June 04, 2008

City Council and the Airport

City Council discussed the airport last night, click here for Telegram article. The long and the short of it was to stop paying our portion of the operating deficit (628,799) and to force MassPort's hand? Editorial note, we would still pay the debt service of approximately $600,000.

I can understand the council's frustration, but I am not sure exactly how this would force MassPort to make a decision. Putting that aside, here is a much better plan:

  1. Stop maintaining Part 139 certification and downgrade to GA (General Aviation). This should lower the operating deficit substantially. This was recommended in the IMG report.
  2. Actively talk with other airport management companies like AvPorts to take over management of ORH.

Steps are most logical and need to be taken immediately.


Anonymous said...

Sorry Bill, but Jahn cannot understand the councils frustration. The council has diddled with this issue for how many years and basically stuck their collective heads in the sand while cumulative annual deficts continued to grow.

Our Board of Directors has been very remiss re: the airport and the on going taxpayer funded annual deficits.

I do agree with you, that this is just some political posturing...probably to keep the school dept & teachers hoping they can score some money from the "city" side of the budget....at the same timme Massport has to be wondering.............WTH is wrong with these jokers..........we're ( Massport) picking up a Million dollars annually on behalf of the city!

I still say close it down. It costs less for the city to service the remainng debt once shut down, than it costs the city to pay annual deficit.

Anonymous said...

plus they have to pay back approx 29-32 million in fed and grant monies if completely closed as an airport.

but...at 1500 acres @ $30,000 an acre it may be worth it to some developer. You would pay off debt, no more access road headaches, pilots could move to surrounding airports, we could pay for any hazardous cleanup with monies collected after paying off the feds, and the city gets revenue generating land in return.

The only drawback would be 10 years down the road when the land is developed in to housing, golf course or industrial... a plane with a pilot using an outdated map would try to land at the site.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I suspect that McGovern can make that debt go away and/or reduce it significantly and if cant he should step down.

We really have a subprime grant situation up there. If Worcester keeps drinking the federal kool aid, eventually it will really bankrupt us. FYI, we are currently bankrupt with pension & health ins obligations to retirees...but we have been legally allowed to cook the city books to get around it.

"No More access road headaches". If we ever developed that 1500 acres, as you suggest, IMO we would definitely have to upgrade the current road system in that general area... so I dont agree that developing that land will make the access road issue go away....it will just exacerbate it.