There was some interesting stuff in the story including the fact ORH lost 2.3 million. I also have one correction. The current agreement with MassPort just finished year 2 of a 3 year contract. The previous agreement with MassPort was 5 years not 3. In other words ORH has had MassPort as a partner for 7 years !!! Lets take a minute to review the three studies:
- Leigh Fisher Associates: They are putting together our 20 year Master Plan. The final plan is suppose to be released in the Fall of 2006. Although the study cost approixmately $400,000, 90% was picked up by the FAA and 10% by the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission. We are waiting for the results this fall.
- IMG: DONE!! This study cost $100,000 and was paid by the City of Worcester. A copy can be found at Official City of Worcester Web page under the reports tab on the left side. Highlights of the study include the fact ORH should focus on cost-conscious direct service for the leisure traveler (in particular Florida), free parking should be provided at ORH, closure would not be good for Worcester, privatization would be a tough sale but a operating agreement with a private party with a term of 5-10 years, ephasizing the recruitment of commercial service(while specifically recommending 6 carriers) has a possibility. ORH has gone on to spend an additional $100,000 to IMG to help attract a commerical carrier.
- New England Regional Air Study Plan: This is the plan being put together by the New England Council to study how best to optimally utilize all the airports in co-ordinated fashion. Last December of 2004 there was a meeting, which did not have much to say about ORH. This study is the topic of today's story in the Telegram and the results will be released the last week of September.
I find it hard to believe, however, that the New England Regional Air Study Plan will hold the "key" Worcester Regional Airport's future. In the end we may have to hire a 4th consultant to tie the recommendations of these three studies into one cohesive plan--just kiddin.
Although City Manager O'Brien indicated that there are some major announcements on the horizon in regards to commercial service in today's story. Lets hope this happens soon.