Airport looks to boost its image

With the number of passengers at Bob Hope Airport continuing to drop, officials are beefing up marketing efforts, including a five-minute video, to attract new airlines to the airfield.

The airport has seen annual passenger figures drop by 1.5 million from their peak in 2007, when 5.9 million passengers flew in and out of the airport. And passenger traffic keeps spiraling, dropping more than 5% each month since March.

Airport officials hope the fast-paced video, which is in its final editing stages, will draw more airlines to studio-rich Burbank.

Bob Hope officials spoke with Air Canada at the recent Jump Start convention, an annual event where airport officials rub shoulders with airline reps, said Denis Carvill, director of contracts and properties for the airport.

Burbank would be an ideal site for Air Canada because so much film production work has been sent to Vancouver, he said.

Most of studio travelers use Los Angeles International Airport, even though Bob Hope Airport is more convenient, Carvill said.

“We have shorter processing times at security and our ticket counters,” he said. “And they wouldn’t have to drive the 405 to get to LAX.”

That location factor is slated to be a key highlight of the marketing video.

“People on the West Coast know where we are,” he said, but airline officials in other parts of the country don’t.

The video will also highlight Bob Hope Airport’s proximity to theme parks and family attractions, and airline ticket prices that are, on average, less expensive than at LAX.

In addition to the video directed at airlines, two shorter, consumer-oriented videos are in development that will be shown on websites and social media, said Jack Penning, spokesman for Sixtel Consulting Group.

Airport officials have been working with Sixtel, based in Eugene, Ore., to develop ways to increase passenger figures.

Penning said airports across the country, particularly small ones, are grappling with the same problem: falling passenger traffic, which has dropped an average of 10% nationwide compared with three years ago.

“Some airports have lost all service in the last three years,” he said.

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