OIG warns Congress about costly airport expansion plan
Unless the FAA changes the way the airspace is used across Midwestern skies, the O'Hare expansion plans will have "minimal impact" on the congestion and delay problems at the airport. This is according to a OIG report
released by Ken Mead, DOT Inspector General. The OIG report is also critical of the amount of federal funding required to complete the project and let's not forget about United deferring six billion dollars to PBGC. Mead's report states that an inaccurate assessment of the O'Hare project costs could affect funding for airports nationwide as cities compete for money from the same federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Maybe the OIG should have offered similar advice to Congress and the Port of Seattle regarding Sea-Tac now that Southwest has announced plans to move to neighboring Boeing Field? Southwest stated when it announced the move that the high cost of the Sea-Tac expansion
will raise its operating costs and now is looking for alternative locations to provide service for the Seattle market. Alaska Airlines said it would also consider the move as well. The Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for O'hare is due from the FAA at the end of this month.
Since we are on the subject of costly airport expansion projects, the FAA mailed out literature last week announcing that they will hold PHL Capacity Enhancement Program (CEP) meetings during the first few weeks in September. Locations and dates still have not been determined and will be made public in an upcoming newsletter from the FAA. One of the alternatives listed in the CEP mailing is the building of a new airport in the region. Did you know that Rodger Moog
announced last week that the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) has endorsed a plan to convert Willow Grove Naval Air station to a commercial airport if the BRAC commission decides to close it? The FAA has also commissioned a study hoping to "persuade " airlines to move some of their traffic away from the crowded New York area airports to Lehigh Valley International Airport (LVIA) an airport only 55 miles from the PHL market. Coincidence, what do you think? Wonder what Southwest and other carriers will say about Philadelphia after it adds possibly billions in debt to "improve" its current operations when aviation experts
believe airline delays are actually caused by Congressional and FAA mismanagement of Air Traffic Control (ATC) modernization?
Like the song says .. See you in September.
______________________Sea-Tac makeover may have been too extreme for SouthwestSeattle Post Intelligencer - Jul 21, 2005
But those improvements may be too much of a good -- and expensive -- thing for Southwest Airlines. Like other Sea-Tac carriers, it's facing rising costs to pay for renovations and a $1 billion third runway. The low-cost carrier looking for a cheaper alternative is expected to announce today what it's willing to invest to move its operations to King County-owned Boeing Field.Study could boost LVIA (ABE) flightsAllentown Morning Call, PA - Jul 17, 2005
''The demand is over the capacity so there are always delays,'' Moog said. In addition, the three airports that serve New York are all prevented from building additional runways either because they are landlocked or because their residential neighbors have said they would oppose an expansion. Experts say Philadelphia International Airport, which is not participating in the study, would need to spend millions, if not billions, of dollars if it wanted to expand. Unfortunately, airports don't work together as part of an overall transport system, Krauter said. Each one looks out for its interests.
Air base runway could go civilianphillyburbs.com, PA - Jul 22, 2005
Personally, McGee is "diametrically opposed" to an airport. If A-10 Warthogs doing touch-and-go landings were replaced with passenger planes, he said it would increase noise and traffic, decrease property values and hinder future development. "I don' t see any million-dollar homes going up next to Philadelphia International," he said.
Federal lawsuit filed challenging FAA's LAX expansion approvalLogistics Management, MA - Jul 15, 2005
Knabe and the rest of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have long opposed the modernization proposal pushed by former Mayor James Hahn. The man who defeated Hahn, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, has said he opposes major components of Hahn's plan and favors having other airports in the region absorb air traffic growth.
FT.com - Jul 23, 2005 - Federal fraud charges take the sheen off Daley's image