SouthWest CEO Interview

Random Thoughts Abour Worcester Airport

Read in the newspaper how great we are doing





We agree that Worcester Airport has come a long way, but think we should have much more than we have right now after 10 years under Massport and over $100 million of investments in infrastructure.     Hopefully some of the airlines expressing an interest actually do bring more service to ORH.

Here is our wish list:


  1. Moxy Airways , Neeleman's new airline
  2. 2nd JetBlue Flight to NYC
  3. Gulf Coast direct destination
  4. Puerto Rico direct 
  5. United to Chicago
  6. 2nd American Flight to Philadelphia
  7. 2nd Delta flight to Detroit, maybe even changing to Atlanta

5 flights per day is simply not enough considering the amount invested into ORH and the congestion at Logan.    We need to do better.

  1. JetBlue to their hub at JFK
  2. American to their hub in Philly
  3. Delta to their hub in Detroit
  4. JetBlue to Fort Lauderdale
  5. JetBlue to Orlando

Saw this column the other day about Green Akron-Canton Airport, which will have "about 900,000 passengers will pass through the airport gates this year"  

 Think about that 900,000!!!  We should be doing that easy right  now.    


Comments

Common Sense said…
I think the airport can continue to grow, but the 900,000 figure is not realistic at this point. At its peak, ORH was doing a little under 400,000 in the early 90's. That was before the "Big Dig" when it took 3.5 hours to get to Logan. Also, airports like T.F Green, Manchester and Bradley were not as busy as they are now. I think the new terminal at ORH was designed to max. out at 800,000 passengers. The terminal would have to be expanded and at least one large garage would be needed.
Also, getting to that passenger count would probably require some enhancements to the existing roadways leading up to the airport. I'm not sure if Massport or the state would be willing to make such an investment knowing the passenger count could take a significant hit with a major downturn in the economy.It's nice to dream, but a more realistic goal would be to get back to the level of activity we had in 1989/90.
ORH Fan said…
Not sure if anyone noticed but I actually saw a billboard promoting Delta's new service from Worcester to Detroit on 290 East just across from the ramp to 190. It's the first billboard I actually recall seeing along that stretch of 290.
Jeremy said…
The Detroit service has been an early success. It has also been Worcester’s most reliable flight so far. Hope to see a second daily flight soon
Anonymous said…
A JetBlue direct flight to Washington DC and to Las Vegas would do well. JetBlue continues to add daily direct flights to both destinations from Logan, which I use frequently for business. They are packed, every time. I'd pay more to avoid the extreme hassle of travelling to and from Logan. I actively try to use TF Green simply to avoid Logan when I go to Florida (only because the ORH flights are completely the wrong time-I want to arrive in the morning, not late afternoon).
Common Sense said…
Yea. Last week, I saw a billboard on top of a building next to Coney Island Hot Dogs. The Delta ad was a little hard to see and somewhat confusing. I applaud Massport for finally spending some serious money on marketing, but I'm not sure of this particular one.
Worc_bill said…
ORH needs ALL jets to be equipped with IR gear if they are to succeed. W/o that and with 'schedule sabotage', each airline can leave with the lament that, "We tried. We'll do better back at Logan....
Anonymous said…
As I have said before, Worcester airport had its chance to become a true relief airport a few decades ago when Massachusetts was looking to possibly build a second major airport. One option considered was expanding Worcester Airport but with the caveat of building a direct access road which the state was willing to fund. However, all the NIMBYS rallied and killed any opportunity of that ever happening. Worcester Airport will never reach its potential without a direct access road. Non-locals will not accept using the circuitous city street options to get there. Traffic on local streets and 290 is worse than ever and will not be getting better. Manchester and Providence airports had direct access roads built and have thrived since. The Ted Williams Tunnel greatly improved access and speed of getting to Logan from the West. Today an access road could still be built that is both environmentally conscious and considerate of neighbors concerns. An open and collaborative process to doing so would be needed. If the NIMBY element still exists one thing they should understand and accept is that Worcester Airport pre-existed many of the neighborhoods and housing developments near it and that it has the right to grow and expand to serve the greater Worcester and central Massachusetts communities.
Anonymous said…
Just to add to my comment above—without an access road to Worcester airport that will help bring in the critical mass of passengers needed, the major airlines will NOT look to add significant flights to Worcester airport. They will keep throwing us scraps to only appease Massport so they can continue to add flights and compete with each other at Logan. And Worcester will continue to be the salivating hungry dog waiting for those scraps and will Ridiculously celebrate with a fire hose salute on the tarmac as each one of those few and far in between flights gets added. It’s really pathetic!!! We must aim much higher. What have we really achieved after 10 years of Massport ownership and millions of $ invested in the airport? Seriously? A few flights get added others are dropped—-we are mostly at status quo....
David Z. said…
Totally agree with everything Anonymous stated. Great posts.
Anonymous said…
Local resident who would use Worcester Airport much easier, and less costly to find a ride to and from the Airport, but don't do that because of the flight times - Want to arrive in Fl in the morning not in the evening.
Common Sense said…
The best chance of getting an access road was back in 2000. The mayor appointed a panel of 15 people to look at the issue and determine the benefit of such a road. The panel came back 15-0 for an access road. 25 neighbors formed a group called "ROAR" (Residents Against Access Road) to stop it. They were able to get the gutless mayor at the time (Ray Mariano) to join them. Based on the studies about the economic impact of a growing airport these 25 people and Mariano probably caused our City to lose hundreds of millions in economic spinoff. Mass. DOT spent a lot of money drawing up plans for possible routes and the engineering studies that were needed. Many of the people that worked at Mass. DOT at that time are now higher-ups. They probably still have a bad taste in their mouths about how they were unfairly treated. If the cost of an access road 20 years ago was $100 million it would probably cost $250 million today. In the end, Mass. DOT was told to take a hike. That being said, the ability to significantly expand ORH is severely limited. The airport was carved out of a mountain with huge slopes of each side. The runways can't be expanded and on the other side of the road from the terminal there is a 200 ft. slope. So, although the property has 1,300 acres, a lot of it is unbuildable Although Massport spent $100 million+ to upgrade the facility none of it matters if the public won't support it. I agree that if ORH was destined to be a true reliever to Logan it would have done so when conditions were more favorable than they are now.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the historical details “Common Sense”. That’s right—ROAR—-what a shame. It would be nice to have an opportunity for a “redo” of that point in the airport’s life. I still believe that the only way that the airport will ever be more than a handful of flights per day option will be with an access road—-and yes—at a cost that will be many millions more than what it would have cost 20 years ago. Maybe someone in the city’s current leadership might have the guts to resurrect that possibility again and champion it.