December 31, 2005
1) Please make the most recent qtrly report to the DOT detailing how the $455,000 Small Community Air Service Grant has been spend to date part of the minutes of the Airport Commission monthly board meeting.
2) Please make the monthly parking reports from LAZ mgmt part of the minutes of the Airport Commission monthly board meeting.
December 30, 2005
Unlike many in the airport adminstration, who actually get paid good money to answer questions from the tax-payers but do not, Mr Farley always tells you his opinion backed by facts. Like him, I just do not see how our airport can remain open losing $2,000,000 per year, we can not afford it!!!
Where we differ, however, is that I feel the airport has the potential to be a viable airport, run close to break-even and become a valuable asset to the City of Worcester. At the same time, if we do not see more results, I myself have no problem joining Mr Farley to investigate the scaling back, closing of ORH or interviewing another mgmt company.
The next six months are vital to the future of the airport that is why things like 1) charging for parking, 2) delays in many of these initial Allegiant flights, 3) no wi-fi, 4) no place to sit down and eat, and 5) advertising for Allegiant--where is it? all concern me. These winter months should be our prime revenue producing months.
This is our last chance to make ORH a success.
Here is a little test for all the readers of this blog. Comment here the next time you see any advertising for Allegiant in any local media outlets.
December 29, 2005
Can someone find out what went wrong with this flight... If I was on this flight, I myself would not be flying Allegiant a second time.
What accounts for the $2,000,000 per year difference. Charley Farley can look into this???
December 28, 2005
Reporting on the airport's financials, the airport is showing an improved financial condition for the year, so far beating its budget by $64,983. For October, reported operating income is at $101,721 against operating expenses of $68,186, and total net income from operations at $33,535.
Year-to-date, total operating income through October was $943,963 against operating expenses of $885,243 through October. Total net income from operations so far this year is $58,720.
December 27, 2005
Questions to and Answers from Anthony in Youngstown, Ohio:
1) What made you start this web site??
I started this website when Pan Am began. YNG'S website hasn't been updated in years and they are supposedly getting a new website which was to be done in early November; nothing yet. I saw Fly Toledo and other sites and I thought by making a new site for the airport as a commercial aviation facility; more people would consider to fly from it.
2) What has been your biggest frustration???
My biggest frustration is many people in our area think the airport is a complete failure. Not only that but we are 0 for 2 with Vacation Express and Pan Am and if Hooters and Allegiant don't succeed we may just close with the continued growth of Akron-Canton.
3) How has your airport administration received your efforts?
Vic Rubenstein's marketing fir, which was hired by the airport authority, has contacted me via email and were very excited to know I'd do my part to market the airport. So I have tried to upgrade the site and make our airport attractive to local passengers.
4) Do you charge for parking at YNG?
When Vacation Express was here I do beleive for some time parking was free and when they said Pan Am would come they said Parking would be free and would waive the landing fees for a month and gas fees for a week.
5) How do you feel about secondary airports like YNG, ORH and a Portsmouth, NH joining to recruit airlines?
I live in Youngstown, OH and within an hour and 15 minutes you have over 20+ airlines and thousands of destinations non-stop and one-stop. We are between a rock and a hard place and we need something attractive. Hooters does well in nearby Pittsburgh and they have approached the airport to begin here to other destinations which would be good for our airport. Airlines like Allegiant and Hooters will continue to succeed with the business-idea of small airports; good fares; and good destinations. Ultimately small regional airports like our's just need to stand tough and attract airlines which what we have to offer in our immediate area. I mean in Youngstown our 2 county area: Trumbull and Mahoning = over 400,000 people and you extend 1 county our each way you are over 3,000,000!
6) Since TBI already runs Sanford/Orlando what do you think of Youngstown and Worcester Officials working togethet to get TBI to manage both of our airports??
In early Winter of 2005, Around Feb. The YNG Airport put out a major feat in a major marketing blitz with Vic Rubenstein at the helm. They contacted hundreds of aviation businesses in the US and into Europe and from there about 40 prospects were interested. Of that about 3 airliners, 1 cargo, and 5 managing businesses. Of that is TBI in England which runs SFB. They have done to me an OKAY Job there. Allegiant probably will be their strongest US Domestic Carrier ever there, as Southeast-TMA-Pan Am have all been buried away.
December 26, 2005
First arrival, numbered 775, from Sanford-Orlando to ORH scheduled to land at 10:35 AM today was diverted to SWF (Stewart in Newburgh, NY) and arrived at 12:31PM.. What went wrong?? You can get the exact details on the Allegiant Air website flight tracker. This also means the flight (flight776) that was suppose to depart at 11:10 AM this morning departed at 1:23PM.
Not the start that we had all hoped for. Believe me, I have been delayed in airports many times and end up walking the terminal buying a book, watching television or grabbing some lunch.. At ORH we can not do any of these all the more reason to get, in the very least, free WIFI up and running to give passengers something to do when the inevitable delays arise.
The people who I have met are not limited to just Worcester. I have received several e-mails from people around the country at other airports and airlines asking questions. Over the week-end I received an e-mail from a person, who like us, created his own web page for the Youngstown Airport. It is real good and they are in a similar situation as ORH with no passengers surrounded by successful airports.
It looks like they will also be receiving service from Allegiant as well as Hooters, or so it is rumored. Maybe an airport like Worcester should work with secondary airports like Portsmouth (especially since that is where are new assistant City Manager is from) and places like Youngstown to attract Allegiants, Hooters and USA3000??
Good to know that their our other, as our airport chairman called us, "special interest groups" in the country who, like us, not only want their local airport to succeed but put themselves on the line to make it happen.
December 23, 2005
I always forget that ORH sits not only on Worcester land but Leicester as well. Although I do not recall the exact split, I was surprised how much of ORH is technically Leicester. Why am I bringing this up??
Any route across the City will be very difficult to get approval and the cost would be very very expensive. Consider an access road off the Mass Pike onto Route 56. There is plenty of room at this interchange to build entrances and exits. Route 56 is wide already from the MassPike until you hit Leicester Center.
It would not only be an access road to the airport but also relieve the traffic through Worcester for people living West of the City. Best part is the toll collections for this new exit can defray the cost.
December 22, 2005
In the end flight took off 30 minutes (11:46 instead of 11:00), I imagine due to the kick-off, but made up 15 minutes en route (2:15 instead of the scheduled 2:00). Overall 15 minutes. Great start!!!
The City of Worcester should consider a program like this to target leisure travelers and reward them for supporting ORH. Where do we get the money?? Versus spending more on consultants, we need to put monies (from our DOT grant?) back into the pockets of people who will buy tickets. Tom Kinton, MassPort director, made it very clear. We need 100% loads not 80% loads for MassPort to continue picking up the tab.
I did not have a chance to attend the kick-off today, please anyone who did make some comments.
December 21, 2005
December 20, 2005
December 19, 2005
If you want to go to Boca, Tampa, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, Miami etc then do not waste your time.. Our goal with the entrance of Allegiant was to put ORH back on the market with with flights at or near 100% loads to Orlando-Sanford. If this was accomplished then the airport industry would take notice and maybe we could then get flight to St Petes (not Tampa but close), Ft Lauderdale, Miami and Fort Myers.. This could be done by possible expansion by Allegiant or the entrance of USA3000 or Hooters.
The question is (I do not know the answer) is are the other airlines taking notice of ORH sales to Orlando on Allegiant, either good or bad. Guess we will know over the next couple of months??? The fate of ORH may be solely based on these early returns from Allegiant.
December 18, 2005
For the inaugural flight, there will be some special things going on at ORH--good idea. Giving passengers a box lunch?? Think they would rather have free parking, free wifi and a dunkin donuts..
Tom Kinton, MassPort director, made some interesting comments. Do not think he will subsidize commercial activity at ORH if we hit 80% loads on Allegiant. Sounded to me like he wants closer to 100%....
December 16, 2005
Why doesn't the Airport Commission have their agendas and minutes on the city website??
December 15, 2005
Today I picked up the proposal from LAZ to handle the parking. Although this company seems to have a great reputation (this is no reflection on them), but this whole idea to charge for parking is completely ridiculous. The parking lot will only be staffed 20 hours per week at a cost of $29.90 per hour or $598/wk which is $2,591 per monthly (although the bid stated this was $2,392 per month which would be right if there were only 48 weeks in the year).
If we get 14 weekly parkers at 42 per week then we break even. We will need to monitor the profitability of the lot, but how much can we possibly make initially when there are only two flights per week with a $598/wk overhead. The airport commission targets a profit of $12,000 to $15,000, looks to me that the only who will make out here is LAZ parking who will make $31,092.
More importantly there are service questions:
- What if someone arrives early before anyone is working the stipulated 20 hours per week?
- If you prepay for a day or week, but decide to stay longer and your ticket expires, what happens? According to Airport Liaison Niddrie in WoMag today "cars will not be towed, patrons overstaying their welcome will be asked to speak to an attendant. We want to make sure Worcester Airportis well-received." Why pay for a week, pay for a day, leave your car as long as you want, you will not be towed...
- Let me ask again what if you park your car in the Worcester State shuttle lot, how will anyone know???
Between the Airport Drive and the fact we do not have enought flights initially to justify a full-time parking lot attendant, why are we even bothering with this system hiring someone 20 hours per week to hang prepaid tags that mean nothing, since you will not be towed.. Drop the parking charges now, wait till we get more flights to justify a full-time professional system.
When did Hope Ave exit off Route 290 became the main access route... This makes no sense to me since there are one entrances onto Route 290 on Hope Ave going East and only one exit onto Hope Ave going West.
AUBURN _ Citing heavy traffic on Oxford Street North, selectmen last night unanimously rejected a request by the city of Worcester to put up six signs in town directing motorists getting off the Massachusetts Turnpike to Worcester Regional Airport. Selectmen voted against the request minutes after Julie A. Jacobson, Worcester assistant city manager, said traffic getting off the Massachusetts Turnpike would add less than one-half of 1 percent to a busy Oxford Street North that Worcester Assistant Traffic Engineer James M. Kempton said handles about 7,000 motor vehicle trips a day.
Allegiant Airlines is scheduled to start four-day-a-week flights from the airport Dec. 22. Ms. Jacobson said projections are the flights would increase traffic by 37 vehicles to and from the airport for each flight. She said Allegiant will cut down the number of flights to two per week for the month of January. Last night’s vote came about four years after selectmen voted against supporting any access road through Auburn to the airport. About a year later, the Massachusetts Highway Department dropped Auburn from consideration for part of an access road. State Rep. Paul K. Frost, R-Auburn, said last night’s request was an attempt to direct airport users on a route the Massachusetts Highway Department ruled out.
While Ms. Jacobson said the long-term plan is to develop the Hope Avenue exit off Interstate 290 in Worcester as the main access route, her proposal last night called for adding signs along the Oxford Street North, Pinehurst Avenue and James Street route to the airport. She said it was 6.8 miles from the Massachusetts Turnpike exit in Auburn to the airport.
Excerpt of a story below on Frontier:
-- First came touchdown in the warm resort cities of Mexico. Now Frontier Airlines is looking north to snowy Canada. The low-cost discount carrier is researching the possibility of expanding service to Canada, although no decisions have been made on destinations or a timetable, Chief Financial Officer Paul Tate told The Associated Press Wednesday.
"We're interested in continuing to grow our Denver presence and clearly a natural link or extension would be Canadian service," Tate said in an interview.
Analysts said Canada would be a good, logical move for Frontier.
"You want to build your hub so you want as many spokes from good cities as you can. It gives you more flow over your system," said airline analyst Raymond Neidl of Calyon Securities Inc.
The look at Canada comes three years after Frontier started service in Mexico, a schedule that it will expand to seven cities this weekend with flights starting to Cozumel and Acapulco.
The Denver-based airline, which is saddled with high fuel costs, a new competitive threat and hurricane-related service disruptions, recently sold about $80 million in convertible debt to help pay for aircraft and expanded operations.
Officials have not refined the finances that would be involved but believe it is feasible, he said.
Aviation analyst Mike Boyd of The Boyd Group speculated that Frontier would look at Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. "Canada is a good generator of traffic to Mexico," he said. "Frontier could interconnect a lot of people." In January, Southwest Airlines Co. plans to start nonstop service to three cities from Denver International Airport. Frontier also faces competition in Denver from United Airlines which is expecting to emerge from bankruptcy next year.
Frontier has said it expects to post a net loss per share in the October-December quarter. Its stock closed up 11 cents, or 1.37 percent, to close at $8.13 a share on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Frontier serves 48 destinations in 28 states and five cities in Mexico from its Denver hub.
December 14, 2005
December 13, 2005
On Feb. 8, two days will be added to the airline's schedule between Toledo and Orlando Sanford International Airport, which will begin with four-days-a-week service next week.
Strong demand for the service led to Allegiant's decision to expand its schedule as the peak Florida vacation season begins in early February.
The initial days for Allegiant's Toledo-Sanford flights will be Sunday, Monday, Thursday, and Friday. Wednesday and Saturday service will be added Feb. 8. The airline also will launch a Toledo-Las Vegas route with four-days service on Thursday.
December 12, 2005
December 11, 2005
Three items I am looking forward to hearing about are:
1) At the February, 2005 meeting, Airport Liaison Niddrie discussed a required qtrly update on the grant required by DOT, can you please make the most recent DOT grant qtly update part of the next meeting, so we can see how the monies have been spent to date. Specifically, I notice in the in the March, 2005 meeting, IMG will prepare presentations for 6 airlines at the cost of $53,000, is that in addition to the $100,000 that had been spent on the IMG report or included in the $100,000.
2) Also at the March, 2005 meeting, it was stated that the City was "obligated" under the DOT grant to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentations; however, the DOT Grant application stated 6 months of free parking. How is the City "obligated" by the terms of the application to hire a consultant to prepare these 6 presentation but not "obligated" by the to provide the 6 months of free parking as stated in the DOT application
3) What is the status of the 6 presentations?
This got me to thinking, why do people not know the name of the airline?? In today's Sunday paper there is an ad on page A22 that is about 1/12 of the page. I think over the past week I heard a radio ad on WTAG, that I almost did not even realize was an ad for Allegiant. There may have also been a television commercial that I saw. In all honestly, if it was not for my involvement in the efforts to rejuvenate ORH, I may also not have know the name of the airline that has come back to ORH. If you do not believe, ask someone the name of the airline that starts December 22nd??
FREE PARKING!!! Sorry I always go back to that but that should have been, and still be, the best way to market this airport and make people aware of the airline that is flying out of ORH.
Imagine if we had these three things going for ORH.. People cutting over the airport would stop, maybe check their e-mails and get a coffee and would be aware of Allegiant Air. My point is that marketing the airport as a destination is almost as important as marketing the airline in our intial stages, if not more important. To date the airport management has done a lousy job. If you do not believe me, ask someone today what airline starts at ORH on December 22nd.
Members of WIP met with the Mayor about one year ago and it was suggested that a Blue Ribbon committee (including some of us) would be established to decide how to spend the $455,000 DOT grant. This was not done and that was a mistake. I look forward to getting a report at the next airport commission meeting as to how the grant monies have been spent to date.
December 09, 2005
Why can't the airport administration mention who were are talking to?? Specifically what airlines are IMG preparing three presentations. It is no big secret since the airport minutes and the City Council meeting mentions it and we already not the seven preliminary carriers to targeted in their report?
DJ Air, it is not going to happen here!! A leisure second-tier airline flying a few times per week can survive at ORH w/o an access road. A business plan, like that of DJ Air, will require an access road to provide the numbers that they will need to survive. Lets also keep in mind DJ Air's first flight, if it ever happens, will take years. Based on the state of the airline industry, especially the demise of Independence, I do not see venture capitalists lining up to give DJ Air 100 million dollars.
Access Road!! Why do we continually waste time on this???? It is not going to happen, accept it and move on. Target second-tier airlines like Allegiant/Hooters/USA3000 and charters like Apple Vacations/Funjet who can be profitable at ORH w/o an access road.
How do you compensate for not having an access road?? Provide free parking.
December 08, 2005
The next logical step was to get an airline to service the business traveler with mutliple flights to a hub. To that end, NorthWest began service January of this year with multiple daily flights to Detroit. The question was would a secondary airport like Rockford be able to put up the numbers for NorthWest to stay.
Northwest has announced that they are pulling out of Rockford the end of this month... This is not good news for secondary airports like ORH trying to recruit multiple daily flights. Maybe the destiny of airports like Rockford and ORH are to be solely leisure airports???
December 07, 2005
December 06, 2005
We have a full-time airport director and airport liaison, why are we paying monies to a consultant to prepare a recruitment package while we can not afford to provide free parking.
To date I know $100,000 has been spent on the IMG report but I am not sure what else has been spent.
Take a moment to review how Lebanon, NH, where parking is free, utlized their grant monies. Utilizing their Chamber of Commerce they will pay you $150 for three round-trip boarding passes out of Lebanon and $500 for five round-trip boarding passes.
December 05, 2005
JetBlue will make five or six daily flights from Washington to Boston, one of Independence Air's most popular routes. JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to announce today that it will begin service next year to Boston's Logan International Airport from Washington Dulles International Airport with introductory fares as low as $25 each way. JetBlue will fly six daily weekday flights between Dulles and Boston and five daily flights on weekends.
The new service is the latest competitive blow to Dulles-based Independence Air. Last week, Independence Air's parent, Flyi Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and set a Jan. 5 deadline for selling assets or finding an equity investor.
December 03, 2005
Here is what the RFP consists of:
Operation of the surface lots including the provision and installation of a secure and reliable pay system to operate lot A on an immediate, and both lots on a long-term basis beginning December 22, 2005 including a parking lot attendant, a collection system (daily and monthly), monthly reconciliation of receipts and expenses, preparation and filing of tax returns (if applicable), maintenance of internal auditing controls of receipts, parking tickets, daily recording of cars parked in the lot in a manner acceptable to the owner, supervise and control of payments of wages and amounts due to vendors, supervise and maintain purchasing and inventory controls.
December 02, 2005
Lastly, if you ever read a review of a stock, there is always a disclaimer at the bottom if the writer owns stock in this company. I feel any time the Telegram wants to editorialize on the airport that they should put a disclaimer on the bottom that one of their employees, Mr Nemeth, happens to be the chairman of the Airport Commission.
December 01, 2005
To the editor:
In a recent letter to The Concord Journal, John Wood, a private airplane owner, suggests that it is better for people to move further away from Hanscom Field rather than worry about the problems and hazards of airport expansion. During his digression into irrelevant personal attacks, Mr. Wood fails to address the important issues raised in my guest commentary three weeks ago.
The fact that the airport has been here for a long time is no excuse for endless expansion without environmental reviews. Today we know a lot more about the health hazards related to airports than we did in the past, and the fact that we have many residential homes in Concord, Lincoln, Bedford, and Lexington located within miles of the airport cannot be ignored.
The ongoing Hanscom expansion, particularly the current Crosspoint and Linear Air projects (the latter of which has become an alarming reality since my letter), affect everyone in our community and neighboring communities, not just people who live close to the airport or directly under a flight path. If Massport succeeds in making Hanscom a haven for jet aircraft, our historic communities will soon be far less attractive to live in.
Quail Run Drive