September 24, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 24, 2013

Airport maintenance

TO THE EDITOR: With respect to the Sept. 14 article on grants to maintain our airport, permit me to remind ourselves that this money comes out of our total taxes paid.

I am personally aware that local legislators view it as not our tax money since it is “federal money,” thus maintaining a favorable local balance sheet.

What is alarming to me is the runway maintenance costs. Our single runway is 11,758 feet long plus overruns. This should be shortened to save us money in fuel, manpower and maintenance.

Burlington has two, the longest is 8,320 feet. LaGuardia has two, each 7,000 feet long with no overruns, and in the past has handled large domestic B-767 and DC-10 size aircraft.

The largest aircraft using our concrete is niche carrier Allegiant,  serving mostly fee-avoiding Canadians with a B-757 to Las Vegas.  Air France or Air China jumbos are never coming; Laurentian Aerospace is not coming nor is any heavy-jet overhaul service.

As an airline pilot (Northwest/Delta) since 1986, we’re being taken for an old-fashioned buggy ride: lots of costs; no operating control tower; no full-time, on-site fire and rescue; no major airline hub and spoke service; and minimal parking-lot revenue. We don’t need this tax burden.

I recommend we shorten our runway to about 8,000 feet, aligned with a currently existing access taxiway. This is done by “displacing” and relocating the lighting and instrument-landing systems, etc., to the new touchdown point.

Tell our legislators to work with the FAA using grants or the ill-fated terminal money. It would save us taxpayers lots of money in operating and maintenance costs as well as save aircraft fuel with shorter taxi times, shorter flight patterns and reduced noise signatures on the ground, etc.



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