KarlB737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3171 posts, RR: 10 Posted (4 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2011 times:
I am embarrassed to state that this report came out in January and I totally missed it. I am obviously slipping, Anyway I did some digging today and discovered that FNT is doing another terminal expansion which will include four more jetways. The work is expected to begin this spring. At the time these television news reports aired the coming together of Southwest and AirTran created a lot of speculation as you will all remember. Time will tell how FNT's AirTran flights will be affected as all of these events shake out.
There used to be a Econo Lodge directly across the street from the FNT terminal. It was still fairly new when it was torn down to be replaced by expanded airport parking on that site. I had a conversation with the owner of that Econo Lodge prior to demolition and he told me that eventually the FNT terminal would eventually be expanded further to the east where Fedex used to reside. I didn't think much about it at the time. Now with Fedex totally moved west of the terminal you might state that area is available for............... I'm not implying anything or predicting anything. I'm just putting pieces together and wondering.
Obviously this current expansion if viewed from an aerial perspective shouldn't be a surprise. I am sure it was part of the original plan which has been put together piece by piece as the needs and funding was available.
Remember as well that Jim Rice from the very beginning is a man that pushed to completely replace the entire FNT terminal when jet service at FNT consisted of a USAir flight to PIT if I recall. The original terminal had but one jetway. The city and its population at that time couldn't understand why the airport should replace its terminal when it had so little airline service.
Jim Rice pushes forward with a plan regardless of the economy, the level of service, or any other irrelevant obstactles that are ahead of him. Looking back, success at FNT really took off when he got ValuJet to begin service at FNT then the number of fliers climbed substantially. Well we all know what ValuJet evolved into and Jim and continued to build on that success attracting other carriers.
Exactly how the WN-Airtran thing will affect FNT service is any A'Netters guess. I will guess that he may have wanted to complete the terminal which could be viewed as a Capital I (eye) if viewed from the air after this latest expansion. If and I am saying "if" he wanted to have sufficient jetways in place to entice WN to maintain and/or expand the AirTran and/or Southwest service he may have been motivated to "finish" the terminal at this time. Just my 90 cents.