October 19, 2006

Airport Master Plan

At the December of 2004 initial community meeting, the final results for the 20 Year Master Plan were promised for the fall of 2005. This was, however, delayed because we had to wait for the New Regional Air Study Plan results. Now that these results are in, the final results were forecast for this fall at the 2nd community meeting this summer. It has taken so long for this 20 Year Master Plan to be finished that Leigh Fisher, the consultant doing the study, is now Jacobs Consulting.

Here are my predictions as to the conclusions:
  • ORH should keep its Part 139 Certification and not downgrade to a GA airport
  • Forecast a medium growth scenario (2010-- 161,000, 2015---215,372, 2020--- 288,524)
  • upgrade terminal and air carrier support facilities
  • upgrade GA and corporate facilities
  • upgrade airfield infrastructure

No recommendations as to how we should pay for any of this, how we can cut costs to lower the deficit, should we have an access road nor whether or not we should sell the airport.. There will, however, be a footnote to continue negotiations with MassPort to continue the current operating agreement.

By the way the cost for this will be $400,000. Good news is that 90% was paid by the FAA and the other 10% was picked up by the Mass Aeronautics Commission. Between IMG and Leigh Fisher (now Jacobs), we have spent over $600,000 in consulting fees the past two years, although none was from the City of Worcester coffers. FAA--360,000, Mass Aeronautics $40,000, DOT Small Community Air Service Grant 200,000.

PS September 11, 2006 Airport Board Minutes still not on-line.

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