Greenair this is an honest question I'm not trying to spark a debate, I'm trying to learn. I really don't get why there is so much attachment to Burke in this town.
First off it is so easy to get from Hopkins to downtown, even during rush hour, traffic in Cleveland is nonexistent compared to any other decent sized city and it is such a short drive. Second I read that Burke only has something like 100 or 150 movements a day, I don't remember the exact number, but on an hourly basis it was trivial. And I've heard so much of that is for flight schools, which could easily be moved to any number of airports without harming downtown. Not that CLE has much of a shot at landing HQ2 anyway but as I see it there is absolutely positively nothing to lose by offering up that land. If urban lakefront property is attractive to Amazon I'd make that deal to land them 100 times out of 100, even if I knew Amazon would go out of business in 20 years.
Somehow Chicago can survive without MIegs Field on its Lakefront, even though MDW and ORD are completely saturated, yet we can't?
Burke is a great airport--its main runway is only 400 feet shorter than either of the runways at LGA and as such it can handle 757s without issue--and regularly does--from sports teams, political campaigns, and other uses. A comparison to Miegs Field is not accurate, other than the fact that both are/were on a lakefront. Meigs was tiny little field with private and propeller services. American Eagle had some service there. BKL is comparable to MDW, not Meigs. Even so, BKL's 6L runway is longer than anything at MDW. And BKL can handle Customs and Immigration. Burke also is a true reliever for Hopkins--the closest other airport that could serve in that capacity would be CAK (not Lorain, Cuyahoga County, Lost Nation, Akron Fulton)--and CAK is pretty far away from a landside perspective. But, critical to this discussion, Burke also can be leveraged to grow Cleveland---which I'll admit its not being used for that. But its a critical aviation asset that could be used for economic development purposes far beyond how the city uses it today and the city desperately needs to leverage it. A future administration could do it if Jackson (and a few of his predecessors) is incapable of doing so. Burke is not only a very capable airport, but so incredibly located that if positioned properly, could spur all kinds of growth and development in the city.
Re amazon specifically, i agree with MasseyBrown's statement above that "There are other parts of the downtown area where development would have a bigger payoff in terms of resulting density, efficiency, increase in property value, and return on the city's investment. The vast parking lots of the Warehouse District, both banks of the Flats, the Avenue District, and the Campus District (especially the north end) would be easier, cheaper, and more synergistic for the city than plowing up a detached landfill that would require costlier, city-subsidized site prep, utilities infrastructure, and public transportation expansion."
Burke can take commercial flights. (Tag, Wright, Midway) have all had flights from Burke but all failed.
BKL also served Midwest Express to MKE and Comair (for DL) to Detroit City and maybe Cincinnati. But, re the statement above, I would not attribute their failure to Burke, as the above may suggest. There were other factors in the industry. For example, in the case of Wright, BKL made money for them, but it was said, they expanded their network too quickly and thus did themselves in.