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New Branson (Missouri) Airport  
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

A new (privately-funded) commercial airport is being constructed in Branson. There's some information at this link: http://www.branson-missouri.com/branson-airports.asp

Those who promote Branson claim that the airport will increase tourism because it's a long drive from SGF and gas is expensive... that leads to a couple of questions:

1) Does Branson need its own airport? It seems to me that Branson draws far more people from Kansas City and St. Louis than from Boston and New York, and I wonder how many people really do fly to Branson. There are plenty of other tourist traps (e.g. Wisconsin Dells and Gatlinburg Tennessee) that are a fair distance from a commercial airport.

2) How will this affect SGF? Southwest Missouri isn't huge, and I'm not convinced that splitting the traffic that there is is beneficial-- and SGF is opening what looks to be a very nice new terminal in less than a year.

The new airport is also privately-funded. Is that a trend we're going to start to see more of in this country, or does it do no more than demonstrate that this project is a bad idea?


I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7110 times:

What type of service will they poissibly attract..Perhaps I could see G4 doing some summer charters

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 7061 times:

Is this the beginning of the end of airline flights to SGF...Springfield MO? I understand commercial service at Joplin has ended.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offline727Tiger From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 264 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6817 times:

As of now, I am unaware of any scheduled service being announced for Branson's new airport. Even if service is announced, I don't see much of an impact on SGF. Ten years ago, the city tried to market SGF as a gateway to Branson, thus the first renaming to capture the Branson name. However, I don't think it really took off, because most Branson visitors continued to arrive by charter bus or personal auto.

Frankly, I don't see Branson attracting much scheduled service, though, perhaps, some charter service.


User currently offlineOzarkD9S From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5010 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6805 times:

Anyone remember the airline that flew into the existing Branson airport with Dash 7's? I know they flew from STL - MCI - BNA and maybe DFW and IIRC was called Branson Airlines. Had a musical note logo.


Next Up: STL-LGA-RIC-ATL-STL
User currently offlineRedcenterflyer From Australia, joined Feb 2008, 63 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 6803 times:

I just flew into and out of SGF in May. They are building a new terminal in SGF. I wonder how this will affect flights to SGF as well. The new SGF terminal will have 10 gates to start with with the capability and room to expand to 60 gates. Will be very interesting to see how this plays out for south west Missouri.

User currently offlineMohawker From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6705 times:

Branson had 8.4 million visitors in 2007. Did you know that of those 8.4 million visitors 5.4 million came from beyond 300 miles? Did you know that through April 2008 visitors to Branson from MSP totalled 60,186 and visitors from STL totalled 55,042? Did you know that the fares out of SGF are astronomical? Do you think Orlando or Las Vegas would be the tourist destinations they are with $1200 airfares? Well, that is what they offer at SGF. How can you expect a ton of passengers to flow through SGF on their way to Branson for those kind of fares? The goal of the new airport is to go after LCC's. Go to the Branson Airport website at www.bransonair.net and it is all spelled out. What they are doing may be the wave of the future.

User currently offlineIloveboeing From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 794 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6696 times:



Quoting Redcenterflyer (Reply 5):
I just flew into and out of SGF in May. They are building a new terminal in SGF. I wonder how this will affect flights to SGF as well. The new SGF terminal will have 10 gates to start with with the capability and room to expand to 60 gates. Will be very interesting to see how this plays out for south west Missouri.

Yes, it will be interesting. SGF is my local airport. I hope they can do something about the fares there; they have been very high (last time I flew to the East Coast, it was well over $500 r/t). I know it's more expensive to operate regional jets, but I don't think the fares need to be that high (even with oil as high as it is----besides, highest fare possible doesn't equal maximum profit). Other airlines were charging $600 and even $700 r/t.

Branson is a highly visited region and SGF could greatly benefit if the airlines offered lower fares. The new terminal should help attract more airlines.

Is there a chance that we could get WN? I really hope so! The Springfield-Branson area is growing and I think WN could benefit, and they could also tap into the Branson travel market. I think that their other two Missouri cities would not be affected, as they are both nearly 200 miles away. They could offer service to places such as DAL, DEN, BNA, and MDW, and maybe even short flights to both MCI and STL.

Maybe the new terminal might help attract WN to SGF.....


User currently offlineMohawker From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 2 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6658 times:

How does building a new terminal attract the likes of WN? All that does is raise the operating costs for the airlines at that airport. The goal would be for airport costs to be low to attract the likes of WN. Right?

User currently offlineFlyHi76 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6626 times:

Anyone who thinks Branson doesn't need an airport is dead wrong. I live near Branson and everyone I know drives 3 to 4 hours to Tulsa, Kansas City, or Little Rock everytime they fly anywhere. What matters is not the number of airports in an area, but what type of service they provide. Branson Airport has pledged to bring in low cost airline service. Look at what happened to Springfield when Allegiant came in. The number of passengers flying through there increased 18%. And Allegiant only flies to 2 cities! If Branson can bring in a major low cost airline, not only will the locals start flying more and driving less, but all of those 5 million Branson visitors from beyond 300 miles that now waste at least 8 hours being bussed from some larger airport or somewhere even further will fly directly into Branson. That means more airlines and cheaper air service.

About Springfield's terminal. Building a new terminal does not encourage new air service. What it does is increase airport operating costs and force the existing airlines to pay more money to maintain and pay the debt service on it. What airline that is paying $138 per barrel of oil wants to see airport costs increase? Definately not a low cost airline!!!


User currently offlineFedExFlyerPHL From United States of America, joined May 2008, 191 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6612 times:

What about someone like AirTran? They serve some smaller cities (at least the used to) so maybe some connections into ATL to start would be good.

Jeff



ABE ATL AUA AUS BHM BOS BUR BWI CLT DFW EWR HOU IAD JAN JAX LAX LGB MEM MCI MCO MDW MGW MSP MSY ORD PHL PIT SJU SNA STL
User currently offlineKPWMSpotter From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 433 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6586 times:

Branson's new Airport Director is Jeff Bourk, the former assistant airport manager at PWM (Portland, Maine).

I knew Jeff personally when he was in Portland, and if his record is any indication of the future at Branson, they just might have a chance. In his short time at PWM, he helped bring in Independence Air, JetBlue, and AirTran, all when PWM was losing service right and left from every other airline.

I agree that Branson isn't a very large market...but if they can land a 4x weekly with Allegiant or AirTran, they will have probably fulfilled their short term goal as an airport (although that probably won't turn much of a profit for the private financiers of the airport...)



I reject your reality and substitute my own...
User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2434 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6575 times:
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Well some of the locations that WN started had either just upgraded their terminals or were in the process of. I think that was the case in Richmond, but for whatever reason ( 9/11 etc) WN didn't start service there as was anticipated. I believe it was to have been soon after the ORF service commenced.

But I have heard that facilities are an important factor in WN service, or was at one time.

As for Branson Airlines, I have one of their plastic laminated boarding passes. I always wondered how they ever thought they'd survive.

[Edited 2008-06-09 16:30:27]


"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6497 times:



Quoting FlyHi76 (Reply 9):
If Branson can bring in a major low cost airline, not only will the locals start flying more and driving less, but all of those 5 million Branson visitors from beyond 300 miles that now waste at least 8 hours being bussed from some larger airport or somewhere even further will fly directly into Branson. That means more airlines and cheaper air service.

If there's all this pent-up demand, why hasn't someone captured it at SGF (and done so 5 years ago when fuel prices were more reasonable)? It doesn't seem like Branson is so isolated that the airport will be a game-changer, and when you've got a price-sensitive demand base, it seems useful to have some business travelers, which Springfield (population ~400,000) has but Branson really does not.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1359 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 6310 times:

We visit North Arkansas on business and flip flop between Springfield (SGF) and Walmart Intl (XNA).

Branson would be a lot closer - but I will not hold my breath for better service than the other two options.


User currently offlineFlyHi76 From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 6254 times:

Branson's 'pent-up' demand is shown in the numbers of people that 'leak' from Branson to the surrounding airports of Little Rock, Tulsa, Kansas City, and St. Louis (rather than flying out of SGF or XNA). In fact, I've heard that the leakage in the Branson area is as much as 40%. If the Branson Airport can bring in a low cost airline, like they say they can, then people in the Branson area will start flying out of Branson. Leakage aside, there are still 5 million people that visit Branson every year from beyond 300 miles. Even if 5% started flying in and out of Branson, that would generate 500,000 passengers a year. There's not doubt that there is a potential for a significant amount of air traffic demand to/from Branson, the determining factor will be the cost of the airservice and whether it will stimulate that demand or not?



[Edited 2008-06-10 00:58:08]

User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 16, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 6128 times:



Quoting FlyHi76 (Reply 15):
If the Branson Airport can bring in a low cost airline, like they say they can, then people in the Branson area will start flying out of Branson.

If Branson can bring in a low cost airline like they say they can, why has SGF been unable to? Is SGF that poorly-managed?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMtnWest1979 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 2434 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 6062 times:
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Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 16):
If Branson can bring in a low cost airline like they say they can, why has SGF been unable to? Is SGF that poorly-managed?

More likely that Branson Airport will subsidize any service there and SGF would not. Simple as that.



"If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6006 times:



Quoting MtnWest1979 (Reply 17):
More likely that Branson Airport will subsidize any service there and SGF would not. Simple as that.

If new service would require subsidies, doesn't that indicate a lack of demand?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSmpeet From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5974 times:

My name is Steve Peet. I am the CEO and lead investor in the Branson Airport project. As the first privately developed commercial airport in the US, only time will tell whether this whole project or concept is a "bad idea" as suggested above. The good news is that regardless of whether we are financially successful or not, a commercial airport will be built in Branson and not one dime of public money will be spent. As a self serving comment, I wouldn't bet against us.

In response to some of the comments above regarding Springfield Airport, my impression is that SGF is very well managed and the community should be proud of their airport. The fact is that SGF has succeeded in attracting a low cost service provider in Allegiant and that service is doing very well. I expect that SGF will continue to grow and serve successfully for years to come.

Branson Airports success however is unrelated to SGF. Branson is not Springfield. Our targeted market/audience is the 5mm+ visitors coming to Branson from great distance. In 2007 Branson hosted 8.5mm visitors of which 5mm traveled over 300 miles to arrive. Hard data shows that current Branson visitors come in mass from every corner of this Country. The fact is that most visitors do not drive from close-in markets like St Louis/Kansas City but instead are driving from great distance or flying to airports with low fare providers and then driving another 3-4 hours. Our target is all those visitors that are now getting to Branson with great inconvenience and more importantly their neighbors and friends who simply don't have the time or energy to make that kind of drive. The Branson area is a very real national destination with 24,000 hotel rooms, 12 championship golf courses (3 of national stature), 55,000 theater seats, 100 shows, countless outdoor activities, outstanding family amusement parks, a new world class convention center and enough spas, shopping and dining options to satisfy the most discerning consumer. To put this in perspective, Reno attracts about 5mm visitors annually and 2.5mm of them fly. There is enormous "pent up demand" waiting to be served and stimulated with convenience and leisure fares.

Branson Airport is looking to attract low fares but that does not exclude any carrier. As a private airport operator we can offer carriers the right to serve given routes exclusively for a negotiated period of time. To maintain this exclusivity a carrier must offer reasonable but not suicidal leisure fares. In these times of high fuel costs and capacity reductions Branson Airport can offer airlines the opportunity to initiate and grow capacity without competition on given routes where initial demand will arguably be multiples of the seats provided. Branson Airport's business model is based on volume. In order to grow volume we need our carriers to be successful (profitable). The Airport and the community at large are commited to the air carrier's success. Exclusivity is just one example of the many advantages a private airport can bring to air service providers. We will open for business in May of 2009.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5943 times:



Quoting Smpeet (Reply 19):
Exclusivity is just one example of the many advantages a private airport can bring to air service providers.

Exclusivity is really interesting because it might induce some carriers we might not expect... For a carrier like SY (ex-MSP) or FL (ex-ATL), it might be enough to get them to try a market they wouldn't otherwise look to. Against long odds, FL succeeds in places like Wichita, Akron, and Bloomington-Normal.

OTOH, I suspect exclusivity won't help much with legacy service to large hubs, primarily because of the dynamics of the market. ORD would be a logical guess for a 2-legacy route, but I suspect AA won't bite thanks to the m/x base at SGF.

Quoting Smpeet (Reply 19):
The good news is that regardless of whether we are financially successful or not, a commercial airport will be built in Branson and not one dime of public money will be spent.

I'm skeptical about the airport's ability to succeed, but it's a net positive for Branson. We can certainly debate how large or small the effect will be, but it will be positive.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5886 times:



Quoting Smpeet (Reply 19):
My name is Steve Peet. I am the CEO and lead investor in the Branson Airport project. As the first privately developed commercial airport in the US, only time will tell whether this whole project or concept is a "bad idea" as suggested above.

Steve--thanks for your interesting post. That's really a great concept and I really hope it works. The exclusivity seems to be a powerful tool. I have a cousin who has told me about this project as he is involved in it to some extent and after talking the details with him, my opinion was that it's time to start investing in property in Branson, because boom times are ahead! I hope it works out that way.


User currently offlineSYfan100 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 590 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5835 times:

Some how I think Branson is more like Myrtle Beach with seasonal service then that is it. However look at places like Aspen and Vail who have a ton of seasonal service and how much money the end up making from all the ski people that fly in daily to hit those slopes.
However you can have a Airline fly to the classic places like Orlando and LasVegas year round and still get some passenger traffic.
In general here is a list of some 2nd Airports that some people thought were a waste of time to build because they either don't get any passenger traffic or kicked all the Airlines out that served them and became a all cargo airport.
1.MidAmerica Airport outside of St.Louis
2.Montreal (Can't think of the name)

Is Bransons idea of building a Airport a waste?


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22737 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5819 times:



Quoting SYfan100 (Reply 22):
In general here is a list of some 2nd Airports that some people thought were a waste of time to build because they either don't get any passenger traffic or kicked all the Airlines out that served them and became a all cargo airport.

G4 does well at BLV.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineSYfan100 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 590 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5808 times:



Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 23):
G4 does well at BLV.

Aren't they the only Airline though?
I saw something that said they were doing well. But the idea from many people in the area I was reading had said they thought the Airport should never have been built because of their is no need for it really.
It was built because everyone thought TWA was going to take off at STL with growth and their would be a need for a second airport. Well we all no what happened to TWA.


25 Cubsrule : It was built because Illinois wanted a piece of the congestion relief action. Even with TW going crazy at STL, though, there never was a need for bot
26 PITops : When I was at WN's Message to the Field in MCO earlier this year, someone asked Gary Kelly if WN would ever come to Branson. Said that they've started
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