Friday, June 15, 2007

Couple of things

- I tend to side with David Lynn on this issue. I don't think we're going to see commercial 737s rolling down at Ben Epps Airport for a variety of reasons (the fact that we are located an hour from two good airports in Atlanta and Greenville-Spartanburg being the primary one). From my few times at that facility, there just doesn't appear to be a large demand of folks who wish to fly out of Ben Epps or a substantial amount of people who come in to our community via air travel. It's important we work to maintain an element of service there for the exact reasons Doug Lowry laid out - our desire to build a regional economy - so it's good to see the commission and the authority working on a compromise.

- I laughed out loud when I read the lede to this story. Excellent use of the phrase 'gin joints' ...

- Couple of shout-outs if you don't mind. First, I had the good fortune of meeting Cousin Pat From Georgia yesterday. He was in Athens-Clarke County for a mere day, but came by to say hi to me and was kind enough to bring me some coffee from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans, where he resides these days. Second, if you're downtown and want to get a drink on a Thursday or Friday evening, stop by at 283 Bar and ask for Rachel behind the bar. She's good people and is always good enough to buy the first round for me, of which I'm most appreciative.

- Regular commenter and new local blogger James Garland writes about the bond issue and the Clarke County School District. I have to meekly say I'm not terribly up-to-speed on this, so I really can't comment to0 much on it.

- And another shout-out ... if you're downtown tonight, go to Little King's around 10 p.m. for a free concert by Molasses Skye, which is Kyshona Armstrong's new project. It's worth heading down there, as is heading over to the ole musee on June 27 to hear her again at 5 p.m.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to fly out of Athens much more, but the price differential between ATH and ATL is much greater than it used to be. Also, the flight times are much more inconvenient than they used to be.

I believe people would use the existing airline more if we had better service and a better terminal. (I don't think the general public, nor most airlines, find the current terminal very attractive.)

In the long term, I do disagree with David Lynn. The move away from hub-and-spoke air system to point-to-point travel puts airports like ours at a disadvantage. I believe small airports with regional carriers are going to face a tough time, except those located more than 2-3 hours from a major airport. If we were to pitch ourselves as a "reliever" airport for Atlanta, we might be able to a sustain a commercial airline. There is no support for that in this community. I certainly would not support such a move.

In the long run, Athen's best option is: (1) to keep the regional air service as long as possible, (2) emphasize the future of chartered and air taxi business, and (3) get a rail link to Atlanta that permits easy acess to Hartsfield-Jackson.

Just my 2 cents.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always thought that if the improvements at the airport (both runway and terminal) could be completed with the idea of attracting Southwest Airlines, it would be a tremendous success. Though I know that the Cedar Creek residents (who already hate the airport by and large) would come unglued at the thought of regular 737 service.

My guess is that the airport will suffer a slow, painful economic death and become a playground for the flyboys.


1:30 PM  
Anonymous StoptheBS said...

Have you been around long enough to remember the Kenny Rogers involvement with the airport.

This is true, as they say, you can look it up.

Kenny had his spread out in Smithsonia, and kept his very own personal 737 here at the airport. So yes they can land here. It was quite a sight, parked over there at with Cessna's and Pipers.

Kenny's problem was that he couldn't take off with a full load of fuel, and so when he flew to the West Coast, he had to make a pit stop in Kansas City or some place to fill up. He and Mary Ann found all of that to be terribly inconvenient, and so Kenny offered to lengthen the runway at his expense to whatever length it took for his 737 to take off with a full load of fuel. It was several hundred feet as I recall. Our farsighted commissioners at the time of course turned him down out of hand, and here we are today--- talking about doing the same thing, but letting the taxpayers pay for it.

12:57 PM  

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