Personally, I don't think we'll see RIC next year. As I remember the press release when they announced ORF, they said one of the reasons they didn't pick RIC at the time was that they were waiting for terminal expansions to be completed at MDW and ISP. From what I've read on other boards, the ISP expansion hasn't even started yet.
Well, at one time, ISP was preparing for terminal expansion. There was an article in one of the local papers up there back in July, 2001 announcing it.
MacArthur Airport To Add New Terminal
Southwest To Pay 35 Million
Also, here is the thread about it here on airliners.net:
Shortly after 9-11 one of the posters on another message board who lives in the area said that construction had been stopped. Had construction not been halted it would have been finished by now.
It's been a long time since I read the threads on this and other boards regarding the expansion, but I seem to remember that Southwest's new gates were going to be added onto the end of the terminal and they were going to be upper-level gates connected to the main lobby/ticketing area by a skybridge. The current ground level Southwest gates (underneath the proposed skybridge?) were to be converted to office space.
I also vaguely recall that at least one poster on another board felt like Southwest would eventually add more upper-level gates on either side of the skybridge in between the 4 new gates and the main lobby, but the threads on the other sites regarding this topic have long since archived, so I can't go back and check.
Airline plans on hold
AVIATION: Southwest is shelving its expansion plans for 2002. What does this mean for Stewart International Airport?
Southwest Still Soaring as Other Airlines Stall
Rivals and analysts are watching closely to see in which markets the carrier will expand next
The highlights of the article as it pertained to Southwest's expansion plans seemed to be that:
1. Even though Herb stepped down as President and CEO and remains on as Chairman of the Board, strateic planning and fleet planning is still up to him and him alone. He has the final say on any possible new cities or new service between existing cities.
2. Analysts expect to see increased service in the Chicago and Florida markets. (I wouldn't rule out increased long-haul service from HOU, either, seeing as how Southwest is getting ready to complete a new 24-gate concourse there.)
3. Any new city will most likely be one where another carrier pulled out or drastically reduced service and is now over-priced and under-served.
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