The city's efforts to get more passengers to try its rebranded Santa Fe Regional Airport might have a flaw with modern communication: Wi-fi in the terminal only works on one side of the security checkpoint—the side where passengers spend the least time.
Those waiting at the airport's sole gate are out of luck for logging on to the internet.
City spokeswoman Lilia Chacon tells SFR via email that she didn't "think there was much of a story." Airport managers, she says, have a plan.
"They know it's bad and are working to get it corrected," Chacon writes.
Airport Director Mark Baca tells SFR he first became aware of the problem when the newspaper asked why the service didn't work last week. He himself flew out of the terminal earlier in the day, he says.
"It didn't work. It's on my list of things to do today," says Baca.
The airport upgraded its roughly six-year-old wireless service a few months ago from 4G to 10G because the number of users at once made connections slow or nonexistent for many of them. Around that time, staff tested that the signal was working at the gate, he says.
The provider, CNSP, is looking into how it can fix the "dead spot," Chacon says.
Santa Fe resident Marlita Reddy-Hjelmfelt is a frequent passenger and a lover of the internet. In recent years, she's made numerous trips to care for aging parents and for her work as a technology and communications consultant. But when she's waiting at the gate, she's usually using cell data rather than the nonworking wi-fi.
"I have been traveling about every six to eight weeks for the last couple of years for dad and for business. I can't recall ever being able to use it," she tells SFR. "It's not a deal-breaker for me, though, because it's so close to home and there's not that much wait for my flights."
Reddy-Hjelmfelt has a different concern about the airport.
"What is an issue is the need for expansion and more flights," she says. "If you're canceled, you either have to wait an entire day, at least, or rebook out of Albuquerque."
The tiny airport on the city's west side has service from two airlines. American Airlines flies to and from Dallas/Fort Worth and Phoenix; United Airlines connects with Denver.