September 30, 2007
Although we were suppose to have wrapped up negotiations with MassPort this past July 1st, but but instead had to sign another 6 month extension which I estimate costs the tax-payers $100,000 per month. Although we are 3 months into the 6 extension and have no updates on the MassPort negotiations. Although we have spent approximately $200,000 on IMG to help recruit and retain a commercial airline and have no idea where they stand on any negotiations. Although we still have not seen the Airport Master Plan that was supposed to be released last Spring. Despite all of these reasons why we need a story on the airport, still no story.
I am sure Mr Nemeth will write a glowing story over the next three months how signing a long-term lease with MassPort, where they take over the operating deficit while we keep paying the debt service (600,000 per year), was the right thing to do. Wonder if he will ever write a story about the mismanagement that past ten years, where he played a lead role.
September 26, 2007
September 25, 2007
September 24, 2007
September 21, 2007
Read the entire story from AZ Central.com but consider this one Section:
"Using a variety of scenarios based on trends and experiences at other secondary airports in the country, the firm projected a yearly passenger boarding count of almost 5.1 million on the high end and more than 1.3 million on the low side. Either figure represents an astronomical climb from the nearly 19,000 commercial airlines passengers who flew out of Williams Gateway during the fiscal year that ended June 30. "
In the past I have said 100 times that we should model ourselves after Rockford, now we may saying Phoenix-Mesa as a model airport. Here is where it gets even more interesting, do you remember when Allegiant use to only have one destination city--Las Vegas? Then they added Sanford (outside Orlando), followed by St Pete's (outside Tampa), followed by Fort Lauderdale and guess what students is their 5th destination city? If you guessed Phoenix-Mesa then increase your grade to A+. Right now Allegiant flies from 12 cities to Phoenix-Mesa.
We really blew it with Allegiant. Their whole model was patterned on secondary airport, but where secondary airports like Sanford, St Pete's, Rockford and Phoenix-Mesa were able to get on board and make the numbers work, we missed big time.
Let’s start making money for our wonderful city that is slowly dying. Casinos are a way to go, and what better place to have it but the airport? Never mind selling it to a casino investor; we could have both. What casino do you know of that has many entrance and exits points? We would have Mill Street, Pleasant Street, Goddard Memorial Drive and Route 56. Plus you could keep a portion of the airport for the high rollers to fly into. How many casinos have an airport? And the traffic wouldn’t be all in one area. Is this something we could look into?
Let’s keep our money in Massachusetts and stop supporting Connecticut.
September 20, 2007
VLJ's could be the next huge thing in the airline business or it can be a complete bust. Either way our empty facility should have been a perfect testing ground, instead we are on the sidelines again. Why am I ranting right now? Just saw this press release below:
Pogo Jet IPO Reveals Plan To Buy Eclipse 500s
September 18, 2007
On Thursday afternoon, Pogo Jet filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering to raise money to launch Pogo’s very light jet air charter service. In the filing, Pogo Jet said that it is negotiating the purchase of 25 Eclipse 500s and plans to begin operations in the first quarter of 2009 from a base at Westover Metropolitan Airport in Chicopee, Mass. The would-be operator expects its Eclipse fleet to grow to 100 airplanes by 2011. Pogo Jet plans to offer whole-airplane Part 135 charter in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and the Carolinas using Eclipse 500s with three passenger seats and two-pilot crews. By the end of the third year of operation, Pogo Jet expects to be flying its Eclipse 500s at an annual rate of 2,000 hours per aircraft.
September 19, 2007
What can or does our current Airport Commission do?? Review the September 14, 2007 blog below. The current role of the Airport Commission has changed "dramatically" under the operating agreement with MassPort, but there is still a "significant" role for the commission. What is it? I have no idea!!! Looking at the monthly minutes, not much there unless you are very interested in photo-shoots or the never ending repairs to hangar 2. If you want to know the monthly operational losses, the ongoing negotiations with potential airlines or the status of discussions with MassPort, do not look here.
Right now we have a asset owned by the taxpayer's of the City of Worcester called the Worcester Regional Airport that is about to make a huge decision on the future fate the next 20 years (guesstimate) effective January 1st, 2008, I wish we had an airport commission like the Cambria Airport Commission that realized their importance representing us.
September 18, 2007
In an unexpected and swift move, the Cambria County Airport Authority last week terminated the employees of the Johnstown facility and contracted with MTT Aviation Services to manage the day-to-day operations of the airport. MTT is a private company owned by MountainTop Technologies of Johnstown.
We repeatedly have pushed government agencies toward privatization, and while the airport authority did not sell the airport (we hope that comes later), they did the next best thing by turning its management over to a private company.The former airport manager and his staff are all great people, and we hope they are considered by MTT Aviation, or another employer, for their skills. But we believe that a private company, looking to serve customers in the brutal marketplace in which airports compete, will serve the region better than county employees.
Authority chairman Raymond Porsch said he expects the move will save $50,000 to $70,000 per year, a significant amount considering the tenuous state of the county’s finances. But a move such as this should do more than just save money. We have been critical of the airport authority and airport management because of the lack of adequate commercial passenger service in and out of Johnstown.
We urge the new managers at the airport to vigorously pursue new and better service options for our region. The airport authority should hold MTT’s feet to the fire in terms of luring new carriers. If demands to improve service weren’t included in the deal, and if service doesn’t improve, then this move was ill-conceived.We know the challenges in the industry, and we don’t expect overnight miracles. But we certainly hope, and expect, that the good folks at MTT can show the county, and the populace, that they are going to make our airport more useful.We wish them well.
We’ll be watching.
September 16, 2007
Low-cost carrier Skybus Airlines could end up serving two destinations in the Bahamas when it begins service.
Following approval from the US Department of Transportation in July, the airline is to commence operations "on or about" October 1, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
The original Skybus service bid was for a service from Port Columbus to the Grand Bahama Island city of Freeport. However, Skybus Spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said that this service was mooted "as a result of a specific request from the government of the Bahamas".
It is thought that the carrier would prefer to alternate between flights to Freeport, and service to the Bahamian capital Nassau.
Robin Schneider of Twin Horizons Travel commented: "Freeport has a couple of neat hotels and casinos, but Nassau is clearly the more desirable location."
He added: "I don't think people would be crowding the planes to go to Freeport."American Airlines and Delta Air Lines currently serve Grand Bahama International Airport in Freeport.
September 15, 2007
Should they, Winward, not have conducted this market study before bidding on the parcels?? At the end of the 6 months, if Winward decides that there is no demand do they lose their deposit, which I believe was $10,000???
September 13, 2007
On a serious note, check out the comments from the City Solicitor. Although the role of the Airport Commission has changed "dramatically" under the operating agreement with MassPort, there is still a significant role for the commission.
At the same time MassPort runs "the daily operations/acitvity at the airport", so then why does the Airport commission vote on photoshoots? Would that not fall under "daily operations/activity"?
Honestly I am trying to figure out what exactly the Airport Commission is suppose to do. Based on the Airport minutes they are not involved in the daily operations of the airport due to the operating agreement with MassPort. At the same time we know that they are not involved in any negotiation with MassPort or prospective airlines since they are never mentioned in any of the Airport Commission Minutes.
This begs the question. What "significiant role" does the Airport Commission, who represent the tax-payers of Worcester, play at ORH?
Lastly no marketing report. What is IMG doing with the 200,000?
Master Plan--no update.
September 12, 2007
- no reports from the Airport Liaison
- no communication from the Airport Liaison
- no airport commission minutes on-line for July-AUgust
- no word on the status of the Master Plan
- 2 1/2 months into 6 months extension and no word on current negotiations with Massport
September 09, 2007
CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Linear Air, the premier air-taxi service that is revolutionizing personal air transportation, has announced the anticipated first flight of their Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet (VLJ) for mid-September. This flight will mark the first customer trip for a VLJ in the Northeast by the Concord, MA based air-taxi service, headed by President and CEO Bill Herp.
The Eclipse 500, manufactured by Albuquerque, New Mexico based Eclipse Aviation Corporation, is the first of a new class of aircraft called Very Light Jets, or VLJ’s. The cutting edge technology on board this revolutionary aircraft cuts the cost of personal jet travel in half, making private air travel accessible to millions more than currently in existence. The Eclipse 500 cruises at over 400 miles per hour, accommodates 4 passengers with 2 pilots, and has a range of over 1,000 miles.
By adding this jet to their fleet, Linear Air strives to make private jet travel more accessible to a wide-range of businesspeople, with prices not far above commercial airlines’ first-class or last-minute fares. Over the next two years, Linear Air’s VLJ fleet will grow to 30, allowing the company to expand its existing propjet service within point-to-point 500-mile regional networks around major metropolitan areas.
“We could not be more excited to be the first air-taxi service in the Northeast to offer service on this revolutionary jet,” says Bill Herp, President and CEO of Linear Air. “The fact is, this VLJ and the additional fleet we’ve ordered will make a seamless transition into our current business model allowing customers immediate access to cutting-edge aviation.”
Currently, Linear Air operates the largest on-demand fleet of executive Cessna Grand Caravan propjets in the U.S. With the addition of this first VLJ and another three by the end of the year for a total of four in 2007, Linear Air will continue to provide customers the ability to set a custom schedule with attractive fares, convenience and flexibility, now with additional speed and efficiency - a “car service with wings” type experience.
Linear Air is planning a launch event with its first customer aboard the VLJ later this month. Local dignitaries, officials from the Massachusetts Port Authority and Hanscom Field Airport (a Linear Air base of operations), will join Herp to celebrate this historic occasion.
September 08, 2007
It's been less than two months since discount carrier Skybus Airlines established a daily link between Chicopee's Westover Metropolitan Airport and Columbus, Ohio, and it looks like this bird is going to fly.
Skybus, the first regular passenger service out of Westover in about 20 years, the startup company with its growing fleet of orange-painted jets is becoming a popular choice for travelers between the two cities.
And why not. Besides fares starting as low as $10 a flight, Skybus has deliberately chosen smaller, less-congested, passenger-friendly airports to launch and expand its business. At Westover, the planes touch down at 6:45 p.m. and leave at 7:21, arriving in Columbus at 9:03 p.m.
Since its inaugural flight on July 16, business has been brisk, averaging approximately 100 inbound and outbound passengers a day, according to Allan W. Blair, president and chief executive officer of Westover Metropolitan Development Corp., which owns the airport. "It's beyond our expectations, he said." Skybus spokesman Robert Tenenbaum concurred, saying the route had met the "high-end" of the airline's expectations.
The success of Skybus Airlines is excellent news for the region's business and tourist economies. While Westover airport services a much smaller niche than Bradley International Airport, which began daily nonstop flights to Amsterdam this summer, both airports are important for local businesses.
From its Columbus hub, Skybus offers connecting flights to other destinations, including Florida, California and Washington state. Blair would like to see Skybus add a morning flight to its Westover schedule. It could happen, given its success. It's a question of availability, Tenebaum said. Right now, Skybus has five A319 jets, with plans to add 75 more by the end of 2012.
If the Western Massachusetts market can keep pace as new planes are added to the fleet, the sky's the limit for the economy
September 07, 2007
September 06, 2007
"The city still has some time to turn around Worcester Regional Airport, he said, before it is turned over to the Massachusetts Port Authority."
Not sure what he can possibly mean by that??
Story from MSN Money Central:
Allegiant Air traffic jumps 55.8 percent
Allegiant Air LLC has announced that the number of passengers for its scheduled service jumped 55.8 percent in August compared to the same period a year ago. The Las Vegas-based, low fare carrier, which operates the largest scheduled service at Orlando Sanford International Airport, had 254,687 passengers last month, up from 163,504 in August 2006. The load factor also increased to 86.8 percent, up from 78.4 percent.
Allegiant, a subsidiary of Allegiant Travel Co. (Nasdaq: ALGT), focuses on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Orlando, where it has flights to and from 26 destinations.
September 03, 2007
It was interesting to read in the newspaper that Saint-Gobain was planning to expand its Northboro facility by 55,000 square feet to accommodate an additional 300 employees (Telegram & Gazette, Aug. 25). When Norton first established the Northboro facility, it would have been easier to have put it in Worcester. There was plenty of spare land at Norton’s Greendale plant and the facility would have been closer to other facilities which used similar technology. Norton management, however, decided not to locate in Worcester because, despite many open and closed meetings with the City Council, there was no willingness on the city’s part to stop discriminating in the tax rate against business. That discrimination continues and, in fact, has become more entrenched in the attitudes of all city councilors.
It is useless to indulge in pipe dreams like a letter writer in the same edition of the T&G who stated that development would take place in Main South if the PIP shelter and Centro Las Americas were removed. Worcester’s City Council and administration should aim to make Worcester an attractive urban bedroom community for people who work in the suburbs or Boston and forget about attracting any business here. Of course, because there will be so little business, the residential tax rate will soar.
DONALD R. MELVILLE
September 01, 2007
Comment #1 from Mr Gallagher
That new approach must also apply to fuel services. "Fuel is a pain in the ass," says Gallagher, but it represents 40% of Allegiant's expenses. "So I'm in the fuel business." Airports should not "outsource and forget" fuelling services. "A monopoly fueller is a serious competitive handicap. We literally have a number of cities we won't go into because of this. They are not just making a living off us they are making a killing off us, and we are just not going to do it."