Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As If We Can Afford It . . .

After locking away the Old Oneida County Airport in Whitestown in a long term deal with State Homeland Security that has not produced a fraction of the activity originally promised (with little sign that it will ever do so), "Picente to push for private firm running airport." This time the County Executive wants a 10 year deal with "Million Air" to run the New airport in Rome's fixed base operations. Apparently, there are some significant expenses that the County will have to take on in this endeavor.
Picente said such investments were needed if the airport was to grow.

“I’m going to show the contract and the differences and what was Whitestown and what is now Griffiss,” he said, referring to the older and smaller county airport in Whitestown. “And why the investment has to be so much larger, but also why the potential is so much larger.”
Let's see. The Whitestown Airport served our needs well when our metro (Oneida-Herkimer Counties) population was 335,000 and our sales and property taxes were a fraction of what they are now. Now that our metro population has dropped to about 295,000 with the trend expected to continue, we need something "so much larger" because of "potential."

Frankly, I would have been happier just retaining our past reality than this "so much larger" future "potential."

This is just one more thing to increase taxes, killing off any "potential" we've got left.


Anonymous said...

Strike a, I reading this right? I looked up this company and they are a "Fixed base Operator". An LLC that operated a certain-size airport as a business. They don't look like they need any financial help.

Now if I get this, we just did a wizbang with the Cty airport a few years ago, and didn't THAT cost us money? OK so, now we sell the airport to the Million-Air guys and then we need to keep investing in the property or nearby facilities?

Sweet deal!

Also, I'm tired of these people with thei "If we build it they will come" attitude. There's only one thing that's going to make the place viable again, and as long as current govt. stays the size it is, we're doomed.

Less Govt
Less Tax
Less interference is the only thing that will do the job.

After that they won't need to subsidize a whole airport.

This is so stupid it actually BREEDS suspicion, as in "follow the money" suspicion.

Why else would they be so seemingly hell-bent to try it?

Can they really be just that DENSE?

clipper said...

As long as Hancock Field is the regional hub for commercial passenger service, and is far ahead of Griffiss, in having cross winds runways and the terminal facilities that they have, Oneida County Airport is not going to be a player, no matter where they put it in the county.

It is strictly my uninformed opinion, that the runway and facilities we have at Griffiss now are adequate for the aircraft maintenance firm that presently resides there.

The "build it and they will come" theory doesn't play in this case. I would rather subscribe to the "when they come, and it is needed, we will build it or improve it" theory.

We didn't need an outside contractor to run the Airport in Oriskany, and we don't need an outside contractor to run the airport at Griffiss.

If this new county airport is such a viable operation, why isn't Million Air paying the county to lease the airport, instead of the county having to contract with them and pay THEM to operate it??

Let Million Air glean their profit from landing fees, ramp space rental, tie down fees, and hanger fees. They also can run their own fuel vending operation.

when Griffiss was an active Air Force Base, and had business travelers flying to and fro every day of the year, we could not support a decent flight schedule out of Oneida County Airport. Sherwood Boehlert tried to force us all to fly out of OC Airport, but it was not cost effective. Every where we wanted to go, we had to change planes to get there. Many times it was a case of flying for 15 minutes to Syracuse, and waiting another hour for a connecting flight.

My view is that we should expand airport services when expansion becomes necessary, not make a feeble attempt to build a field of dreams, and pay for a deserted airfield for a lifetime, with little return on the investment.