Fiscal 2023 DIF Account

Great Comment

Editor's note:  It gets frustrating watching developments at ORH, but we must say we agree with these comments


These comments are laughable. (Except for Rusty who’s the only person with a logical head on his shoulders). Why is there this mindset that Massport decides what airlines fly and where they fly to and how much they charge?  If massport didn’t care, why have they spent the millions they’ve dumped into the airport already? 

The reason why Worcester is not like PVD, BDL, MHT, Pease is because the City Fathers had the wear with all to invest in those airports decades ago. Worcester has a lot of catching up to do to get even close to those others. 

The funniest line was why massport didn’t do the runway during Covid! Projects like that are in a schedule and based on FAA funding approval. Unless someone at massport wants to do time at Levanworth, they can’t use their own funds from BOS. And for a project like this, you can’t pick up the phone and call David Letourneau at Pioneer paving and say, hey we need some asphalt. 

FAA needs to approve their funding, the project needs to be designed and estimated, bids need to go out, contracts need to be awarded, and the work needs to be done during construction season. Another words, it takes a long time to do a project like this. 

If you want to be mad at someone, how about the region’s businesses who cried that they need flights to business markets and not just one a day. Where are the Chambers who should be rallying the businesses instead of just showing up for photo ops. Last time I checked NYC is a pretty big business market. And last time I checked, there are 4 flights a day. So where is the business community now? Crickets. 

I won’t blame the airlines if they say either we’ll leave entirely or just go to the less profitable leisure markets.

In Rusty we trust!


Anonymous said…
(I have to do this posting in 3 parts because there is a 4,096 character limit per posting.) Part 1: Massport took over operations of ORH over 20 years ago if I'm not mistaken and purchased the airport about 12 years ago. Can anyone honestly say they are happy with the progress they've made in the last 20 years? I can't. What baffles me is that they have been extremely successful at Logan so you'd think that would translate into success here. Not really the case. The only flight we have that is successful is the JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale. Considering that there is pretty much ZERO promotion done by Massport for ORH, I can't say that I'm surprised. I see more advertisements for TF Green and Breeze Airways in this area than I do for anything at ORH. They've had several opportunities to market ORH that have been completely wasted. For example, when they offered free parking the first I heard of it was through this blog and it was several months after they had started offering it. If you went on the Massport website there was a tiny sentence on the Worcester Airport section of the website that after you clicked on "Parking Information" it said parking was free until June 2022 or whatever it was. There should have been a banner ad on the Worcester Airport Massport webpage that promoted the free parking. Another opportunity they are wasting is Polar Park. Sure, they have a small, almost un-readable ad on the backstop on the 3rd base side but the majority of the ballpark either can't see it or can't read it. I've been to multiple games and sat all over the park. The only place you can clearly see the ad is from the first base side. On any given gameday you have 5,000 to almost 10,000 people, families, in that ballpark. They come from all over the Worcester, Metrowest, Northern RI areas, all of which are in your target market. Also, just some better signage around the city might help to get it in people's heads that the airport has flight options. I don't think the sign at the end of Airport Drive at Route 122 has changed since the 90's. It honestly looks like a sign that would be outside of a used car dealership on Park Ave. Get some better signage around the city. I think I saw a logo for the airport once. That should be prominent on any signage. Get better signage on the highway. There's a bland green highway sign on 290 that says "Worcester Airport". Get a logo on that thing. Advertise on the sides of the WRTA buses. You have to get the word out to people while they are out and about doing their daily routines.

Anonymous said…
Part 2: A year and a half ago, New Haven Airport had no service. Now they have what, 14 destinations with probably more on the way. I was just comparing population data for Worcester and New Haven and Worcester has over 206,000 people compared to 134,000 in New Haven. Metro area population is closer but Worcester still has the edge by about 150,000 people (Worcester metro area almost 1,000,000 people while New Haven metro area has about 862,000 people). The people are here to support the service. But you have to give them what they want. I can't tell you how many people I know, especially families with younger kids who opt to fly out of Providence or Boston because they don't want to deal with connecting flights with having kids. On American Airlines you need to make 2 stops to get to most destinations if you are flying out of ORH. The Delta flight is too late so most connection opportunities are missed or you'll be extremely late getting to your destination. My understanding is that the Delta flight will move a bit earlier in the afternoon in the coming months so it might help a little but the connection options out of LaGuardia are limited still and if I recall correctly there is some regulation that nonstop flights into and out of LaGuardia can only be a distance of 1,200 or 1,500 miles. Anything beyond that is not allowed so that pretty much wipes out anything further than the Midwest. Not to mention LaGuardia is usually ranked as the worst airport to fly into/out of.

Anonymous said…
Part 3: I don't get the logic behind spending $250 million on a runway at ORH. That's the kind of money I'd expect to be spent at a TF Green or a Bradley or even New Haven with how extremely successful Avelo has been there so far. I keep hearing that the runway is needed to attract more service. I thought that was what the new landing system was for. New Haven doesn't have a parallel runway and they seem to be doing just fine, building up service first, then talking about potential expansion. ORH will never be a Logan, Bradley, or TF Green. They need to start treating it like what it is, a small regional airport. Whoever convinced Massport that there was a robust business flight market here must be one hell of a salesman. There is almost none. Not enough to support 4 flights a day to NYC. I'd rather have a single airline with more destinations than what we have now. Airlines like American don't stick around with flight loads like they have at ORH. They clearly are trying to leverage service at ORH to get Massport to go along with expansion plans at Logan. Same with Delta.

It's been busy up at ORH this week but it's school vacation week. In a couple of weeks they'll be back to mediocre passenger numbers on the NYC flights. Take some of that $250 million for the runway and promote the hell out of ORH. Incentivize another airline to come in here with nonstop flights to Florida. Seems like every airport in the region other than ORH is adding service. We want some of that at ORH.
Rusty said…
^They’re resurfacing the main runway. Not building a new one. Major difference. People fail to understand that the airlines Massport is trying to convince to fly out of ORH have ‘pre-requisites’. They want a CAT III landing system, they want a full parallel taxi-way, they want a runway in good condition, they want wide taxiways, they want extra available gates in case of breakdowns, they want excess parking in the lots for their passengers. These are all things they claim they ‘require’ in order to fly out of Worcester. These are all things PVD, BDL, MHT all have. And have had for decades. Worcester? Had none of these things until a few years ago. And they still have yet to fix the small parking lots, add a full parallel taxiway or re-pave the runway. So far they have added additional gate space, and added the CAT III. And this year they intend to add the additional parallel taxiway for the main runway as well as finish re-paving the runway (1/2 of of was already paved during COVID, now their doing the other 1/2). Their doing these things to try and get service. However, ultimately nothing’s guaranteed. MASSPORT could spend all this money & make the airport as ready as possible for new service but it’s up to the airlines to actually commit & come. We saw that with the CAT III system. It was supposed to open the door for new service. But nothing came. That’s not MASSPORTS fault, the airport NEEDED the CAT III regardless. It was 30 years overdue for one. But the fact that no new Airline started doesn’t make it a waste of money. It’s up to the airlines to commit to service. I’ve talked to numerous MASSPORT employees. Their trying. They want JetBlue to expand, they WANT Avelo to come to ORH. The airlines just arnt biting. At the end of the day MASSPORT resorts to using Logan as a bribing tool because the HAVE TO. Trust me MASSPORT cares about money & money only. They want ORH as busy & booming as possible because that means MONEY. It’s up to the airlines to bite.