We're Nuts
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Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:25 am

Fascinating article in today's Seattle Times, one I'm surprised hasn't appeared here yet. I'll break it down:

Third runway = $1.1 billion
Concourse A = $587 million
Subway system = $163 million
Other projects = $2.35 billion
Total = $4.2 billion

Planned future gates and facilities = $2 billion
Total = $6.2 billion

Initial agreement by airlines in 1999 = $2.6 billion

Blaming Southwest for trying to save money by saying "shove it" to an idiotic airport = priceless

Sea-Tac screwed up, and there are penalties for that in a free-market economy. I don't see why there should be any debate over what Southwest can and can't do.


The Seattle Times, Sunday, August 7, 2005
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...technology/2002425021_gates07.html

[Edited 2005-08-07 22:26:32]
Dear moderators: No.
 
dhefty
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 5:36 am

Yes, and I think a lot of our local politicians have demonstrated a knee-jerk reaction against the proposed SW move. One of the problems we have in Seattle is political stubbornness and resistance to change, even thought we also have some of the world's most creative entrepreneurs. We could certainly benefit from a second functional airport. I would like to see Paine field accept commercial aircraft as well. Multiple airports would most likely add additional businesses and economic growth for the entire area.
 
charlib52
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:40 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 1):
One of the problems we have in Seattle is political stubbornness and resistance to change, even thought we also have some of the world's most creative entrepreneurs.

Here here! I must admit that as a naitive Seattlite I kind of have the same feelings, so I understand. It's weird they way we see ourselves as not a global-level city (which we most certainly are...) But the time has come -- c'mon guys, DO SOMETHING!! Show some LEADERSHIP!! Sadly, though, I don't think that will happen.

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 1):
I would like to see Paine field accept commercial aircraft as well

So would I = never will happen. BFI, maybe, as the artsy hipsters and bohemians of Georgetown/SODO don't have much political capital (A.K.A. $$). Could be wrong, but my gut says no. What would actually kill the WN deal at BFI is slight general political pressure and weak politicians.

However, as much as I dred to say it, there be rich people all around PAE. They will fight down to their last dollar = won't happen. Sigh. Actually PAE and Snohomish County is really a WN kind of place. 1 million + just outside a major city with a mix of professions leaning towards blue-collar price concious. Ripe for the picking I would think.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:44 am

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 1):
I would like to see Paine field accept commercial aircraft as well. Multiple airports would most likely add additional businesses and economic growth for the entire area.

It would certainly help with economic development, but then again the same issues are there as is the case with BFI: who pays for the terminal development, dealing with the NIMBYs, traffic concerns, etc.

It's also a downward spiral: unless future growth at places like BFI and PAE, etc. are strictly limited from Day 1, what would stop these communities from dreaming big as well 10-20 years afterward, adding to their tax bases by becoming direct competitors to SEA, rather than just as reliever airports? Imagine if companies shipping pax and cargo to NRT thought if they could get a better deal if NW or UA decided they wanted to operate BFI or PAE-NRT instead?

For whatever it's worth, here's my idea:

Open up a terminal at BFI, say 10-15 gates and a large apron for turboprops as well. Put a limit on the range for any incoming/outgoing flight (excluding emergency/wx diversions) not to exceed 500 (nautical) miles. Include the possibility for a monorail/light rail station whenever that service begins, probably long after all of us turn to dust.

Benefits:
* Allows QX and UAX to operate most if not all flights at a lower cost, to such cities like BOI, FCA, MSL, BIL, GEG, YVR, PDX, YKM, EAT, etc. Since WN flies between GEG and SEA using 737s, they can use BFI for this service only.
* These destinations account for a large percentage of business travellers and wouldn't necessarily have to use I-5 to reach BFI.
* Alleviates congestion at SEA, but still requires mainline carriers to remain at SEA, to cover the expansion costs that everyone agreed to.
* SEA can more actively promote international service to Europe and Asia.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 6:46 am

>> Third runway = $1.1 billion

Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars?? I understand the high stress the runway must endure from aircraft weighing thousands of pounds taking-off and landing, but $1.1 billion is on par with an entire freeway project.

Is there some hidden cost such as soil reinforcement/conditioning or precise grading?
 
dhefty
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:01 am

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 3):
what would stop these communities from dreaming big as well 10-20 years afterward, adding to their tax bases by becoming direct competitors to SEA, rather than just as reliever airports?

Well, nothing, actually. And that would be good for us all. The Port of Seattle definitely needs some competition. It's a bloated bureaucracy with very little public oversight. I certainly don't blame SW for deciding to move to a less costly site. And I hope no-one can stop them. A lot of people throw darts at Ron Sims, but he is a very capable and honest individual. The Port has a lot of clout and will no doubt try to derail him, but it is definitely in our best interests to support the BFI project. Let's keep airfares low.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:01 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars?? I understand the high stress the runway must endure from aircraft weighing thousands of pounds taking-off and landing, but $1.1 billion is on par with an entire freeway project.

Normally, no. But, in case you're not familiar with where the 3rd runway is going in on the west side of the airport, they have to actually pile up tons of dirt first, so that they can build the runway on that. They had to buy out homes in that area and move them out in order to accomplish this. Adds insult to injury! And, to top it off, it's only going to be approx. 9,000' (I thought closer to 8,500') runway and is meant to allow double landings in low visibility conditions. So the majority of the aircraft landing on it will be QX and the likes of 737s, A320, etc. Certainly not a fully loaded Cargolux or BA or NW, etc.

I used to live in Burien when I first moved up here for the summer job at UA in '96, and that's when this project was getting started. So we're 10 years into it, and I still don't know when it's going to open.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
searpqx
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:08 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars??

Nope - the original estimate was $587 million in the mid-90s. However since that time, the POS has fought ten years worth of legal battles that have doubled the price.

Arrogance is a term I've heard applied to the POS people, including those at SeaTac, on a number of occasions. But to be fair, it's not like at the first meeting they said, oh this will cost $2.6 billion, then at the next turned around and said, oh by the way, we've raised it to $6.2 billion. The airlines, including WN have been made aware every time one of POS's bad estimates was raised. Doesn't excuse the almost 300% increase, but does put it in a different light.

I have my own recommendation for opening up BFI. Go ahead and build/rebuild a terminal, necessary ground support, transportation infrastructure, etc., but it starts as and stays county owned. If you want to move to BFI, you sign a contract up front that says you will pay the % of the total costs of the build out that equal your % of operatins. That way, nobody but those airlines that choose to use the facility get stuck with the various additional costs involved in operating an airport.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
charlib52
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:13 am

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 6):
and is meant to allow double landings in low visibility conditions. So the majority of the aircraft landing on it will be QX and the likes of 737s, A320, etc. Certainly not a fully loaded Cargolux or BA or NW, etc.

Of course the new runway is still not far enough from the others to offer simultaneous parallel approaches. ATC would still have to "stagger" the approaches diagonally, which is indeed an increase of capacity, but not nearly by double. Is it worth Billions? A new $130M BFI terminal is cheap in comparison (although, in the worst weather, nobody has made the point yet I think that SEA and BFI operate as one airport basically, to protect the missed approach of BFI...so this certainly doesn't add capacity in bad weather either.)

And I would think that for an arriving, landing heavy jet, 8500' would be plenty -- JFK's 4R is only 8400'.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:19 am

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 7):
Doesn't excuse the almost 300% increase, but does put it in a different light.

But every airline, like every one of us, has its breaking point. Eventually enough is enough, and Southwest is just saying it doesn't want to make Sea-Tac its most expensive airport when BFI is right next door. That's smart business, and all it means for Sea-Tac is that someone should be getting fired.

Quoting Charlib52 (Reply 8):
Is it worth Billions?

As previously mentioned by Searpqx, the inflated figure is mostly due to legal fees thanks to our NIMBY friends.

[Edited 2005-08-08 00:21:33]
Dear moderators: No.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:29 am

Quoting Charlib52 (Reply 8):
Of course the new runway is still not far enough from the others to offer simultaneous parallel approaches. ATC would still have to "stagger" the approaches diagonally, which is indeed an increase of capacity, but not nearly by double.

Thanks for clarifying that. I thought the goal was to do simultaneous parallel landings. I think SFO staggers aircraft diagonally for 28L and 28R, and SEA wanted to have that same ability.

Quoting Charlib52 (Reply 8):
And I would think that for an arriving, landing heavy jet, 8500' would be plenty -- JFK's 4R is only 8400'

And YYZ's 24L is approx. 9,000' as we were reminded of all to well this past week. So as long as they don't overshoot the runway, this new runway would allow heavys to land
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
charlib52
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:40 am

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 10):
And YYZ's 24L is approx. 9,000' as we were reminded of all to well this past week. So as long as they don't overshoot the runway, this new runway would allow heavys to land

Indeed. But I think for normal ops it would be more than adequate. The Air France incident in YYZ happened in something other than I would call normal ops...but I digress, and I don't know the facts.

Thinking about the third runway at SEA, they should actually spend it at BFI. Sure, really bad weather would force some delays. But I saw some statistics that in that really bad weather, as a percentage, doesn't affect the SEA/BFI combo as much as you'd think. I'll look it up if anyone's interested. But I was surprised -- it was under 10% of the time I believe.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:48 am

Quoting Charlib52 (Reply 11):
But I saw some statistics that in that really bad weather, as a percentage, doesn't affect the SEA/BFI combo as much as you'd think. I'll look it up if anyone's interested. But I was surprised -- it was under 10% of the time I believe.

"When there are low clouds (about 44 percent of the time), Sea-Tac can use only one of its two existing runways for arrivals. The result is that all arriving air traffic is directed onto one runway, which slows things down and causes delays."

http://www.portseattle.org/seatac/expansion/thirdrunway.shtml
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Mikey711MN
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:50 am

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 3):
Put a limit on the range for any incoming/outgoing flight (excluding emergency/wx diversions) not to exceed 500 (nautical) miles.

Hmmm...I kinda doubt that WN is interested in something like this. Just a hunch.  Wink

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 7):

Nope - the original estimate was $587 million in the mid-90s. However since that time, the POS has fought ten years worth of legal battles that have doubled the price.

I wouldn't think that it's quite legit to add ten years of prior legal costs to the present cost of future construction. The net effect, however, of delayed construction requires estimators on any civil project to reevaluate the source of one's unit costs.

In this case, 10 years of inflation on wages, never mind the strained supply of contractors in the Pacific Northwest due to significant transportation spending in the region, which itself presses labor prices higher, will have quite a cumulative impact. But construction costs in the last ten years, notably in the material costs of steel and cement, also surely contribute. And don't forget about how $60/barrel costs can impact the cost of operating heavy equipment. Finally, as this has been officially proposed for the last 10 years, ROW costs have surely ballooned due to the general growth of the real estate market and likely the specific potential of condemnation proceedings in the impacted properties.

Sure, there's contingency built in to the $1.1B figure, but these factors--all very applicable--are likely driving what is often a surprising figure in "delay costs".

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
charlib52
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:56 am

We're Nuts:

"When there are low clouds (about 44 percent of the time), Sea-Tac can use only one of its two existing runways for arrivals. The result is that all arriving air traffic is directed onto one runway, which slows things down and causes delays."

(the "quote selected" feature just stopped for me...anyone???)

Yes, thanks. Definitely shows the limitations of SEA, even with the third runway. But for *really* low weather I was referring to the SEA/BFI combo -- I'll see if I can scare up that stat....
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 8:00 am

Quoting Charlib52 (Reply 14):
Yes, thanks. Definitely shows the limitations of SEA, even with the third runway. But for *really* low weather I was referring to the SEA/BFI combo -- I'll see if I can scare up that stat....

Well BFI only has one long runway, and we've already established SEA can only use one runway in bad weather, so I imagine how bad doesn't really matter as long as the airplanes are well equiped.
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rwsea
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:09 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):

Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars?? I understand the high stress the runway must endure from aircraft weighing thousands of pounds taking-off and landing, but $1.1 billion is on par with an entire freeway project.

Is there some hidden cost such as soil reinforcement/conditioning or precise grading?

This isn't DFW - the land here isn't flat and there isn't flat featureless land that goes on forever. To build this runway they had to buy up hundreds of homes and bring in 100,000 dump trucks of dirt to regrade the area. Not very cheap.

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 13):
Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 3):
Put a limit on the range for any incoming/outgoing flight (excluding emergency/wx diversions) not to exceed 500 (nautical) miles.

Hmmm...I kinda doubt that WN is interested in something like this. Just a hunch.

Who cares what they're interested in? Those of us in SEA don't want some corporate headquarters in Dallas telling us how to plan our regional transportation infrastructure.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 9:15 am

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 16):
Who cares what they're interested in? Those of us in SEA don't want some corporate headquarters in Dallas telling us how to plan our regional transportation infrastructure.

I believe Mikey was attacking Steven's silly idea.
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BHMNONREV
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:24 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars?? I understand the high stress the runway must endure from aircraft weighing thousands of pounds taking-off and landing, but $1.1 billion is on par with an entire freeway project.

Is there some hidden cost such as soil reinforcement/conditioning or precise grading?

This is almost the exact same cost of the new 11/29 runway in STL. Same dimensions as well. But I think the cost in STL includes all of the property buyouts, IIRC...

Maybe some of the more up to date Lambert folks can confirm this....
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:27 am

Back in the beginning of the third runway at SEA thrash (early-mid 90's), other options (BFI, PAE, etc.) were studied ad naseum and expansion at BFI (and PAE) was ruled out on solid grounds.

As the Seattle Times article mentioned, a good bit of the cost escalation on the third runway at SEA was all the legal suits and environmental (re)studies. You can't blame the Port for that. Blame the NIMBY types, who bought their houses in the area long after SEA was operational.

The third runway is moving along now. Everytime I drive to catch a flight, there are huge dumptrucks going up the center lane of 518, with fill. Last time I flew out, we departed to the north and I was seated on the left side. I could see all the third runway construction going on.

If BFI gets airline traffic in the volumes talked about, it will squeeze out the general aviation (GA) activity. After having lost the Bellevue and Issaquah airports, and not having Sand Point NAS turned into a GA field, this will really hurt GA in the Seattle area. Despite what some might think, GA is very important.
 
737-990
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:32 am

Speaking of PAE, wasn't Horizon supposed to start service there about 4 or 5 years ago? Initially they were going to fly to PDX and then expand to GEG and YVR. Anybody know what happened?
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We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:51 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 19):
If BFI gets airline traffic in the volumes talked about, it will squeeze out the general aviation (GA) activity.

Why? GA has lived side-by-side cargo, regionals, and flight testing for years. I see no reason for mainline service to squeeze out GA. 13L/31R is not going anywhere.
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ER757
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:10 pm

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars??



Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 6):
Normally, no. But, in case you're not familiar with where the 3rd runway is going in on the west side of the airport, they have to actually pile up tons of dirt first,

8.5 MILLION cubic yards of dirt to be exact! And in order to hold that "dirt" in place, they are building a 160 foot high retaining wall that has to be able to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. Add to this the wetlands mitigation, the removal of all non-native plant species in the area that used to be homes and re-planting with over 160,000 native plants (yes, this was part of the deal) and it all starts to add up. I had an extesive tour of the project as I have a relative working on it, and believe me, the scope of work is mind-boggling. They are re-routing streams, rebuilding roads, setting up massive water purification systems, etc. The runway itself is only a portion of the project expediture.
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:57 pm

I believe Mikey was attacking Steven's silly idea.

So do you have a solution of your own, then? Or are you happy with WN getting their way?
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:37 pm

>> 8.5 MILLION cubic yards of dirt to be exact! And in order to hold that "dirt" in place, they are building a 160 foot high retaining wall that has to be able to withstand a magnitude 8 earthquake. Add to this the wetlands mitigation, the removal of all non-native plant species in the area that used to be homes and re-planting with over 160,000 native plants

Well.... that would explain it

>> So do you have a solution of your own, then? Or are you happy with WN getting their way?

And what's that suppose to mean?  eyebrow 

You and I both know that moving to BFI isn't WN's prefered option. No, their first choice would be the SEA expansion on budget, not moving a slew of opperations to an airport with no commercial facilities and passenger handeling capabilities. If expansion *estimate* (could easily go over during construction) triples and WN isn't liable to recieve any benefits from another $4 billion dollars in improvements, what incintive do they have to stay at SEA?

Moving to BFI isn't an easy option for WN, to the contrary, it's quite drastic and risky, showing the hardball they are willing to pay. However, by WN's estimate, once established at BFI, opperating cost could be nearly half as much (per passenger) as remaining at SEA in the future.

The same eyes that thought fuel hedging might be a good idea way waaay back in 2003 (remember those days?) are looking into the future and know that:

1. Pressure from LCC competition is liable to increase substantially as thousands of additional seats hit the marlet

2. More cost will become fixed or beyond WN's control (labor, fuel)

With that stark reality, cutting airport cost in half at a particular station is a very desirable. Let's be honest, municipal leaders can easily make counter-productive decisions in airport planning, and WN's management is most certainly not the airline that will tolerate such circumstances.

So to answer RwSEA's retort, yeah, some people in Dallas just might know a bit more about suitable infastructure than those in Seattle. Different sets of eyes can interpret data differently, and local communities have a bad habit of taking thier airport and making them shrines to the city. The smartest thing in airport planning may be getting someone from out of town to do it!

Need and want must be balanced, but so must airline's checkbooks. But that's just WN "wanting their way."  Wink

[Edited 2005-08-08 06:37:40]
 
Mikey711MN
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:48 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 23):
So do you have a solution of your own, then? Or are you happy with WN getting their way?

Fair enough question...my comments were to draw attention to the relative irony of imposing political limitations on airport A to protect additional investment on airport B, the latter of which WN does not desire to operate (at least in some large scale) in. I was trying to, albeit seemingly unsuccessfully, draw parallels to the situation in Dallas itself. Unless you think that the Wright Amendment is truly effective for the DFW metroplex and is an equitable platform of capitalism that should be applied to other metro areas of similar size, then so be it...

Anyway, no, I truly don't see anything wrong with WN having it "their way". It'd be one thing if their business practices created a destructive or somewhat limiting impact on the regional economy, but it's well documented that "the Southwest effect" does almost exactly the opposite. Their willingness to spend $100M's to build their own facilities, albeit at a different site, shows that there's obviously money to be made in the Pacific Northwest (enough to justify that kind of investment anyway) but not with the current provided infrastructure.

Which leads me to the bottom line: airports are for airlines, not vice versa. Should POS choose not to provide investment into BFI to facilitate WN investing their own capital, so be it. They have to make the analysis as to whether their own ROI can be attained in such an arrangement, and likewise the ROI of the general regional economy based on the services that are or are not offered at their airport facilities.

To answer your question as to whether I have some magic solution, across the board, no, I do not. However, I believe WN's investment into BFI is part of the equation, and that is underscored by the notion that WN's services contributes to the Seattle area in a net positive way. It's not like WN came out and said "build us a new terminal at BFI or we'll leave the market". Likewise, I don't think part of the equation is to return serve by saying "ok, conduct your business here, and these are your limits to provide services". (honestly, what's the point in arbitrarily allowing a WN 737 flying in from BOI but not from BWI?)

All in all, SEA must be upgraded as the cornerstone to the system, and it will likely be counted in the billions to get it done. Other airports have a high cost of operations passed down to the airlines (e.g. DEN, KIX, PIT, etc.) to obviously varying levels of success. Therefore, whatever POS chooses as the course of action, they must make sure the quality of the facilities that come of the upgrades create the necessary value for the airlines to continue operating profitably there. And I think they should be [more] open to the idea of opening up other airports in the system to commercial service, particularly if private investment into them is offered on the table.

It's not about "WN getting their way" as much as it is allowing all airlines to have it their way and yet accomplishing the task of facilitating enough air service to the region to pay it all off.

-Mike
I plan on living forever. So far, so good...
 
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:53 pm

"Other projects = $2.35 billion"

Yes, this must be a public works project. Who else would lump $2.35B under "Other"?

I did find it interesting to see that everything being done at SeaTac seems to cost 3x the cost at TPA. I think part of it is that SeaTac was poorly laid out whereas TPA is very well laid out. If you don't believe me, just go to google maps and take a look around.
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dhefty
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 2:33 pm

Quoting Mikey711MN (Reply 25):
It's not about "WN getting their way" as much as it is allowing all airlines to have it their way and yet accomplishing the task of facilitating enough air service to the region to pay it all off.

In some ways, airports are like freeways - if you build it, it will be used, and overused. Yes, Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett, and Olympia need at least one more airport, probably two. Unfortunately, the political leadership has not caught on to the need. Hopefully, they will soon. This is a perfect time to make their political name, and even careers.

Some day my fellow Seattleites will wake up. And the first thing they will do is to erect, in Everett, a statue of Gov. Gary Locke. If it wasn't for him, I believe Boeing would have gone to another state, with immeasurably disastrous consequences for the Pacific Northwest.
 
baw716
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:02 pm

Dhefty,
Amen. Gary Locke was one of the few people with the foresight to see what was happening before it did and keep Boeing here before they picked up and completely moved out of town. We lost the corporate HQ, but most everything else we kept here. Thank God for that.

As far as regional airports go, we are in deep kimchee. Here's why. Washington is a progressive government in an anti tax state. In other words, the governor, the legislature et al, King County and even Snohomish County wants to build up infrastructure, but the problem is, who is going to pay for it? Every time a tax measure comes up before the people, it gets shot down like a clay pigeon.
Oh, and an income tax, forget that, you need a constitutional amendment for that and NO ONE in this state who wants to survive past their next election will ever propose an income tax as a constitutional amendment. It has died the last five times it has come up for vote in the state of Washington. Its a non starter.

So, unless someone is going to pull about $10 billion out of their pockets to fund the building of another regional airport, we are stuck with fixing up one of the existing airports that we currently have. BFI is not a good choice, because of the proximity of air traffic and the related noise to downtown Seattle and Tukwila, Kent on the other side and the interference with the traffic flow at Sea-Tac.

Paine is the better choice, but there needs to be an additional runway, plus terminal infrastructure built to support at least a 100 flight per day operation plus what Boeing currently operates and Southwest alone could operate 100 flights a day from Paine. Therefore, the project must be larger than a 100 flight per day operation. This will require EIS studies on noise and impact on communities south of the airport, as they will suffer the most from the effects of noise as a result of the increased utilization of the airport. From the north, the impact is minimal, since the principal approach is over Puget Sound.

The reality is that to build up Paine as an alternate airport to Sea-Tac will take at least 10-15 years and a minimum of $10-15 billion. The easier solution is an expansion of gates north of the existing terminal building, by the use of the small gate areas that can accommodate two aircraft operations like in Los Angeles. These small buildings could be constructed north of where the existing postal facility is now up to the major cargo area, and bussing of passengers to/from the existing gate areas in the main terminal areas can be facilitated from each existing concourse. Eventually, a different rail link will need to be built to connect these buildings; however, this approach will add the additional gate space needed and provide the additional capacity to grow the airport in a relatively inexpensive way over the next five years.

The time to act at the Port of Seattle is now. The had a wonderful celebration to open a very beautiful central terminal, which does nothing to reduce the amount of congestion that people will experience while transiting the airport. As to people who would say that the airport design is outdated, they would be correct. However, this particular design has been in use since the airport opened in the mid 1940s, and the expansion and continued growth of the airport has been able to be facilitated in the same location over the course of the last 60 years, rather than taking prime farm land out of the Kent -Auburn valley to build a mega airport (which would have been the only other logical option) which would have had to have been done in the late 70s or early 80s and then renovated again now to meet up with the needs of the existing traveler. As is stands, the POS made a better choice staying where they are, even though FOG is a problem, now and then.

baw716
David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:05 pm

Quoting Dhefty (Reply 5):
A lot of people throw darts at Ron Sims, but he is a very capable and honest individual.

Very debatable....

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 6):
And, to top it off, it's only going to be approx. 9,000' (I thought closer to 8,500') runway and is meant to allow double landings in low visibility conditions. So the majority of the aircraft landing on it will be QX and the likes of 737s, A320, etc. Certainly not a fully loaded Cargolux or BA or NW, etc.

In other words, it will accomodate most movements at SEA  Smile.

Quoting Searpqx (Reply 7):
The airlines, including WN have been made aware every time one of POS's bad estimates was raised. Doesn't excuse the almost 300% increase, but does put it in a different light.

I'm sure to a degree, "creep" has happened with the estimates. But perhaps, one day, WN woke up, ran the numbers under today's reality and found that SEA would no longer work for them. Despite what someone posted in another thread, I have a hard time believing that NO ONE at ANY of the airlines have complained. I mean, come on...

Quoting RwSEA (Reply 16):
Who cares what they're interested in? Those of us in SEA don't want some corporate headquarters in Dallas telling us how to plan our regional transportation infrastructure.

You're right. We can screw it up just fine on our own.

-Dave
-Dave
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 4:57 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 23):
So do you have a solution of your own, then? Or are you happy with WN getting their way?

How on earth does some stupid mileage restriction solve anything? And what is there to be solved in the first place? Sea-Tac spent too much. I've done it from time-to-time myself. We pay the consequences.

Furthermore, it isn't about WN "getting their way", it's about an airline being allowed to act like a business. Sea-Tac is trying to screw them over, and any airline there is within their right to say "no".

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
Yes, this must be a public works project. Who else would lump $2.35B under "Other"?

I believe this refers to things like the new control tower.
Dear moderators: No.
 
7e72004
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Mon Aug 08, 2005 11:10 pm

I do have to say that some improvements were needed at SEA. The central terminal looks very nice and spacious, a definite improvement over what was there before  Smile Terminal A was needed as well. As for the third runway, how much is/was it needed?? Anytime i have flown out of Seattle, i have not been delayed by anymore than 20 minutes, which to me is not bad. Plus, don't the airlines build in extra time to their "state arrivals/departures times??
The next generation of aircraft is just around the corner!
 
canoecarrier
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:08 am

What would actually kill the WN deal at BFI is slight general political pressure and weak politicians.

What could kill the deal are the people who have the political capital in Magnolia. The increased traffic to BFI directly equates to increase traffic over Magnolia.

You can already see the mudslinging now, "if WN leaves SEA, the light rail will not be built to the airport" = blame WN. There's certainly an attempt by local politicians to direct the public opinion against WN.

The POS is currently asking airlines to pay for infrastructure improvements that in some cases they don't have access to, like A concourse. If I was a WN exec and had the opportunity to build my own terminal at BFI, and move I would.

It's a win/win for WN if it happens. IIRC, the fees that would normally be paid per operation by WN would be evenly distributed to all the other carriers at the airport, making it more expensive for them to operate. They would, in turn, have to pass the costs on to the passenger with increased fares.

I don't put much credence in the AS threat to move to BFI if WN does, they would have no infrastructure/facilities, and it could possibly cost more money than they have right now to make the move.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:23 am

Quoting Canoecarrier (Reply 32):
You can already see the mudslinging now, "if WN leaves SEA, the light rail will not be built to the airport" = blame WN. There's certainly an attempt by local politicians to direct the public opinion against WN.

I always am amazed how politicians use the items WE pay for as some sort of blackmail, in order for them to get their way. Kinda like the whole MedicOne thing, where our taxes are sent to all sorts of projects, then they turn around and say if we don't approve money for Medic One, it will be gone. I know it's set up this way, but it's crazy. For them to threaten to pull Light Rail from SeaTac over this shows the true colors of our local politicians. They don't think they work for us, they think we are here for them.

As far as as some of the comments about SeaTac, it's true that the airport needed improvements. It's probably a catch-22 for them - if they don't make improvements, they'll be criticized by the airlines and passengers, but when they do make the improvements, things just don't go the way they'd planned (i.e. NIMBY's, cost escalation).

The one thing I'll say is that, in Seattle, we just haven't learned how to do things inexpensively. Everything has to have so much of this to appease this group and so much of that to appease that group - things are beautiful, but expensive as hell. I admire cities that are able to practice some fiscal restraint. We just don't know how to do it.

-Dave
-Dave
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 5:28 am

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 4):
Does a block of concrete and rebar 9,000 x 150 feet (approx.) really cost $1.1 billion dollars??

Yes, it does. Concrete costs are off the chart with China absorbing the supply side as are Re-Bar costs.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 9:18 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 33):
I admire cities that are able to practice some fiscal restraint. We just don't know how to do it.

Who has room? We're against a rock and a wet place; someone will have to pay.  Sad
Dear moderators: No.
 
texan
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:55 am

Snohomish County Council and County Exec. funded a study to determine the feasibility of commercial service at PAE. The study concluded that the airport could sustain commercial flights, specifically to the following markets: LAS, SFO/OAK, PHX, DEN/SLC. In addition, PAE could possibly sustain daily flights to SAN, LAX, SNA, GEG, PDX, ORD/MDW, OGG, HNL, EWR/JFK, DFW, and MCO. The PAE catchement area currently generates over 5.75 million O&D pax annually, or appx. 2.9 million enplanements per year (7000+ per day). The County Council and County Exec. are considering building a terminal to support commercial service and finish airfield improvements to allow service to begin.
Link

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
rwsea
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 11:02 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 36):
Snohomish County Council and County Exec. funded a study to determine the feasibility of commercial service at PAE. The study concluded that the airport could sustain commercial flights, specifically to the following markets: LAS, SFO/OAK, PHX, DEN/SLC. In addition, PAE could possibly sustain daily flights to SAN, LAX, SNA, GEG, PDX, ORD/MDW, OGG, HNL, EWR/JFK, DFW, and MCO. The PAE catchement area currently generates over 5.75 million O&D pax annually, or appx. 2.9 million enplanements per year (7000+ per day). The County Council and County Exec. are considering building a terminal to support commercial service and finish airfield improvements to allow service to begin.
Link

Texan

Service from PAE might not be a bad idea ... and unlike WN's current proposal, it would serve a new market and free people from driving an hour each way to the airport. WN's current proposal simply duplicates what's already available just down the road.
 
SuperDash
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:02 pm

I thought I read in the paper (back awhile ago) that Sea-Tac could still only use 1 runway during low visibility ops. The reason is that the new control tower was built too close to the inner runway. In poor visibility you would not be able to use the inner runway (for fear for hitting said control tower). Leaving the current outer runway and 3rd runway which are too close for even staggered poor vis landings. Also, didn't Ft. Myers just build a new terminal/parking garage/ticketing and roadways for less than $500M?
 
StevenUhl777
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:59 pm

Quoting We're Nuts:
How on earth does some stupid mileage restriction solve anything? And what is there to be solved in the first place?

I can defend my idea, but what would be the point? It's not like you're going to agree anyway even if I did clarify what I had to say. You're pro-WN according to your profile, so nothing short of WN getting their way at BFI and leaving their obligation at SEA behind would be acceptable to you.

I would rather see PAE expanded, that would make more sense, than trying to expand BFI, be it my idea or anyone else's.
And the winner for best actress is....REESE WITHERSPOON for 'Walk the Line'!!!!!!!!
 
707lvr
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:26 pm

RE: The third (new second) runway at SEA, one of many, many things we hope to get right when trying again in these parts. If you have Google Earth, run your cursor along the path of the new runway and compare the elevation to the existing field. It is off a cliff! That's a big part of why it is costing so much and taking so long. They have to build up all that ground to the level of the airport, nearly 100 feet higher. Secondly, there are Wetlands, and you know what that means. Fact is, if you select 100sf just about anywhere in Western WA, at least 50sf will turn out to be a wetland.

Disclaimer: I'm definitely not an advocate, one way or the other, as long as there are more planes to see and hear. But I'm in the minority.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 4:30 pm

"Who has room? We're against a rock and a wet place; someone will have to pay. "

The dilemma is that we all look at the cost excalation at SEA, see how it happens everywhere, and feel like we are expected to just continue throwing money down a black hole.

No doubt, it is going to keep getting more and more expensive to do things around here due to geography among other things. However, how much is enough? I watch my taxes on my home go up year after year after year. Everything does. I know that the Eyman initiatives get a bad reception by many, and I understand that, but who else is trying to restrain spending? Who else is holding government accountable? When does someone stand up and shout at the top of their lungs "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" ? The answer is never, and we're supposed to be satisfied with that?

Whether WN moves, stays, or leaves the state, I couldn't care less. But I think the fact that we're looking at a $6.2B tab for the improvements at SEA, PLUS light rail PLUS all the other projects that cost BILLIONS, and you ask yourself, how do other cities survive? Are we doing what we can to accomplish the goals without being frivolous? Are we being accountable to the citizens? Are we being good stewards with the citizens money?

These are the questions that WN asks itself every day, yet we seem to have a hard time doing the same with our elected officials, without being made to feel guilty or something.

If more officials would stand up and shout (see above), I think we'd actually get to a point where the majority would be onboard, and things would start to happen. I could go on and on, but I've already opened myself up to enough venom.

-Dave
-Dave
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:09 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 39):
I can defend my idea, but what would be the point?

I want you to.

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 39):
You're pro-WN according to your profile

I call them as I see them.

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 39):
getting their way at BFI

All this talk of WN "getting their way"... I don't understand. Please explain it to me. When I walk into a grocery store and buy a loaf of bread, I've just gotten my way. Should I be ashamed? Perhaps the process is meant to be more difficult?

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 39):
their obligation at SEA behind would be acceptable to you.

They have no obligation to SEA. Please find me a source when you say they have an obligation (and I assume you mean legal as opposed to emotional) to the Port of Seattle.
Dear moderators: No.
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:44 pm

Quoting StevenUhl777 (Reply 39):
I can defend my idea, but what would be the point?

You'd be wasting your time with nut job anyway. He thinks quoting the information on the site of an airport management group that is supposedly inept (according to him) is justification for his cause, without doing any real research on the issue. He regularly takes quotes in the paper as gospel truth and has little or no information on technical feasibility on anything. Oh, and most importantly being from Seattle and being a Southwest fan makes him the official expert on the issue. So, don't waste your time.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:32 am

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
You'd be wasting your time with nut job anyway.

You're just bitter because my name is more creative.  Silly

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
He thinks quoting the information on the site of an airport management group that is supposedly inept (according to him) is justification for his cause

They have their reasons, even if I don't think they can implement them well. At least I believe in quoting sources.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
He regularly takes quotes in the paper

I think this is the first time I've quoted a newspaper in several years.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
and has little or no information on technical feasibility on anything.

I use quotes so I don't have to make that stuff up.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
Oh, and most importantly being from Seattle and being a Southwest fan makes him the official expert on the issue.

And being not-from-Seattle and being a Southwest enemy makes you my perfect opponent. Welcome to my thread, Boeing7E7! I've missed you.

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 43):
So, don't waste your time.

Read post 43 instead
Dear moderators: No.
 
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ER757
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:55 am

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 41):
you ask yourself, how do other cities survive?

Well, for one thing, most other major cities had a mass-trasnit system in place many years ago. Our ass-backwards officials built roads that didn't take future growth into account (see I-405 as a prime example) and took years to finally go ahead with light rail, so naturally it costs a fortune. Now they want to replace the 520 bridge? Hey guys, how about light rail to/from the eastside instead of replacing lanes on highways? Traffic's not going to get better without taking cars OFF the road!!
OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.
 
We're Nuts
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RE: Sea-Tac's Expansion Dissected

Wed Aug 10, 2005 8:12 am

Seattle's traffic problems deserves a non-av thread all its own.

But back to the issue, Sea-Tac's price gouging and WN's move....
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