CGI Discusses Future Of SkyWest Partnership, Announces Rebranding and Upcoming Projects
On March 10, Cape Girardeau Regional Airport announced that due to rising fuel prices across the United States caused by the Russian Oil Ban, in addition to the ongoing industry pilot shortage, regional partner Skywest Airlines had planned to terminate its service at CGI, leaving flight services to end within 90 days.
The City Cape announced their plans to partner with a new airline service to return to their regular scheduling.
Less than a week after the announcement, The US Department of Transportation barred SkyWest from terminating flights to and from its regional locations.
Under the Essential Air Service program, the Department of Transportation guarantees smaller communities access to the national transportation grid to a minimal level of scheduled air service.
At Monday’s City Council Meeting, Katrina Amos, Manager of Cape Girardeau Regional Airport along with various airport personnel clarified the future of the SkyWest partnership, introduced upcoming developmental projects, and proposed a plan for the airport's rebranding.
Amos explained that despite the SkyWest barring confusion, the airport is continuing their search for a new airline carrier within the next 90 days.
“Essential Air Service is out for bid right now, along with a holding order, so the Department of Transportation has issued a hold in order for SkyWest and they will not vacate until we have another carrier in place,” said Amos. “We're working with Lear Aviation Consulting to assist them with securing another service that will give us the same service we've come to expect from Sky West and premium carriers.”
Amos said that while the airport continues to search for carriers, four have already been approached and CGI plans to announce them in the next coming weeks.
At the meeting, Amos provided an update on the airport’s ongoing terminal project. The project’s next step is to build a 18,300-square-foot passenger terminal, growing the opportunity to provide additional flights to even more destinations.
“We are currently reviewing with staff from the Development Review Group, so we will be finalizing that within the next couple of weeks and then we hope to have it out to bid sometime in May,” said Amos.
The airport is also formulating a development plan for constructing a Tee Hanger, an enclosed structure designed to hold aircraft in protective storage.
Amos says that the design for the Tee Hanger will be presented and open for review at the coming April council meeting.
Amos also said community members can expect the final upcoming project, an airport restaurant, to be open in the next 3 weeks.
At the end of the presentation CGI staff and Jeff Rossen of Rust Media shared a report on the year-long project to revamp the airport's branding.
“We've been through a lot of design blog concepts, a lot of brainstorming, thinking through not only what a logo represents and a brand represents in an organization, but how it can live in the future, so everything we've built here was built around the idea of growth,” said Rossen. “How do we retain and celebrate our history, our geographic location, but then at the same time, open ourselves up for growth, and how we can continue to draw people to our region, and help folks in our region explore the rest of the world?”
The design team used the imagery of a plane ticket which shows two destinations, an arrival and departure separated by airline call letters, connected through a line and graphic of an airplane.
“It really came from this idea of the traditional boarding pass and kind of really drew from that idea of connection. Point A to Point B, kind of keeping up with your progress,” said Rossen. “We knew we wanted to take this idea of what the airport has been in the past in Cape Girardeau and tie that with what is coming in terms of architecture, new buildings, new spaces, new frontiers, and this idea of this kind of limitless ceiling,”
The new branding also includes the new slogan, ‘Fly CGI’.
The design team presented a variety of images of airport amenities in which a version of the logo could be incorporated, including an airport shuttle, a restroom sign, a billboard and an airport control tower.
After the presentation City council ward 4 member Robbie Guard spoke on the airline’s rebranding project saying that it was a “much-needed and overdue makeover.”
When asked about funding the rebranding process, Amos said that the airport had already prepared and allocated the costs for the new logos and designs.
“Why it's a good time to roll this out now, is because we can incorporate it in the projects that we already have allocated funds for, so that's not an additional cost,” said Amos. “It is unfortunate that at this time we're having to reallocate some of our budget to recruiting a new airline but that's only for a short while. Once we get that lined out, I feel confident that we have the resources necessary to put together a full, fully robust campaign so that we can get that CGI brand out there to everyone,” said Amos.
Cape Girardeau City Council’s next meeting will take place during the first Monday in April where the regional airport is expected to present the next steps in their infrastructure and design projects, as well as provide an update on the new partnering airline.