Thursday, December 05, 2013

Should We Bail Out the Airport?

The struggling Lehigh Valley "International" Airport has asked Northampton County for $250,000 next year. This will be voted on by Council tonight. President John Cusick said he's willing to kick in $125,000, but only if Lehigh County is willing to make a matching subsidy. "We'll see what they think about it over there," he remarked.

Bob Werner was a bit more strident. "They out to be able to seek a solution on their own." he also derided the Board's "management skills."

What do you think? Would you bail these guys out?

26 comments:

Doc Rock said...

Not unless there is a change in management and the board. Good luck with that!

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Valley is now over 820,00 0 in population... however little pieces of shit that live in Nazareth with a population of 5,746 believe that they know all the answers. If they did. They would know the answer on how to not be disbarred. Of course, this will be deleted because he things anyone that is against him the person he calls the "blog mentor"

Bernie O'Hare said...

No, this is not the Blog Mentor. He starts posting his hate at 5:30 am. You are Tricia Mezzacappa, and are just as full of hate. Except you're a bad liar.

Bill Coker said...

No, with the airports proximity to NYC, NJ, and the valley, it should be a viable alternative to EWR or PHL. Frankly this management team sucks and Tony I shows his incompetence with his leadership. Don't know how to do it but should be a total overhaul.

Anonymous said...

This airport is in trouble because of one person , George Dougherty. As the former Director he lead a Board of Directors down a mine laden prim rose path. They never questioned him and actually gave him an increase in salary for his last extension of his contract. He should have been sued for the debt he incurred.

Anonymous said...

@4:13 what a stupid statement. How long has he been gone and he is still being blamed. Almost like blaming Bush for Obama's problems. In reality Doughty actually had that airport running like an airport should be and was doing a fine job managing. He was a seasoned professional and provided the then Board with options. Under his watch people were actually able to fly places and had choices.

Anonymous said...

5:48 am you are an ass . He ran up this debt and told the Board that the Feds would pay it off . They believed him. He was wrong. What planet have you been living On?

Anonymous said...

You can't have prosperous cities without a sustainable airport. Business travel has changed since the Bush recession and unlikely to go back to the way it was. Video teleconferencing has eliminated the need for short trips.The value of a sustainable airport for $250k exceeds the value of a $1m skate park.

Anonymous said...

What will the $125k provide, a return of peanuts on flights for a year?

A 'NO' vote would be my vote if I were still on council!

Anonymous said...

The growth of the region depends on a viable airport. What we need is new leadership. Isn't amazing that we find millions of dollars to fund LANTA but can't find a mere pittance to help our Airport. Get rid of Iannelli and Company and get new leadership.

Anonymous said...

If you live in Los Angeles you could expect to travel more than an hour to get to LAX. Even if you live in New York, you could expect to travel more than an hour to get to a near-by airport. There are people who drive as much as three and four hours to get to a local airport. We have the conveneience of having an airport local and we bitch about funding it. What a bunch of dick heads.

Anonymous said...

The airport is a joke. The word "international" in its name is a bigger joke. Until they reduce fees to customers and airlines it will continue to seek handouts from NorCo.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Count me among those dickheads. I wouldn't 't give them a dime.

Bernie O'Hare said...

We do have sustainable airports in Philly and Newark. As I have said before, it is a bad business model here. Nothing more than a monument to ego.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about the effectiveness of the management team and board but most airports are subsidized by their local county government in one way or another. It helps to maintain competitiveness with ticket pricing. Most areas agree that a vital part of job creation is easy access to an airport.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't consider it a core county function and would never vote for this, especially with a board that has mismanaged the place. We don't need an "international" airport. This is pure ego by the Partnership. Let them pay for it.

Anonymous said...

I don’t think that we are grasping the argument. Major carriers deserted service for local, regional airports. They got sick and tired of supporting losing propositions, and bankruptcies and fuel increases expedited service elimination. It happened in Pa, the US and internationally. Now, you have many under served regional airports bidding for service that does not really exist. To fill the void, undercapitalized start-up airlines arrived. They saw an easy buck to be made. They demand cash incentives for service and large unsecured credit lines for fuel. The regionals took the bait; there needs to be service to keep the airport open. These start-up airlines are unsustainable-inadequate capital. Failure is a guarantee. Ultimately, the airport gets stuck, out of cash for the fuel credit line and no airline service. That’s the model for today’s regional airport. In order for the airport to operate, it needs a deep pocket-a local government-which can plug operating deficits with continuing subsidies. The argument is not about how an airport helps local business. When does government support end? That is how much money and for what time period. At some point the regional airport cannot survive. They are closing around the world. It’s simply a matter of when for ABE.
“ "We're going to see some airports go dark," says William Swelbar, research engineer for MIT's International Center for Air Transportation. "The highway is going to be the connection to the air network system." . . . .But the volatile price of fuel and the high cost of maintaining aging aircraft are leading bigger airlines to shift away from smaller planes. . . . Airlines that have joined forces and no longer compete with each other can shed less profitable routes and funnel fliers from smaller communities through hubs, Roger Cohen says. . ."That's reduced the number of regional choices for passengers," says Cohen. "There are (nearly) 500 communities in this country that rely exclusively on regional airlines for their service. Any one of them … is at risk of losing (some), if not all of its connectivity to the global marketplace in this environment."” (USA Today 8/20/2012) LVIA may be fighting a losing battle.

Anonymous said...

LVIA has so much potential, I just don't know enough about the industry to understand why it performs so poorly. To be able to avoid driving and parking at EWR or PHL, to be able to be dropped off and picked up by family at an airport with minimal lines and waiting seems so huge. I have no idea why this airport struggles so much.

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Valley should absolutely do what is necessary to keep the airport. It is a far more valuable as a part of public infrastructure than are other entities such as hockey arenas, performance venues, big box outdoor retailers, student housing high rises or restaurants that currently receive subsidies or are projected to do so in the future. That is not to say the management and operations of the airport should not undergo close public scrutiny and possible changes. The airport infrastructure itself however is of huge importance to the region's future.

Anonymous said...

Yup we have conference center too within an hour drive. If you want to take a choo choo ride...sure you can find one in an hour.

Dallas is thriving because they invest in transportation. The latte society think the solution is shared mini cars, skateboards an tandem bikes.

Anonymous said...

To lose the airport is shortsighted. However the current model is unsustainable. Even in a changing environment, keep it and evolve. The move to ABE to LVIP was all ego and no reality.

The region should keep an airport. Local leaders should call in professionals who understand secondary markets for an analysis.

Then boot the goldbrickers on the authority, fire their handpicked Director and hang up the phone on Bert Daday.

Anonymous said...

So basically the taxpayers should foot the bill for the increased costs that airport USERS would never want to pay.

Doc Rock said...

The NIZ clearly indicates the diminished reputation of ABE. Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies (that's you and me, by the way), the NIZ, to the best of my knowledge, has not attracted a single tenant from outside the Lehigh Valley.

That speaks volumes about the attractiveness of ABE for the business traveler. It is also a clear signal that, despite our close proximity to major urban areas, the Lehigh Valley is viewed as "Hicksville" by outsiders.

Anonymous said...

This argument makes it even more a[p[aren't that Northampton County must figure out a way to keep Braden's airport. It may in fact prove to be an attractive piece of the Northampton County picture down the road if LVIP goes belly up. Pawlowski will be going all guns to develop Queen city airfield once his governor's run tanks. That plus the LVIP failure may leave Braden's as the only small airport in the area. Could be major possibilities there at minimal cost.

The Thinker

Anonymous said...

The Thinker thinks Braden Airport is worth sinking money into?
I don't want to pay for any useless airport. Let the private pilots pay for it. I will continue to use Newark and Philly.

Anonymous said...

What exactly is a core community? Can someone please provide a definition?