It's all about the money...


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It\'s all about the money...

From the NY Times.

Security Looser on Corporate Airfraft

The quote that gets me is this:

"Let me tell you clearly, the T.S.A. does not consider corporate aviation to be a threat; we see you as a potential target," Pam Hamilton, the agency's director of aviation initiatives, said at the trade show this month.

So let me see if I have this right. You don't feel that corporate aviation is a threat, but some student drilling holes in the pattern is?

I mean, I can't go do T&G's at BKL when there is a Browns game going on, but the big wigs from the NFL and MBNA etc. can bring their jets right in.

Call me crazy, but it sounds like it's all about who has more cash in their pockets. It's certainly not about who's aircraft can do more damage.

Whatever, just needed to rant a bit.

Re: It\'s all about the money...

Well, It's better than closing it completely ala Major Daley...but still...c'mon people!
Re: It\'s all about the money...

Absolutely agree, but I'm not worried about BKL being closed anytime soon. The restrictions I'm talking about are the TFR's from the FAA issued regarding sporting events. Some of the city council has blown on and on about closing Lakefront, but they appear to be a minority. And those guys kinda got a taste of their own medicine when other councilmen started talking about closing the marineas. Ha! That was poetic justice.

My point was that it just seems a little odd to go on and on about how much of a threat GA is and then say, "Well, corporate aircraft aren't really a threat." All people can assume then is well if they said that the Citation and the Skyhawk were a threat, but then they say that the Citation isn't a threat. Then the Skyhawk must still be a threat.

But if you think about it, you aren't going to make the deep-pocketed happily contribute to the economy if you tell them they have to go through the same security as Joe Schmoe flying on SWA.

Oh well. At least, like you said, they didn't close all the GA airport.

Re: It\'s all about the money...

Well, at least the TSA got it right. Corporate aircraft are not a threat. Now if they will just figure out that if a Lear or Gulfstream or Citation, which is a hell of a lot faster and heavier than a C172, is not a threat, then a C172 isn't either.

It's the old 1/2 mass times velocity squared equation. A Citation has more mass and more velocity, so if it is not a threat, then why is a slow, light C172 a threat?
Re: It\'s all about the money...

In response to your comment about BKL. Were you there this last weekend when an Antique show took over the entire terminal area? Next weekend they are having an international food festival and Casino night? At an airport? Look at all the airport security they had for the Antique show (one rent a cop who was unarmed). Look closely next weekend when they have the international food festival it will be the same story. BKL’s death will only be a matter of time. The city made more money holding an Antique show at the airport over one weekend then all the tenants in the building combined in a year as reported to me by the airport commissioner. The VIP party alone was $1,000 per person and it was packed. Take a look at Aviation High School it’s been sitting there for how long dormant. I know of at least three people who wanted to take over that space and have all been denied. I can’t tell you how many businesses (i.e. Key Corp, Eaton, National City etc) have had there corporate aviation departments turned away from BKL by the city. Smaller airlines and charter companies have wanted to set up shop due to the proximity of the airport and the city (you know the old saying “location, location, location”). The city is in bed with the brass at Continental to keep any potential competitors with Express out of there. The city wants the airport property and they will get it. Notice what’s happened to the pilots lounge in the terminal area? It’s now a wild life/EPA office where you can report bird strikes and people dumping fuel on the tarmac. The pilots lounge was relocated to...oh it wasn’t, it's gone. A pilot shop was forced to move down the hall because of "office space". I don't know how long you have been taking training down there but it doesn't take a blind person to see what's been going on over the last five years. It’s a shame because a lot could be done to enhance the place. Let’s face it when most people mention Burke in a conversation it’s either because of the Air Show or the Auto Race. Enjoy it while you still can. Sorry to get so far off the topic.
Re: It\'s all about the money...

I disagree to a point. Biz jets are not a threat of being taken over. Our SOP was either, shoot the bad guy (if you had a gin), or make the pax float, and bounce them off the ceiling a few times until they are out cold, then the PNF would go back and beat the hell out of them until there was no pulse (I am not making that up)

With a small single engine airplane NOT on a flt plan, with no one else on board it can carry WMDs ( poison etc) and no one would be the wiser.
Re: It\'s all about the money...

Were you there this last weekend when an Antique show took over the entire terminal area?

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I sure was. They took all the parking spots in the side lot. I walked right though it too after I was done flying. I got a few sideways glances, but you know what. I'm a pilot and you're in my airport! Deal with it.

My CFI and I both decided that this was a sad use of an airport, but at the same time it's not nearly as disruptive as the Grand Prix.

That airport is why I'm so interested in airport management. I walk through there and see all of the incredible opportunities that could be realized there. I can't tell you all the ideas I get when I walk through that place.

I see the traffic that comes in for Browns games, tribe games, and I imagine now (or shortly) for Cavs games. I see that BKL in some ways is better than Meigs was since it's right next door to 3 major attractions.

I'd love to have a group of people buy that airport from the city and turn it into an attraction.

Hey I'm all for having those events at the airport, but why not publicize the event and get pilots to fly in for it? Which brings business to the FBO's and the city, since some of those pilots might not hang out at the airport all day.

As far as Continental goes. I'm not on the inside of Cleveland politics, but I did read an article that said that Continental is pretty much looking for a reason to get out of Cleveland since CLE charges the highest landing fees of any airport in the U.S. I mean from what I understand they were going to cut service at CLE long before 9/11. CLE also (at last count) got the majority of their revenue from the airlines. This differs from many large airports who get the bulk of their revenue from their concessions. This results in low costs for the airlines and high costs for the concessionaire (which is why a Coke at ATL costs you $2, I imagine). So I'm not totally buying that they're "in bed" with the City, but I can't say for certain.

The pilot shop that moved was the shop run by my school. Again, I don't know all the in's and out's, but I think the move was actually good for them since they're now in a more visible location instead of being burried in the far corner of the airport. Of course they're in a smaller space now.

And you're right, a lot of corportate ops have moved. A lot of them are at CGF, and yet more are at CLE.

I've not been training there long (a little over a year) and you're right it isn't a growing place, but I wonder why so many pilots I talk to about BKL have the same defeatist attitude that you do?

Two things, as I see it, have to happen to get BKL to grow.

A) We need a mayor who can see it's potential. The candidates are out there. At least they were in the last election. Of course this also assumes that the city can get out of debt.

B) The pilot population in and around Cleveland needs to mobilize. The old argument of, "Well, we couldn't save Meigs so why try?" isn't doing anything to help matters.

Speaking of Meigs, Cleveland is a different animal than Chicago is. Daly had issues with Meigs from the day he started his first term. By my count there's only one or two councilmen in Cleveland who would like to see BKL gone.

The thing that sticks in my craw is this: The things that are deemed "a poor use of an airport" are in a lot of ways the things that are keeping it alive. I say this because everytime I read about someone wanting to close the airport I hear someone else ask, "Where do we put the grand prix then?" and "where does the airshow go?" I'd love to read something like, "God Lakefront is too busy to shutdown for the Grand Prix. So where are we going to move it to?"

Again, I'm not on the inside of things. I'm just a 28 year old student pilot full of piss and vinegar, you on the other hand sound like you've been around the block a few times. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts about BKL.

Re: It\'s all about the money...

A) We need a mayor who can see it's potential.
B) The pilot population in and around Cleveland needs to mobilize. The old argument of, "Well, we couldn't save Meigs so why try?" isn't doing anything to help matters.

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I'd completely agree with you here.

I flew into BKL once as an inst. student, and it was one of the best flights ever--that is a great airport. It was kind of sad to see it pretty empty though.

I'd say it is a great sign that the town sees Corporate Aviation as a "non threat" and as a valuable asset to the community, be it in dollars alone or not.

The pilot pop. DOES need to be proactive in proving the value of GA to the community. With your enthusiasm on the subject, I'm sure whatever you could give to it would go far.

On the other hand, those pesky annual races/fairs/etc that make ops difficult for you and your school are probably big revenue generators. It'd be great to have some kind of GA function there that people flock to every year and go spend their dollars in the city.

You'll stand a better chance of "saving" the airport than Miegs, as you don't have a tyranical mayor with the Governor in his pocket and a cadre of construction contractors to pay back for getting him into office.
($600k for the demolition alone-went to a company headed by Daley's former advisor). If the casino (oh, I mean Park) plan comes through for Northerly Island (changing the name is a marketing attempt to get the public to stop associating the area with Meigs), you can imagine the contracts needed for a $25 mil project.

Government caters to money, and whoever can pony up the most will always win.