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Topic: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: planesofthepast
Posted 2012-11-05 12:53:15 and read 2143 times.

I've been fascinated by this topic for a while: the construction of Greater Southwest International Airport in Texas, and its subsequent destruction in a period of just a few years. Those who live in the Dallas - Fort Worth area are probably familiar with the story. Those that have flown into the DFW Airport may have seen the site of the former airport at landing or takeoff.

Here's a quick summary of story as I understand it ...

http://www.planesofthepast.com/amon-...outhwest-international-airport.htm

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: AADC10
Posted 2012-11-05 14:09:00 and read 2170 times.

There are more pictures and details on the Abandoned and Little Known Airfields website:

http://members.tripod.com/airfields_...fields_TX_FtWorth_NE.htm#greaterSW

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: thomasphoto60
Posted 2012-11-05 14:19:34 and read 2151 times.

Was GSW a true "international" airport?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: cipango
Posted 2012-11-05 15:48:43 and read 2156 times.

CVG and CLE to me have deteriorated as an "International" airport.

They once had large networks across the USA and Europe on DL and Co respectively.

Now they're a focus city at most.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: timz
Posted 2012-11-05 15:51:32 and read 2154 times.

Did it ever have a nonstop outside the US... I'm guessing not. For most of its life half? its nonstops were to DAL.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-11-05 15:53:38 and read 2154 times.

Quoting cipango (Reply 3):
CVG and CLE to me have deteriorated as an "International" airport.

They once had large networks across the USA and Europe on DL and Co respectively.

Now they're a focus city at most.

Don't forget MEM after the DL/NW merger (though you do have options at MEM if you ship yourself via FX). In many cases, the pax service at MEM is now worse than that at CLE or CVG.

Also of note are the many airports that don't have an FIS but have a CBP facility for cargo or general aviation. My hometown airport FWA springs to mind, but they plan on adding an FIS in the next terminal renovation. And there are some "international" airports that have zero passenger service; HUF is notable here.

[Edited 2012-11-05 16:00:57]

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: canyonblue17
Posted 2012-11-05 16:18:18 and read 2152 times.

What about PIT after US downsized....

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: bwest
Posted 2012-11-05 16:24:59 and read 2152 times.

It's a shame to see such a nice art deco building demolished as late as in 1980. If only we had more respect for such architectural marvels...

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: dcann40
Posted 2012-11-05 16:31:13 and read 2152 times.

Quoting bwest (Reply 7):
It's a shame to see such a nice art deco building demolished as late as in 1980. If only we had more respect for such architectural marvels...

I agree completely. Demolishing it was a crime. This is why I have such strong feelings about knocking down the PAA Worldport. Once something is gone, it's gone.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-11-05 16:45:30 and read 2153 times.

Quoting canyonblue17 (Reply 6):
What about PIT after US downsized....

The ultimate case study of what a dehubbing can do to an airport. US did far more damage to PIT in the course of three to four years than AA did to STL in ten years.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-11-05 17:58:02 and read 2155 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 9):
The ultimate case study of what a dehubbing can do to an airport. US did far more damage to PIT in the course of three to four years than AA did to STL in ten years.

You can't compare the two. AA was a slow drawdown driven by their own competing hubs, and where other airlines (notably WN) have picked up at least some of the slack.

PIT was a sudden move, and despite the fact that it's been 7 years since the dehubbing began, no airlines have filled in the gap, which implies PIT itself is uneconomical.

Just my   

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: DariusBieber
Posted 2012-11-05 20:20:14 and read 2154 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 5):
though you do have options at MEM if you ship yourself via FX

Probably cheaper and better service than most US Airlines.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-05 20:41:57 and read 2155 times.

Quoting cipango (Reply 3):
They once had large networks across the USA and Europe on DL and Co respectively.
CVG to Europe, maybe. CLE, never. In any case, I doubt the number of nonstop destinations from CLE today is that much different from the number in 2000. Maybe 30 fewer destinations, tops, but I wouldn't consider losing nonstops to GRB, FWA, and the like as meaningful indicators of the "fall" of a great "international" hub.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 5):
Don't forget MEM after the DL/NW merger (though you do have options at MEM if you ship yourself via FX).

File MEM with CLE. Never a (passenger) international hub.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 9):

The ultimate case study of what a dehubbing can do to an airport. US did far more damage to PIT in the course of three to four years than AA did to STL in ten years.

How do you figure?



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
PIT was a sudden move, and despite the fact that it's been 7 years since the dehubbing began, no airlines have filled in the gap, which implies PIT itself is uneconomical.

That's a broad-brush statement to make. What makes a market "uneconomical"? Do you mean "uneconomical" for an airline to serve as a hub? What airports that have lost a hub have seen comparable service from a replacement airline?

[Edited 2012-11-05 20:43:13]


[Edited 2012-11-05 20:46:08]

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: sccutler
Posted 2012-11-05 21:05:00 and read 2154 times.

The terminal building at GSW was amazingly beautiful, and a very modern terminal for its time. Even after all airlines had withdrawn from serving the airport, the City of Fort Worth doggedly continued to maintain the terminal and, when you went in there, it looked as if at any moment the barber would return, the restaurant would reopen, etc. The bas relief mural in the great hall was amazing.

It is too bad, indeed, that no part of it was saved.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: 797
Posted 2012-11-06 04:35:51 and read 2152 times.

What about Milan-Malpensa (MXP) ?

This airport went down the drains when Alitalia pulled out in 2009... the only thing keeping it alive is the long-haul carriers coming in from Asia/America/Africa... and just because they can't land in Milan-Linate (LIN).

797

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: katanapilot
Posted 2012-11-06 06:55:58 and read 2146 times.

I'm pretty sure the biggest rise and fall of an airport in aviation history would be Mirabel (YMX). It was the largest airport by area in the world for 24 years and at one point was intended to have six terminals and six runways and be one of the busiest airports in the world!

Now it just handles cargo :p

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montr%C...80%93Mirabel_International_Airport

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: BasilFawlty
Posted 2012-11-06 07:15:16 and read 2146 times.

Quoting 797 (Reply 14):
What about Milan-Malpensa (MXP) ?

This airport went down the drains when Alitalia pulled out in 2009... the only thing keeping it alive is the long-haul carriers coming in from Asia/America/Africa... and just because they can't land in Milan-Linate (LIN).

Are you serious? Passenger figures have fully recovered and are still increasing, thanks to easyJet, which is now a massive player at the airport.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Revelation
Posted 2012-11-06 07:15:43 and read 2145 times.

Quoting katanapilot (Reply 15):
Now it just handles cargo :p

And is where the Bombardier CR7/9/10s have their first flights...

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-06 07:22:07 and read 2147 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):
no airlines have filled in the gap, which implies PIT itself is uneconomical.

I wouldn't say that. I think it's more a case that most Airlines are uneconomical, and are waking up to the fact that they can barely afford to hold onto what they already have; forget about opening new hubs. Personally, I think it's really too bad about PIT. I think it would work as a great hub for someone like VX, F9, or even B6. Problem is that none of those airlines can afford to do that. But if they were able to somehow, or had somehow done so in the past, I think PIT would be working great for them just about now.

On the actual topic, until very recently, I lived right on the large patch of ground that GSW occupied. If it makes everyone feel any better, it's being developed rather nicely these days, but not at the break-neck 1990s - 2000s pace. There's actually some of the old runway still left at the end of Amon Carter (just north of 183), where one can see
Airport Police and Emergency Services routinely practicing driving maneuvers.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: 26point2
Posted 2012-11-06 07:57:48 and read 2147 times.

Most who drive past the old airport or live in the new townhouses built on the site are surely not aware of the history. I stay at the DFW Marriott South while at CAE Simuflite training...was there last week. The hotel is on the old site too and hotel staff I talked to have no idea.

There are still some spots with bits and pieces of access roads, trees that once lined the old terminal entrance are still there and a bit of runway/taxiway but one has to know what to look for. What's left blends in with the current "landscape" and I imagine will be built over in another 10 years.

I notice the AA training facility is located in a spot that would have once been across the road from the airport entrance. Not sure how long AA has been in this spot but curious if this is coincidence or was the location determined when this old airport was functioning?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: eclipseflight7
Posted 2012-11-06 09:35:39 and read 2145 times.

The majority of the airports listed in posts above have no context to the OP's discussion. Pittsburgh, Memphis, and STL still exist, and are not in any danger of being ripped up or built over. Amon Carter Field wasn't dehubbed and had idle gates, and frankly thats a discussion for a different thread. GSW was systematically built and destroyed in a pissing contest between Dallas and Fort Worth.

The then mayor of Fort Worth, Amon Carter, was a staunch proponent that his city was far better than Dallas, and insisted on lobbying for the continued development of GSW. The FAA was sick of funding two separate airports that served the same community, so saying DAL was more successful isn't totally correct. GSW had far better infrastructure compared to Love Field, and frankly I think it was a waste to not use GSW's infrastructure when DFW was relatively green-fielded. Then again, DFW made a lot more sense when DAL was supposed to be shut down. Had Southwest existed a few years earlier and been privvy to the agreement to move to DFW, GSW 's destruction

American's flight attendant training facility issues pay stubs with the airport base code as GSW. The Abandoned Airfields website, which is freaking awesome for all airports by the way, gives a good narrative of what happened.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: longhauler
Posted 2012-11-06 09:55:37 and read 2145 times.

Thanks planeofthepast for posting this, it is a fascinating topic, and answered a question I have had for years. Flying in an out of DFW, I often saw the north end of 17/35 and wondered what it was.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: goldenargosy
Posted 2012-11-06 10:12:25 and read 2152 times.

GSW is nothing compared to this International Airport...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BsFQAAblL8

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: KGRB
Posted 2012-11-06 11:17:33 and read 2149 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
I doubt the number of nonstop destinations from CLE today is that much different from the number in 2000. Maybe 30 fewer destinations, tops, but I wouldn't consider losing nonstops to GRB, FWA, and the like as meaningful indicators of the "fall" of a great "international" hub.

Not to take away from your point, but GRB actually does have CLE service. While it was cut in 2008, CO reinstated the route in 2010 and UA continues to run it, 2x daily on the ERJ-145.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Maverick623
Posted 2012-11-06 11:41:09 and read 2149 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
What airports that have lost a hub have seen comparable service from a replacement airline?

BWI?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-11-06 13:00:32 and read 2426 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 24):
Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
What airports that have lost a hub have seen comparable service from a replacement airline?

BWI?

Thanks to WN, BWI is one.

BNA and RDU, both former AA hubs, have also seen very high levels of WN service to fill the void after AA's mid-1990s dehubbing of both cities.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: ScottB
Posted 2012-11-07 12:57:08 and read 2467 times.

Quoting eclipseflight7 (Reply 20):
The then mayor of Fort Worth, Amon Carter, was a staunch proponent that his city was far better than Dallas, and insisted on lobbying for the continued development of GSW.

And, to be honest, the siting and design of GSW were intentional snubs to Dallas, with the airport being entirely (or very nearly so) in Tarrant County, being closer to Fort Worth, and having the entrance on the Fort Worth side of the airfield. And DAL continued to draw plenty of traffic in spite of its limitations, so Dallas had little incentive to partner with Fort Worth on an airport which had been very provocatively named after a politician who had frequently and publicly badmouthed Dallas.

If we look at the design of DFW, the terminal area and entrances are a compromise between the two cities, with the terminals laid out on either side of International Parkway, which is virtually equidistant between the cities and practically on the county line. The entrances to the airport are also basically equidistant from the two cities and are on the northern and southern perimeters of the property so that neither the city to the west nor the city to the east is favored.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Darksnowynight
Posted 2012-11-07 13:04:04 and read 2573 times.

Quoting ScottB (Reply 26):

If we look at the design of DFW, the terminal area and entrances are a compromise between the two cities, with the terminals laid out on either side of International Parkway, which is virtually equidistant between the cities and practically on the county line.

The county line is on property, but it is indeed very far east of the terminals; they are all solidly w/in Tarrant county, as well as every cargo ramp except FedEx.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-08 00:36:22 and read 2531 times.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 24):
BWI?
Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 25):

BNA and RDU, both former AA hubs, have also seen very high levels of WN service to fill the void after AA's mid-1990s dehubbing of both cities.

One could argue that. But I would argue that BWI's trajectory as a PHL-type operation, or BNA's or RDU's trajectory as a domestic connecting hub is much different than WN's pattern of service.

If you guys feel that BWI has completely "recovered" and then some, as measured by total seats, I would agree. But the service patterns are completely different, and most on this forum (as far as I can tell) would argue that a US hub at BWI is preferable to a WN "busy airport" (as they don't have any designation).

Anyway, the reason we're talking about this is because I asked Maverick what he meant by PIT being uneconomical. I value his opinion (i.e., ready to learn), and I'd like to understand why he feels that way to make the following post:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 10):

PIT was a sudden move, and despite the fact that it's been 7 years since the dehubbing began, no airlines have filled in the gap, which implies PIT itself is uneconomical.

I just don't agree with the statement (partially because I don't understand it). If it's due to airport costs after US left, ACAA designed that terminal to US Airways' specifications, with its consent. So you would be arguing ACAA should have told US to go fly a kite when US came to ACAA and said, "Build us a new terminal, please, and here's what we're going to do with it." It pains me when Pittsburghers on this board blame ACAA as the reason for US closing the hub.

Such an interesting line of reasoning because I think it's in conflict with the standard way of thinking here, in which my impression is most posters would say that airlines should be given the farm if they promise new air service.

The only other argument you could make would be an airline profitability argument, due to lower fares driven by increased airline competition. I'd like to understand why PIT is different than any other medium hub airport in this regard.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: LoneStarMike
Posted 2012-11-08 14:05:20 and read 2501 times.

There was another site featuring old terminals that has since archived, but you can still access the site through the internet archives aka The Wayback Time Machine. Here was the page on that site that had info & some photographs of GSW

GSW - Greater Southwest International Airport

(Be patient - The Wayback Time Machine page shows up first, then about 10 seconds later the page on GSW will appear.)

LoneStarMike

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: incitatus
Posted 2012-11-08 19:51:51 and read 2491 times.

Quoting goldenargosy (Reply 22):
GSW is nothing compared to this International Airport...

YMX is a monument to human stupidity.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: zrs70
Posted 2012-11-08 20:12:26 and read 2476 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
CLE, never

If I recall, CO had 757's to LHR from CLE.

JAT also had charter flights to CLE:

JAT In Cleveland (by DIA77 Sep 11 2000 in Civil Aviation)

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-09 05:41:57 and read 2445 times.

Quoting zrs70 (Reply 31):
If I recall, CO had 757's to LHR from CLE.

And CDG as well, although (IIRC) not at the same time as LHR.

But 2 (or 3 routes, stretching back to the 1980s) does not constitute a "large network to Europe."

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-11-09 05:48:46 and read 2439 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 32):
And CDG as well, although (IIRC) not at the same time as LHR.

I think for one season when CO was still in SkyTeam, CO flew to LGW (not LHR, as US/EU Open Skies wasn't in effect yet) and CDG, codesharing with AF on the CDG route.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-09 09:29:18 and read 2428 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 33):
I think for one season when CO was still in SkyTeam, CO flew to LGW (not LHR, as US/EU Open Skies wasn't in effect yet) and CDG, codesharing with AF on the CDG route.


According to OAG:

LGW operated from summer 1999 to September 2001, April 2002 to September 2003, when it became seasonal (May to September) in 2004-2008.

CDG operated from May 2008 to September 2008 (so overlapped with LGW for one season).

LHR operated from May 2009 to September 2009.

So I think the story is Cleveland-London operated at least seasonally from 1999 to 2009.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Viscount724
Posted 2012-11-09 09:54:25 and read 2429 times.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 21):
Thanks planeofthepast for posting this, it is a fascinating topic, and answered a question I have had for years. Flying in an out of DFW, I often saw the north end of 17/35 and wondered what it was.

If you follow that runway remnant to the south you'll find it becomes Amon Carter Blvd., and passes AA's headquarters after half a mile or so.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-09 10:01:02 and read 2433 times.

While I'm at it:

In 2000, CLE had nonstop service on CO and affiliates to 90 destinations.

In 2012, this number (on UA and affiliates) had decreased to 65.

Destinations dropped since 2000:

ABE, AUS, AVP, AZO, CAK (there's a surprise!), CHS, CRW, DAB, DAL, DTW, FWA, GSO, HPN, ISP, JFK, LAN, LEX, LGW, MBS, MDW, MEM, MTJ, MYR, OMA, ORF, SAV, SLC, SRQ, TOL, TYS, YHM

Destinations added since 2000:

BFD, DUJ, FKL, GRB, GSP, JHW, PKB

(This list wouldn't include destinations added and dropped between 2000 and 2013, such as CDG.)

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: type-rated
Posted 2012-11-09 10:58:02 and read 2428 times.

Back around 1972 or so you'd see DL and AA planes practicing touch & go's right across the street if you were standing in the main entrance to AA's training center. In fact there was an accident there. A DL DC9 got caught up in a DC10's wake turbulence and crashed while practicing touch & go's at GSW. It was strange watching a 747 or DC10 doing a touch n' go.

That terminal was an excellent example of the Texas "Bigger & Gaudier is better in Texas." ideology.It truly was a very unique place.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: FWAERJ
Posted 2012-11-09 12:07:07 and read 2408 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
Destinations dropped since 2000:

ABE, AUS, AVP, AZO, CAK (there's a surprise!), CHS, CRW, DAB, DAL, DTW, FWA, GSO, HPN, ISP, JFK, LAN, LEX, LGW, MBS, MDW, MEM, MTJ, MYR, OMA, ORF, SAV, SLC, SRQ, TOL, TYS, YHM

SBN was also dropped from CLE earlier this year.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-09 12:21:55 and read 2417 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 38):
SBN was also dropped from CLE earlier this year.

That they did.

But

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
(This list wouldn't include destinations added and dropped between 2000 and 2013, such as CDG.)

Peak nonstop destinations was 98, so there are at least 33 destinations to which service has ended, but there may be more as it is probably the case that not all destinations were served at the same time.

That's more than I would've thought, but many of these destinations are small, nearby destinations. (I am still amused by the CAK service.)

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: CIDFlyer
Posted 2012-11-09 18:45:49 and read 2415 times.

Can't believe no one has mentioned Denver's Stapleton Airport. I think its now the site of an outdoor mall now.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: type-rated
Posted 2012-11-09 19:44:58 and read 2411 times.

I always liked Stapleton. It's hard to believe it's gone. But it was a rabbit's warren of hallways and different design styles, evidence of additions and remodels over the years.
Is UA's DEN-TK still next to the Stapleton site?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: 737tdi
Posted 2012-11-09 23:49:05 and read 2387 times.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 1):
There are more pictures and details on the Abandoned and Little Known Airfields website:

http://members.tripod.com/airfields_...terSW

I noticed that our airline historian Brian Lusk has a few pics. on this site. Very cool. Such a sad thing for an airport terminal to be destroyed in such a way. The hate between Dallas and Ft. Worth was just horrible during this period.

Dallas was trying to be cosmopolitan and Ft. Worth was still trying to be "Cowtown". They just could not get along as two large cities and the taxpayers paid a huge price. Meacham Field, FTW, was even upgraded during this time.

Now we have DFW, DAL, and AFW.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2012-11-10 01:32:44 and read 2375 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
In 2000, CLE had nonstop service on CO and affiliates to 90 destinations.

In 2012, this number (on UA and affiliates) had decreased to 65.
Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
(This list wouldn't include destinations added and dropped between 2000 and 2013, such as CDG.)

BNA?

Though, rumor has it that CLE-BNA service will resume in a couple of months.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-10 07:36:39 and read 2360 times.

Quoting Antoniemey (Reply 43):
Though, rumor has it that CLE-BNA service will resume in a couple of months.

You are correct, sir.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
(This list wouldn't include destinations added and dropped between 2000 and 2013, such as CDG.)

The 2013 should be 2012.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: tharanga
Posted 2012-11-10 09:12:07 and read 2371 times.

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 1):
There are more pictures and details on the Abandoned and Little Known Airfields website:

Fascinating read. People actually flew local, DAL-GSW, for a shopping trip. wow.

Quoting eclipseflight7 (Reply 20):
The majority of the airports listed in posts above have no context to the OP's discussion.

I agree with this - this discussion on an interesting case, GSW, is being distracted by conversations about airports which have no similarity to the case at hand. No similarity at all. The troubles of PIT, CLE, CVG and MEM are endlessly discussed in other topics; does it need to be here too?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: B757forever
Posted 2012-11-10 09:43:33 and read 2359 times.

Thanks for posting! I grew up in Fort Worth and remember going to a Confederate Air Force air show held at GSW in the late 60's. I recall walking around the B-36 parked out front but never got to go inside. Years later in the late 70's or early 80's after GSW closed, some friends and I got past the poorly maintained fences and drove (at high rates of speed) on the runways. A few years later it was mostly demolished. What a shame.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-11-10 09:46:23 and read 2362 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
What makes a market "uneconomical"

Not stimulating business growth. That is what produces high yield traffic. The reality is that Pittsburgh is not as business friendly as it once was. If it had been, other airlines would have come in to take the O&D traffic.

Quoting incitatus (Reply 30):
YMX is a monument to human stupidity.

YMX is a monument to how political stupidity can kill a perfectly good hub just when aircraft are available to bypass said hub. Strong hubs have international, regional (or domestic, depends on the country size) and cargo together. The three need each other for a hubbing airline. YMX could have succeeded if there was good ground transportation to the site *and* the prior airport had been closed. DEN proved that. YMX proved split hubs are not as strong as a large central hub.

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 40):
Can't believe no one has mentioned Denver's Stapleton Airport. I think its now the site of an outdoor mall now.

Nothing to mention. It was demolished pretty quickly.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
In 2000, CLE had nonstop service on CO and affiliates to 90 destinations.

In 2012, this number (on UA and affiliates) had decreased to 65.

CLE is a victim of too low O&D to survive as a major hub during a recession.

Hubs work with 30% to 70% connecting traffic. If the connecting traffic is too low, that means the available seats for connections are too low to compete versus other hubs so the spoke customers select another hub as their preference. There is a reason the new DL hub at LGA has a goal of 30% connecting traffic; nothing else works in the long run (with any yield). No hubs survives at above 70% connecting traffic for in recessions competitors discount on the competing routes (for all connecting routes have competition today) and without higher yield O&D, the hub dies off. This is what happened to CLE. During the recession the drop in O&D traffic made the hub vulnerable. The only fix is higher O&D.

Note: One wants some connecting traffic as purely O&D routes are 'brittle.' In that I mean they break with small changes in O&D demand. Ok, massive O&D routes like EWR-JFK aren't brittle, but then again there is a huge amount of connecting traffic on that route (both ways in fact). Now WN works by shuffling aircraft around, but even they have had to do more connecting in the global economic down turn.

ATL has unusually high connecting traffic but survives with business friendly policies that stimulate economic growth (in the long term, not every year obviously). Traffic for business growth is higher yield than traffic for just sustaining business. Note: read the 1776 book "Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith if you want to know more about emerging business versus established business profits, wages, and willingness to spend money on expansion. Nothing has changed in over 200 years in that respect.

For CLE to become a hub again Cleveland must change policies to promote business growth. With that yield will spike and that promotes hub growth. I would love to see CLE be built up to a two runway airport (I've seen some reasonable proposals), but the greater Cleveland economy must grow first.

It is why DEN, with its 30% connecting traffic, is poised for growth. It is an economically growing region with the capacity.


Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-10 10:46:36 and read 2352 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
Not stimulating business growth. That is what produces high yield traffic. The reality is that Pittsburgh is not as business friendly as it once was. If it had been, other airlines would have come in to take the O&D traffic.

You may have that perception, but it's not really true. If that were the case, I'm sure you would agree the DTW hub would have been shut down. The unemployment rate for the Pittsburgh MSA has been less than that for the nation throughout the recession.

The reality is PIT was overserved as a hub (i.e., high share of connecting traffic). US either had to decide to downsize its operations from a 80% connecting operation to a 50% operation or close it. It chose the latter, probably because it thought a 50% operation wouldn't be profitable in the long-run, either because of the economics of the local station or because growing PHL and CLT was thought to be more profitable.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
CLE is a victim of too low O&D to survive as a major hub during a recession.

It never was a major hub, though. I don't believe CLE's connecting percentage has ever been above 50%.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
Hubs work with 30% to 70% connecting traffic.

This is not a hard-and-fast rule. I'd wager to guess most airlines would tell you a domestic-oriented hub with 70% connecting traffic in most cities would not be profitable. The only hubs for which that is an exception are ATL and CLT.

In fact, besides ATL and CLT, the next highest shares of connecting percentages are in DFW and IAH, which have historically been 55%-60%.

On the other end, there are few hubs with connecting percentages of only 30%, and I bet they're all located in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.

Most U.S. hubs have connecting percentages between 50%-60%.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
No hubs survives at above 70% connecting traffic for in recessions competitors discount on the competing routes (for all connecting routes have competition today) and without higher yield O&D, the hub dies off.

ATL is right at 70%, CLT is at 80%. Tell US Airways CLT isn't profitable, and I'm sure they'd disagree. (Now in the event of an AA merger, I could see this number coming down to 70% of less.)

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
No hubs survives at above 70% connecting traffic for in recessions competitors discount on the competing routes (for all connecting routes have competition today) and without higher yield O&D, the hub dies off. This is what happened to CLE. During the recession the drop in O&D traffic made the hub vulnerable. The only fix is higher O&D.

Nope, CLE's connecting percentage was never close to 70%.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
It is why DEN, with its 30% connecting traffic, is poised for growth. It is an economically growing region with the capacity.

Not true. DEN's connecting percentage is 45%.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
ATL has unusually high connecting traffic but survives with business friendly policies that stimulate economic growth (in the long term, not every year obviously).
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
For CLE to become a hub again Cleveland must change policies to promote business growth.

Gross, gross, politcally-tinged oversimplification.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: B777LRF
Posted 2012-11-10 11:43:55 and read 2351 times.

Lost of talk here of never-heard-of airports of little or no historic relevance or interest. Now for something of real interest, I offer you Berlin Tegel. Once host to the largest freestanding structure in the world, build like an amphitheater and good for 100.000 people to cheer the "Leader" when he came home, it is truly a historic airport.

Due to its location, however, times eventually overtook it and it's now been decommissioned as an airport. But, and this is important, the building is still there. And so are the runways and taxiways, come to think of it, at least for a little while longer. The building ain't going anywhere, but the ground will eventually be converted into a park for the people of Berlin to enjoy.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: legion242
Posted 2012-11-10 16:43:31 and read 2320 times.

What is the status of FTW? Just GA or anything else out there these days?
Is the old AA hangar still there?

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-11-10 16:46:26 and read 2325 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
You may have that perception, but it's not really true.

Why? New industries promote travel (e.g., bankers and lawyers flying in to do deals). Some cities have more job growth than others. I didn't say unemployment, but job growth. It isn't a region known for sprouting new industries and those produce the highest RASM O&D traffic. That has been true for hundreds of years, just with different modes of transportation.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
I don't believe CLE's connecting percentage has ever been above 50%.

It was in the past per people I talked with when connecting through CLE in 1999. If you have a link, I'd love to see it. CLE is not down to lower connecting traffic.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
Hubs work with 30% to 70% connecting traffic.

This is not a hard-and-fast rule.

No range ever is. ATL is the only large hub with high connecting traffic to thrive long term. CLT works due to low CASM, but B6 has done well bypassing the hub. While that hasn't shrunk CLT, it has shrunk the growth rate. The advantage of CLT is some high RASM O&D traffic (banking). Noticed I said 'some.' Although I helped some relatives plan a vacation recently with a choice of flying into CLT and ATL; the fares made ATL the easy choice. A hub at the upper bound (70% connecting) is likely to have its O&D traffic 'picked off' by competitors unless the CASM of the hub airline is exceptionally low or pick up traffic at the spokes and bypass.

So ATL is at the upper end of the range as you note:

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
ATL is right at 70%, CLT is at 80%. Tell US Airways CLT isn't profitable,

In 2010 CLT was 4,256,040 O&D of 17 million (per my chart reading), so yes, about 75% transfer. However, that makes CLT vulnerable to hub bypass as B6 has shown.
http://charlottechamber.com/clientup...tations/Jerry_Orr_%20March2012.pdf

IMHO, CLT is most vulnerable to a longer range narrowbody for TATL and the MRJ/C-series for connecting cities. ATL has been at the upper end of the range for a long time and seems to grow business enough to stay healthy. The range still holds.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
Nope, CLE's connecting percentage was never close to 70%.

Its only 45% O&D after shrinking the hub (55% connecting):
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=176627

The last number is % O&D.
Cleveland 11,767 4,719,504 2,129,827 45.10%

Now, I found data showing in 2003 the connections were far lower (only 31%):
http://www.airline-data.com/apts/ZCLE.pdf

I wasn't able to find the old number prior to hub-shrinkage, do you have a link? I went off word of mouth circa 1999. When I exited CLE, it seemed like *higher* fraction of connecting traffic. However, to be fair, I flew in during the morning hub wave. But one doesn't shrink a hub with high O&D. I'm going from memory that CLE's O&D hit 70%. If you show a link showing otherwise, I'll believe you. But I recall correctly, UA noted lower O&D traffic for the reason CLE was downsized. If I'm wrong, please provide links to educate me.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
Not true. DEN's connecting percentage is 45%.

Interesting. Still within the range and still showing room for growth, so my conclusion on DEN remains, just a shift in the magnitude of the potential growth.   
I believe this 24.3M O&D for DEN is for 2004, where DEN served 42.4M which aligns with your number... Ok, I mis-typed.
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=176627

But my conclusion doesn't change.  
Quoting neveragain (Reply 48):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
ATL has unusually high connecting traffic but survives with business friendly policies that stimulate economic growth (in the long term, not every year obviously).
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
For CLE to become a hub again Cleveland must change policies to promote business growth.

Gross, gross, politcally-tinged oversimplification.

CLE will not grow back to its old days as a hub without significant economic growth of the metropolitan region around the hub. Oh, it is a simplification, but not political. Nice    attempt. The oversimplification has been the growth of Western hubs, Florida P2P, and the introduction of TCON capable narrowbodies eliminating the need for a mid-America hub (bypass). Hubbing tends to go where the economies are stronger. I expect as we emerge from this recession and our population ages to see more P2P in the 'sunbelt' as well as continued growth at DEN.

I think you just do not like the answer. If a region produces economic growth, there will be transportation growth with aviation in the front. There has been a consolidation of hubs with, in general, the lower O&D hubs being replaced/consolidated with high O&D hubs or bypassed. That is just the trend.

One thing that tends to always work is 'follow the money.' If there is demand from a city for more flights to destination X due to business growth, that demand will be met and usually with a P2P flight. Once a hub adds such a flight, then frequency follows quickly as demand always grows.

That is why a spoke isn't too brittle. It adapts by daily changes in the number of seats (by frequency or gauge) or price-sensitivity.

But UA at CLE has relatively high CASM, so its very vulnerable to when WN decides to further expand. Since WN has a strategy of low connecting traffic (towards the 30% mark), it will drop CLE's connecting fraction.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 49):
I offer you Berlin Tegel.

Which hasn't been a hub for a long time... Interesting airport, but it will soon be properly replaced by BER.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: B757forever
Posted 2012-11-11 05:54:57 and read 2253 times.

Quoting legion242 (Reply 50):
What is the status of FTW? Just GA or anything else out there these days?
Is the old AA hangar still there?

FTW is primarily GA with a lot of corporate activity. I stopped by there a few months ago and looked at the old AA hangar, a beautiful structure with fantastic architectural details. It is now an FBO. Don't forget that Leading Edge is painting new 787 aircraft at FTW.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: Polot
Posted 2012-11-11 06:07:03 and read 2260 times.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 49):
Lost of talk here of never-heard-of airports of little or no historic relevance or interest. Now for something of real interest, I offer you Berlin Tegel. Once host to the largest freestanding structure in the world, build like an amphitheater and good for 100.000 people to cheer the "Leader" when he came home, it is truly a historic airport.

I think you mean Tempelhof. Tegel is still a functioning airport (until it is replaced by BER).

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: JaxMan19
Posted 2012-11-11 06:14:17 and read 2253 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 36):
Destinations dropped since 2000:

ABE, AUS, AVP, AZO, CAK (there's a surprise!), CHS, CRW, DAB, DAL, DTW, FWA, GSO, HPN, ISP, JFK, LAN, LEX, LGW, MBS, MDW, MEM, MTJ, MYR, OMA, ORF, SAV, SLC, SRQ, TOL, TYS, YHM

JAX should be added to that list right??

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-11 08:44:55 and read 2266 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
Why? New industries promote travel (e.g., bankers and lawyers flying in to do deals).

Because there are plenty of exceptions. San Francisco, Chicago, and arguably New York are all thought of as not very "business friendly," yet there is plenty of high-yielding traffic there.

I'd like to know why you think that there aren't "bankers and lawyers flying in to do deals" in Pittsburgh other than your general perception that it's not "business-friendly."

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
It was in the past per people I talked with when connecting through CLE in 1999.

So you talked with people when you were connecting through CLE and the connecting percentage was above 50%? Were these airport concessionaires?

I don't have a link. I have T100 and DB1B data. These are the airport-wide connecting percentages I have for CLE since 2000:

2000: 68%

2001: 67%

2002: 68%

2003: 71%

2004: 73%

2005: 73%

2006: 77%

2007: 78%

2008: 76%

2009: 68%

2010: 67%

I don't have 2011.

You may be confusing CO's connecting percentage with the airport-wide connecting percentage.

But at most large hub airports, the hub airline's connecting percentage is at least 60%, if not 70%, if not 85% (CLT).

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
but B6 has done well bypassing the hub.

I'm sorry, what?

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
Its only 45% O&D after shrinking the hub (55% connecting):

That's simply incorrect. Someone doesn't know how to pull data, and readers like you suffer the consequences.

Look here:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...leveland-Ohios-Airport-System-Revs

(Numbers differ marginally from those posted above, as they are calculated using airport data, but are very close.)

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
However, that makes CLT vulnerable to hub bypass as B6 has shown.

Help me out here.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
I wasn't able to find the old number prior to hub-shrinkage, do you have a link

BTS is down right now, but check it out for yourself when it's back up. I don't use the website--I have software with the data.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
But my conclusion doesn't change.

No, it doesn't. DEN has a lower connecting percentage than most people think. (But not as low as CLE's!)

My strong reaction to your post is due to the comment that Pittsburgh is no longer a hub because it's not "business-friendly," which made the remainder of your post very difficult to read.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
CLE will not grow back to its old days as a hub without significant economic growth of the metropolitan region around the hub.

CLE never had "old days" as a hub!! I can't remember the last time CLE was classified as a large-hub airport by the U.S. DoT. (Somewhat of a misnomer, but as one of the approximately 30 airports that enplanes 2% or more of U.S. passenger traffic.)

CLE's enplaned passenger numbers were 6m in 2000 and 4.7m in 2010. It's lost traffic, sure, but what seems to get lost on people is that CVG was an 11m passenger airport with less O&D!! PIT was a 9m passenger airport with less O&D!! STL was a 15m--more than 200% more than CLE--passenger airport with only 25% more O&D!! MEM was approximately the same size as CLE, with 25% less O&D!!

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
I think you just do not like the answer. If a region produces economic growth, there will be transportation growth with aviation in the front. There has been a consolidation of hubs with, in general, the lower O&D hubs being replaced/consolidated with high O&D hubs or bypassed. That is just the trend.

I don't like the "answer" because it is not supported by your perceptions and not by facts.

Let's back up to, say, 1980. Do you think if Pittsburgh had been more "business friendly" (whatever that means, as you haven't really told us other than "business friendly" means generating high-yielding traffic, but surely you realize how that's a circular argument) the outcome would have been any different? I say no. That's why I said your conclusion is grossly oversimplified.

And your point really boils down only to "During a period of hub consolidation, the larger hubs survived." I don't know why anyone would be surprised.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
But UA at CLE has relatively high CASM, so its very vulnerable to when WN decides to further expand. Since WN has a strategy of low connecting traffic (towards the 30% mark), it will drop CLE's connecting fraction.

WN flew close to twice as many departing seats from CLE in 2000 as it is in 2012. That's not a signal to me that it is in an expansion mode.

And, for the record, I am not from Cleveland, I have been there once, I did have an enjoyable time, but I am not making this argument because I have any "skin in the game."

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-11-11 13:05:43 and read 2262 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
Because there are plenty of exceptions. San Francisco, Chicago, and arguably New York are all thought of as not very "business friendly," yet there is plenty of high-yielding traffic there.

The greater San Francisco region is actually very friendly to start ups. Chicago I'll skip commenting on as I do not know enough, but New York is a case where money makes money. I wouldn't argue New York is business friendly. But then again, its not growing as an airport hub.  
Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
These are the airport-wide connecting percentages I have for CLE since 2000:

2000: 68%

2001: 67%

2002: 68%

2003: 71%

2004: 73%

2005: 73%

2006: 77%

2007: 78%

2008: 76%

2009: 68%

2010: 67%

Wait a second, so CLE is a high connecting airport (higher than my numbers?). No wonder they had a step down in service.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
but B6 has done well bypassing the hub.

I'm sorry, what?
Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
However, that makes CLT vulnerable to hub bypass as B6 has shown.

Help me out here.

Ok, B6 now has a major business in the Florida to Northeast market. A market CLT used to have a fair market share. However, a high O&D hub is vulnerable to bypass as the basic O&D markets (e.g., Boston to Fort Myers). Perhaps I should have used Spirit as another example from their large presence in FLL. While the flights are still there, hub bypass is happening.

With the NEO, MAX, C-series, and MRJ, I'm very excited about a new era in hub bypass. Perhaps I should have used Spirit's growth in FLL as a better example than Jetblue. Either way, the point stands, there was an opportunity to better serve markets P2P as a higher O&D hub would have had more frequency. A high O&D hub is also able to discount more on connections if it is time to keep a new entrant from expanding.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
CLE never had "old days" as a hub!!

Help me there. I flew through it in the late 1990s and people were already reminiscing about the old day. And then it was a hub. Maybe not by your standards, but the FAA defines a hub as 30% to 70% connecting traffic. Over 70% is a 'Wayport' and less than 30% is a 'Spoke.'

CLE had 'old days' as a hub. They've been downsized. Mostly due to hub bypass or the growth of stronger O&D Western US hubs.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 55):
Do you think if Pittsburgh had been more "business friendly" (whatever that means, as you haven't really told us other than "business friendly" means generating high-yielding traffic, but surely you realize how that's a circular argument) the outcome would have been any different?

I say YES! The outcome would have been very different. A business friendly city has fast job business growth which drives high RASM O&D traffic. Haven't you ever flown out to support a new venture? It can be six months of last minute tickets, multiple flights per week to coordinate and ensure processes are met.

Now business friendly is a fairly well understood concept:
1. Easy layoffs. If businesses cannot try new ventures and fail, they won't try. This is where California excels and one reason for fast job creation. Ok, one has to call it a "RIF" (business being dropped with no immediate plans to restart that project), but its easy.
2. Not putting up too many hurdles to forming a new business or expanding an existing one (e.g,. reasonable permits and building codes, allowing home business, avoiding lengthy union discussion when re-arranging a business, not making employers under 50 fill out too much paperwork, hiring who you want not who a union or other tells you to hire)
3. Ease of a flexible workforce. Want the workers to work Saturday unpaid, not an issue in California (as long as the 40 hour pay rate is more than 2X minimum wage). I'm not aware of any state where it is easier to outsource than California. So businesses outsource and then find they can do better 'in-sourcing' and that is a slingshot for job growth. Ease of outsourcing is required for startups (as they cannot afford a full time staff year #1). Pennsylvania does not do well here:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal...rtime_rules_in_pennsylvania/553571
4. Education, in particular at the University level (this is where San Francisco thrives, despite low public spending on the schools) (Yes, there is Penn State, but the graduates seem to work elsewhere). San Francisco draws from the global education pool.
5. Reasonable taxes (here San Francisco falls short, but California is actually fairly friendly to at home small business)
6. Accommodation to 'different workers.' e.g., Asians, Muslims, vegetarians, etc. Pittsburgh fails here. My vegetarian friends have a very tough time when traveling to Pittsburgh.
7. Enabling institutions for new business. San Francisco has the 'angel investors,' 'hedge funds,' and other financial as well as consulting business that tends to be a function of a state's banking laws.
8. Easy ability to sell a business. While this relates to #6, it is critical. If there are any state certifications, this slows the process.
9. Willingness to incubate new industries. This is where the real money is. In California if one wants to turn floors of an old office building into a server farm, its done. SCE brings in the power (amazingly quick), you upgrade the A/C and go. Startups have at most a week to do the conversion or the business is lost. (From lease signing to servers up and running.) Now part of this is the outsourcing as the staff is hired to set up the servers and then... they're gone.

Now I live in Los Angeles and we fail versus San Francisco for enabling starups. We put up delays that are not present (nor tolerated) in the San Francisco (better known as the 'bay area') which hurts our job growth.

If you look at the Sundary Oct 7th article of this Pittsburgh blog, it notes most new jobs are from startups:
http://pittsburghfuture.blogspot.com/

Some is just the education. For example, in the last recession several friends of mine were laid off. Instead of waiting for someone else to do anything, they made video games for Android cell phones to 'pass the time.' The games made some money, but now they make much more than their prior jobs as consultants for Android programming.

If it seems like I hit on many points... We'll, business friendly isn't one concept. For some business, one wouldn't consider one city friendly but another and vice versa.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-11 14:20:44 and read 2244 times.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
Wait a second, so CLE is a high connecting airport (higher than my numbers?).

OOPS, those are originating percentages, not connecting percentages. Now I get to apologize for mistyping.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
Ok, B6 now has a major business in the Florida to Northeast market. A market CLT used to have a fair market share.

I wonder how many new nonstop markets B6 actually added from NYC. I bet the answer is small, if any.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
I flew through it in the late 1990s and people were already reminiscing about the old day. And then it was a hub.

Well, it is true that the hub was busier at one point and had more mainline activity. But it was never to the extent of PIT or STL, which many people on here seem to associate it with.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
I say YES! The outcome would have been very different. A business friendly city has fast job business growth which drives high RASM O&D traffic. Haven't you ever flown out to support a new venture? It can be six months of last minute tickets, multiple flights per week to coordinate and ensure processes are met.

Maybe if Pittsburgh diversified its economy starting back in the 1950s (as much as any city can do), employment grew, and the population increased, I could agree with your argument. But I think that's an oversimplification--the main reason is that the size of the market (as you have cited). Of course they're interrelated, but whatever happened to Pittsburgh happened to most cities in the region.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
If it seems like I hit on many points... We'll, business friendly isn't one concept. For some business, one wouldn't consider one city friendly but another and vice versa.

Thanks for the exposition.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
My vegetarian friends have a very tough time when traveling to Pittsburgh.

  

Yikes. You can understand why I find your argument difficult to swallow when observations like this are presented as proof that Pittsburgh is "business-unfriendly." And implying that that is the reason the hub closed.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: izbtmnhd
Posted 2012-11-11 20:04:59 and read 2236 times.

CLE O&D stood at 72% last year. Here's the link:

http://www.businesswire.com/news/hom...leveland-Ohios-Airport-System-Revs

That's not the UA hub percentage but it's clearly nowhere near 30% as some are trying to infer.

Move on.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: lightsaber
Posted 2012-11-12 12:18:35 and read 2215 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 57):
But it was never to the extent of PIT or STL, which many people on here seem to associate it with.

Ah, now I understand. I merely wanted to point out its hub status. However, we have taken this thread off track and it is time to let it follow its natural course.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 57):
You can understand why I find your argument difficult to swallow when observations like this are presented as proof that Pittsburgh is "business-unfriendly."

Fair enough. However, I know more than a few people who refused to transfer their because of the food available in restaurants. Maybe not what your would consider important, but a region must adapt to new cultures. It is one reason New York and Chicago as well as California grow.

Quoting izbtmnhd (Reply 58):
Move on.

Ok.   I'm done.

Lightsaber

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: PITrules
Posted 2012-11-12 12:40:17 and read 2221 times.

Quoting FWAERJ (Reply 9):
The ultimate case study of what a dehubbing can do to an airport. US did far more damage to PIT in the course of three to four years than AA did to STL in ten years.

CVG was much busier that PIT during their respective peaks, and CVG had a much better Europe service as well. It has since fallen more as well, in terms of total passenger traffic. And CVG is still a hub.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 12):
What airports that have lost a hub have seen comparable service from a replacement airline?

One can add MCI to the list others already mentioned (BNA, RDU, BWI).

Quoting neveragain (Reply 28):
But the service patterns are completely different, and most on this forum (as far as I can tell) would argue that a US hub at BWI is preferable to a WN "busy airport" (as they don't have any designation).

I don't see it that way. In fact, BWI is much busier today than it ever was as a Piedmont/USAir hub, and WN/FL operate more mainline aircraft there than US ever did. The only thing BWI doesn't have today that they did back then is turboprop service to small cities. If BWI management could magically chose between the old US hub, and today's WN operation, I'd be shocked if they chose US.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 28):
If it's due to airport costs after US left, ACAA designed that terminal to US Airways' specifications, with its consent. So you would be arguing ACAA should have told US to go fly a kite when US came to ACAA and said, "Build us a new terminal, please, and here's what we're going to do with it." It pains me when Pittsburghers on this board blame ACAA as the reason for US closing the hub.

Some history may be in order. USAir did not say "build us a new terminal, please". In fact it was the other way around for decades. Allegheny County wanted that terminal built since the 1960's. For most of that period, County leaders begged the carriers to sign on. TWA, at the time the airport's largest carrier, wanted a smaller "drive to the gate" stand alone terminal. This evolved into the west concourse of the old terminal. Allegheny Airlines/USAir, also courted by Allegheny County, complained that the new midfield terminal was too expensive and "cost prohibitive" as late as 1984 IIRC. It wasn't until the old terminal was falling apart, bursting at the seems, and asbestos infected that USAir (seemingly reluctantly) signed on in 1985. At that point, of course they wanted it designed to their specifications as they were to be the major lease holder.

As far as us Pittsburghers blaming the ACAA for US closing the hub. The reason for PIT's dehubbing is (at least) two fold.

First, it made sense for USAir to have a hub in Pittsburgh in the 1980's. They had a lock on the entire Northeast market and commanded fare premiums. Pittsburgh is in a central geographic region between the Northeast and Midwest to act as a hub, and USAir had a history of organic growth here even though the once corporate and industrial powerhouse was in rapid decline. However, with the subsequent emergence of other hubs (IAD/CVG/CLE), PIT's hubbing power was lost. Then add in all the low fare competition in the Northeast from WN, FL, and others, USAir lost pricing control. In other words, the industry landscape in the eastern US had changed so dramatically from the time USAir agreed to the new terminal and the time it opened. Bottom line - USAir wanted and needed their PIT hub in the 1980's, but network changes made it irrelevant today.

The second point, where Allegheny County come in. PIT evolved into a high cost airport. Should they share the blame for the dehubbing? Even with all the industry network changes described above, would US have kept their PIT hub if it was a low cost airport? Was there anything Allegheny County could have done to lower those costs?

" Speaking during a Morgan Stanley debt investors conference in New York, Mr. Siegel said US Airways' costs at Pittsburgh International are too high and explained why the airline decided to reject its Pittsburgh leases 21 minutes before successfully emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Mr. Siegel has set a Jan. 4, 2004, deadline for reaching a new lease agreement. The airline would continue to pay its current rates until that date, but would reject the lease on Jan. 5 if a new agreement is not in place.

Mr. Siegel also told county officials that US Airways could eliminate Pittsburgh as a hub, if it does not realize reduced lease costs there. The airline is also seeking financial assistance from the state for improvements at Pittsburgh and Philadelphia International Airport, two of US Airways' largest hubs.

"Now, Pittsburgh is a great airport," Mr. Siegel said during his speech to investors. "But as impressive as it is, and as much as people like connecting there to shop the stores of the airport mall, not one passenger is willing to pay us extra for the privilege of connecting at our Pittsburgh hub.
"
http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburg...s/2003/04/28/daily52.html?page=all


There were some proposals to help US Airways in PIT. One was a $600 million dollar widebody maintenance complex, to be largely funded by taxpayers. But guess what? US Air had already built new facilities in both PHL and CLT. Why was this even being entertained? IF taxpayer money should be thrown at an airline, it would have made much more sense to put it towards the airport's debt thereby lowering the airport's operating cost. Based on the above quote from the CEO, such a reduction in cost "MAY" have helped keep a hub. We'll never know for sure.

Allegheny County and the ACAA also had some other stupid ideas for the airport, such as an indoor NASCAR track and a widebody deice pad, which was actually built. A complete waste of money as PIT only had 2-3 widebody flights per day. FedEx and UPS (the airport's only other widebody operator) do their own deicing. All this while the ACAA chief publically stated US Airways would never de-hub PIT.

Like I stated, considering all the industry changes at the time it would not have been a guarantee PIT would have remained a hub if costs were not an issue. But the continued high costs at PIT have prevented Southwest and others from adding meaningful service. Even a few years ago, Allegheny County had a grand opportunity to lower costs by drilling for natural gas on airport land. Local politics and a power struggle interfered, and the opportunity wasted. Natural gas prices are too low now. Its things like this why us Pittsburgher's blame Allegheny County. If not for keeping the hub, then certainly for hindering some sort of post hub recovery that other cities have seen.

BWI, RDU, MCI, and BNA have all recovered in their post hub life. We're still waiting here in PIT, even though the region's economy is completely rejuvenated and diversified.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 47):
The reality is that Pittsburgh is not as business friendly as it once was. If it had been, other airlines would have come in to take the O&D traffic.

I would have agreed with this as little as 5 years ago, but it is no longer the case. Pittsburgh has never had more jobs than it has today. The region has ranked very well in job growth and other economic surveys. It is a healthcare, nuclear engineering and university leader. Half the nation's natural gas is under our feet, which wasn't known even 5 years ago. The University of Pittsburgh/UPMC and CMU attract talent from around the world.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 51):
I think you just do not like the answer. If a region produces economic growth, there will be transportation growth with aviation in the front

Its not that simple. There is finally good economic growth here, but like I said we're still waiting for air service to increase by any meaningful level. In fact, passenger numbers are down about 5% for the year, while it is up slightly nationwide. This in one of the nation's healthiest areas.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 56):
vegetarians, etc. Pittsburgh fails here. My vegetarian friends have a very tough time when traveling to Pittsburgh.

Why's that?



There's plenty of slaw on that thing  
Quoting neveragain (Reply 57):

I wonder how many new nonstop markets B6 actually added from NYC. I bet the answer is small, if any.

But by how much has the market been stimulated at JFK? Domestic passenger levels to Florida and elsewhere have skyrocketed from JFK after JetBlue's arrival, and the competitive response.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: steeler83
Posted 2012-11-12 13:35:59 and read 2217 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):

How about WN's Gary Kelly wanting to make PIT into a 60-70 daily flight focus city? Remember that? All the papers were suggesting that Kelly was planning to bring tons of flights to the region. Then a few days later it is announced that the ACAA hiked up the landing fees and gate space rents -- by a substantial amount!

Yep, then all of that talk was silenced...

Ok, now back to the origninal topic here. I wonder if there are any other international airports that closed up and went unused. Does Denver's old Stapleton count? That has since been built over, hasn't it? How about PIT's old terminal? If you look at Google Earth, you can still see the old footprints of much of the old terminal facilities...

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-12 15:06:44 and read 2211 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
If BWI management could magically chose between the old US hub, and today's WN operation, I'd be shocked if they chose US.

How about if you ask them to choose between WN and US's hub at PHL?

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
Some history may be in order.

Appreciate the historical perspective and the corrections. I was being too simplistic.   

But let's retrace how you described what happened.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
It wasn't until the old terminal was falling apart, bursting at the seems, and asbestos infected that USAir (seemingly reluctantly) signed on in 1985.

So, in other words, the terminal was about to be condemned, and a new terminal had to be built?

So at this stage US participated in the design process and got its midfield terminal.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
PIT evolved into a high cost airport.

Almost entirely related to debt service on the new terminal.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
Mr. Siegel said US Airways' costs at Pittsburgh International are too high

I'm sure Mr. Siegel would say that about almost every airport, including PHL. He must really enjoy being in DEN now as CEO of F9.

I think this was a signal to everyone that the hub was about to close.

Because as you say, there were only 2 options: (1) default on the debt (which no U.S. airport of any consequence had or has ever done), or (2) subsidize the airport through property or other taxes.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
IF taxpayer money should be thrown at an airline, it would have made much more sense to put it towards the airport's debt thereby lowering the airport's operating cost.

This certainly could have been pursued, but I don't think it's a proper use of public monies because it amounts to a transfer payment from Allegheny County residents to US Airways. And I doubt any airline would want to operate a hub at an airport long-term if the revenue situation was so bad it required property tax subsidies to make up for it. (Not to mention that wouldn't be "business friendly," either!)

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
BWI, RDU, MCI, and BNA have all recovered in their post hub life. We're still waiting here in PIT, even though the region's economy is completely rejuvenated and diversified.

Well I wish PIT the best, as it's one of my favorite cities in the U.S.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 60):
But by how much has the market been stimulated at JFK? Domestic passenger levels to Florida and elsewhere have skyrocketed from JFK after JetBlue's arrival, and the competitive response.

Not much, actually, if you include all NYC airports. Traffic from the NYC airports (EWR, JFK, and LGA) to all airports in Florida increased by 10% in total in the 11 years between 2000 and 2011. Granted, total domestic traffic was relatively flat over this period, but there was no "skyrocketing."

But, in any case, the OP was talking about B6's success being attributable to "hub bypass" flights. I can't think of a single market B6 (and no, LGB doesn't count, as B6 uses it to serve LAX) has added to its network that wasn't served nonstop from a NYC airport in 2000. The success may be in lower fares, sure (particularly in transcon markets), but not because it's flying to airports that weren't served nonstop from NYC before.

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 61):
Then a few days later it is announced that the ACAA hiked up the landing fees and gate space rents -- by a substantial amount!

You do know these are set by formula, right? As enshrined in an airline agreement? ACAA doesn't arbitrarily "hike up" landing fees and terminal rents for the hell of it. They did it because it is required to meet bond ordinance requirements so that it is not sued by bondholders.

I highly doubt WN's property rep for PIT had no idea the increases were coming.

I'd like to know by how much the fees were "hiked up" anyway.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: PITrules
Posted 2012-11-12 17:03:58 and read 2203 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):

How about if you ask them to choose between WN and US's hub at PHL?

Perhaps they would chose US's PHL hub for it's international network, but this is such an apples and oranges comparison. PHL is twice the size of Baltimore. But both a legacy hub and a huge WN operation is something that BWI has had.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):

So, in other words, the terminal was about to be condemned, and a new terminal had to be built?

I'm not sure it was "about" to be condemned (maybe it should have been), but it certainly was a problem. During its demolition, work had to be stopped until the asbestos was cleared out.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):
Almost entirely related to debt service on the new terminal.

Absolutely.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):
I'm sure Mr. Siegel would say that about almost every airport, including PHL. He must really enjoy being in DEN now as CEO of F9.

I think this was a signal to everyone that the hub was about to close.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at some of the meetings, both internally at US Airways and at the ACAA. But going back to the link I posted above, if the hub closure was such a sure thing, why wait until literally the last 20 minutes of bankruptcy? This tells me there was some internal indecision at US Airways. Furthermore, while the leases were rejected in bankruptcy, why not leave it at that? But instead US Airways gave Allegheny County 8 months after emerging from bankruptcy to come up with something:

"Mr. Siegel has set a Jan. 4, 2004, deadline for reaching a new lease agreement. The airline would continue to pay its current rates until that date, but would reject the lease on Jan. 5 if a new agreement is not in place. "

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):

This certainly could have been pursued, but I don't think it's a proper use of public monies because it amounts to a transfer payment from Allegheny County residents to US Airways.

Even if the hub would have closed anyway, debt relief would have been beneficial for the airport and therefore the region. But instead we have to wait until 2018 when the debt is paid off. The region needs to ask itself would it be better to give this kind of assistance and have a competitive airport and the jobs that would support, or keep those dollars and have weak air service.

Public handouts are nothing new. The region will give Royal Dutch Shell significant tax breaks in exchange for them building a petrochemical plant which will create a whole new industry for Pittsburgh.

Giving public dollars to corporations for economic development projects certainly is a large topic of debate, no matter which side one may be on.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):
Not much, actually, if you include all NYC airports. Traffic from the NYC airports (EWR, JFK, and LGA) to all airports in Florida increased by 10% in total in the 11 years between 2000 and 2011. Granted, total domestic traffic was relatively flat over this period, but there was no "skyrocketing."

In 2000, JFK had 12.5 million domestic travelers:
http://www.nytimes.com/2003/11/04/business/04memopad.html?8bl

Now JFK handles 19 million domestic passengers a year. I'd consider that skyrocketing domestic growth at JFK, but it certainly is a subjective term.

Before JetBlue came along, domestic at JFK largely consisted of feeding the legacies int'l networks, and flights beyond LGA's perimeter. Looking back, its really amazing the airlines shunned other domestic growth from JFK considering there is 7 million people within 5 miles, and JFK is the most convenient airport for all these people. It was such a stereotype that went on for decades that a large domestic network would not work at JFK because LGA was preferred.

I think David Neeleman placing a domestic start up at JFK was one of the most brilliant decisions in the airline industry in the last 30 years; and it was totally against conventional wisdom.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 62):
You do know these are set by formula, right? As enshrined in an airline agreement? ACAA doesn't arbitrarily "hike up" landing fees and terminal rents for the hell of it. They did it because it is required to meet bond ordinance requirements so that it is not sued by bondholders.

This is all correct. Unfortunately the timing was... well unfortunate. WN did indeed state they would have liked a larger operation. AirTran complained publicly as well.

[Edited 2012-11-12 17:25:26]

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-12 17:24:07 and read 2204 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 63):
I'm not sure it was "about" to be condemned (maybe it should have been), but it certainly was a problem. During its demolition, work had to be stopped until the asbestos was cleared out.

Well if it had asbestos it wasn't going to be around for much longer.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 63):
I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at some of the meetings, both internally at US Airways and at the ACAA. But going back to the link I posted above, if the hub closure was such a sure thing, why wait until literally the last 20 minutes of bankruptcy? This tells me there was some internal indecision at US Airways. Furthermore, while the leases were rejected in bankruptcy, why not leave it at that? But instead US Airways gave Allegheny County 8 months after emerging from bankruptcy to come up with something:

I'll have to do some research. The rejection came as surprise to ACAA. It wasn't a very above-board move in any case.

I'm not sure what the 8 months really amounted to. Eight months to renegotiate lease or what? The hub closed? Is that really how it worked? They tried to renegotiate the lease for 8 months and announced the closure at 8 months plus 1 day, without any interim reductions or restructuring?

Quoting PITrules (Reply 63):
Even if the hub would have closed anyway, debt relief would have been beneficial for the airport and therefore the region.

All depends on how you measure it. The thought of using tax dollars to subsidize US Airways so it could continue to charge high fares and all PIT got in return was nonstops to Syracuse and a lot of other places that most local residents didn't care to go to is pretty abhorrent to me. The hub closed, and actual benefits accrued to residents in the form of lower fares. Most people may prefer a nonstop, but if the price of that is a $600 roundtrip to LAX, I think many people would say they prefer the current situation just fine. (It's just having to be reminded every time one goes through the facility that's the most traumatic.)

Besides, you miss the real point. What kind of a long-term future could a hub have if its profitability is so poor it has to be subsidized with property taxes?

Quoting PITrules (Reply 63):
Now JFK handles 19 million domestic passengers a year. I'd consider that skyrocketing domestic growth at JFK, but it certainly is a subjective term.

You didn't just mention Florida, as I originally thought. My mistake.

Some stimulation sure, but also attributable to endogenous growth and, even more, a realignment of traffic away from EWR and LGA.

But, again, the OP's point was about "hub bypass." "Hub bypass" involves new nonstop markets being added. If B6 added any to the NYC market, I'm sure they can be counted on one hand, if not one finger.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: PITrules
Posted 2012-11-12 17:39:22 and read 2202 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 64):

I'll have to do some research. The rejection came as surprise to ACAA. It wasn't a very above-board move in any case.

I'm not sure what the 8 months really amounted to. Eight months to renegotiate lease or what? The hub closed? Is that really how it worked? They tried to renegotiate the lease for 8 months and announced the closure at 8 months plus 1 day, without any interim reductions or restructuring?

The rejection was indeed a surprise to Allegheny Co. The eight months was to renegotiate the lease, which as we know was not done successfully. What followed was leasing the gates on a month by month basis for the short term while US pulled PIT down to a small hub, then focus city, then spoke over a period of 4-5 years. Today they have 10 gates on a long term lease.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 64):
The thought of using tax dollars to subsidize US Airways so it could continue to charge high fares and all PIT got in return was nonstops to Syracuse and a lot of other places that most local residents didn't care to go to is pretty abhorrent to me.

I would think of it as subsidizing the airport, not US Airways as it would benefit all the carriers. If US kept their hub because of it, then fine. If they left and other carriers grew more than they did, that's fine too.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: txjim
Posted 2012-11-12 17:58:33 and read 2207 times.

Quoting type-rated (Reply 37):
Back around 1972 or so you'd see DL and AA planes practicing touch & go's right across the street if you were standing in the main entrance to AA's training center.

I toured the terminal and tower in 72 as a high-school project. The only traffic was an AA DC10 doing touch-and-gos but was more impressed by the Jefferson Airplane tour aircraft at one of the gates. I would also frequently drive by the B-36 on display until it's removal in the late 70s.

As has been stated, the terminal building was very stylish and one could envision 50's travelers milling about. To be fair, DAL had it's own areas of interest including the world map on the terminal floor and he ranger statue.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-12 18:13:55 and read 2199 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 65):
What followed was leasing the gates on a month by month basis for the short term while US pulled PIT down to a small hub, then focus city, then spoke over a period of 4-5 years.

Probably a good amount of space was returned from day 1, correct?

I'm not saying there wasn't internal debate within US but PIT could very well have been the last domino to fall, and keeping it open could've been contingent upon reaching other targets through restructuring.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 65):
I would think of it as subsidizing the airport, not US Airways as it would benefit all the carriers. If US kept their hub because of it, then fine. If they left and other carriers grew more than they did, that's fine too.

And the third option, more or less today's outcome, even with the subsidy. Unfortunately, neither of us can be proven "right" because it's all supposition and hypotheticals.

That said, any subsidies would have likely resulted in residents paying money out both ends, first through increased taxes and second through continued high fares. And, I think it very well could have resulted in more or less the same outcome. All for keeping a nonstop flight to Syracuse until, at most, $150 per gallon gas in the summer of 2008.

For example: MEM is as cheap as they come; you don't see airlines fighting over gates there. CVG never was an expensive airport to operate at. SFO, EWR, JFK, MIA, IAD, SEA, and soon-to-be LAX are all among the most expensive and yet they're primary airline hubs. (And before you say one can't compare PIT with SFO, well, that's the point. The size of the market is what matters, not airport costs.)

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: PITrules
Posted 2012-11-12 19:02:18 and read 2199 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 67):
Probably a good amount of space was returned from day 1, correct?

During that 8 month period they leased all 50 gates. Afterward I'm not sure by what amounts they gave up when. It was a gradual reduction though.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 67):

That said, any subsidies would have likely resulted in residents paying money out both ends, first through increased taxes and second through continued high fares. And, I think it very well could have resulted in more or less the same outcome. All for keeping a nonstop flight to Syracuse until, at most, $150 per gallon gas in the summer of 2008.

But I don't think high fares would be the case going forward, as the airfares are fairly low now due to diversified competition. You are right, no one is fighting over MEM. But MEM is adequately served for its market size. I think there is still room for some growth at PIT considering the city's new economy, and similar non-hub markets such as MCI and PDX have more traffic. This has been partially addressed by Spirit Airlines at LBE, but that is a relatively new phenomenon.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-13 05:50:11 and read 2173 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 68):
During that 8 month period they leased all 50 gates.

Good to know and file away, thanks.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 68):
But I don't think high fares would be the case going forward, as the airfares are fairly low now due to diversified competition.

They're fairly low now because the hub closed.

Here's why I disagree with you on the debt relief subsidy idea. Consider this scenario--ACAA defeases debt through some sort of additional property tax levy that results in annual debt service being reduced such that average airline costs per enplaned passenger decrease by $5.00 (which would have been at least a 33% (if not 50%) reduction in airline rates and charges back in the day).

Back-of-the-envelope calculation, ACAA had $673m in debt outstanding at the time according to the following article, assume annual debt service of 10% of that, so $67m, 8m enplaned passengers in 2003, so debt service of about $8.50 per passenger. A reduction of $5.00 per passenger times 8m gives you $40m in annual debt service to get rid of, times 10 gives you $400m in debt to defease for a reduction of $5.00 per passenger. In other words, by my estimate, Allegheny County taxpayers would have had to have forked over $400m to achieve a $5.00 per passenger reduction in airline costs. That is, if the bonds even could have been redeemed.

http://old.post-gazette.com/localnews/20030408airport0408p4.asp

In this scenario, if the airlines keep fares at the levels they were at the time, their profit increases by $5.00 per passenger. The airlines can lower fares on average--but not by anything more than $5.00--and be no better off then before. (This is assuming no stimulation, and while there may be stimulation at the margins, I'm not sure one would expect air traffic to "skyrocket" after a $5.00 reduction in fare. In reality, after the hub was closed, fares dropped by approximately $20.00 (approximately 9%) between 2004 and 2007 and originating passenger numbers increased only 15%.)

(The alternative would have been to ask taxpayers to fork over $40m per year in perpetuity, and I'm not sure what they would've gotten in return.)

Quoting PITrules (Reply 68):
I think there is still room for some growth at PIT considering the city's new economy, and similar non-hub markets such as MCI and PDX have more traffic.

While both the Kansas City and Portland, OR MSAs are similar in size to the Pittsburgh MSA with just over 2m people, I think comparing the 3 may be a bit of a stretch because both Kansas City and (especially) Portland are much more geographically remote from their major O&D destinations and thus rely more heavily on air travel. This is the same reason why cities like Denver and Salt Lake City generate about twice as many O&D trips per passenger on average as the nation as a whole.

MSA / Population / 2011 domestic O&D passengers / Trip rate (O&D/pop) / Avg fare

Pittsburgh: 2.4m / 3.5m / 1.5 / $189

Portland, OR: 2.3m / 5.2m / 2.3 / $199

Kansas City: 2.1m / 4.3m / 2.0 / $181

So people in Portland travel much more frequently than Pittsburghers and pay higher fares to do so (although not-to-be-unexpected from a west coast airport).

People in Kansas City pay $8 (4%) less and travel 33% more often.

Using the elasticity from above (a 9% decrease in fares caused an increase in O&D passenger numbers of 15%) would give you an increase of 7% in traffic if fares were reduced to Kansas City levels.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: steeler83
Posted 2012-11-13 07:27:45 and read 2165 times.

How do you come up with 3.5m for domestic O&D? The airport serves roughly 8 million people per year and has almost zero connecting traffic...

And yeah, I totally forgot about the formulas involved with landing fees. They did shoot up by at least a few bucks tho, from like $11 or 12 up to at least $14 or 15 IIRC. I guess considering Kelly's intentions they couldn't issue/grant a waiver for the fee hike to WN. I guess if that were to happen you'd have the other airlines crying foul over that...

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-13 07:47:41 and read 2169 times.

Quoting steeler83 (Reply 70):

How do you come up with 3.5m for domestic O&D? The airport serves roughly 8 million people per year and has almost zero connecting traffic...

It's one-way. U.S. DoT measures all passenger statistics one-way. Divide by 2, you get 4m. There's still a little more than 10% connecting, which is normal for most airports.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: PITrules
Posted 2012-11-13 09:54:26 and read 2164 times.

Quoting neveragain (Reply 69):

In this scenario, if the airlines keep fares at the levels they were at the time, their profit increases by $5.00 per passenger. The airlines can lower fares on average--but not by anything more than $5.00--and be no better off then before

I don't see why airlines would lower fares in this scenario. They would pocket that $5, and that's the point - to increase their profit margin via lower operating costs. The profit margins on some flights are only a few dollars, so a $5 improvement per passenger would be huge, and make the market more attractive for added service.

Anyway, paying off the debt early was just an idea, and when put in the context of using tax dollars to pay for a maintenance complex or indoor NASCAR track, I think it should have been considered as well. BTW, it wasn't only local tax dollars that would have been used for those other ideas. In fact, most of the public portion of the costs would have been state dollars IIRC.


PIT's O&D peaked in 2007 and has been down since, almost to its suppressed hub level. So I think there is room for growth in the local market. Page 16:
http://74.209.241.69/static/entransi...nrod_BoardMembersCommissioners.pdf

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: neveragain
Posted 2012-11-13 10:43:30 and read 2171 times.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 72):
I don't see why airlines would lower fares in this scenario. They would pocket that $5, and that's the point - to increase their profit margin via lower operating costs. The profit margins on some flights are only a few dollars, so a $5 improvement per passenger would be huge, and make the market more attractive for added service.

OK so we're back to where we were before.

Pittsburghers have 2 options:

1) Let the hub close and get lower fares, or

2) Pay taxes in return for higher fares than in scenario (1)

Quoting PITrules (Reply 72):
make the market more attractive for added service.

Which leads to reduced fares . . . and reduced airline profitability . . . bye bye $5.00 . . .

Quoting PITrules (Reply 72):
BTW, it wasn't only local tax dollars that would have been used for those other ideas. In fact, most of the public portion of the costs would have been state dollars IIRC.

Yikes. That idea must have played well in Philadelphia, Erie, Scranton, Bethlehem, and the rest of the state.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 72):
PIT's O&D peaked in 2007 and has been down since, almost to its suppressed hub level.

As it has at many medium-hub (U.S. DoT definition) airports. This is attributable to the worst recession since the Great Depression, airline consolidation, and airlines charging high fares due to high fuel prices. Many airports haven't recovered to their pre-recession peak.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 72):
So I think there is room for growth in the local market. Page 16:

Of course any market has "room to grow" if the conditions are right.

Topic: RE: Rise And Fall Of An International Airport
Username: SA7700
Posted 2012-11-13 10:50:01 and read 2202 times.

This thread will be locked as at has veered off-topic from a thread about GSW to a general thread about PIT, MEM, CLE, etc. Any posts added after the thread lock will be removed for housekeeping purposes only.


Regards,

SA7700


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