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tv   Face the State  CBS  February 21, 2016 6:30am-7:00am PST

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jjj jjj arianna bennett: welcome to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for being with us. well the reno-tahoe international airport saw nearly 3.5 million passengers last year - a big increase from the year before. that also saw some new offerings in terms of flights and a big jump in cargo as well. so what's on the horizon now? well marily mora, the president and ceo of the airport authority, is here now to talk about that. marily, thank you so much for coming on the show. marily mora: thank you it's my pleasure. but i took about a 2 year break and went back. i was here 12 and a half years and i went back to oakland and worked there for two years and then had the good fortune to come back here as a ceo in july of 2014. bennett: and a really good time to come back to the airport too- mora: perfect time
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community. i was really blessed. bennett: yeah tell me about every really the growth and changes the airport has seen just in the last few years. mora: well we were just talking - this is the first time in 10 years that we've had an increase in passengers. about a 4% increase in passengers last year in 2015. so that's a big thing for us because we had many years that we were seeing the passengers drop. we had passenger drop of about 30%. same time we had cargo increase almost 7%, the amount of pounds that we carry out of the airport. so just a really great time. and you know thankfully in the last year, year and a half, we've had a number of new flights have been introduced to this community - new york, jfk airport now being served by jet blue. the first time since in about 15 years that we've had scheduled international air service and now we have three flights a week to guadalajara on volaris airlines. bennett: yeah definitely a lot of new stuff for sure. now it's interesting
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i think. was it recession based, the kind of slow recovery of the airport where we you know are finally seeing passengers pick back up again? because really i mean its been years. mora: yeah we were hit hard by the recession. i think people you know were not travelling for business, they were not travelling for leisure. we saw a drop in people coming into the community. so i mean i think we're just really really thankful that now things have totally turned around in this community in terms of you know 50 thousand new jobs projected here in the next 5 years. that's going to mean great things for the airport as well. bennett: absolutely. and it's you know projected higher income people too. do you think that the growth we're seeing at the airport is-is sustainable? i know it's a concern a lot of the time when we talk about populations growing and everything here that everyone worries, oh we're going to see a tightening of the economy again but i mean has it been slow and steady? mora: you know i think this growth is going to continue and the fact that we've had all of
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now it's time to make sure our local community is supporting those flights. because again it took us 15 years to get jet blue to jfk. that flight is doing you know exactly probably what they expected but we really need support from that. alaska airlines has brought in a lot of new air service to our community. they serve san jose, have a flight that's really really great to san jose. they added service to boise last fall. and on march 16th they're starting service to orange county so how cool is that? so much easier to take your kids to disneyland if you fly into orange county. and southwest airlines which was an airline that dropped about 6 destinations out of our community the last couple of years, now is now adding a flight back in. and they're going to start service to oakland 3 times a day in june on june 5th this year. so that's tremendous because there is you know really really good connectivity to other places out of oakland. bennett: how much easier now is it to convince these airlines to add flight service in and out of reno compared to how it used to be?
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story. we're on the map now because of you know the tesla de- deal being one of the you know the biggest deals in our country in 2014. so people know about-know about us and you know reno they know about the resurgence here and economic activity so now we're able to talk about all the other companies that are coming here that maybe were sitting on the fence. so we have a great business story to tell. we have a great story to talk about the investment in our hotel, hotels here. both here in reno and sparks and certainly up at lake tahoe. and i think that we have got a stronger message than we ever had before about really being the gateway to lake tahoe. bennett: absolutely. yeah, definitely not something you can minimize. lake tahoe is a pretty big draw. mora: well you know the beauty of it all is that we now have a consortium that we call the regional air service corporation that is helping us market new flights or helping us in what we call risk mitigation for that first year of service with a new flight and a new airline. so now we have more community partners,
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companies to be part of this consortium. we have nv energy that's joined. we have switch. we have edawn. so it's a great, great time. bennett: yeah, now speaking of how is the jet blue flight doing? is it doing well? mora: it's doing well for you know the company is really looking, jet blue is looking saying it's right where we thought it would be with a flight that just started last may. but there's been a whole lot of promotion for it. so we want that to continue to go forward. and you know the timing of that flight is just perfect if you want to have a long weekend in new york. you can go on that flight just before midnight, and kind of get there in the morning and just you know go about your business and have a fun weekend and then you can come back like at 8 o'clock and have almost had a full day in new york and get back here again. you know? and be able to go to work the next day. so it's the perfect timing of a flight to have a long be enough to keep the flight around or or is it is there a concern that we could lose it? mora: you know right now i don't
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we're really in-in dialogue with the airline but again we're concerned that this pace keep up and grow. so we want to continue to make sure that people are aware of that, that they use that flight, because even if they're going to europe or some other international destination, how perfect is that to fly into jfk because you've got about 60 countries that you can get to from jfk. bennett: absolutely, yeah. i've taken that flight and it definitely was-was the easiest way i've seen to get to the east coast so it's a good service for our community. what about-what about the new flight to oakland? that was a big loss when we lost it several years back- mora: -yes and that's why we're so excited to get it back. i think we're excited too that southwest airlines is reinvesting in this community. and we were like many airports of our size across the country when they dropped the 6 flights here it was really because they needed that aircraft for new opportunities that they had on the east coast where they could make more money. and they stopped doing what they call short haul flying. so
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and we're really only one of two communities that they're putting a short flight-short haul flight back into. so i think that they're seeing what's happening in reno and saying we're going reinvest in this community. so it's another flight we need to really support again supporting the new flights. alaska airlines is really growing their presence here in reno. you know starting in orange county they've got boise, they've got the san jose flight, they've got seattle and portland and i think a lot of people don't know alaska airlines. it's a wonderful airline with good customer service so we're hopeful that that message gets out as well. bennett: yeah now how is the boise flight doing? mora: it's it needs help. it needs a little remedial help i would say in the community. because that was one that was a destination that we heard a lot about that people you know was served by southwest airlines and then it got dropped so we worked really hard to get that back in but we really need people to fly that route. bennett: okay, are there any new ones headed our way? anything that's you know gonna be? mora:
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know again we had our first international scheduled service going with volaris coming in to guadalajara so we now have 3 flights there so again that's something we want to see people support. so really our focus on the future will be we want cana-service to canada. we'd like to see more destinations certainly to mexico. there's other place in the u.s. like atlanta that we'd like to see serviced. but you know right now we're really focused on telling people we need your help. use it or lose it is what we say about these flights. it's great to go out there and convince an airline to come to our community but if we don't support the flight we're gonna lose it. bennett: now what about the airport building itself? had this huge remodel a few years back, anything else going to be changing or is it-is it pretty much done? mora: well 3 years ago we did a you know we consolidated our checkpoints so that we have one checkpoint and i guess since then the only other-and so we've all grown up. that's what we say now. the other major renovation that we did was a little over a year ago
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into our customs building to accommodate the flight on volaris to guadalajara so there's in the major things that we've done. we're always working on the runways and taxi ways because they need you know maintenance all the time. and we've always got things going on in the building but you know those are the pretty much the things that we're doing at reno-tahoe but reno-stead airport is another subject all together. there's some exciting things happening out there. bennett: right - mora: you know that in late 2013 the state of nevada was designated one of the locations, six locations in the country to test the drones, the unmanned aircraft systems. bennett: right, yeah. mora: so we've been waiting for really that whole activity to take off and some significant things have been happening more recently on that. we're in partnership with unr, the governor's office of economic development, and we now have a nasa project that is coming this spring to reno-stead airport where they will actually
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simulate that activity that could be in complex airspace another airport throughout the country. so they're really testing kind of how are these drones going to operate in our airspace? how are they going to operate near airports? bennett: right. mora: so to have you know a connection with nasa is really something very exciting. the same time - we recently had our board of trustees adopt a strategy really that is going to be great for reno-stead for the future and they've selected a master developer for the land out at stead. we have 5 thousand acres out there and much of that land is developable for a really you know an office parks, distribution centers, or aviation related activities. so dermody properties which is a company that is well known in this community partnered with hillwood which has alliance airport projects around the country and they will be our master developer going forward.
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you're going to see a whole new gateway, a beautiful entrance to that airport and it will change really the future of what's going to happen at reno-stead. bennett: wow. because i mean it's mostly known for the reno air races but - mora: -it is absolutely- bennett: it's a tiny little airport that i think doesn't get a ton of attention from the community other than that one- mora: -during the air races - bennett: - right yes. mora: and all of this development you know is to be compatible with the air races. there's lots of land, there's lots of development we can do to be compatible with the air races. so you know lots of fun things happening out there, lots of exciting things with the drone development at stead. and certainly now having a master development with dermody properties and hillwood investments so we can-we can look to the future and say we're going to make some money off of all that land that we have out there. bennett: okay so big changes coming to- coming to our area in that department. i think it's a good time to take a quick break but we will be right back. and coming up on face the state we will be back with marily mora to talk more about some of the
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might not have heard about. stay
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jjj arianna bennett: welcome back to face the state, i'm arianna bennett thank you for staying with us. we are back with marily mora the president and ceo of the reno airport authority. thank you once again for taking the time to be with us today. marily mora: thank you. bennett: okay so you touched on this a little bit in the last segment, all the drone testing and everything happening out at reno-stead airport. i think it's really interesting, especially because nevada is just one of a handful of states that gets to participate in something like this. but i know there are some implications where drones are concerned when it comes to safety regulations, that sort of thing right? mora: yes, and
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active role because there are a number of things that you have if-lots of people got drones- bennett: for christmas. mora: -at the holidays right? bennett: yeah. mora: and you have to register those. and so we've partnered with the federal aviation administration and we've actually were out before the holidays and we have some more sessions that we're going to do some public session to really tell people that how you safely fly those drones because so many people have you known gotten into this as a hobby. so part of being one of the six test sites with the federal aviation and administration is we're going to help them develop the rules of engagement for drones: how do they operate in the air space? and so we you know it was great to get that designation because we had just in 2013 opened a new terminal at stead and so that was great to have that as a backdrop and a place where we can really host companies to come in and be involved in the unmanned aircraft system so we're partnering with nasa, we're partnering with unr, and the
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development to really have a lot of simulation that happens in a lab that we'll be opening this spring out at stead. so it's an exciting time but also time if you're in-in as a hobbyist to be mindful of the rules of the air so to speak. bennett: right-right. i know one of those is not flying your drone near the airport. mora: absolutely. bennett: is there concern that this could become a danger? mora: you know i think really what we're saying in terms of lets get out in the community, let's talk about how you do it effectively and safely. so that's really the role that we're taking with the federal aviation administration with this because really drones and the unmanned aircraft offer so many different things to improve i mean our daily life. and so it's a wonderful you know development and i think really what we're looking at in stead is really being a place that you have the testing and you have you know a lab environment for this activity is a we really want companies to bring those jobs and bring those headquarters here. bring that business to
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nevada. and being a test site we felt is kind of like an early opportunity to bring those companies in and tell them you know show them what's happening in our region. and similar to switch and tesla coming into this is another industry that really can expand in our in our very own backyard. bennett: absolutely, yeah. it's-it's a neat thing about watching northern nevada's economy grow because it really is such a team effort between all of these big entities coming together trying to attract new businesses. and that's ultimately why it's been successful because everyone is participating in this. mora: yeah and there's so many different types of companies that are coming here. i think you know what we've seen at reno-tahoe international airport is also the cargo development. i mean if you look at ups alone has the amazon contract and look at that distribution happening here in this community and so many other companies that have you know located here to the tahoe regional industrial center. all those companies are shipping you know cargo out of the airport so- bennett: right, yeah - mora: -we were up 7% last year so great - bennett: -i wanted to ask you about that because they-they
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shopping just seen this huge growth - mora: yes, right- bennett: -understandably and i was wondering if most of that goes through the airport. mora: yes a good part of it. you know some goes you know by truck but a whole lot goes by air and i'm going to think you know so that's being shipped out of the airport so that's one of the reasons that we're seeing a lot of cargo development. bennett: very cool. yeah and is that a decent moneymaker for the airport? mora: you know it is i think one things you see, each time, you know we actually we're a big economic generator for the community i'll say as a whole. we b bng in $2 million dollars a year. we have 25-hundred jobs. but the value of really cargo brings is we make money off every time an aircraft lands and so you know that helps keep, cargo helps keep the cargo opportunities and landings help keep the cost of the passenger airlines down because that's how we make our money and you know renting space and each time an aircraft lands we make money off of that. so but the one thing that i always need to tell people is that we do not use any
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generate our own revenue. bennett: okay. well switching gears a little bit, we mentioned in the last segment the new flight to guadalajara. it's been well-received right? mora: it absolutely has. bennett: but we've had some issues with customs and border patrol. i know, have heard of very long waits because of a lack of border patrol agents. can you talk about that a little bit? mora: well we have 3 people that are assigned to our facility and we've gotten to the point a long time ago, over a year ago that we said we'll go ahead and pay for additional staff, we are a port of entry. but they the u.s. customs and border protection does not have a mechanism for us to pay for additional staffing. and frankly they do have staffing issues across the country so it's not just here in reno. so our waits have been about two to two and a half hours. more recently they've improved that scenario just the last month the wait times have been diminished by about 15 minutes so that's a good start. but our wait times are more significant than other airports. so we're we've been involved with the congressional
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political leaders, and really to get our u.s. customs and border protection to do more of a pu-you know public-private partnership so that we whether from the airport or the community can pay for that additional staffing. bennett: what's it take to make that change? i know that it has to go pretty far up the chain. mora: it has to take legislative change. so that's what our delegation, our congressional delegation is involved in. but meantime- bennett: so it takes a vote of congress? mora: well it takes- bennett: oh no. mora: -it takes some language change in appropriations bills. a change-it takes a pilot project. i can tell you this is something that we at the airport work on every day but meantime we've done a lot to try to make the customer experience better for each international flight that comes in. we have 3 police officers there to assist. we have 3 customer service representatives. we hand out water and snacks to the-to the people that have been on the flight because we know it's a wait for them. bennett: right. mora: but it is something that we are you know diligently
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that there is some turn-around at sometime in the -in the very near term. bennett: what's the likelihood you think that this is going to change? mora: i think at some point here hopefully- hopefully 2016 will be the year that we're gonna able to you know even getting one additional staff person in our facility would-would be really really wonderful to have you know speed up that processing time. bennett: hopefully you have the ear of our congressional representatives. mora: we do but you know the flight has been profitable, is doing well for volaris airlines because they told us we're not going to add a third flight until you know the primary processing is at 90 minutes. well it's at 2 hours or over 2 hours. and they went ahead in november and added a third flight. so that tells you that it is doing well despite it is certainly not the customer experience that we would've liked. bennett: right right. it's unfortunate to see any kind of bottleneck when it comes to an expansion of services. i know that this was a big issue with the flight to london that was supposed to happen and then got cancelled?
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hoped that we were going to start service to london last december but the landing rights were never approved by the u.s. customs and border protection and at that point they told the airline, thomas cook airlines and there were going to be two flights a week, that the wait would've been over three hours. based on our experience, so far would've been far more than 3 hours. so you know really that's not the kind of customer experience that we'd like to see. so thomas cook cancelled the flight early on so people could that had already booked it could make other arrangements. so right now that was an aircraft that had over 300 people. right now we are really stepping back a bit and saying we want the staffing. it's no sense in us because we would've had to increase the footprint of the facility. there's no sense in doing that if you're not going to staff, if the cbp, u.s. customs is not going to staff for a larger group. we're not meeting the mark right now for what we say is 200 people an hour. bennett: so say we could get our cbp staff up enough to accommodate these
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in this region to get a london flight and keep it? mora: well i think this year the demand, that flight was selling fairly well early on when it got announced. it got announced you know back in november. you know for over a year ahead of the flights starting and it was right on track in terms of you know bookings. and we've had a phenomenal year for sno-you know snow and it was time to really to be operating during the ski season. so i think that you know it would've been a successful flight had we been able to get there with customs staffing. bennett: well, maybe in the future. fingers crossed. mora: yes we'll you know we continue to work on things like that. bennett: well the good news is now uber and lyft can operate out of the airport, correct? before there was a little bit of an issue with pickups at the airport. mora: well they could drop off but they had to really sign our agreements and we had to you know get our operating agreements in place and so you know last month we were able to get that up and running and i think really you know quite frankly uber and lyft were
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airport in our state first. and we're just really happy because this is such a convenience for people that are coming to our area, reno-sparks, or going up to ski. so we're really really happy to have uber and lyft operating now. bennett: now from the logistical standpoint is it a different pickup or drop-off area? mora: it's all on our grand transportation area. so if you walk out of the baggage claim area at the airport you just walk a little bit aways and there's a lot of signage now that says "rideshare". bennett: okay, very cool. and now finally we've just got a couple of minutes left so we'll have to keep it short but tsa pre-check is a thing now. mora: yes, actually last december tsa pre- check was a location where it was being pre- check applications were being processed in our community was going away and tsa was not talking about having a new location until spring so we said, no, bring it to the airport. so late december we had the facility, we had tsa pre-check where you have to actually come in and do your fingerprints so you can enroll online, you can sign up for an appointment if you go to really really easy. $85
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worth it. bennett: yeah it does save you a lot of time at the airport. get to keep your shoes on. mora: it does. bennett: it's a nice thing. so straight to the airport, get it all done there? mora: yes. bennett: good news. okay we have about a minute left is there anything else you wanted to tell the public, any other message you had? mora: well again just really hope that people will support our new flights out of the airport and you know our new airlines that have come to the- to reno-tahoe international airport and we're just excited about everything also happening at our general aviation airport at reno-stead airport with drone activity and development in the future. bennett: yeah boy it's sure nice to talk about about growth and positive news instead of always the how are you surviving through the recession kind of news. it's nice. mora: we're doing well. bennett: yeah. mora: thank you. bennett: absolutely. okay merily thank you so much for your time - mora: thank you. bennett: i really do appreciate it. well that is it for this episode of face the state but for more information on all of this or to see past episodes just head to our website thank you so much for
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a tradition for generations >> osgood: good morning. i'm charles osgood this is "sunday morning." despite all the advances in medical science not every disease has a cure. facing a term nail illness some patients say they wish to die at a time and in a manner of their own choosing. it's a wish that triggers an agonizing personal and legal debate, as rita braver will explain in our "sunday morning" cover story. >> brain cancer patient brittany maynard drew national attention when she moved to oregon where she could legally end her life. but that is not allowed in new york where eve eliot's husband was in agony with als, an incurable disease. >> did he say, i need you to help me figure out some way that i can end it? >> yes, he did. >> ahead on "sunday morning." a dying wish and a heated


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