JetBlue have and continue to invest a lot of money into initial and continuing certification of aircraft and crew for Autoland capability. The only reason for that expenditure is to prevent poor weather at one of their destinations causing a delay and backing up the rest of their schedule.
If you look at the portfolio of airports JetBlue uses, the vast majority are Cat III ILS equipped (those which are not tend to be in areas where the weather is historically less of an issue). Asking JetBlue to use (an often weather bound) ORH without Cat III ILS capability is in a nutshell asking JetBlue to voluntarily accept a weak link in their chain. I'm pretty sure that will remain a deal breaker.
As owners of multiple airports, Massport does have a little leverage (and if I was betting this would be how I'd place my chips) to apply here however. They could as a temporary measure make a commitment to installing Cat III ILS at ORH (this is not only expensive but time consuming). While the installation and commissioning work is progressing invite JetBlue to use ORH with a promise that in Cat II / III conditions they could divert to Logan with all additional transport and logistics costs (moving waiting and arriving passengers etc) assumed by Massport.
If the vision for ORH is truly to grow into a prosperous regional airport then installation of Cat III ILS is inevitable. All Tier 1 carriers are moving this way and are being actively encouraged to do so by the Federal Aviation Administration (this is why there is talk of the FAA shouldering some of the bill for Cat III installation at ORH). Until then, the stark reality is that without Cat III ILS I can't imagine any of the large carriers rolling the dice at ORH when there are other surer bets close by.
How to be More Productive - Season 6, Episode 34 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner returns to his alma mater to ask his three favorite professors if colleges make p...
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