Looks like Smisek is telling Chicago that at least for UA there is no need for a new runway at ORD or a new airport. It seems the mayor thinks differently.
Quote: Financially strapped airlines would benefit more from modernizing air traffic control systems than “pouring concrete,” Smisek said.
Pressed on what type of expansion is needed to meet passenger demand at O’Hare, he replied, “None.” He argued that expansion work already completed at O’Hare was “more than sufficient” to meet “any reasonably foreseeable demand.”
IrishAyes From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1952 posts, RR: 13 Reply 1, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9264 times:
Probably one of the most logical things I've heard said in a long time within this industry.
It amazes me how air transport is as safe as it is these days yet ATC systems themselves are outdated by nearly 25 years. Improvements are held back by serious lack of funding and political obstructionism. The US is being crippled by this as we speak; it is the only major country that has not created an independent ATC company.
Kudos to Smisek.
next flights: msp-iah-dal, dfw-ord-msp, msp-ord-lax-las, las-ord-msp
777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2441 posts, RR: 3 Reply 2, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 9180 times:
It should come as no surprise that the City of Chicago will continue to push for the extra runway for several reasons:
- It's about prestige: The Establishment (proper noun intended) has staked political capital on the expansion and in doing so, ruffled some feathers and burned some bridges.
- It's about jobs: Influential construction lobbies, er unions, could use them. Money = power and it all cycles back to The Establishment (see above).
- It's about control: ORD expansion means more land under its control and that ultimately will serve as an additional source of revenue (fingers crossed) down the road.
- It's about money: If you doubt the first three ooints, at least believe the last one because Chicago needs it to tie everything else together.
EricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1557 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9128 times:
Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 1): It amazes me how air transport is as safe as it is these days yet ATC systems themselves are outdated by nearly 25 years.
I think the reason why the ATC systems are outdated is because the system is so safe. In other words, there have not been any accidents directly attributed to the outdated ATC systems to prompt any sense of urgency for overhauling the system. It has become double edged sword.
Roseflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9152 posts, RR: 52 Reply 4, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 8897 times:
United does not want a new runway at ORD because United does not want to have to pay for it with higher landing fees. They are much happier with the current duopoly with AA and are more willing to work with voluntary slot restrictions than pay to fix the problem.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
kordcj From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 92 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8791 times:
I find it baffling that United and American thinks that the airport needs no expansion. When there are greater than 15% (being very generous here) of flights not operating on time, that indicates a problem. I can see how they can disregard the need for runway (9C-27C) as the other 7 runways should be more than sufficient to cover the airport's needs for the foreseeable future. But the airport is in desperate need of a new terminal or updated terminals to expand beyond it's current gate capacity. The economy won't stay in the crapper for long and when it does emerge, the airport should be ready to handle the masses. I wish we could fast forward 5-10 years from now when both AA and UA are whining about the delays they could have prevented.
The most obvious proof for intelligent life in the universe is that they haven't tried to contact us.
777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2441 posts, RR: 3 Reply 6, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8685 times:
Quoting kordcj (Reply 5): But the airport is in desperate need of a new terminal or updated terminals to expand beyond it's current gate capacity.
ORD management and City of Chicago bureaucrats naturally want to lock carriers into ORD because to do so means money for the city. In a doomsday scenario, ORD doesn't add (runway) capacity within the next, say, 15 years, all the while the State of Illinois, DoT, FAA and others throw their weight behind an equally large airport near Peotone which could potentially grab traffic from MDW and the larger southern and southwestern Chicago suburbs, not to mention NW Indiana. Most importantly from Chicago's standpoint, Peotone would effectively be out of its tax grab.
Smisek (and previously, but not more than six months ago Arpey) are wise to push back and hold onto their cash, all the while seeing who might best serve their needs in the years to come.
dirtyfrankd From United States of America, joined Apr 2011, 168 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 8613 times:
Quoting EricR (Reply 3): I think the reason why the ATC systems are outdated is because the system is so safe. In other words, there have not been any accidents directly attributed to the outdated ATC systems to prompt any sense of urgency for overhauling the system. It has become double edged sword.
I think you hit the nail on the head right there. While unfortunate, definitely true.
lat41 From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8420 times:
Conti-nited has the flexibility to not depend on ORD quite as much with more hubs to shift traffic to than before the merger. Whether its circumventing bad weather or more long range planning. UA may have more breathing room and time.
United787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2499 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7989 times:
Just to be clear... ORD already has 3 parallel runways, one of them new and one lengthened.
A fourth parallel runway (10C/28C) is already well under construction (over 50% when looking at Google maps). Does anyone know the status of that project?
The airlines have already agreed not to fight the fifth parallel runway (10R/28L), the very south one. I believe land acquisition is already complete there, or mostly complete. Is the runway fully funded and/or under construction yet?
The one in question in this article is the sixth and final parallel runway (9C/27C) which doesn't require any land acquisition. I agree with Rahmbo here, it will be needed, most likely before UA and AA realize it, and it should be built but by that time we will already have 5 parallels so I am not so worried.
I think what UAL and AMR are having heartburn with is the new LCC terminal that Daley wanted that UAL and AMR say they aren't going to use and see NO NEED to Pay for it. Via increased landing fees. . That's more likely the problem.
Irishpower From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 384 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6990 times:
Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 4): United does not want a new runway at ORD because United does not want to have to pay for it with higher landing fees. They are much happier with the current duopoly with AA and are more willing to work with voluntary slot restrictions than pay to fix the problem.
Bingo! UA just doesn't want to fork out anymore money. This isn't about what's best for ORD in the long run but rather what is best for UA right now. I'm not saying either is right or wrong but let's call it what it is-
The city of Chicago wants jobs, federal funds and the prestige of ORD staying on top and........
UA and AA don't want to have to pay for any of it.
I agree. I think the last thing UA (or for that matter, AA) wants to do is pay higher landing fees to finance a new runway, because they would have to pass those costs on to passengers in the form of higher fares. With several fare increases already occurring this year, I'm sure another one would not be welcome. I've always marveled at the fact that UA and AA have competed so well in ORD, with neither one giving in to the other, even when WN also competes with them to a certain extent (although being at MDW makes it easier).
liftsifter From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 260 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6614 times:
In the long run, won't this just make ORD even less prevalent than it already is? Sure, being one of the biggest airports in the world is great! But when airlines don't want to start new routes into that airport because their afraid of higher landing taxes, then what's the point? The economy that the airport creates is slowly destroyed by airlines that grew beyond their means and were too busy worrying about who's the biggest and who's got the most planes.
Yes, I understand UA is the biggest airline at ORD, and they certainly have a say in what happens, but how about for once, UA actually tries to draft a plan for modernization at ORD, and they stop just talking about it. The domestic terminals look like their something out of the 1970s and the technology in them is even worse. T5 still uses old CRT's for the FIDs... It's clear that O'Hare needs a major overhaul and not only expansion.
I've been on this site a long time and never saw two people ever agree w/Smisek. Remarkable. UAL could simply upgauge at ORD and have built in expansion if they need to - no additional slots or runways required. Even use DEN and CLE more as a relief valve if it gets tight at ORD. All valid reasons why Smisek is correct and there is no reason to increase fees.
Quoting joeman (Reply 8): Happy to see a city trying to screw the airline rather than the reverse for a change
ckfred From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 4912 posts, RR: 1 Reply 19, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5987 times:
Personally, I think Smisek and the City are both right. The ATC system needs updating, and ORD needs more runways. UA and AA aren't about to be stagnent for the next 10 to 20 years as to the amount of flights they intend to operate out of ORD.
Tom Horton, AA's CEO, has said that he intends to increase operations at AA's cornerstones by 20% over the next 5 years. A 20% increase would have AA/Eagle at over 550 daily departures.
If that happens, will Smisek simply sit on the number of flights he now has at ORD? Highly unlikely.
Perhaps after a few years in Chicago, Smisek will realize who delayed ORD gets, when we get weather that isn't that troublesome (snow showers that last for 6 to 8 hours, light rain showers with gusty winds, etc.). It's not like IAH, when the only real problem is a hurricane that shuts down the ATC system for several hundred miles.
What Smisek doesn't understand is that in Illinois, politicians tell business leaders what to expect, and there is no negotiation. If Smisek doesn't like it, he could move the ORD hub to CLE, where government tries to be accomodating of business.
What do you base that on? The US NAS, while running with outdated technology is the safest and most efficient airspace system in the world. I'm not sure how privatizing the ATC system would improve capacity or efficiency. That idea did not work in Europe or Canada, who combined works a fraction of the traffic the US system does. There is a lot of room from improvement here State side, and new programs a moving forward to modernize the NAS.
windy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2665 posts, RR: 5 Reply 22, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5307 times:
Quoting MountainFlyer (Thread starter): Quote:Financially strapped airlines would benefit more from modernizing air traffic control systems than “pouring concrete,” Smisek said.
Pressed on what type of expansion is needed to meet passenger demand at O’Hare, he replied, “None.” He argued that expansion work already completed at O’Hare was “more than sufficient” to meet “any reasonably foreseeable demand.
Have to agree with Smisek. The additional runways have been and are being built at this time. The ATC system is what is now needed to speed up performance and efficiency. And why should they pay for higher fees to build another Terminal for other carriers. If LCC's want in then let them fund it. If the city wants them in then the city should fund it.
enilria From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 6571 posts, RR: 13 Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4990 times:
Quoting yellowtail (Reply 21): Well I guess if Smisek doesn't like it he can always move the HQ (back) to IAH. Oh wait, he and the city are at loggerheads there too.
Quoting MountainFlyer (Thread starter): Looks like Smisek is telling Chicago that at least for UA there is no need for a new runway at ORD or a new airport. It seems the mayor thinks differently.
It makes good sense for the airport to be completely full and totally constrained, if there was any spare room then WN might try to build a customs facility or something. We all know competition costs jobs and should be avoided at all costs. :p
25 Hirnie: Have you got any source or study to backk up it's the safest in the world?
26 cyeg66: Really? A little one-sided in your analysis, methinks.
27 lightsaber: I 100% agree that new ATC is required. However, the new runway arrangement will also simplify ATC tasks... UA knows the duopoly will be watered down a
28 PGNCS: It's a two way street. Have you looked at the historical fee structures in CVG and PIT? Airlines invest in hubs they believe can make money. That doe
29 AADC10: It is not just that UA and AA do not want to finance new runways, although that is a factor. They also want to prevent competitors from moving in. UA
30 lightsaber: I think this is the main reason UA is objecting. If there are a significant number of new flights to compete against, both UA and AA would have to dr
31 N1120A: Not really outdated, just needs improved technology. The backbone of the system is fantastic. And I'm happy for that every day. ATC is a fundamentall
32 pilotpip: You can add all the runways you want. You're still going to need space in the air and on the field for them. The runway in MKE doesn't see the use tha