June 30, 2007

New Bedford Airport

Story from SouthCoastToday:

NEW BEDFORD — The city is actively pursuing a return of passenger airline service to New Bedford Regional Airport. "We've made contact with various people in the industry," said James Burgess, chairman of the city's Airport Commission. "We're looking at established carriers right now. Whoever we brought in, we'd want them to be successful."

Mr. Burgess said the commission would like to see the return of connecting flights to a major airport hub, like Newark, N.J. or New York City. The airport can handle small jets that carry up to 50 passengers, he said, but the service might also be handled by a smaller, turbo-prop airplane. "We're never going to be a Providence or a Logan," Mr. Burgess said, "but there is a large population in and around the airport that could be served by such a service."

The service would provide three round trips a day to a hub. Mayor Scott W. Lang said he is pushing for a return of passenger service to a major hub, too. Cape Air already flies out of New Bedford to Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, carrying 24,000 passengers a year, according to the city airport's Web site. "We're looking at all options to make the airport an economic development engine for the city and the region," he said.

If and when the commission were to convince a carrier to launch passenger service out of New Bedford two things would have to happen, Mr. Burgess said. The airport would have to re-apply for certification for passenger service. Even though Cape Air already flies out of the airport, the facility would have to receive a different certification for the service being proposed. The move would also require significant upgrades to the security system at the airport, because larger airports in Newark or New York require that bags and passengers be screened according to guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration. Mr. Burgess said the cost of getting certified and the upgrades "would depend on the airline flying," he said.

According to a story in the Boston Globe last week, Skybus Airlines, a new Ohio-based airline offering fares as low as $10 one-way, will begin offering service out of Westover Metropolitan Airport in Chicopee, to Columbus, Ohio, on July 16. Westover currently does not offer passenger service. Skybus began service to the Boston area recently when flights began from Columbus to Portsmouth International Airport in New Hampshire The airline focuses on airports that are located an hour away from major airports, as well as flying into major airports from smaller airports.

Mr. Burgess said he had not read the Globe story about Skybus but was interested in the announcement.


Anonymous said...

"The airport would have to re-apply for certification for passenger service"

Looks like they surrendered their part 139 certificate, instead of spending $3mm a year to keep it active.

Smart idea!!!!

- CF

Anonymous said...

If the casino gets built there, then they will have no problem getting commecial service. I have touched upon this multiple times with regards to Worcester's proximity to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods but no action has ever been taken. More kudos to New Bedford if they can pull it off!

Harry Tembenis
Worcester, MA

Anonymous said...

An interesting court case involving Hyannis airport is brewing...

Airport tenant subpoenas town officials
By Patrick Cassidy
June 28, 2007 6:00 AM
HYANNIS — Barnstable's town manager and town attorney were served with subpoenas yesterday in a racketeering lawsuit brought by a tenant at Barnstable Municipal Airport against the airport commission.

Delivered to town offices, the subpoenas were the only ones issued in the case so far, according to Anne Robbins, one of the attorneys for plaintiff Rectrix Aerodrome Centers Inc.

"It's very early in the case," Robbins said.

While Barnstable town officials are not listed as defendants in the case, Rectrix alleges, among other improprieties, that airport officials illegally diverted revenue to pay town expenses unrelated to the airport's operation.

In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Boston last July, Rectrix accused airport officials of a campaign of intimidation, retaliation and discrimination against Rectrix and its president, and violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Reached by telephone yesterday, Barnstable town attorney Robert Smith was unimpressed. "It's a subpoena to appear at a deposition," Smith said. "That's about all it is."

Smith, who was served with a subpoena along with Town Manager John Klimm, declined to comment further.

Yesterday's subpoenas come on the heels of a list of possible witnesses and information Rectrix might request that the company filed with the court Tuesday.

Included on the list are almost a dozen officials associated with the airport commission, defendants in the case, a Federal Aviation Administration official and Barnstable Finance Director Mark Milne.

Rectrix is a tenant at the airport, where the company offers high-end clientele charter flights in and out of Hyannis from a hangar and private terminal.

Patrick Cassidy can be reached at pcassidy@capecodonline.com.

Harry Tembenis
Worcester, MA

Anonymous said...

Harry, I am guessing that ORH is 1 1/2 hrs to the Ct casinos and many other Ct airports are much closer??????

Anonymous said...

Its about an hour to Mohegan from Worcester...I think people would be willing...especially if you had coach buses waiting at the terminal. I hope ORH gets its act together...it would be a HUGE boost for the region!

-Brett D.

Anonymous said...

MMMM ya maybe with a heavy foot..............but ORH is a bit of a ride just to get to 290............could easily be 15 mins at certain times of the day ??????

Mapquest says it''s 1 hr 25 mins....so that means you can do it in 1 hr 15 mins

Anonymous said...

Good Point...I did not take into account the drive through the city...makes you wish there was a connector! I still think ORH is a viable airport that could be useful for both commercial and business travel.


Bill Randell said...


ORH will be a good airport, but it will never be one owned and operated by the City of Worcester or under the "partnership" w/ MassPort the last 8 months and now 6 more months. We need someone else to either outright own or long-term lease the airport and then, and only then, will it ever happen.

Anonymous said...

In complete agreement with you Bill! Lets hope the foot dragging ceases soon!