February 28, 2006

Rockford Airport Again

The airport that we should use as the example, has done it again. In case anyone has forgotten, they are very similar to ORH being the secondary airport to Chicago, who also lost all commercial service a few years back. They have gotten back on their feet by targeting the leisure traveler with second-tier airlines, free parking and a name change (Chicago/Rockford International).

In their on-going efforts to differentiate themselves, check this story on the Registered Traveler Program.

ROCKFORD — Chicago/Rockford International Airport could be one of the airports that participates in the Registered Traveler program when it is implemented by the federal Transportation Security Administration this summer.

Nearly two years ago, the TSA launched pilot programs at five U.S. airports that allowed volunteer travelers to provide personal information to TSA, which conducted security background checks on the individuals, to speed up the security process at airports.
Approved individuals then provided fingerprint and iris biometric information. That information was then used at participating airports to identify the registered travelers. Those passengers were allowed to then bypass normal security lines.

Because of the success of the pilot programs, the federal government plans to expand a fee-based Registered Traveler program to airports nationally this summer.
Airport Executive Director Bob O’Brien said the Greater Rockford Airport Authority is interested in the program. He said the airport’s involvement would depend upon the final rules of the program. TSA is now completing the process of creating Registered Traveler.

February 27, 2006

DJ Air Group

Remember we were one of three finalists--New Haven and Trenton were the other two. What happened? Did DJ Air pick one of the other spots?? Did they not get the $100 million of funding???

February 25, 2006

Allegiant Wants To Expand

Story on Allegiant, part below. Do we ever have representatives from the airport admin or city attend meetings like these?


Allegiant Air, the Las Vegas-based air carrier that specializes in packaging vacations to local resorts from small-town USA, will nearly double in size in the next two to three years with plans to serve 70 cities. President and Chief Executive Maurice Gallagher made the projection this week at the Airport Revenue News' second-annual airport revenue conference at Caesars Palace, where he was a guest speaker.

The conference brings together airport managers and a variety of products and vendors designed to generate revenue for airports and provide diversions for people spending time between flights. If Gallagher's projections are on the mark, Allegiant would surpass Southwest Airlines in the number of nonstop destinations served and challenge US Airways for offering service to the most destinations from McCarran International Airport. US Airways, which formerly operated in Las Vegas as America West Airlines, and its regional express affiliate currently offer flights to 67 destinations, the most by any carrier.

But the number of cities directly served from Las Vegas is about the last similarity between Allegiant and its rivals. Gallagher said Allegiant's motto, in fact, is "We don't do business," a reference to the airline's focus on serving the leisure market. Allegiant currently has flights to 37 cities with its fleet of 20 MD-80 series jet aircraft. Because the airline focuses its attention on small communities and not big cities, the market is virtually wide open and Allegiant has very little competition.

Gallagher figures there are about 130 small cities with airports capable of serving Allegiant's jets. "These small cities have a total population of 100-plus million people hungry for air service, so that's quite an opportunity," he said. He said that while Allegiant isn't a household name nationwide, "our name is recognized by the people in Sioux Falls" and other cities where the airline is the only scheduled air service they have

February 24, 2006

New Airline For Cape

Maybe ORH-Barnstable??? (MY COMMENT)

Story below

New airline set to compete for Nantucket fliers
By ERIC GERSHONSTAFF WRITERHYANNIS - The names of the airlines to serve Cape Cod and the Islands read like a list of the dead: Provincetown-Boston Airlines. Air New England. Will's Air. Gull Air.

They were among the many. Some lasted for years, others for months. Most are now defunct. Ocean Wings still operates as an air charter business on Nantucket. Since the 1990s, the local market has been dominated by two airlines - Cape Air (which owns Nantucket Airlines) and Island Airlines. Both offer scheduled service between the Cape and Nantucket every day, year-round. They have faced little competition, save each other.

But next month, undaunted by the fate of others, a pair of Cape businessmen plan to launch a new commuter airline called Nantucket Shuttle Inc. One route planned
Based at Barnstable Municipal Airport, it would initially serve just one route, Hyannis to Nantucket, according to Robert Falanga, a Barnstable restaurant owner who said he is the venture's sole financial backer.

''It's been a long time since these people from Nantucket got a break,'' he said.
The new shuttle would try to lure customers from the established airlines by offering discounted fares on certain early-morning and late-evening flights ($29.95 one-way), and $40 one-way fares on all other flights, he and partner Mark Conway said this week.

Nantucket Airlines and Island Airlines currently charge $91 for a round-trip ticket from Hyannis to Nantucket. Both airlines also offer 10-ticket commuter books for $400.
Nantucket Shuttle would not offer commuter books, Conway said, but instead ''commuter-book fares every day.''

Falanga and Conway acknowledge no one has successfully challenged Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines or Island Airlines. ''They come and go,'' Falanga said of competitors.
But with no debt and no outside investors demanding returns, the company could afford to operate with little or no profit, at least for a while, both men said. 'Very profitable route'' They also think the Nantucket route could sustain three airlines, based on their calculation that the two other carriers moved 320,000 people between Hyannis and Nantucket last year, Conway said. ''It's a very profitable route,'' he said.

Falanga and Conway also said they would control costs by playing multiple roles in the company. Falanga would serve as director of maintenance. Conway, a Nantucket native and a former Island Airlines pilot who is the company's president, would also fly planes. ''All of our pilots are being trained to do every job,'' Conway said - flying, taking reservations and loading luggage.
Nantucket Shuttle's fleet of six aircraft includes five 10-seat Cessna 402Cs - a mainstay for both Cape Air/Nantucket Airlines and Island Airlines - and one eight-seat Cessna 414A.

With 49 402s, Cape Air owns the biggest fleet of the aircraft in the nation. Island Airlines operates a smaller fleet comparable to the new shuttle's. How the new airline would change the market remains to be seen. Harlan Platt, a business professor at Northeastern University who supervised a student case study of Cape Air, predicts prices would fall, in line with basic free market principles. But he said the burden of survival would be on the newcomer, in part because it lacks name recognition. ''But, hey,'' he said, ''maybe they'll bring Elvis back from the dead'' as a promotion.

Nantucket Airlines spokeswoman Michelle Haynes said the company has been ''watching'' Nantucket Shuttle - particularly its choice of name. Nantucket Airlines already uses ''The Nantucket Shuttle'' as a tagline.

''I wish them well,'' she said. ''I just hope they find another name than ours. It's kind of a big deal to us.'' Conway said a lawyer for Nantucket Airlines ordered him not to use the name. Then his own lawyer discovered the claim on the name had lapsed. It is now registered to Conway, according to state records. ''We're still moving forward,'' Conway said.

Eric Gershon can be reached at egershon@capecodonline.com.
(Published: February 24, 2006)

February 23, 2006

Today's Allegiant Flights

775 and 776 PERFECT!! Allegiant has been great!! The only time there were delays were due to weather problems.

Story in USA Today

Airports play the name game to attract new business
By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

Small airports across the USA have been renaming themselves to boost visibility and gain an edge on competitors. If you want to spend time at Lake Tahoe (either side), your best bet is to fly to Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Reno.

Take Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, N.Y., which is named after a local family. In May, it will become New York Hudson Valley International Airport. In making the change, airport officials convey proximity to both Hudson Valley recreation areas and New York City. The airport is about 70 miles from Midtown Manhattan. "Those are the two biggest marketing pluses that our airport has," says Newburgh airport executive Tanya Vanasse.

Says aviation consultant Robert Mann: "They're all looking for greater visibility and greater identity. If you take Stewart International, people say, 'Where the heck is that?' "
Among recent name changes:

•Rockford, Ill. The airport added Chicago — a city whose airport congestion is legendary — to its name in November: Chicago/Rockford International. It's 90 miles from Chicago.
Rockford convention bureau Chairman Bob Rhea says the change has drawn travelers. "It drives home the fact that it's near Chicago," he says. "Everyone knows where Chicago is."

•Savannah, Ga. About three years ago, the Savannah airport became the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. Almost half its passengers go to Hilton Head, S.C., where there's a smaller airport. Now, when people search Internet travel sites for Hilton Head and airport, the Savannah airport appears as an option.

Since the mid-1990s communities including Buffalo, Terre Haute, Ind., and Allentown, Pa., have changed airport names motivated by regional marketing. In July 2005, Nevada's Airport Authority of Washoe County became the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. It creates a closer match with its main airport, which adopted the Reno-Tahoe designation in the mid-1990s. It also gives the authority — in the words of its press release — "a name that resonates from Reno to Beijing and beyond."

Southwest Airlines spokesman Ed Stewart says in the New York Hudson Valley case, "it does make sense" to take a new name to convey location. The much-courted discount carrier doesn't currently fly to Newburgh, and Stewart wouldn't say if the name change would make a difference as Southwest looks for places to expand its route network.

Renaming airports is like renaming an established corporation, says advertising executive Mark Lieberman, of Interspace Airport Advertising. "You don't want a name that's parochial, convoluted or doesn't clearly communicate what the product delivers," Lieberman says.
Controversy sometimes accompanies the name changes.

In Newburgh, some local residents, including members of the Stewart family, have been vocal opponents. The new name will stand, but the passenger terminal will be renamed in honor of Archie Stewart, who donated land for the airport in 1930.

February 22, 2006

Hooters Story

Although Hooters said they would be returning to the markets below in March, it does not look this will happen. Also note Gary just got 57.8 million from the FAA to lengthen their runway, couldn't we try to get the 8 million from the FAA for a Cat 3 Landing system??

Story from NorthWest Indiana Times:

Hooters Air officials are not saying whether they will return to Gary and three other cities where flights were suspended in December and January for "seasonal adjustments."The airline's Web site has not been taking reservations for flights from the Gary/Chicago International Airport for about a month, though it was taking March reservations when the flight suspensions were originally announced in December.

Hooters Air also is not taking reservations from Columbus, Ohio, Nassau, Bahamas, and Las Vegas, which suffered flight suspensions at the same time.Hooters Air officials did not return repeated calls Monday for information on the possible resumption of Gary flights.Gary Airport Director Paul Karas said he was told by Hooters Air president Mark Peterson on Friday that the airline still is sorting through scheduling arrangements."As far as we are told, it's status quo right now and they are still deliberating," Karas said Monday. "If they restart, we will take that as a positive."

Among arrangements the airline is looking at are tour packages to Las Vegas, Karas added.The regularly scheduled Gary flights went to Myrtle Beach, S.C., St. Petersburg, Fla., and Las Vegas. The airline announced Dec. 19 those flights would be suspended from Jan. 9 until March.The ending of the last Hooters flights Jan. 9 left the airport with no regularly scheduled passenger airline service.

The airport just won approval for $57.8 million in Federal Aviation Administration funding to lengthen its main runway to 9,000 feet. Airport officials say the longer runway will give it a better chance of attracting commercial airlines and cargo services.Hooters ended all service from the Greater Rockford Airport in Illinois on Jan. 5.

February 21, 2006

Allegiant's Biggest Mistake--Golfers!!

I went on a golf trip two weeks ago. Ask any golfer you know if they went to Myrtle Beach or Florida this winter, 90% will tell you a story. As good a job Allegiant has done marketing Disney, do you remember any golf packages??? Do you have any idea how many nice golf courses are in Orlando, not to mention the weather is much better then Myrtle, where it can get quite cold.

In college, I remember deals where if you got 7 room-mates together to go to Fort Lauderdale then you go for free. Imagine if they had something like this. Forget the Pizza boxes or those ridiculous signs in the malls, I hope next year Allegiant realizes how many frustrated golfers there are in Worcester during the winter months.

Airport Commission Meeting

First of all, thanks to Tom Moore's efforts the minutes and agendas for the Airport Commission are now on the City Web Site (http://www.ci.worcester.ma.us) , click the tab on the left for Boards and Commissions, clicks Agenda on the top middle and then scroll on to Airport.

I have submitted the following questions for the next airport commission meeting by submitting an e-mail to the Airport Directort (Eric Waldron) and the Airport Liaison (Phil Niddrie):
  1. Copy of most recent qtrly report to the DOT showing how the DOT grant monies have been spent to date.
  2. LAZ monthly parking reports.
  3. Amount of losses incurred by the first six months (July-Dec 2005).
  4. Will ORH be preparing an application for this year's DOT Small Community Air Service Grant?

If anyone else wants another question, please e-mail me or leave a comment.

February 20, 2006

Allegiant To Vegas

Recently I took a flight from Providence to Fort Lauderdale. My ticket looked like it was direct but we ended up stopping in Tampe, where people were dropped off and picked up.. This got me to thinking.

Why can't Allegiant run a Worcester to Vegas flight and work with any of the cities in the Mid-West, that already fly to Vegas, to fill a plane?? Lets assume, for arguements sake, that Cedar Rapids has low load factors to Vegas--would it make sense to team up with them to fill a plane??

I do not know the answers to any of these questions but adding Vegas as a destination out of ORH would be great.

Jumpstart 2006

Each year there is a conference where airports can meet various airlines all at one time. I have heard alot of people talk about it. To learn more check out:


This year it is in Austin, Texas starting June 14th... I do not think it would be a bad idea for our City Manager and/or Mayor to attend.

February 19, 2006

DOT Grant Application

It is the time of year to apply for the DOT (note story below). We should prepare an application to attract USA3000 and/or Hooters. Although we have been told by the airport administration that we can not get another grant, while we are holding one, this is not true. I have read through the documentation and there is nothing that states this??

There are times when a consultant does in fact make sense. This is one of these times. We should retain Boyd Aviation (expert in this grants) to fill out our application. Deadline is April 7th.


DOT Seeks Grant Applications For Improving Air Service To Small Towns

Sat, 21 Jan '06
Fifth Year Of Program To Bring Airlines To Anytown, USA

The US Department of Transportation announced Friday the agency has put the word out to communities to apply for grants under a program designed to support small towns and cities working to improve their airline service. DOT representatives tell Aero-News the Small Community Air Service Development Program uses federal funds to support communities working to attract or improve air service. Congress appropriated approximately $10 million for up to a total of 40 grants this year, to help communities address their local air service problems -- such as high fares and insufficient levels of service. This is the fifth year DOT will award grants under the program.

"The Small Community Air Service Development Program supports communities in finding new and innovative ways to improve their commercial air service," said US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. "We are seeking to partner with communities who are willing to do the work necessary to connect their economy to the national transportation system."
The Secretary noted that many of the grant recipients from previous years have already gained new or upgraded air service because of the grants. Additionally, passenger traffic according to Mineta.

DOT will give priority to proposals from communities that have high airfares compared to other communities, contribute financially to the project from sources other than airport revenues, have established or will establish a public/private partnership to improve their air service, submitted proposals that will benefit a broad segment of the public with limited access to the national transportation system, and will use the assistance in a timely fashion.

The program was established in 2000 by the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, and was reauthorized by the Vision 100 -- Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act, which was signed by President Bush on December 16, 2003.

February 18, 2006

Allegiant --Good Businessman

Check out the story below.. These guys get it, the bottom line is very important. Considering we have the DCU Center, I know that there are branding opportunities for our terminal to help reduce our two million deficit.

Allegiant Air deal with Bodog.com

To complement its online, print, radio and television marketing campaigns, Bodog.com announced today a new advertising deal that will see it take to the skies. Six large Allegiant Air passenger jets will be externally and internally branded in the colors and logo of the international digital entertainment and gaming company.

The advertising initiative will cover a three-month span on six Allegiant Air, 150-seat MD-80 passenger jets. The Bodog.com plane wrapping will be easily visible to travelers waiting to board flights to and from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

February 17, 2006

Youngstown Lands Allegiant

Right now Youngstown, Portsmouth and Worcester all have one airline--Allegiant Air flying out of their airports. Bet you $100 that the six most popular destinations flown from these three catchment areas are the same:

  1. Florida destinations (Orlando/Ft Lauderdale, Ft Myers and Tampa/St Pete)
  2. Vegas
  3. Myrtle Beach

People will ask about NYC, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Baltimore and DC, but secondary airports like ours need to focus on the leisure traveler first to get the airports back on the map. None of these destinations out of ORH would be able to support multiple daily flights that the business-traveler will require. There are two types of travelers:

  1. Business Traveler
  2. Leisure Traveler

ORH has neither. Versus trying to target both, you need to target the larger audience. One of the New England Council's studies said 65% of travelers from New England were leisure travelers. More importantly the business traveler needs multiple flights per day, while the leisure traveler will accept multiple flights per week. That is another reason the DJ Air Group plan never made sense to me since their target market market was bother the leisure and business traveler, neither market we have, when our goal (short-term) needs to be the leisure traveler..

Leisure travelers!!! This is not a bad thing... Let the business traveler (for now) go to Manchester, Providence, Boston or Hartford, but we need to convince the leisure traveler going to Florida, Myrtle Beach, Vegas and Bermuda from our catchment area to use ORH. Asking people to think Worcester when flying to Denver on Frontier is nothing short of ridiculous and Frontier knows it too.

Lastly instead of three secondary aiports like Youngstown, Worcester and Portsmouth working seperately, we should work together. It is not a coincidence that all three only have one airline and it is the same airline --Allegiant. Maybe all three can work together to get other carriers???

Hooters Air Thoughts

Although I am excited about the prospect of Hooters in discussions with ORH, I simply do not get the timing. Hooters is a lean operation and cthey did cut flights at Gary, Indiana and Columbus, Ohio during the months of Jan-February when the ridership is done, but are booking for March.

Destinations like Mytrle Beach, Fort Lauderdale and St Pete's would be great for ORH but will Hooters start up during the Spring and Summer months when they shut-down in Gary and Columbus, I doubt it.. In a best case scenario, I feel Hooters is looking at ORH for the next winter season.

Hope I am wrong.

DJ Air

We need to have more of a sense of urgency turning this airport around. Things like our Master Plan, not having a meeting in 2005, is ridiculous. DJ Air should have been pursued for what it is was ( a very very long shot), with the majority of attention on second-tier carriers like Allegiant/Hooters/USA3000. In addition, our model airport should be Rockford Airport , an hour outside of Chicago versus spending $100,000 (that could have been used to help a new airline) on consultants.

The sad thing about Hooters is that we may have already missed this winter season traveling to Myrtle Beach/Florida. Even if we have not, many people may have already have made their reservations elsewhere. At the same time, everything needs to be pursued. I am not saying do not pursue Sun Country/SunShip1/Frontier/DJ Air Group, but lets focus our energies where have our best chances.

Seriously think about how much time we wasted on DJ Air Group. Why did we ever get anyone thinking about an airline that has never ever had 1 flight and is 100,000,000 short in venture capital. We should have been talking about attainable goals like Hooters and USA3000 the past year and if DJ Air Group happend, it would have been an added bonus.

Funny people in the airport administration will not tell us, when we are in discussions with airlines like Allegiant or Hooters, which could only help their efforts, and get people excited about ORH. On the other hand, multiple stories are leaked about grandiose plans for a start-up called DJ Air Group, which has slim to no chances of happening and will only lead to more negativity towards ORH.

CBS News Story

No surprise here. We have been saying now for two years ($100,000 less then IMG) that we need to target second-tier carriers like TransMeridian (went out of business), Allegiant, Hooters and USA3000 with direct flights to popular leisure destinations. Hooters would be a great addition. It only makes sense for secondary airports like ORH target second-tier airports.

Since our new assistant City Manager is from Portsmouth (another secondary airport) maybe we should work with them to help create a combined package to bring Hooters and/or USA3000 into the NorthEast with flights from Portsmouth and Worcester. Both airports currently only have Allegiant. How about a Hooters Restaurant at the airport???

The surprising thing in this story is the demise of DJ Air, which I said from the beginning would never happen. Think about it they wanted to base their hub in Worcester?? This never made sense to me. Worcester Airport can be an asset to Worcester, but w/o an access road it would never generate enought traffic to support the operation DJ Air was proposing, who by the way were short $100,000,000 before their first flight ever got off the ground.

Why I am at, there is no chance of Frontier, SunCountry or SunShip1 (IMG targeted them both) of coming to Worcester. Our next two steps should be to fly the City Mgr.Mayor to USA3000 headqtrs in Philadelphia and invite Bill Herp of Linear Air to Worcester. No!! Better yet, lets give IMG another $50,000 to ask them what to do next...


(CBS4) WORCESTER Worcester city leaders are courting a new airline for possible landings at their near empty airport. Who are they talking to? Hooters Air.Hooters has about 400 restaurants nationwide, known for its scantily clad waitresses. It is also a successful airline, and the Hooters girls could be touching down next in Worcester."Hooters Air is a well respected start-up airline that has done well in recent years and one we are engaged in conversations with,” says Mayor Tim Murray.

Hooters Air is based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and currently flies to Florida and some major cities across the country. The question is, will Worcester be added to the list?So why the interest in Hooters Air? City leaders were talking to the DJ Air group, but that looks doubtful so it is back to the drawing the board.“The key is getting airlines up to Worcester Airport,” Mayor Murray says.

“Believe it or not, Hooters has a well run airline and it’s growing, and that’s what we are looking at.”In January, Allegiant Airlines started a handful of flights to Florida from Worcester. But the airport is still basically empty, and has been for years.The airline web site promises two Hooters girls on every flight.The company president tells CBS4 that he is not at liberty to discuss the negotiations.

February 16, 2006

$8 Million Dollar Shortfall

Today there was an announcement in the paper that 4 elementary schools will be closed due to an $8 million dollar shortfall. Ironically the two elementary schools that are closest to ORH (Mill Swan & New Ludlow) were two of the four.

It will not take long for these upset parents to point out that we can subsidize an airport losing $2,000,000 per year (although partially subsidized by MassPort), but can not keep their elementary schools, that their kids can walk to open. It is great that we have Allegiant flying out of Worcester, but there has to be a greater sense of urgency since two flights per week simply is not even close to enough.

If the airport does not start making greater strides fast, the cry to downgrade to a General Aviation (GA) airport will only get louder and louder. If two flights per week and one airline is the best we can do, I will agree with them.

February 15, 2006

Portland, ME Courting JetBlue

Full story at the link below. Please note JetBlue is looking to add 8-10 new destinations this year with the addition of the Embraer 190's. Are we talking to them?? Are any of the 6 presentations that we paid to $53,000 to IMG targeting JetBlue??


Portland airport officials are continuing their ardent pursuit of JetBlue airline and hope their efforts will soon pay off with a serious commitment. "They have a very strong interest in Portland," said Jeffrey W. Monroe, director of ports and transportation. "We are one of the cities they are strongly considering, and that's as much as they'll say to us. We've got our fingers and toes crossed."

An airline spokesman declined to say whether Portland is in JetBlue's expansion plans. The company has indicated that it expects to add eight to 10 new destinations this year, Bryan Baldwin said, and has already announced service to Austin, Texas; Richmond, Va.; and Hamilton, Bermuda.

DOT Grant Monies and IMG

The January, 2006 board meeting states that by September, 2006, we will have spent $304,000 of the $455,000. To date the IMG report cost $100,000. In addition we paid IMG $53,000 (March, 2005 Board meeting page 5) to have them prepare six presentations.

If this is correct then more then half (153,000) of the $304,000 that will be spent by September, 2006 will have gone to IMG. After the March, 2005, mention of the six presentations I can find no mention as to the status of these 6 presentations.

These monies should have gone to airlines or to the passengers (free parking, etc). If I had known that $153,000 was going to be spent on consultants, I never would have pushed to get the grant.

February 14, 2006

DOT Grant

I just reread the January minutes--by September, 2006 we will have spent 304,000 of the DOT grant monies. I would like a complete break-down as to how the 304,000 has been spent. That is alot of monies. If we only expect to make 15,000-20,000 on parking revenues in the first year, would it not make sense to have used some of the $304,000 to subsidize "FREE PARKING."

We need to see the monthly reports from LAZ to see what kind of net revenues are being collected. Also check out Charley, he is on a roll http://www.closeorh.blogspot.com

January Board Minutes

Now available at on http://www.flyorh.com.

None of my our three requests were in the Janauary meeting:

  1. copy of most recent qtrly report to the DOT showing how the DOT grant monies have been spent, although the meeting says 304,000 will be spent by September, 2006.
  2. LAZ monthly report. This may actually be premature since they only were in place for December.
  3. amount of losses incurred by the first six months (July-Dec 2005). Again this may be a little premature since December had just ended.

I will put these requests in again for the March meeting.

February Airport Commission Meeting

Steve Foley attended the meeting. Here is a quick summary:

  • The new Airport Commission Chairman is Mr Delehaunty, replacing Mr Nemeth.
  • The Sunday Allegiant flight had been cancelled due to the storm and tookplace Monday Evening. Many of the passengers had taken the Monday Morningflight. Phil Niddrie was giving out free coffee coupons to the inconvenienced passengers.
  • Airport Minutes to be posted on City of Worcester Website, at the request of thecity, starting with January minutes.
  • Parking income appears to be on target - expected net income of $15,000
  • Meeting this Friday with chairs of many committees/commissions with goal to improve communications with city manager.
  • Gary Rosen attended last night. Didn't say anything.
  • Pat Santa Maria thought there was too little communication betweenthe Airport Commission and City Hall.
  • Tim D. suggested sending representative from the airport commission to acity council meeting on a monthly bases. Rotate members.
  • The Project Manager in charge of the master plan has left the company (LeighFisher?). Meeting is expected in March.Per Eric W.:
  • Phase III of the capital security plan is to go forward withapplication of an explosive resistant film to be applied to all glass in theterminal.
  • Pat expressed his opinion that General Aviation should be supported better.He said that he would like to see a hangar built that would house biz-jets.He commented that Fitchburg had recently build and sold about fifty smallhangars. These sold for $70,000 each. This could be funded by either privateinvestors, in which case the airport would only receive a smaller land leaseincome, or by the city, which would provide more income, but would takelonger for the various approvals. The Chair asked him to prepare, for thenext meeting, a brief summary of the highlights of his plan.
  • The representative from Swissport stated that his idea for marketingincludes 'putting a stake in the ground on 495 and claiming everything tothe west' as his customer base.Everyone seemed to agree that General Aviation should be better promoted.
  • Tim D brought up an idea of having a regularly scheduled meeting with allpartied involved in marketing (Niddrie, Massport, City of WorcesterPurchasing, Allegiant). The question arose as to if this would bring backthe former Airport Marketing Committee, and would the members need to beappointed by the city manager. There was not a clear consensus as to how this meeting could or should take place.
  • Pat Santa Maria brought up an idea to allow car dealers to display their cars on the floor of the terminal. He would like the money brought inearmarked for advertising. A discussion took place regarding the loading capacity of the floor (there is a basement below), the ability to get cars inside the terminal, the cost of setting up backdrops, etc.Eric pointed out that you cannot specifically earmark funds. Massport is paying something like $2,000,000 per year and would want a say in how theincome was spent.
  • Other notes: Airport operations last year was 65,000 (takeoffs/landings) an increase of 4000 over the previous year.
  • The $1,000,000 FAA subsidy has not yet been approved. Jim McGovern isworking on getting it. His office said they expected an announcement shortly. This subsidy is based on 10,000 enplanments per year. WithAllegiant in place, ORH should have no problem making that number goingforward.
  • A Change-the-airport-name discussion took place, with everyone generally inagreement that it, at worst (per Pat Santa Maria) wouldn't hurt. Most everyone else appeared to agree that it was a good idea, and almost necessary. Phil said that Allegiant is marketing to Orlando theirWorcester-Boston flight.
  • He also said that another, as yet unnamed, airlineis looking at ORG specifically due to it's proximity to Boston.Next Meeting scheduled for 3/13/06.

February 13, 2006

Airport Meeting Tonight at 6:30PM

If anyone can go, I would appreciate it. Again here are the questions that I have asked to be put on the agenda:

  1. Copy of the most recent qtrly filing to the DOT (Department of Transportation) as to how the grant monies have been spent to be incorporated into the minutes of the February meeting.
  2. Copy of the LAZ Mgmt monthly parking report to be incorporated into the minutes of the February meeting.
  3. Make the financials for the first 6 months of fiscal 2005-2006 part of the February minutes also.



February 12, 2006

Youngstown Post

This was their post on Friday. If this in fact happens, it casts some doubt on the airport administration that no mgmt company would be interested in running ORH?Breaking News


I have found out the Airport will very well hire a Management company in 1-3 months to help them make decisions and advise them, but the management company will not have complete control.....The more I hear I will post it in the blog but I understand there will be an article in the Vindicator on it today.Maybe we will bring the airlines in by then!

Manchester Airport

I tried to fly into Providence last night to beat the storm but it was cancelled since my connection was through Baltimore. I was, however, able to connect through Tampa to Manchester. Has anyone been there lately??

It is not a TF Green or Bradley, but it is not far behind. Very very impressive. Talked to alot of people on the plane and in the airport. Manchester is drawing alot of people from Massachusetts. Most from the North Shore, Route 2 corridor and Metro-West. That is where they are expecting most of their growth--MASSACHUSETTS!!

In the never ending quest to identify our catchment area, it appears to me that we need to focus more on Worcester Country, West and South of Worcester.

February 08, 2006

Airport Commission Meeting

Every month the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals meets a couple times per month at the Library in the Saxe Room. I have been at meetings where literally hundreds of people have been in attendance. Last month there must have been 300 people there to protest a large development in Quinsigamond Village.

Many times I can go the city website and check out the agenda the day of the meeting to see if I want to attend. I can even look up old meetings to see how the vote went. Now compare these two Board meetings to that of the Airport Commission.

Golf Week-end

Some friends from college and I are going to Boca Raton to golf the week-end. Mentioned to some of guys (Wrentham area) about Allegiant but Sanford to Boca was simply too far. Instead SouthWest out of TF Green to West Palm. Got me to thinking about one of original ideas--to make Worcester the place to fly out of to get to Florida.

We have the Orlando Market serviced but there are some other really great markets in Florida that we need to enter to really build momentum:

  1. St Petes versus Tampa (kind of like Sanford versus Orlando)
  2. Fort Myers
  3. For Lauderdale

USA3000, based out of Philadelphia, flies to all 3 locations... I have said this before and I will say it again. Forget spending monies on consultants to prepare presentations, lets send the City Manager and/or Mayor down to Philadelphia to meet with Trevor Sadler of USA3000. One more thing, USA3000 is partners with a charter company called Apple Vacations which again would be perfect for ORH.

February 07, 2006

Today's Comments

Today's comments are what I envisioned when a group of us starting talking about how much we wanted to see the airport succeed. At times our frustration is confused for sarcasm. The Master Plan should be done right now and things like a Category 3 System should be one of the prime focuses. Sorry, asking for information from the airport administration should be as simple as sending our City Clerk or Treasurer a question that is always answered typically the same day.

If someone wants to volunteer to get more information as to what "years and years" in regards to a Category 3 system at ORH, I will be more then happy to post your results as the "blog of the day."



Myrtle Beach Airport Story

If you want to check it out go to Google then News. Do a search for Myrtle Beach Airport and it will be the first story that comes up.. Sorry, I find it amazing that they received grant monies from the FAA for snow removal equipment!!!

Friend's Allegiant Flight

Last week-end a friend of mine and his wife flew Allegiant. Not one complaint. On time flights, Sanford drive to Orlando was easy, car rental agencies at Sanford were close to the gates, etc.

Looks like Allegiant is the complete opposite PanAm when they flew out of ORH. The only delays to date have not been the fault of Allegiant but due to weather, which again would have been negated if we had Category 3 Landing equipment.

Charley Farley e-mailed me this link today from a newspaper in Myrtle Beach. The gist of it was that Myrtle Beach Airport applied for a grant to the FAA' AIP program to get snow removal equipment. It sounds funny at first, snow removal equipment at Myrtle Beach??? What makes it funnies is that they received it.!!!

The ironic thing is I remember an RFP from the City Purchasing department department for snow removal equipment, I hope we applied for the same grant monies as Myrtle Beach to purchase this equipment. More importantly it makes me think that there must be a way to secure grant monies from the FAA to improve ORH landing system to a Category 3.

February 04, 2006

JetBlue adds Bermuda

Two flights per day from JFK to Bermuda. USA3000, one of the airlines recommended by IMG, flies to Bermuda from Newark and Baltimore. JetBlue knows Bermuda is a popular destination and will most likely add flights from Boston to Bermuda.

We should be talking to USA3000 about starting flights to Bermuda as JetBlue sinks money into advertising this great leisure destination--Bermuda.

February 03, 2006

February, 2005 Board Meeting

In response to one of Charley Farley's comments to a prior posting regarding the protocol to place items on the airport commission meeting agenda. Check on-line at http://www.flyorh.com under the "Report of the Commission Chairman":

"If a member or someone from outside has an item they would like on the agenda, they are to e-mail or call the Chairman to let him know and discuss it. He will then let Mr Waldron know and he will put it on the agenda."

AIrport 20 Year Master Plan

In the fall of 2004, some of us met with some representatives from Leigh Fisher, including Derrrick Choi who explained the goals of the Master Plan. Last January, Leigh Fisher had a group meeting at the airport to explain the status and completion of the Master Plan. At that time another meeting was scheduled for the Spring with final recommendations to be presented in December of 2005.

As of February 3, 2006, (13 months from the airport meeting with Leigh Fisher) we never had neither the follow-up meeting in the Spring nor the final recommendations last December. An airport that is losing 2,000,000 per year half way through a 3 year operating agreement with Massport needs to have a little more sense of urgency to complete their Master Plan. The excuse that I have heard was that we were awaiting results from the New England Regional Air Study Plan before we went any further???

The time is now to complete our Master Plan.

February 02, 2006

February Airport Commission Meeting

I have forwarded an e-mail to Chairman Nemeth and Airport Liaison Niddrie asking for the following three items to be placed on the February agenda:

  1. Copy of the most recent qtrly filing to the DOT (Department of Transportation) as to how the grant monies have been spent to be incorporated into the minutes of the February meeting.
  2. Copy of the LAZ Mgmt monthly parking report to be incorporated into the minutes of the February meeting.
  3. Make the financials for the first 6 months of fiscal 2005-2006 part of the February minutes also.



Linear Air

We need to get them to ORH!!!


LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 1, 2006--Linear Air, a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry, today announced private air luxury and convenience between the Boston and Newark areas at just $598 round-trip, a price equal to the major Boston-Newark shuttle airline. This announcement follows reports earlier this week that Boston-Newark airline shuttle flights are among the worst in on-time performance, and that customers are demanding better alternatives.

"We are proud to offer Boston-Newark travelers the entire private air charter experience for the cost of an airline seat," said William Herp, CEO and president of Linear Air. "Our service translates to less time spent at the airport and more time spent with clients and associates." Lionel Andre of Seibel Systems Inc. and a Linear Air customer concurs: "It's super convenient, and it's really first-class treatment."

Linear Air customers enjoy free planeside valet parking, private terminals, on board refreshments, and a user friendly online reservation system backed up by personalized telephone concierge service. With no lines and no crowds, passengers arrive just 30 minutes before their scheduled departure time. Most importantly, business travelers get to their destination on time, something that has become increasingly difficult for the airlines operating from huge international airports.

Linear Air offers daily service Monday through Thursday from the private terminal at Hanscom Airport in Bedford, Mass., 10 miles northwest of Boston Logan, and arrives at the private terminal at Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, just 5 miles north of Newark International and an ideal airport for New York City as well. Flights depart at 8:00 a.m. and return at 5:00 p.m.

About Linear Air

Linear Air, based in Lexington, Mass., is a premier air-taxi service that is transforming the private air travel industry. The carrier currently operates from Hanscom Field in Bedford, Mass., near Boston, Teterboro Airport in Teterboro, N.J., Westchester County Airport in White Plains, N.Y., and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Linear Air provides short-hop private air travel at airline rates. The company offers executives and families personalized customer service, flexibility and convenience at attractive fares.

For more information about Linear Air or to book a flight, please visit www.linearair.com or call 781-860-9696 or 1-877-2-LINEAR

February 01, 2006

MidAmerica & Mike Shannon

St. Louis Cardinals announcer Mike Shannon will again be the pitchman for MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, having promoted the airport in radio ads since September 2004.Shannon's $45,000 contract for this year, approved Thursday by the St. Clair County Public Building Commission, is part of $172,000 the airport will spend marketing itself this year.The majority is being spent on attracting passenger traffic, hence the continued use of a well-known St. Louis personality like Shannon, said airport executive director Tim Cantwell.

Myself I had thought the airport could have used some of the $455,000 to hire a "pitchman" like a Bob Cousy. Again to bad we did not have a "Blue Ribbon" Committee to discuss things like this. As of today, I still have no idea how the $455,000 has been spent, although we have asked repeatedly for a copy of the most recent qtrl report that has been filed with the DOT (Department of Transportation).