Press-Republican

Opinion

October 2, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Oct. 2, 2012

Terminal expansion

TO THE EDITOR: Our airport is proper size for long-term needs.

We have had different airlines, and each attempt is with lucrative EAS subsidies.

In a few years, the new FAA Reform Act takes effect. This requires at least 10 departures every day and location within 175 miles of a hub airport. Boston is 182 miles away, 10 daily departures makes EAS renewal unlikely, and it’s not efficient to go South, West or North.

Airlines are having hard times, with several in bankruptcy or shutting down and major airlines are not renewing contracts. The result is Plattsburgh will not be able to justify the $50 million terminal expansion and the operating costs.

We have Allegiant carrying mostly Canadian passengers, but if the exchange rate changes or rules become restrictive or the president’s budget gets its $100-per-departure tax and tripling the security tax, they and Allegiant could vaporize.

The airline industry is volatile and dependent on many variables. Responsible legislators expand airports when they are making money, with growth guaranteed. Usually, the airline pays for the costs of expansion.

An editorial on June 19 stated the terminal made $1 million the first year, with operation costs of $4.4 million, and $1.4 million had to come out of general funds. Now we are adding on $50 million in new debt, plus long-term operating costs, hoping it will lead to attracting more flights.

If we raise parking fees more to cover the deficit, passengers will go elsewhere with better choices.

We taxpayers are the “landlord” of the public airport, the elected legislators our employed “managers.” In light of the facts, it would behoove us to make sure we have a competent, sound airport business model before strapping us with this long-term debt.

GEOFFREY B. BARKER

Plattsburgh

 

Judicial candidates

TO THE EDITOR: As a practicing lawyer for over 30 years, I know how important it is to have a judge who treats everyone fairly and equally.

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