February 28, 2007

Master Plan

It has been three years that we have waited for the Master Plan. Wonder if we will get the results before or after we long-term lease the airport to MassPort?


Anonymous said...

If I Am Massport and ORH is to become my new "subsidiary" is there any chance the Master that was drawn up assuming that WORC would own & OPERATE ORH is now irrelevant as ORH moves forward operated by Massport?

How much did we spend in total for a master plan that may now become partially or totally irrelevant?

Couple hundred thousand?

Bill Randell said...


The 20 Year Master Plan, which has taken to date 3 years, cost some $400,000. The good news here is that none was paid by the City of Worcester. Something like 90% by the FAA and 10% by the Mass Aeronautics Commission.

In retrospect, the last three years we have worked on a Master Plan that never addressed the access road or ownership issue??? In the end when the results are released, it will be totally irrelevant.

Between the Master Plan, the IMG report and the retention of IMG to help recruit and retain an airline, I come up with a number north of $600,000 and growing since I believe there is another $65K or was it 75K for IMG.

The good news is most of the monies were not from the City coffers. Anyway you look at it, it is waste of our tax dollars--maybe not property tax dollars but it has been a waste.

The consultants are going to miss ORH when MassPort takes over.

Anonymous said...

...and Jet Blue keeps adding flights at Logan...

JetBlue will add Hub to N.C. flights
By Peter J. Howe, Globe Staff | March 1, 2007

Goodbye, San Juan. Hello, Bermuda and Charlotte.

JetBlue Airways Corp. will begin offering service from Logan International Airport on May 1 to Bermuda and to the North Carolina financial services center, one day after its seasonal service to Puerto Rico from Boston ends.

While the Bermuda service will be seasonal, ending Oct. 31, JetBlue said it plans to make the daily round trip to Charlotte permanent, creating the first direct challenge to US Airways, which runs nine daily flights from Boston to its southeastern hub.

The service launches come as JetBlue has been working to move past public outrage over a week long system meltdown and 1,000 canceled flights following a Feb. 14 snowstorm. The airline last week unveiled a "passenger bill of rights" guaranteeing cash rebates and free flights for severely delayed passengers.

Allen Michel , a management professor at Boston University who studies the aviation industry, predicted both routes will be well patronized for JetBlue and also help change the subject from its recent snow woes.

"JetBlue is going to come out of these service problems they've had very, very successfully," Michel said, thanks to public goodwill from its first seven years of low-priced operations and popular onboard amenities like satellite television.

Michel said Bermuda is a perfect example of a resort destination where cheaper fares can drive increased overall business, both for JetBlue and Delta, and the Charlotte service could push US Airways to cut fares. "One flight a day may not create a significant mass, but US Air would be pretty smart to hit the pricing head-on and try to make it tough for JetBlue to get a significant return" and expand service, Michel said.

US Airways controls 76 percent of the Boston-Charlotte market and charges an average fare of $297 round trip, according to FareReport.com, a travel website that analyzes Transportation Department data on domestic routes. JetBlue said it will charge fares as low as $168 round trip to Charlotte, and its website yesterday had several $208 round trips in May, generally about $20 to $70 less than many US Airways flights.

To Bermuda, JetBlue said it will offer fares as low as $198 round trip. Its website late yesterday showed $258 round trip fares for several weekend non stop flight combinations from Boston in May, compared with typical $378 fares on Delta.

Thomas J. Kinton Jr. , the executive director of the Massachusetts Port Authority , which runs Logan, said, "We couldn't be happier to add JetBlue to our family of airlines offering international service, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to grow at Logan," Kinton said.

One potential big source of traffic on the Boston-Charlotte route is Hub workers for Bank of America Corp., which acquired FleetBoston Financial Corp. in 2004. Bank of America is headquartered in Charlotte, and Boston is home to its wealth management division.

From Boston, JetBlue's Charlotte flight will leave at 8:10 a.m. and return to Boston at 10:55 a.m. The Bermuda flight will leave Boston at 10:40 a.m. and return for Boston at 2:45 p.m. Atlantic time.

With the San Juan seasonal service being shut down, the addition of the two flights will bring to 24 the number of destinations served non stop by JetBlue from Boston. It's also adding service to San Francisco on May 3.

On both routes, JetBlue will offer service on 100-seat Embraer 190 jets. JetBlue is also increasing service from Portland International Jetport in Maine to its John F. Kennedy International Airport home base in New York, adding a fifth daily flight between June 15 and Sept. 4. Rival AirTran Airways this week said it would begin offering summer service from Portland in early June to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and Orlando.

Harry Tembenis
Worcester, MA

Anonymous said...

I'll be willing to bet a lot of money that massport has consultants galore.

I have attended all the Master Plan Community Meetings. Remember, this Master Plan was for the City of Worcester coordinated by Massport and the city collectively so they are all aware of the results, how they got there and how they will go forward.

If you were at the meetings as well,you heard the consultant who was very clear that the FAA would only allow a study of the airport facilities and not about issues outside the control of the FAA. Thus, no study on the all-important road. But, they did do an analysis of drive time through the FAA Regional Plan which was very telling.

Anonymous said...

If you've been reading the papers,watching the city council meetings I think you'll be seeing alot of consolidation and possible layoffs due to the impending and rising fixed cost of covering city employee pension and health costs. Contracts for city employees are coming into play again.

When all is said and done, it would be ill conceived for the city to continue funding the airport in any capacity .

What the airport needs is a opportunity to move forward under the direction of Massport on their dime. It won't solve the city's impending financial woes, but it won't add to them either.

Bill Randell said...

You got to love these anonymous bloggers. They know everything except how to put down their own name.

ThrM said...

Bravo, Bill. Well said!

On that note, however, and I always leave my name, how does it work that the councilors can get a raise of $18,000/year each, the Manager can get a significant raise, putting his salary at ~175K/year, and then they start screaming "fiscal responsibility" at last Tuesday's council meeting? In the words of Cartman's mom, " What-what-WHAT??" I mean, help me understand. Really.

Anonymous said...

Who's Jahn, Thomas? I have no idea. The only one who I see on this that I can identify is Bill. I'll put my real name, but what does it matter? Isn't that the purpose of Blogs? Just discussion?

Bill Randell said...


I agree... How can you waive 190,000 in fees for a Performing Arts Center and then say you need to cut two engines... There just needs to be more consistency.

Take a look at the airport, it costs the city of Worcester after the subsidy approximately $80-100K per month. Why are we waiting until July 1st if it is a done deal as we all know it is. Long-term lease the airport April 1st and save a couple hundred thousand.

Bill Randell said...

Better yet how can you say we need to look into the PILOT stuff again, right after you just waived 190,000 in permiting fees for the non-profit Performing Arts Center.

ThrM said...

John, I take issue with people who put forward ideas and expect everyone to endorse them without any suggestion of who they are or what their background is. I may agree with them, but without some idea of who I'm talking to, I can't. Yes, blogs promote discussion, but no one ever got an idea advanced beyond discussion w/o stepping out of the built-in anonymity this medium provides and saying, "my name is X and here are my qualifications, I'm risking being identified but I feel strongly enough about my ideas that I'm okay with that."

So you're John. OK. I'm Tom. I work for the city, am a strong airport proponent, love aviation and believe it can add many benefits to central MA, am a student pilot, and want to promote the city's long-term fiscal responsibility.

What's your background?

Anonymous said...

i was thinking the same thing. i.e. Massport has consultants galore on trhe pay roll and and can hire outside ones ,too

However the consultants (in house and hired guns) may be nothing more than hacks. ORH needs a true businessmen, no politics!
And if they do have consultnat talent they clearly have not used it in the last 8 yrs to hepl ORH. Of course maybe they really did not want to help us too much ??

I tend to disagree that the Masterplan lays out a viable strategy as to how we're going to go forward succesfully. E.g. An RFP that thus far has no suitors. May be now that they have taken the bride (RFP) off the stage and done some plastic surgery to her, she'll have a couple of serious suitors now that she's back on the runway?

Anonymous said...

This PILOT stuff is a load of bovine fecal matter. Grandstanding b/c it's an election year.

I have a great election year issue that none of them will ever touch

WTH do we need more low income housing when we're 30% above the req'd state minimum now? If anything the city needs more middle class housing /citizens. Move em to Holden then Diane Williamson wont think Holden is so snobby & snooty !!!!
Send the God Dam free money to build more low income housing back to Washington. We dont need nor do we want it!!!
We have Non for profit Community Dev'ments Corporations on every dam street corner that are more building low income housing. Canal District CDC, Worc Common Ground, Oak hill CDC, East Side CDC, South Worc Neighborhood Center, Main South CDC, Matthew 25 (Holy Cross?) and there are 2 or 3 others I cannot recall. Time to consolidate and down size these political patronage havens so we only have 1 or 2 of them that are sucking the life out of the local income tax paying contractor.

These colleges destroy mmultiple blocks of 3 deckers and then replace them with 1/2 the amt of housing and then claim they are helping to create low income housing.

In the process they also grab 2 or 3 entire city blocks, 1 for a new campus center (Beaver - Maywood St) and 1 for their gym and athletic enter over on the old Rice Barton site.

When I was in second grade if we started out with 20 - 3 deckers, that was 60 units of housing. Tear em all down and re - build 25 new units of housing and thats a net loss of 35 units according to my 2nd grade math? Yet the erudite Clarkies & Non profit dev'ers claim they are helping to crerate low income creating housing and an athletic field that can be used be the Main South community. Wonder how many times the Main South community has been allowed to use the new athletic complex?

Not only do these colleges destroy tax paying property, they then build non taxpaying buildings on it! And all the pols go down there for the ground breakings, opening festivities, and photo ops and all the while Clark is sockin' to the City revenue stream.

How savvy does one have to be to see through foolishness? No wonder the city is going broke.

Anonymous said...


When did I put forward ideas and expect everyone to endorse them? I simply told everyone what I heard at the Community Meetings.

I have gone on other BLOGS and had a good dialogue with whomever was on topic. This does not seem to be as welcoming as others. I am retired and have a real liking for the City of Worcester. I have no real interest in the airport except I live near it so I watch what's going on and was invited to the meetings via a business organization that sent me an invitation to the first one. I then got on the list, I guess, because the others have come from the Airport.

What difference does qualification mean in the long run? Do we have to have qualifications to reply to a BLOG?

I can carry on a conversation with anyone and not know them or what their background is because that is not really that important to me. I don't relly understand your rationale' but that's fine too.

You sound like a nice guy. Sounds like you may even work at the airport. If so, great.If not, great. You have an opinion on things, I do as well. We can learn something from each other!!

Anonymous said...

Any worcester taxpayer who does not vote out the coucillors who voted themselves a pay raise has no one to blame but themselves.

Bill Randell said...

Lets not make this a one issue campaign. Nothing is that simple.

Bill Randell said...

I just tried to follow some of these comments. Evidently the first anonymous who pontificated about being at the community meetings turned out to be John, not to be confused with Jahn, is retired living by the airport. For the record, glad to have you (anonymous John) on the blog..

Versus accepting the fact that an access road was not part of the Master Plan by the FAA, maybe you shoudl have questioned how you can spend $400,000 on a Master Plan (especially when you live near the airport) w/o addressing the access road issue? Reducing the drive time through the city would increase airport appeal was telling? We needed an 400,000 study to tell us that improving access would help the airport???

I have to agree with your comments in regards to qualifications. You have as much right, maybe even more so living close to the airport, to state your opinion irregardless of qualifications. At the same time Thomas does not work at the airport.

Lastly kudos to Worc Taxpayer--great comments. Now lets move on.

Anonymous said...

It was asked why the Master Plan did not address the road issue. The answer was because the FAA did not allow studies beyond the Airport proper.

Glad to see one person recognizes that because you put your name on something it means little!!Seems you must know Thomas. Seems like a nice guy, but unnecessarilly sensitive.

I flew Allegiant a few timees.Flights were GREAT! Loads seemed good. Anyone know why they left? Any chance on a new airline to Fla.? I know the comments when they left were pretty harsh- that may be an issue recruiting a new airline.

ThrM said...

Opinions are one thing. Sarcastic and perpetual ranting is another. My point is simply this: if you have an idea that has real merit, why not let us know who you are?
I now know someone who identifies himself as John lives near the airport and has valid questions! Great! Welcome! All I know about Jahn and those signing "anonymous" is that they're venting, and we can't resolve their angst. Nothing we do on a blog will change the airport. That takes action beyond a computer screen, like serving on a commission, calling city hall, or writing a letter to the paper.

Anonymous said...

And you are?

Bill Randell said...


How can a Master Plan that you pay $400,000 not consider issues like an access road or the ownership of the airport? That has been my complaint from the beginning. This Master Plan did not address the 2 biggest issues and how can access to the airport not be considered as being part of the airport proper? All the community meetings were a waste..

Sad to say everyone who flew Allegiant, loved them. Why did they leave? The simple answer was that they were losing money. The difficult answer, which we can not get an answer is why can Allegiant make monies at other similar airports with similar loads also in the NorthEast but not at ORH?

As far as getting them back--NO WAY after the comments made. Will another airline come in with direct flights to Florida? NO WAY. Other airlines will say if Allegiant, who has a great operation, can not make money at ORH--how can we.

Anonymous said...

Sad. Worcester politicians shooting themselves -and us- in the foot again!!!

Anonymous said...

However, when they shoot themselves in the foot, they also double their pay in the process.

BTW, We pay for it.