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Commercial Service To South Lake Tahoe Or Truckee  
User currently offlineMats From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 631 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 4236 times:

During the winter, there is often a weekend exodus from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe. It is a difficult drive due to the traffic and the weather. One frequently has to stop and put chains on tires, and traffic jams can be painfully long at the beginning and end of weekends.

There is commercial rail service from Oakland, but it runs only once a day. It is a long trip, and it leaves in the middle of the afternoon, thereby making it unattractive to those who wish to travel to Tahoe after work.

Buses, especially special "ski buses" are subject to the same traffic and weather disturbances as personal vehicles.

The official airport, Reno/Lake Tahoe is actually quite far. The drive from the Reno/Lake Tahoe Airport still requires traversing high, snowy terrain, tire chains, and other inconveniences. Although there are flights from SFO and Oakland to Reno, these would not save much time.

Previous threads discussed how noise restrictions brought the end of service to South Lake Tahoe (TVL), but one wonders if newer aircraft could avert this problem

I don't know enough about the facilities available at the airport, but I dream of a Friday evening to Sunday evening winter service from SFO to Truckee. This would serve the ski resorts, The new Ritz Carlton, among other destinations.

If Continental Express can make it work with service from Newark to Mont Tremblant, I envision the same for Lake Tahoe.

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinehiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2172 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4198 times:

Your looking at a 6300 ft elevation airport with a single 8500 foot runway.

NOTAM
ACCESS NOISE RESTRICTIONS: MAX 80 DBA DEP, 84 DBA ARR (TRANSPORT - 86 DBA), MAX 77.1 DBA NIGHT LIMIT.

There is a FBO with JetA along with 100LL.

Believe AirCal (Air California) and PSA went in there at one time with an Electra on a sked basis and know that jet service ran into the 90's but all has since been discontinued....but none of that was Regional Jet...just older tech Dc9 and 737's.

Could the RJ's work up there? Most assuredly but two questions have to be profit margin and available cargo space on the aircraft to handle the ski equipment. SkyWest would be the obvious candidate at first glance with their extensive network and supporting both UA and DL in the region along with their experience with Vail, Aspen, Steamboat and other resorts.

It would boil down to putting enough in there to make it work....perhaps 2x DEN TVL SFO round robins for UA and 2x SLC TVL LAX for DL at first glance....especially if the aircraft could fuel thru....during high season...maybe 1 each during low.


Just a thought...   


User currently offlineWhatUsaid From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 664 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4143 times:

TVL is not a friendly airport. G4 tried and failed. There was Tahoe Air as well. Residents don't like the noise and will do all they can to keep commercial service out of TVL. I flew Golden West Dash 7's and Air Cal FAT-TVL and loved it. 30 minute flight and 30 minutes on the ground collecting luggage and the short drive, and you were on the slopes. It was great.

User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4101 times:
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Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Residents don't like the noise and will do all they can to keep commercial service out of TVL

I live very near this area on a part time basis and most of my neighbors are very much opposed to commercial service into TVL. If you are already here, getting to RNO is not that far - admittedly not that close either (60 miles from South Lake Tahoe to RNO) - but many people do not mind the drive if that is what is required to keep commercial service away.

I too would like to see service here, but I'm not counting on it.



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineUSXguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1017 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4071 times:

I've done the drive from Reno to South Tahoe and its not that bad.. I even did one in some heavy snow fall & didn't need snow tires/chains. Guess it all depends how comfortable you are with driving in snow.


xx
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3076 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3890 times:

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Believe AirCal (Air California) and PSA went in there at one time with an Electra on a sked basis and know that jet service ran into the 90's but all has since been discontinued....but none of that was Regional Jet...just older tech Dc9 and 737's.

Yes, Air California and PSA both started TVL flights around 1975. They had to fly the Electra. PSA's application to fly 727s was denied at least once.

PSA flew non-stop from LAX and BUR to TVL. They later added SFO.
OC flew from OAK and SJC to TVL. They also later added SFO non-stop.

PSA discontinued TVL when they phased out their electras, around 1979 IIRC. OC was able to get permission to fly the 733 and MD80s in their later as they were a bit quiter than the 732 or 722 that they and PSA previously flew.

Prior to PSA and OC entering the market, there was a small intrastate airline called "Holiday" that also flew Electras from SJC and LAX (not sure of the exact cities, maybe OAK too) to TVL. When they went out of business, OC and PS stepped in.

RW also flew F27s from SFO-TVL and SFO-SCK-TVL in the early 70s.

Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
TVL is not a friendly airport. G4 tried and failed. There was Tahoe Air as well.

QQ tried it as well with MD80s from LAX-TVL for a short time. I believe they got a subsidy to try it.


User currently onlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 942 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 3817 times:

I flew Reno Air into TVL a couple of times. Because of the terrain both approach and take-off had to be over the lake. I suppose one or the other was downwind. That can't help. The airlines were subsidized by the casinos. I don't think the casinos can afford that now.

Truckee's runway may be long enough, but not for a very big plane. The chance of extending it is zero. In fact, there is some interest in returning the fed's money for the last extension and shortening it to keep biz jets out (I am one of those people). The extension was done with little publicity to the neighbors that bigger jets would be using it. It was sold as a safety necessity. The current airport board was elected to increase the non-flying public's (taxpayer's) interest in how the airport is run. If there is an attempt to enhance the airport for commercial service there will be a lot of opposition from the neighbors, like me. Just drive to Reno. It's 40 minutes, and if the weather is so bad you need chains, no one is flying there either.

If the jets flying into Truckee had respected the neighbors and flown the recommended pattern there might have been a chance. SInce they rarely do they have throughly burned that bridge behind them.


User currently offlineslcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3469 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3763 times:

Unfortunately delta has significantly reduced its seasonal ski service from all hubs.

The first thing that came to my mind when i read this was.....weather. I would imagine that RNO is much more protected from the major storms and bad weather that would make this airport unreliable and inconsistent in the Winter. Maybe someone in the area can confirm but i bet that is the major reason why RNO makes more sense for the airlines.

UA from SFO or LAX might have a chance to be successful. I agree there probably would be some demand for the service like how people will pay more to fly into Telluride than Montrose or more into EGE than into DEN. The major problem i see profit wise is RNO has LCC southwest so I'm wondering how much demand there would truly be when fares would need to be higher to be worth it. SJC already has service to Mammoth for the crowd that wants to get away quickly without driving bad weather and SJC is a more convenient/smaller airport for alot of people that arn't connecting


User currently onlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 942 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3730 times:

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 7):
The first thing that came to my mind when i read this was.....weather. I would imagine that RNO is much more protected from the major storms and bad weather that would make this airport unreliable and inconsistent in the Winter. Maybe someone in the area can confirm but i bet that is the major reason why RNO makes more sense for the airlines.

I think that is a key point. On the days where the drive is terrible the flying is impossible to TVL or TRK. I once spent 3 days trying to get from LAX to RNO because of weather, and that is the best place in the area. Reno actually closes very rarely, either from fog or snow. Usually just for a few hours. Much better then LHR!

Also, if the goal is skiing think of all the stuff you take: skis, boots, helmet, heavy clothes. It will cost a fortune to check it. No way it is going carry-on. Cars make more sense when it is a 3-5 hour drive on a good day. The airport solution (after parking, security, check-in, waiting, transport on the far end) is only a couple of hours faster.

Maybe the real solution is a decent train. This probably belongs on railroads.net, but the time it takes to go by rail from Oakland to Truckee today is nearly exactly the same time it took when the service started, around 1870! No improvement in 140 years!


User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6836 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3697 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 8):
the time it takes to go by rail from Oakland to Truckee today is nearly exactly the same time it took when the service started, around 1870!

If "nearly exactly" means "within several hours".


User currently offlinewedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5910 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3597 times:
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The last airline that I recall flying TVL was either Tahoe Air with 737-200's (LAX-TVL and SJC-TVL) and Pacific Expressway J31's (OAK-TVL). I think the last airline to serve Truckee, CA was Sierra Pacific with Convair 580's back in 1970's.

Not that I'm too biased, but I think the Q400 would the best suited aircraft to fly into either Truckee or TVL with ease. Other than the environmental nimbies, I think QX could make either of them work.


User currently offlineflyibaby From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1017 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3576 times:

Didn't American Eagle - operated by Wings West fly into TVL in the 80's?

User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3531 times:

I believe American flew MD-82/83's into TVL in the late 80's, after they purchases Air California.

User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3479 times:

..and Aspen Air. I remember riding an Aspen Convair (something) on the SJC-TVL route in about '79. The TVL control tower is now closed by the way. It's very quiet there these days.

A lot more GA activity at TRK....but,

Truckee would be an airline bust. No right minded operator would fly in at night. No good instrument approach due to high terrain. It's really a VFR airport. I would bet many flights would divert or cancel due to weather and wind. Also very noise sensitive as mentioned.


User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3008 posts, RR: 26
Reply 14, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3407 times:

Quoting Mats (Thread starter):
It is a difficult drive due to the traffic and the weather.

I live in San Francisco and love to ski. I end up going to Tahoe quite often, at times almost every weekend to fulfill my thirst for the snow. Bottom line, the drive isn't that bad. I often make it to Northstar/Squaw in 3hrs15min but it averages 3hrs30min. All you have to do is drive smart - if there is a storm coming, obviously don't do it, you'll be stuck in unnecessary traffic.

The drive sure as hell beats driving to the airport with massive amounts of snow/ski gear, parking your car in an extended stay lot, checking-in you gear, waiting for your flight, flying the short hop, waiting for your gear, and last but not least renting a car to take you around Tahoe. Why not take your own car and end up saving money?

Aeroflot777


User currently offlineAeroflot777 From Russia, joined Mar 2004, 3008 posts, RR: 26
Reply 15, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3405 times:

... Oh and not to mention paying outrageous fares (mind you, they WILL be outrageous) for a small hop across the state.

User currently offlinejamake1 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1010 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3374 times:

I too flew Tahoe Air into TVL in the Spring of 2000. It was a beautiful approach into TVL right over Emerald Lake. At the time, Allegiant was also operating to LAS and BUR with DC-9's. Air Cal flew their MD-80's into TVL up until the merger with AA in the spring of '87. I believe AA's service to TVL lasted through the launch of their hub at SJC in 1988.

There were a number of short-lived carriers that operated into TVL during the early 1980's, including Cal Sierra Airlines, which flew Convairs from Southern California (LAX and BUR, I believe) as well as Royal American Airways which operated Viscounts from OAK and Long Beach.

The problem with TVL is that often times during the winter the minimums would be too low and flights would end up diverting into RNO with passengers having to be bussed from RNO and TVL. Reno Air's TVL service often became a bus service from RNO.

Horizon would perhaps be the best carrier to bring back service at TVL as the Q400 is the most ideally suited aircraft.

[Edited 2011-01-18 22:29:27]


United's B747-400. "She's a a cruel lover."
User currently offlineslcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3469 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3347 times:

Quoting jamake1 (Reply 16):
The problem with TVL is that often times during the winter the minimums would be too low and flights would end up diverting into RNO with passengers having to be bussed from RNO and TVL. Reno Air's TVL service often became a bus service from RNO.

This is exactly what i was referring too with the airport being inconsistent and unreliable in the winter.

Very similar to service to Telluride. It often ends up being a trip to Montrose and bus to Telluride airport. It stinks cause you paid alot more than you would have to Montrose. This same price versus risk issue would make alot of people just book RNO i bet. Its simply too close. Non-winter service would be possible and few cancellations but thats not the profitable time.


User currently onlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 942 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Quoting wedgetail737 (Reply 10):
Not that I'm too biased, but I think the Q400 would the best suited aircraft to fly into either Truckee or TVL with ease. Other than the environmental nimbies, I think QX could make either of them work.

I think the neighbors (the ones I know) could live with a Q400 as long as it uses a close-in pattern. STOL aircraft have minimal impact if flown with consideration. Its the larger, faster aircraft (non-prop) that are most disliked.


User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2866 posts, RR: 30
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3280 times:

TVL is an exciting possibility, but who would fly there? QX springs to mind with their quiet green Q400s, but those planes already serve nearby RNO - a much larger, proven market - from SEA and LAX. Any TVL flights would not only be risky but also undermining those existing services. Ditto for a CR7 OO service on behalf of UAX or DLC...

It sounds like all of the recent TVL attempts have been by upstart airlines that aren't established players at RNO. I can't see any longtime RNO tenant risking their ops and marketshare there just to give TVL a try.

A new service to Truckee would never work, since the RNO airport is such a quick and easy interstate drive away from that area.



Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2605 posts, RR: 22
Reply 20, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3204 times:
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Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 5):
They had to fly the Electra

The L-188 was the perfect aircraft for TVL and was winter weatherproof.
Later the Dash 7's were the best.
I would agree that by today's standards the Q400's would be the choice.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25339 posts, RR: 22
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 5 days ago) and read 3068 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 5):
Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Believe AirCal (Air California) and PSA went in there at one time with an Electra on a sked basis and know that jet service ran into the 90's but all has since been discontinued....but none of that was Regional Jet...just older tech Dc9 and 737's.

Yes, Air California and PSA both started TVL flights around 1975. They had to fly the Electra. PSA's application to fly 727s was denied at least once.

One of the Electras acquired by PSA in 1975 had been delivered new to PSA in 1959 and sold in 1968. Seven years later they had it back again.


User currently offlineCOSPN From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Oct 2001, 1619 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

I Flew AA LAX-TVL in 1989 or so thought it was a 737 but not sure...

User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 21):
Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 5):
Quoting WhatUsaid (Reply 2):
Believe AirCal (Air California) and PSA went in there at one time with an Electra on a sked basis and know that jet service ran into the 90's but all has since been discontinued....but none of that was Regional Jet...just older tech Dc9 and 737's.

Yes, Air California and PSA both started TVL flights around 1975. They had to fly the Electra. PSA's application to fly 727s was denied at least once.

One of the Electras acquired by PSA in 1975 had been delivered new to PSA in 1959 and sold in 1968. Seven years later they had it back again.

Both PSA and AirCal initiated L-188 Electra service to TVL in 1975 when Holiday Airlines folded. At the time, Holiday was the only airline serving TVL and they used Electras also. I flew to TVL during the next two years on both carrier's Electras. PSA had sold off all of their factory delivered Electra fleet and leased aircraft from McCulloch, an oil and land development company that developed Lake Havasu, and which had begun its airline subsidiary when it bought a few TWA L-049 Connies in the early 60's to fly prospective buyers to Lake Havasu. I believe PSA first leased and later acquired three former AA Electras from McCulloch. Another of PSA's Electra's was one of their original aircraft that they re-acquired from the Holiday Airlines estate when that company went out of business. Air California, on the other hand, had kept one of their original L-188's, and picked up one of Holiday's aircraft, and one ex NW aircraft, N123US. That aircraft was the last Electra I ever flew on, SNA-SFO in the fall of 1976.


User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3076 posts, RR: 7
Reply 24, posted (3 years 8 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2837 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 23):
At the time, Holiday was the only airline serving TVL and they used Electras also.

Great write up, but I believe RW flew in there with F27s too. IIRC, the flight went SFO-SCK-TVL at least some of the time. They pulled out in the mid-70s.


25 mtnwest1979 : Just to add to list, Golden gate Airlines started RNO-TVL-SFO flights in early 1981, around the same time they started service into BOI. As for Trucke
26 wedgetail737 : Didn't they use Nord N262 aircraft or something like that?
27 Post contains images solnabo : My flight SFO-TVL was a Fairchild Metro III,13 pax crammed in the metal tube, horrible ride w severe turbulence .... //Mike
28 Post contains links milesrich : RW did fly there at one time, but by 1974, when I moved to Modesto, and flew out of MOD, and SCK weekly, that flight was gone. When Holiday shut down
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