ability to bring vision into action will be imperative in looking to the future,” said Mayor Biskupski. “As we develop the Northwest Quadrant and examine our inland port, Bill is yet another expert at the table to help breakdown silos and cement Salt Lake City as the “Crossroads of the West.”

“I would also like to thank Russell Pack, who has been serving as Interim Executive Director during our national search,” said Mayor Biskupski. “His willingness to step up again and lead operations smoothly is unmatched and will not be forgotten.”

Bill previously worked as Chief of Staff to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, as president of the Oregon Business Council, and as Executive Director of the Association for Portland Progress.

He currently serves as director of the Oregon Business Council, and as a board member of the Oregon Historical Society and Columbia River Maritime Museum. He is excited to relocate to Salt Lake City, and enjoys all things outdoors, including hiking, skiing, and fishing.

The appointment is subject to the advice and consent of the City Council.