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What Is The Future Of FWA?  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 28
Posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4892 times:

For anyone who is familiar with FWA (which is my hometown airport)...

What are your predictions of the future of FWA? I have seen their 20-year master plan (drawn up in 2003), and have a copy of it (they kindly sent it to me). In their master plan, FWA plans to add a new parallel runway 5-23 (to be 5R-23L); the existing runway 5-23 would then be 5L-23R. In the near term, the existing terminal would be extended to add one gate (and there would also be an extension of ticketing).

In the longer term, FWA would build a whole new terminal between the two parallel runways 5-23 (existing and new), with an entrance right off I-469. There are no drawings of this new terminal yet, although my creative mind has been drawing it up on its own! It would be a nice, modern glass structure with a flowing roof and a linear concourse running along the front of it, with room for 10 gates (with room to expand if need be).

Already now, FWA has its Foreign Trade Zone (with room for expansion) and Kitty Hawk facilities. They have also been building their new, taller ATC tower (if it hasn't already been finished; when I went home to FWA this Christmas, it was topped off).

Do you think FWA will do much growing within the next 20 years from now? All that is there currently is RJ traffic; all the airlines there are express/regional affiliates of majors (DL Connection, CO Connection, AA Eagle, UA Express, and NWA Airlink). Will there actually be a need for a new parallel runway or (longer term) a new terminal?

Any FWA people (or anyone familiar with it), please chime in and let me know your thoughts about FWA's future potential!

SmithAir747


I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
8 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAndrewUber From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2528 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4860 times:

Well personally I think a parallel runway is a waste of my tax dollars. There is never a queue for takeoff, except for those 30 minutes during the Kitty Hawk launch (I've actually had to wait almost a MINUTE for takeoff clearance in a 737 because there was a 727 or A300 in front of me!!!).

As for the new tower, the structure is complete, I'm not sure when it will open. The old tower will be torn down soon thereafter.

The terminal at FWA is only 6 years old - I cannot imagine them spending a hundred million replacing it - but one never knows. I've flown out of there several times, and there are always empty gates. It's not like they are inundated with traffic - and even then - the largest scheduled aircraft is a CRJ-200.

There are also dozens of empty buildings on the property. T-hangars, the old Victory Aviation facility, the old Shuttle America facility - it's all empty.

I really hope they don't blow more of our money on FWA! It is working just fine! It has plenty of resources, and can handle 10 times the traffic it gets.

Drew  bigthumbsup 



I'd rather shoot BAD_MOTIVE
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 28
Reply 2, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 4841 times:

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 1):
It's not like they are inundated with traffic - and even then - the largest scheduled aircraft is a CRJ-200.



Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 1):
and can handle 10 times the traffic it gets.

It's good to hear from a fellow Fort Wayner! (I'd still like to meet you at FWA if and when I get home from London this summer!)

What is the largest aircraft that could conceivably be handled at the current terminal? Could it handle the new ER variants of the 737, or even a small widebody? Would a 747 be too cramped there?

How much more traffic could FWA handle?

I've always wondered, if I started my own small, niche transatlantic p2p carrier like PrivatAir, with ER 737s or small widebody aircraft (and called it Smith Airways, hence my username), would it strain the capacity of the facilities at FWA?

Thanks for replying!

SmithAir747 (or should I change to SmithAirBBJ?)

PS: Actually, the FWA terminal is much more than 6 years old. It opened soon after Baer Field was transferred from government/military control to the city for a commercial airport in 1945. I have old postcards of the same terminal from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. I remember, as a child in the 80s, being in the terminal during the mainline days of Piedmont, Delta, etc, and it was small, with 2 jetways upstairs and a glass box concourse at ground level for regionals. It was remodeled, expanded, and almost literally "rebuilt" several times throughout the decades. The current expansion was completed in 1996.



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineTAN FLYR From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1908 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4808 times:

As a former resident of FWA from 1972-1982, and a regular visitor back to "the Fort" at least 4-6 times per year, I cannot think of a more wastful expenditure of Federal, state or local tax dollars. This master plan seem to have delusions of grandeur just like a lot of other cities. The current terminal, runway configuration, etc. is more than adequete for current and reasonable expected growth for years to come.

A midfield terminal...trying to copy IND? What lunacy!

Some folks there, just like in Fresno,South Bend,Toledo, and a dozen other locations just can't get over the fact that United, or Delta or whomever doesn't run all 737/727/D9s service "like we used to have" ! Yes, well I remember those DL 727's taking off for IND and then ATL with hmm maybe 25 souls onboard. I'm sure folks there lament that they used to get coffee and a muffin on UA 997 every AM to ORD..heck I remember that too. Different times.

The powers to be would earning their pay better if they worked with the current carriers to build traffic with slightly more competitive fares to increase pax counts. I'm sure that if there were enough demand AA Eagle would put CR7's to Dallas and perhaps even ORD, Maybe get UA express to get a DEN flight. (remember the 727-100 FWA-SBN-DEN-BOI-GEG-SEA flight back in the mid/late 70s?!) MAybe they can induce Jet Blue to put 2 E-190s to JFK for soem new competition. UA used to run Caravelles NONSTOP to EWR from FWA in the 60's! MAybe get NW to put a R/T to MSP or MEM for more service.

In all , FWA travellers have one heck of a lot more choices now than 27-28 years ago(pre-deregulation). For those too young to remember..this was it..4 UA to ORD (occasionally5), 3 UA to the CLE mini hub, 1 UA to DEN, 3 DL to the DTW mini hub, 4 DL to ATL all via 1 stop at IND. That was it IIRC. Now you have 2 carriers to ORD, service to DFW, lots to DTW, CLE, CVG and ATL also.

The taxpayers of Allen County would be better off with utilizing the current terminal a lot more. I was just there 2 weeks ago, and it wasn't exactly bustling with aircraft waiting for gates, takeoff slots, and such.

Just FYI, yes FWA and handle any commercial aircraft including 747's. After the bizzard of 77 or 78, UA designated FWA as an alternative for ORD bound 747s. Saturday nights al the next fall UA sent 747 crews in to do a few to do a few touch -n gos to familarize themselves with FWA. Myself and a few buddies used to go hang out at the fire dept to keep warm and watch em.

Ok, I have rambled on enough..second 5/23 runway..that is funny!


User currently offlineLegend11 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4726 times:

I worked at Bax Global in FWA from '87 till the hub moved to TOL in '91. FWA extended to RW 23 to 10'000 feet to attract the Bax temp hub, and then seemed to lose interest after Win Moses lost his last mayoral bid in about '88 or therabouts. The new mayor did not believe any further effort to keep Bax is town was worthwhile, although the city did make a last minute and highly ineffective bid to keep the Bax hub. I have seen the new tower, and wondered how that got implemented. I was also working for an FBO when UA had a daily FWA-DEN flight, and was working the day that flight departed to DEN with one passenger on board.

Seems to me plans to add a parallel runway and new terminal are, indeed, a major pipe dream. Nothing against FWA, but I dont think they will ever have the kind of pax traffic that would justify such a master plan. I think the future will continue to be tied to the KHA freight operation, and potential expansion of the ANG side of the airport.


User currently offlineLegend11 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 107 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4722 times:

correction to previous post - the RWY 23 expansion, if memory serves, lengthed that rwy to 12,000 feet, which also make FWA eligible as a Space Shuttle alternate landing site

User currently offlineTornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4691 times:

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
In their master plan, FWA plans to add a new parallel runway 5-23 (to be 5R-23L); the existing runway 5-23 would then be 5L-23R. In the near term, the existing terminal would be extended to add one gate (and there would also be an extension of ticketing).

A parallel? For what?? When I was there last, waiting for my Commutair Beech, the only traffic in the 60 minutes I sat in the gate area was one Delta CRJ, my Beech, and a little Piper doing touch and go's, and Missed approaches every 10 minutes or so (it was an IFR day). Who is going to use this gate, or those ticket counters. The terminal is already empty as it is, and CO grew in SBN (added RJ) not FWA.

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):
In the longer term, FWA would build a whole new terminal between the two parallel runways 5-23 (existing and new), with an entrance right off I-469. There are no drawings of this new terminal yet,

They should have built 469 to be nearer to the airport as it is, but "Airport Expressway" is already a long, overbuilt road to nowhere. Why build a new road to the interstate? Also, why build a new terminal? The current terminal is quite nice for an airport of that size, no need to replace whatsoever!!!

Quoting SmithAir747 (Thread starter):


Do you think FWA will do much growing within the next 20 years from now? All that is there currently is RJ traffic; all the airlines there are express/regional affiliates of majors (DL Connection, CO Connection, AA Eagle, UA Express, and NWA Airlink). Will there actually be a need for a new parallel runway or (longer term) a new terminal?

Not much, and NEVER.

Quoting TAN FLYR (Reply 3):


The taxpayers of Allen County would be better off with utilizing the current terminal a lot more. I was just there 2 weeks ago, and it wasn't exactly bustling with aircraft waiting for gates, takeoff slots, and such.

Exactly. For a city of that size, that airport is disgustingly empty. Fly from home folks, the hell on those LCC's in IND.


User currently offlineSmithAir747 From Canada, joined Jan 2004, 1628 posts, RR: 28
Reply 7, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4622 times:

Quoting AndrewUber (Reply 1):
The terminal at FWA is only 6 years old

Actually, the terminal goes way back! I have some postcard photos of it dating back to the 1950s-late 70s/early 80s.

1955 postcard:



Postcard from 1950s/1960s:



Finally, the terminal as I first remember it during my childhood in the late 70s through early 1990s. This postcard dates back to the late 70s/early 80s. You can't see it from this side, but on airside there was a fabulous all-glass cube serving as the ground-floor regional concourse, and there were jetbridges upstairs.



In 1996, they finished their (current) expansion, adding two gates upstairs and replacing the all-glass regional concourse with a more conventional structure.

Enjoy! This airport holds LOTS of memories for me--especially the last postcard!

SmithAir747



I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
User currently offlineFlyinryan99 From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 2004 posts, RR: 13
Reply 8, posted (8 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4615 times:

Here are the stats for last year for FWA -

Airline Enplaned Deplaned Losses or Gains
Air Wisconsin (UA) 25,190 22,325 297% / 230%

American Eagle (AA) 77,308 74,371 17.2% / 8.0%

ASA (DL) 44,601 47,820 89% / 105%

ACA (DL) 0 0 -100% / -100%

Chautauqua (DL) 0 0 -100% / -100%

Chicago Express (TZ) 3,930 3,825 -76.9% / -77.1%

Comair (DL) 55,600 53,812 28.8% / 19.8%

CommutAir (CO) 12,099 11,665 14.8% / 13.8%

Mesa Airlines (UA) 8,009 5,635 100% / 100%

Mesaba Airlines (NW) 22,198 20,227 18.4% / 20.3%

Pinnacle Airlines (NW) 43,774 42,931 -15.4% / -17%

Shuttle America (US) 0 0 -100% / -100%

Skywest Airlines (UA) 21,842 25,397 -20% / -13.5%

Charters 1,788 1,778 -3.8% / 3.8%

Totals 316,339 309,786 626,125


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