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