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CO's Hub At CLE In Doubt?

Wed Mar 28, 2001 3:11 pm

This was an editorial in the Sunday, March 25 Cleveland Plain Dealer:

"The delay in a decision from the state regarding the desperately needed additional runway at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is becoming unresonable.

Negotiations between the Ohio Enviornmental Protection Agency and the city of Cleveland have gone on for months. City lawyers have made concret promises that damage done to a stream over which the new runwasy is to be built would be mitigated by the city's reparing even more streams elsewhere.

Memo to Gov. Bob Taft: This issue is crucial to Northeast Ohio. Hopkins needs another runway. The airport's future as a hub for Continental Airlines hangs in the balance. If the city has made a reasonable case that it is complying with environmental laws, the way should be cleared for the runway to proceed. If it has not, tell the city exactly what more needs to be done.

The runway is already six months or more behind schedule. Continental has begun to curtail flights and, denials from the city notwithstanding, the airline's relationship with the administration of Mayor Michael R. White is tenuous.

Meanwhile, a major bid on the new runway project came in last week at $55 million under projections, prompting Councilman Michael Dolan to propose using the savings to reduce debt at the airport, which could result in lower landing fees for the airlines.

Dolan's idea may eventually be worthy of consideration, but it is very premature. Only after completion of the runway project should city officials consider how to spend a surplus-if there is one."

Sounds to me like the future of the CLE hub is still in jeopardy.
 
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RE: CO's Hub At CLE In Doubt?

Wed Mar 28, 2001 3:27 pm

I hope we won't see a pullout of CLE, but the local bureaucracy needs to get its act together!

Peace,
COexERJ
 
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RE: CO's Hub At CLE In Doubt?

Wed Mar 28, 2001 3:35 pm

The Cleveland case underscores US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta's argument that the environmental review process for building runways has to be simplified. Right now it involves multiple, duplicate environmental impact statements at federal and state levels; a "certificate" from the state's governor, and entrails offered on the property under a full moon. No new shopping mall faces such onerous restrictions. Why should runways?

Gov. Taft should get personally involved, meet with Mayor White and all officials, and strive to bring the ridiculous delays to an end.

Jim
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