Airport Cities – Opening Night

The ban on live cover band versions of “Mustang Sally” has been lifted in most of Downtown if not elsewhere in town for the duration of the Airport Cities World Conference & Exhibition.

The cover band at the Monday night opening reception at The Peabody hotel played an “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” length version as airport executives from around the world networked and a few mouthed the words “All you want to do is ride.”

Perhaps it would be proper to say the “Mustang Sally” light is on Downtown through Wednesday evening.

In one corner of the grand ballroom at The Peabody was a miniature blimp advertising “5-D airport simulation.”

ACE, as it is called by those who have been to these before in other cities and even the organizers, is part trade show as well as policy discussion on the various forms of the aerotropolis vision. So, the 5-D blimp isn’t the only reminder of all of the industries that circle the business of running airports.

And those reminders come with a form of wonkishness.

Dozens of those attending the convention lined up to get John Kasarda, the originator of the aerotropolis term and concept, to autograph copies of his new book. Some had been in the three hour master class Kasarda taught earlier in the day. Some even got Kasarda’s autograph before he got to the table.

Behold a dart board for CTSI of Memphis, a global supply chain business. Hit the blue part of the circle with the magnetic darts and you have transportation optimization. Orange is for information management. And green, of course, is payment solutions.

With offices in Atlanta, Chennai, India, Limerick, Ireland and Singapore, as well as Memphis, CTSI is an example of the global reach of many of the entities represented at the conference.

The Peabody didn’t have to supply as many seats as usual at the reception. That was thanks to the presence of several companies who specialize in airport seating who offered their wares as seating for the evening. The rows of durable multi colored bench seating with and without armrests establishing the airport aura.

Dansette

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