As a followup to yesterday's How Bad Can It Get? . . . post, a kind reader sent some links to remind me that a lot of Federal money is being poured into the Griff.
- $5,300,000 in Military Airport/Airport Improvement Program Grants 2005 (pp 40, J-59)
- $8,400,000 in Military Airport/Airport Improvement Program Grants 2006 (pp 41, J-54)
- Another $20,000,000 is planned for 2007-2011!
- BIG Federal $$$ came with the Griffiss AFB closure at the Rome Facility (RME).
- OC Officials had no clue what to do except that they knew they had to grab every penny
- When it got to the point that they had to use it or lose it, they decided to do what they already knew how to do (sort of): run a County Airport. (If you remember before the move, there was talk of putting a cargo port at RME. Onondaga County officials suggested it to avoid expanding Hancock, demonstrating Griff-for-cargo had some marketability. Genesis (!) sponsored an expert from RPI to come to the area to explain how it could be done. Of course, with no one in OC having experience running a cargo port, the County would have had to go outside the area for expertise. EDGE brushed off the idea. (Fear of losing control, perhaps?))
- The rest is history: contractors got rich simply duplicating at RME what was already working well (and appropriately sized) in Whitestown (UCA); and then OC literally gave away meticulously maintained UCA to the "pie in the sky" Homeland Security Center that predictably has amounted to zero, but will ensure that UCA never flies again.
There appear to be NO business plans for UCA and RME . . . except to keep spending money and hope that something good happens.