Airing concerns

To entice more business travelers to patronize the growing Akron/Canton Regional Airport, and to lure larger aircraft to a smaller field, director of aviation Fred Krum must play the part of a lobbyist.

“In this industry, we’re all fighting for more carriers to bring jets into smaller airfields. You have to lobby to get them before other cities do,” he says.

Krum says he was lucky to win the new Atlantic Coast Airlines/United Express to Akron-Canton. Service started Dec. 15 and replaces United Feeder Service Inc. as United’s regional affiliate to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. It surpasses the prior turbo-prop product, says Krum, because the Canadiar jets are roomier, quieter, and the price is right.

“These regional jets are sweeping the country as one of the most cutting edge things in the air, because they have much greater customer acceptance,” he says.

Krum’s lobbying persistence has benefited the airline, the airport and the end user. Comparing January 2000 to January 1999, United’s boarding stats are up 91 percent.

“We hear from the customer, relay that to the airline and lobby for the improvements,” he says. “And anything that’s out there that will please our customer, that’s our charge.”