Denver mayor Wellington Webb fired up the first earthmover late last month as Denver International Airport (DEN) began construction of its sixth runway. The new 12,000- by 200-ft north-south runway was in the airport’s original plans, but was cut to save money. The airport opened in 1995.
Pittsburgh International Airport
US Airways insisted the decision to place a new Embraer 170 flight simulator at its Charlotte, N.C., base didn’t necessarily signal an intention to move MidAtlantic Airways out of Pittsburgh International Airport. But employees and airport officials remained unconvinced–yet another reflection of a persistent distrust new US Airways CEO Bruce Lakefield hopes to assuage as he attempts to save the company from financial ruin.
Operator attendance at the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) annual assembly in Athens last month was down about a third, as carriers reassessed fleet strategies under their “worst-ever trading conditions” following the U.S. terrorism attacks and an earlier economic downturn.
Hesitant to “look a gift horse in the mouth,” Regional Airline Association president Debby McElroy applauded the Office of Management and Budget’s decision to allow bankrupt carriers, including RAA members Midway Airlines and Shuttle America, access to part of the $10 billion in loan guarantees signed into law as part of the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act.
By any measure of market share and financial performance, the convalescence of the U.S. regional airline industry looks nearly complete. Since last year’s RAA convention in Phoenix, the nation’s regionals have posted double-digit traffic gains while margins marched toward pre-9/11 levels and RJ fleets grabbed another 5 percent of the air transport network’s market share. Far from issuing a clean bill
A Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) grant to support building an airline terminal complex at Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers has implications for general aviation as well. The $10 million grant supplements other funding toward completion of the $438 million terminal project at RSW.
The Washington Airports Task Force, a private Virginia organization dedicated to promoting aviation in Virginia and the National Capital region, is the latest group to assail federal agencies for not reopening Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) to general aviation.
Alteon, Boeing’s aviation training arm, last month opened a major facility at London Gatwick Airport. The 53,000-sq-ft facility will provide pilot and flight attendant training initially on simulators for the Boeing 737 and 757 and the Airbus A320. The center will also become the headquarters of Jeppesen UK and its international trip planning services.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) was Signature’s busiest base until September 11. Even after all other major airports around the country have reopened to some forms of general aviation operations, DCA remains closed to non-airline traffic. At press time, the normally bustling ramp at Signature DCA, the company’s flagship facility, was barren. The usually chock-a-block hangar was empty.
With Congress back in Washington, D.C., after its long summer hiatus, the propaganda war between general aviation and airlines continued apace, with lawmakers caught in the crossfire.