February 16, 2011

Worcester Airport

Missed this story the other day, click here.   Bottom line is appears that MassPort thinks the only way ORH can succeed is to have an access road.  Although I agree an access road off the Mass Pike on to Route 56 is the best possibility and would make ORH explode, this will take years to happen in a best case scenario.

We don't need an access road to be a success in the short-term, we need flights.    How hard can it be to divert a morning and after shuttle from JetBlue to ORH, who currently flies I believe ten flights per day from Boston?    Try it ?  I really don't get it


Eric K. said...

Quote from the article... "finding a way to make it faster and easier to drive to the airport remains the biggest challenge."

Reminder: Cars don't fly. Cars don't NEED to get to the airport, TRAVELERS do. We must consider other alternatives than just driving for getting TRAVELERS to/from ORH.

Eric K.
Worc., MA

David Z. said...

It's a classic case of which comes first, the chicken or the egg. Worcester airport has proven in the past that people can find it if the right flights and destinations are offered. Look no further than the late 80s when WA had 250,000 people a year using it.

Direct Air is also proving that success now. Even before the access road issue is revisited, I agree with Bill that Massport needs to bring more airline service to WA. Otherwise what incentive is there to invest in major infrastructure improvements i.e. an access road?

In addition to the lack of new destinations since Massport took control, I think the thing that disappoints me the most is the lack of new signage to/from WA. A plane on small signs that prospective customers could easily miss doesn’t cut it. If I was running Massport I would have improved signage ASAP after taking ownership. Then I would have at the very least tried to entice Cape Air to add Worcester with their code sharing JetBlue arrangement. I would have also reestablished service to at least one hub where people could make convenient connections.

It could be that Massport officials are doing just what I suggest (as far as wooing airlines) but the lack of activity has been “deafening”.

Jahn said...

I agree guys.

David, I too have bemoaned the fact that MAssport is 8 months into the airport and what have we seen for real change?

Massport having been tehre for the last 9 yrs, I would have thought they would hit the ground running and we'd at least see more comm. flights?

Bill suggested they maybe didnt want to accomplish too much, as then peopel might ask why didnt they undertake such improvement/flightss 4 or 6 or 8 yrs ago.....MMMMMMMM OK maybe.

So maybe they keep ORH as it is and begin a veiled push for an access road, camofluaged as I-290 and Masspike Improvemtns project?.........and is my recollection from Monday's article correct.... i.e. the study alone was to be $2M??? Sounds like alotta green which makes me think some of this (Cargo Raod) may be a foregone conclusion? ........and Massport has eminent domain powers........meanign they dont need anyones approval to start a land grab...(a.k.a as CSX'ed).....teh question is OK they have the powers for airport/runaway expansion, but do those powers extend to access raodbuilding as well.

You see this is a great way to get an access raod and our local pols will say they have no control over it...so therefore they can't be blamed for it altho they did vote to sell the airport to Massport

Again I think it's insanity for an access road to Worc aiprort for which you have drive south-southwesterly how many miles out of the way?.......almost into Charlton(?) to get to Worcester....we screwed up once in 1951 by letting the Masspike pass to the south of Worc..........now what?.......... a possible access road to Worc airport via Auburn, Oxford, would it actually hit Charlton too? And the folks in Tatnuck, Holden, Rutland ,Paxton etc who want to access Boston via the pike would have to drive southwesterly.

Let me ROAR something out. Worc Airport access road s/b only in Worcester...!!!!!!

and also BTW...how's that name change to Boston MeTROWEST aIRPORT coming along? David, maybe that's why no new signage........i.e... they're still debating what name to write on the signs.

Bill Randell said...


Not sure how veiled it is --the access road...

Very disappointed with MassPort right now..

It is absolutely ridiculous that they have not gotten one commercial flight to ORH since they have taken ownership


tim macdonald said...

I was watching the Commonweath report the other day and I thought I heard something about new business/leisure flights. Hopefully something is planned in the near future.

Jahn said...

BIll, I think it's veiled by the headline of Mondays article aND the very, very, brief mention in the article of a road involving the airport.

If it really is not all that veiled, then possibly expect a letter to the editor soon and some Roar'ing, THis TIME FROM rTE 56 AREA FOLKS...No wait on 2nd thought those hicks in the Rte 56 area dont even read the T&G ....just kidding....lotsa Worc "hicks" also no longer read it...!!!!!!!!

OK snow melt season begins today.....can you say pothole city......once again we need to get the politics out of the Worc street resurfacing program. I'd like to see a Black Ribbon Commission established consisting of private sector asphalt pavement experts (5 maybe) who would decide what streets gets re-surface.

Every city streets condition is already cataloged by the city. This Black Ribbon Commission would then view the top street on the list & then decide what streets get re-surfaced, not the hacks at DPW or the frauds that pass as representing me on the city council. There would also be an appeal process for residents who think their street s/b dome immediately. I shall be the adjudicator of that :)

Please witness:

a. Mayor Obriens St. getting New pave-mint last summer or

b. Downing St leading to Clark U getting new sidwalks, pavement, & curbs re-set in 2008, or

c. the DPW employee who moves to a new locale in Worc and the next yr. his street get re-surfaced.

And speaking of Mayor Obrien, WTH is front and center at the nurses ($45-$50 per hr) latest picket/whining/informational session........yup mayor Joe Obrien front and center....how McGovern-esque.........does anyone recall Jim Mc Govern out front & center protesting with teh Norton/St Gobain employees when the United Auto Workers were voted in by the employeees. Then fast forward a couple of years and viola........the same employees vote to de-certify the union.........ya think Elmer was there for the de-cert vote......??? I doubt it.........insted Jim (Augustus) Mc Govern was down in Washington where he lives 94% of the time. the otehr 6% is split between West Yarmouth and Worcester. Hey Jim I heard teh Irish Village Motel & Gin Mill has been razed or is about to be razed. CAn you say new shopping center?? My God what's Next Baxters or Capt Parkers :)

Steve Foley said...

"How hard can it be to divert a morning and after shuttle from JetBlue to ORH, who currently flies I believe ten flights per day from Boston?"

If Jetblue wanted to run a shuttle out of ORH, they would be doing so. It seems obvious that they don't want to.

So how to you convince them to run the shuttle? I doubt you can force them to, unless you also force all the other carriers to do the same thing (violation of equal protection under the law - Massport is a government entity).

I've said this before, and I'll say it again. Massport will not expend any effort or resources promoting ORH. They bought it so it will be available to them in the future when BOS is over capacity. I suspect they were concerned that the City would stop taking federal money and just wait 20 years to close it. New runways are not being build, so Massport is simply protecting one that they think they'll need in the future.

Bill Randell said...


If MassPort, who owns ORH, can not get JetBlue to divert two out of ten shuttles per day to ORH, then we better just hang it up....


Jahn said...

Bill, I have to wonder about this idea of Jet Blue connector flights to larger hubs.

How much time is saved with a connector flight, if for example one wants to connect to NYC to eventaully fly to Chicago......vs........just driving the distance to Bradley, Logan, Manchester or T F Greene and getting a direct flight to Chicago. Assuming here of couse that a direct flight from the above to Chicago (my example) is available, but you get the idea. Of course its a round trip so you have to do a changeover coming & going.

Maybe if one can do their work on a laptop during changeover times, it might change the situation a bit....but????????????

Anyone got any thoughts on Genzye getting bought out? I guess they have a huge presence in the BIO tech park. Maybe K. O'S better start sweating a bit? Another pol resting comfortably in a job they have no qualifications. for? What is it with Belmont St becoming a semi-retirement haven of sorts for cast off pols whilst they await their 80% pensions

I heard only the tail end of a caller to Polito thiis morning taking about what i think was genzyme here in Worc (and In mass and in the USA). LIke I said only caught part of it, but I think caller claimed Obumacare reduces the exclusivity period for newly patented medical devices and/or technoloigies to 12 years and 12 yrs aint enuff time to re-coup the costs incurred during the invention process? And........moving out of teh country to foreign soil will eliminate having to worry about Obumacare restrictiions on new products. Like I said, I only caughT the end of the call, but last I knew paTENTS WERE GOOD FOR 17 YEARS????????

Bill Randell said...


You bring up this point all the time. Our family flies alot to Florida.

If there was a JetBlue shuttle to their hub from ORH, we would fly it.

That simple


Paul Shea said...

I agree with Steve. Just because you want a Jetblue shuttle doesn't meant that Jetblue wants to have a shuttle. There needs to be something in it for Jetblue and right now I suspect that they don't see any return. Until a road is built, it's going to be hard to make a real pitch to a real airline like Jetblue.

Bill Randell said...


You are right JetBlue is not going to do it if there is nothing in it for them. That is my point.

MassPort should b able to put something in it for them to try something like this. That was why I was so excited when Massport took ownerhship, think they could leverage Logan to get flights ORH.


Bill LeBeau said...

Bill, I have to wholeheartedly agree with Jahn. The coming access road needs to come off of 290 through Worcester. Goddard Memorial Drive just underwent a major improvement project and the distance from 290 to that road is less than 2 miles. (I just checked it on Google Earth) Massport has the juice to make that happen just like the state did when 290 was built! To make people drives tens of miles out of the way is just plain wrong. Also most of the users of the airport will be coming from the North and East of Worcester. That's where the higher income is and the biggest businesses are.

Anonymous said...

there's a new report out from USDOT showing JetBlue having the lowest on time performanc of all the airlines in 2010. Something like 58% on time


Anonymous said...

Massport, in the end, didn't want ORH. It was forced upon them by this transportation bill pushed by the Lt. Governor, who has obvious strong ties to Worcester. The problem with ORH is that it has always been mismanaged. This mismanagement has burnt bridges in the airline industry and given ORH a bad rap. In a tough economic world, why would any airline want to do business with an airport with such a bad track record? Even to this day, ORH is a dumping ground for city political hacks or sanctioned M/P employees who were tossed from Logan for disciplinary problems (look into it, it's true). How many see the red flags with Direct Air? Sale after sale after sale, extensions to the sales...how can they afford to keep reducing fares by 50%? They must be barely breaking even. I was a huge supporter of ORH until I saw it from the inside and realize how doomed it actually is.


Anonymous said...

I am friends with a former police officer at the airport. He told me that a former airport director spent half his day playing poker on the Internet. The best chance for the airport was when the state was going to spend $100 million on an access road years ago. A citizen panel was formed which strongly endorsed the road. Then the former mayor who has never had a real job, appointed a panel of three city councilors (two of which were against Massport). Mariano then got all the neighbors in the proposed path riled up by telling them the state was going to ram the road down their throat. Then the spineless city councilors went on record against the road. I am tired of the city leaders saying that the city doesn't have the expertise to run the airport and then questioning the experts that recommend changes. All the major airlines have been on record over the years as saying that they were not interested in starting service to Worcester unless the access and navigational issues were addressed. Improved signage to the airport? Hasn't this been done at least ten times? Also, how many $$millions have been spent on studies of the airport only to have the city leaders nix the recommendations. Nothing has changed over the last fifty years at the airport. There remains a united group of residents on the city's west side that don't want to see the airport succeed or cause them any disruption. Don't you remember when the new terminal was being built and some Leicester residents filed a federal lawsuit to stop construction? Remember "ROAR"? The saga continues and if it weren't so sad (spending millions of the taxpayer’s money on studies that never materialize) it would be funny