John Hancocks flowed along with the Samuel Adams at happy hour on State Street, as a Republican office-seeker asked supporters to help him mount a parallel third-party campaign.
The candidate is John Cirello. The local attorney and civic volunteer has won the Republican nomination to challenge seven-term incumbent state Rep. Bob Megna this fall for the 97th General Assembly seat, which represents New Haven’s East Shore.
Cirello (at right in photo) held a dual-purpose campaign event Tuesday afternoon at Christopher Martin’s on Upper State Street. Purpose One: To collect enough small contributions (between $10 and $100) from local voters to qualify for matching government money for his Republican campaign under the Citizens’ Elections Fund, state’s “clean money” public financing system; Cirello said he pulled in about $1,300. Purpose Two: To collect enough signatures from voters on petitions to appear on a second line on the ballot, as a candidate from the Independent Party. Cirello needs 63 signatures to qualify.
Why run on two lines?
“I’m trying to approve to a broader base. There are so many people in town who won’t vote for a Republican,” the candidate said between schmoozes at Tuesday’s event. New Haven currently has no Republican alders or state legislators. It last elected a Republican mayor in 1951.
“That’s the thing to do” for politicians these days, observed Tricia Palluzzi (pictured signing a petition as she signed the petition). She noted that candidates regularly seek multi-party endorsements; the same day as the event, for instance, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy won the endorsement of the Working Families Party. Palluzzi considers herself an independent voter, as does much of New Haven: The city has over 18,000 unaffiliated voters, compared to around 2,400 Republicans (and around 48,000 Democrats). Asked why she supports Cirello, Palluzzi echoed a comment made by others at the event: They know him from the neighborhood, where the Cirello family is active at Nathan Hale School, St. Bernadette Church, and events like an annual Morris Cove kids’ soapbox derby and Halloween parade. “Our daughters are friends,” having met six years ago in Nathan Hale pre-school, Palluzzi said.
Her husband Tony (on acoustic guitar in video) brought his band Lunch Box to entertain the crowd at the event. Their numbers included the Allman Brothers’ “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” and “The Weight” by the Band.
Kevin Buterbaugh (pictured), a political science professor from Morris Cove who sits on his ward’s Democratic committee, said he had additional reasons for switching parties to support Cirello: He faults incumbent Megna for co-sponsoring a bill that would have enabled Tweed-New Haven Airport to expand its runway and for not, in his opinion, doing more to stop an Army Corps of Engineers plan to dump PCB-laden fill from Bridgeport near the Morris Cove seawall. Buterbaugh claimed that neighbors had to rally themselves without Megna’s help to stop that plan. He also faulted Megna for not being visible enough in the district or communicating enough with constituents.
In his campaign Cirello has echoed those themes—especially about the airport bill.
Megna (pictured), reached Wednesday, called the criticism “extremely deceptive.” He said he and the rest of the entire New Haven delegation put their names on the bill at the request of the city so it could get a hearing. The legislators routinely do that, he said. Once it came up for a hearing, Megna claimed, the legislators made sure the bill got nowhere. It died in committee.
“We stopped the law from becoming law. I don’t know what more advocacy you can get than that,” Megna said.
New Haven political and civic leaders have pushed for years to expand the Tweed New Haven runway so more commercial flights can fly here. They argue that that will boost the economy and create more jobs. That position is anathema in Morris Cove, where the airport sits. Both Megna and Cirello said they oppose expansion. Asked about the business community’s position, Cirello, who sits on the Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee, said he sides with the neighborhood. “It’s right for the Cove not to expand the airport. It’s what my constituents want,” he said. “There are a lot of intelligent people on the other side of the issue. But the Cove is always asked to bear these environmental burdens. Enough is enough.” (Click here for a recent story detailing the latest developments in efforts to expand the runway.)
Megna also said he played a crucial role, along with New Haven’s other legislators and the governor, in stopping the Army Corps of Engineers plan. As for his record, he said he has fought tirelessly for the interests of the East Shore, including introducing and shepherding to passage a law—read it here—that will enable thousands of people to insure their homes. He introduced it after insurance companies were denying coverage to homeowners in shoreline areas, like Morris Cove, battered by superstorms in recent years.
“I literally wrote the law myself,” said Megna, who chairs the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee. “I’m around a tremendous amount. I believe that I write more law than many, many elected officials.”
Megna said that unlike Cirello, he might not seek to qualify for public dollars under the Citizens Elections Fund. He said he’ll probably raise the $5,000 to qualify, but figures he might not need the $27,850 taxpayer match. “I don’t know if I’ll spend more than $5,000,” he said. “Maybe I have my head up my butt, but I don’t think money is as important to me as it is to other people. So I may not do the public financing.”
Megna trumpeted his role as part of the state’s “most powerful urban area delegation” at the Capitol, legislators able to accomplish much in concert with fellow Democratic Gov. Malloy. Cirello, who describes himself as a moderate Republican (click here for a story detailing his positions), argued that New Haven, and the state, need a good-government fiscally-conservative independent voice to challenge Democratic orthodoxy.
That argument is familiar to Victor Fasano (pictured). Active in the city Republican Party since 1974, he served as town chair from 1980-1. He has served as Republican appointee to numerous city commissions, currently the zoning board.
“It’s time for fresh faces,” Fasano said in reference to Cirello. “It’s just so easy to go with the flow, which is Democratic in New Haven. It requires a special level of civic involvement [as a Republican]. I like to think he’s a fresh approach to things. A good turnover is needed so often.”
“It’s time for fresh faces,” Fasano said in reference to Cirello. “It’s just so easy to go with the flow, which is Democratic in New Haven. It requires a special level of civic involvement [as a Republican]. I like to think he’s a fresh approach to things. A good turnover is needed so often.”
The problem is not the fresh faces.The problem is the crooked two party run system.
posted by: steve on July 30, 2014 5:00pm
First off, unless the overruns are paved, Tweed will not stay the same. The Usairways Dash-8’s that service Tweed are nearing the end of their cycle limits, 4 were removed from the fleet last year and 2 will leave this year. To allow more types of newer airliners will require paving the overruns. Paving the overruns will occur on airport property, no streets will be closed and the idea that some locals should have control over the direction of the airport is totally wrong. Tweed opened in 1929 and everybody who lives in the vicinity of the airport came along much later than 1929. Move near an airport and then complain about it is shortsighted. Some must feel that when the overruns are paved it will open the flood gates to vastly increased service. Not true. Airports the size of Tweed usually average about 10 to 16 daily flights and the new generation of regional aircraft are quieter than the current aircraft. Over 90% of Tweeds traffic is private or general aviation and that will not change with the overruns paved. Too much misinformation and statements by some that is not true and unverifiable. Tweed will never be a large airport with commercial flights every few minutes, it will never be a hub airport, it will never offer international flights and the land Tweed occupies is all it will ever have and it is much less than Bradley field, the Westchester airport and the Providence airport. Improving Tweed will mean more jobs, greater chances of businesses locating in the area and more money spent by travelers staying in the New Haven area businesses.
posted by: Esbey on July 30, 2014 5:04pm
As for the poll, the problem is that a very few households would be moderately inconvenienced by the runway expansion, whereas the entire region would benefit economically from an increase in service at Tweed. Potential employers care a lot about convenient airport service, and the relatively long trek to Bradley and the NYC airports costs the New Haven area jobs and taxes.
But, of course, it is the tiny faction of households who oppose the airport who have managed to get the incumbent legislator to brag that he killed the possibility of any economic benefit to the region. Sigh.
posted by: KNB on July 30, 2014 6:38pm
Airport supporters consistently misstate the history of the neighborhood. Tweed came after many of the homes in the area and many that are near the runway. My home is not one - but two doors up from me the house is over 100 years old - it predates the airport by almost two decades. Throughout the whole cove many of the homes predate the airport by decades or more.
More importantly, all current research on airports shows that the Tweeds of the world are nonviable. Putting more money into it is a waste of all of our tax payers dollars. The Air Transport Center at MIT has extensively studied the subject and shown that changes in the industry have made places like Tweed nonviable. Moreover, Joe Sharkey of the Times has had several articles examining the false hope of investing in places like Tweed. They take money but give nothing back. He opens one of his articles by stating that politicians saying they can bring new business to an airport are chasing ghosts and selling snake oil to voters.
posted by: Claudia on July 30, 2014 7:46pm
As one of the lead organizers of the grassroots protest NHPOWer! against the Army Corps’ plans, I DISAGREE with Megna’s statement. He did not play a crucial role to stop the dumping project! 1) Megna NEVER took a lead in our organization: NHPOWer. 2) Megna was NOT actively involved in collecting more than 2000 signatures, pressuring fellow politicians to support us, or organizing the big boating parade on July, 10th in 2011. 3) He told me in October 2010, that stopping the ACE project would be easy. He could introduce a “little law”, denying state-funding for plan A. The same plan STILL favored by the Army Corps: dumping about 200.000 cubic yards of PCB contaminated dredging material from Bridgeport Harbor into the Cove.
Thus: Megna was a mere follower. No leader, no representative who took initiative, went above and beyond what others did, fought for his constituents in the first row, or introduced a “little law”. At the same time he had no problem doing the city “a favor”: putting his name under the airport law. When is he doing us in the Cove such a favor? We are waiting since fall 2010!
To be clear: The ACE is not moving forward only because they are faced with federal budget constraints.
posted by: Don in New Haven on July 30, 2014 8:05pm
FAA requires a runway to have an overrun on each end, also called Runway Safety Area (RSA). Paving the RSA does NOT increase the length of the runway.
The RSA is an integral part of the runway environment. RSA dimensions are established in AC 150/5300-13, Airport Design and are based on the Airport Reference Code (ARC). The RSA is intended to provide a measure of safety in the event of an aircraft’s excursion from the runway by significantly reducing the extent of personal injury and aircraft damage during overruns, undershoots and veer-offs. Unquote
More pavement will only benefit the contractors who get that paving job. It will NOT increase the operational length of the runway.
To read more official information about Tweed (especially about runway elevations, the tall trees, and standing water after heavy rain), go to this website: http://www.airnav.com/airport/HVN
posted by: JohnTulin on July 30, 2014 9:07pm
Tony also played “Friend of the Devil” by the Dead, can’t Leave out the Good Ole Grateful Dead!
posted by: accountability on July 31, 2014 1:11am
Good luck with your signatures.
Cirello is a Republican. Whatever crossover positions he takes personally, electing him takes the Republicans one step closer to controlling the legislature. That’s a disaster waiting to happen. This is no longer your father’s moderate Connecticut Republican Party. The Party’s leadership is, for the most part, extremely hostile to the state’s urban areas, and they think that the superrich are overtaxed.
Fresh blood? Spare us. Like any cynical politician, Cirello radically misstates Megna’s positions. Whatever anyone may think of the issue, Bob opposed Tweed expansion and Tweed expansion died in the last session. Just because he put his name on the bill, doesn’t mean he supports it, and in doing so, actually created the opportunity for residents to publicly express their opposition.
Cirello’s cheap ploy is insulting to voters. “He signed the bill!” “He’s for it!” Either Cirello’s ignorant of the legislative process or he thinks he can trick voters who are. Either one is a real problem.
Morris Covers have homeowners insurance because of Bob Megna. Period. Nobody else. Bob’s quiet, unassuming and does his job.
Also, Paul, it’s about time you read the political science literature on “independent” voters. They don’t actually exist. Registering “Independent” is a lifestyle badge. It bolsters people’s image of themselves as tough, fair minded, and/or freethinking. But it has virtually no meaning in the results of elections. The overwhelming majority of registered independents vote consistently for one party or the other.
I know the “growing body of independent voters” theme is pure candy for independent alt news sites. But it distorts the actual politics of the city and the coverage of elections.
posted by: robn on July 31, 2014 9:02am
Many people join the New Haven Democratic party not because they agree with its current bosses radical tax and spend policies, but simply because in recent years, the Democratic primary determines the winner; those barred from participating in it are denied a true vote.
posted by: westville man on July 31, 2014 9:04am
Thank you, Steve, for your insightful post- it’s nice to read facts over opinions from time to time.
KNB- it has NOTHING to do with when the houses were built- it has to do with what was there when folks move in. In the 90s Tweed was a much busier airport and I would bet you most of the residents moved in around that time or later. As a comparison, I live 3 blocks from Yale Bowl. Many of our homes were built before the Bowl was. Yet when we bought, we knew there would be Yale football and other athletic events there. As an aside, the NIMBYS in my neighborhood shut down concerts and other activities so that the tennis center and the Bowl sit empty most of the year. If they had it their way, the Bowl and Tennis center would shutter too, just like others who want Tweed to close.
posted by: Wooster Squared on July 31, 2014 9:43am
I, and I suspect a lot of other New Haven residents, am sick of hearing Morris Cove residents complain about Tweed and impeded much-needed economic development that expansion would provide. As one of the earlier commenters pointed out, virtually everyone living in Morris Cove bought their house AFTER the airport was already there. Most of those residents probably paid a lower price for their house than they would have otherwise precisely because it was near an airport.
It’s disturbing to see residents in one of the City’s wealthier neighborhoods block economic development that could potentially help many of the City’s poorer residents by increasing the number of jobs here. This is the ugly head of the “I got mine” attitude usually reserved for the Connecticut suburbs.
posted by: John Cirello on July 31, 2014 10:35am
Thank you for all your comments and reading this article. If you have any questions for the candidate, please call me at 203-672-0153. I look forward to speaking with you. See you around the neighborhood.
John A. Cirello Candidate for State Representative 97th District
posted by: Noteworthy on July 31, 2014 10:56am
Pig In A Poke Notes:
1. Tweed supporters and managers always have one more plan, one more thing they want to do that will make Tweed viable and less of an intrusion and money drain on New Haven taxpayers.
2. Every single promise and agreement made to that end since Tweed started its decline more than a decade ago, has failed. Tweed has not had one single success story in terms of locations or better pricing. Not one.
3. Tweed has continued to shake down city taxpayers for more money and more debt each year with the sad, sorry and pathetic refrain of “we can hand it back to you” and “you’ll be on the hook for millions of dollars” and “if only we spend this much more money…” in addition to vacuous promises of another airline, more choices and competitive pricing.
4. Tweed should be capped at what it is and considered to be a private airport for the well heeled and well connected. Everything from the rents to the ticket prices to the landing and parking fees should all be raised so that Tweed breaks even and does not continue to drain city taxpayers.
5. The entire board and management of Tweed should resign and it should be populated with people who can actually make an agreement, keep it; and make business projections and budgets and keep them. This sorry lot can’t seem to do wither.
6. As for Bob Megna - dump him and every other Democrat incumbent you can find. It goes far beyond Tweed - the state’s bond rating is negative because of unbalanced budgets; we lag the rest of the nation in economic recovery; they’ve radically increased taxes and yet, still can’t manage to balance a budget free of gimmicks, raiding the transportation fund or pilfering the rainy day fund. The only reason unemployment rate is dropping is because people are dropping out of the labor pool. They can’t name one problem they’ve fixed - plenty they fund - but none that are actually fixed. That’s pitiful.
posted by: Steve NH on July 31, 2014 11:44am
Let’s not forget that the issue at hand is the candidates running for Election to the House Seat in the 97th District. As a long time resident of the district I have witnessed the complete disappearance of our currently elected State Rep Bob Megna. Before ever giving him serious consideration for re-election I believe he owes the voters an explanation to the question of “Where have you been Bob”. To the person no one has seen hide nor hair of him in the last 4 years. He has been re-elceted because there was no challenger not because he was representing anyone except himself “Times they are a Changing”
posted by: steve on July 31, 2014 12:25pm
To KNB. Quote “More importantly, all current research on airports shows that the Tweeds of the world are nonviable”. Another blanket statement that sounds good but is not accurate. I can name many small airports in smaller metro areas than New Haven that have much better air service and more options to choose from and that increases competition resulting in lower air fares. The airports in Roanoke and Charlottesville,Va are just two examples. There are many more I could name. Just the fact that Northwest airlines tried twice to start new service to their Detroit hub, American had Tweed on a list for service to Chicago and Southwest surveyed the airport with hopes of starting service to their Baltimore hub gives a glimpse into the potential that an improved tweed could offer.These proposals all failed due to one fact, the limited runway. The local market looked good to these airlines, therefore their interest. Most people complain about the private aircraft practicing take offs and landing and that will not change, with only 4 commercial daily flights, the commercial side of the operations are much less than 90%. If new service was started that over time added 6 to 10 daily flights spread out over the course of a day, would that drastically alter the landscape? The answer is no. The age of the home is not a factor, its the people who bought those homes knowing full well that the airport was well established. The homes themselves have not suffered any deleterious effects from the airport. Tweed will never be what some with over active imaginations have feared.Just a small regional airport that can meet the needs of area travelers is all Tweed will ever be. There are many other issues in the local area that need attention, taxes, jobs, crime, but upgrading Tweed is not one of them.
posted by: eliantonio on July 31, 2014 12:36pm
I bought a house near the hospital, now it’s expanding, i know it’s for the good of the people of the new haven region, but i strongly oppose it, even though i bought the house well after the hospital was built. you see, when someone buys a house near a highway, airport, hospital, school, those institutions should all cede to the desires of those who may suffer some annoyance due to the upgrade and upkeep of said institutions. it’s in the constitution- isn’t it?
posted by: KNB on July 31, 2014 1:02pm
Steve - you have not done your home work. Go to this link to see what researchers at MIT have to say about small airports and their viability (http://web.mit.edu/aeroastro/labs/icat/). Sure there are some small airports with better service - but getting better service today is basically impossible - and those with better service are losing it over time. Small airports have lost more than 20% of their service since 2008. Even large airports are finding it more difficult to hold onto service. The air industry has consolidated and it no longer sees profit in serving small airports - especially not one like Tweed that has competitors all around.
No one can say this area is under-served by airports. If you live in a big city like Boston or New York getting to JFK, Logan etc it takes about as much time for the average person there to get to the airport as the average person here needs to get to Bradley. Worse, air travelers are very elastic in their purchasing behavior - they have no problem driving 30 minutes or more for a cheaper ticket. This means that Tweed would need ticket prices as low as Bradley’s and this is not going to happen.
You also miss that the city wants to use the safety zones to allow longer takeoffs and landings. This means that the FAA will eventually require new safety zones and thus an extension of the runway and the footprint of the airport.
Finally, Tweed directly harms those living near the airport. We must deal with the noise, the smell of kerosene and the traffic on residential streets that allow access to Tweed. Fort Hale road is residential, but those going to Tweed treat it like a highway.
We moved into the area with Tweed as it is now. And that is what I want it to stay. Call it selfish if you like, but the east shore more than carries it load in the city - we are the ones with the sewage plant, a working power plant, an airport, and a harbor. All of these create costs for us and benefits for everyone else.
posted by: Esbey on July 31, 2014 1:20pm
Noteworthy, your plan to actually prevent service improvements—“cap Tweed at what it is”—is the exact plan of the homeowner / speculators who have purchased homes near Tweed and now want to make some nice money by organizing politically to kill off commercial service at the airport. Let us be clear about what the anti-Tweed campaign is: an effort to win capital gains for a small politically organized club of property-owners, at the expense of the rest of the city and the region. The “capping service argument” gives it away—that has no benefit whatsoever to New Haven and only serves the bottom line of the speculators
Better air service is near the top of the list for private companies who think of locating here. Successful communities find ways to make the improvements that attract business, jobs and taxes; failed communities fail.
posted by: Don in New Haven on July 31, 2014 1:30pm
Tweed was built inside of a basin formed by a creek with a hill to the north and a swamp and Long Island Sound to the south. The runway cannot be extended more than this small area of land allows and it must have a Runway Safety Area on each end of the runway.
The airport should be given to the State and managed by CT Airport Authority, which manages small airports. If Megna wants my vote, he will give Tweed to CT State. Here is the link to their website:
The runway extension and all other projects are used to suck money out of ALL NH property owners and the State.
In the recent Budget discussions, there was plenty of comment about Tweed’s $325K but nothing was said about the $600K+ amount for Tweed that is being borrowed with bonds for 20 years.
The main reason why other airlines are not interested in Tweed is the low number of enplanements. For the entire year of 2013, the total passenger enplanements at Tweed were 37,434 and this gives you an indication of how much potential business there is at Tweed. Is each airplane leaving Tweed filled with no empty seats available?
This is the 21st century and the internet age. It is no longer necessary to travel for business as it was in the 20th century. Get used to it.
posted by: Don in New Haven on July 31, 2014 2:21pm
Just one additional comment about Tweed business.
The below quote is from the FAA. Multiply this PFC number ($4.50) by the number of enplanements (36,975) that I mentioned earlier to see how much Tweed can pocket in 2013. That money does NOT go to the City.
quote The Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) Program allows the collection of PFC fees up to $4.50 for every boarded passenger at commercial airports controlled by public agencies. Airports use these fees to fund FAA-approved projects that enhance safety, security, or capacity; reduce noise; or increase air carrier competition. unquote
posted by: steve on July 31, 2014 4:09pm
Noteworthy quote “4. Tweed should be capped at what it is”. What many don’t mention that is that the cap includes 180,000 yearly boardings, 6 airlines and 30 daily flights.All of these can never happen unless the overruns are paved. KNB quote “You also miss that the city wants to use the safety zones to allow longer takeoffs and landings. This means that the FAA will eventually require new safety zones and thus an extension of the runway and the footprint of the airport”. Wrong, the overruns will be marked to show the same touchdown marking that exist today. They will be still be classified as overruns, paving will not change that.Many airports have paved overruns and the charts indicate that. Quote “Finally, Tweed directly harms those living near the airport”. Also not true. Tweed will never approach the level of service at Bradley or White Plains, it does not need to. Service by 2 to 3 airlines to 4 or 5 hub airports will meet the needs of most area travelers. Quote “Even large airports are finding it more difficult to hold onto service”. All one has to do is research the growth of airlines, record numbers of new aircraft being ordered,large airports are flourishing.
Don Quote “The main reason why other airlines are not interested in Tweed is the low number of enplanements.” Sounds like someone else not getting the facts straight. United served tweed for almost 5 years and they left due to the limited runway. Many thousands used the Chicago service and Tweed back then boarded over 130,000 one year. Delta left for the same reason and also the Cincinnati hub was being cut back. When Tweed lost Delta service,5 other cities also lost service. Its not to hard to understand, its the runway and nothing else.Obstructing trees have mostly been removed, utility poles relocated, its just the runway,paving the overruns will remove the last barrier for increased service. Quote “This is the 21st century.It is no longer necessary to travel for business. Oh so wrong.
posted by: robn on July 31, 2014 4:59pm
“in the shadows of the bright light of a booming business, lurks a disturbing truth – 70% of airports lose money.”
Hey its not me sayin…that’s the Airports Council International, the only global trade rep world airports.
posted by: accountability on July 31, 2014 11:39pm
robn: No kidding. But you’d better duke it out with Paul, not me.
Paul says, over and over and over again, that the biggest electoral story in town is that there are very large numbers of registered independents. How does that square with your claim?
My point is that more than three quarters of those people will vote consistently for one party or the other in contested general elections. That’s a well-documented fact. Inn New Haven most of them are actually Democrats. There really isn’t any such thing as an independent voter. Very few of them actually exist, and they have a relatively predictable set of opinions on the issues.
Do many people say that they register as Democrats because they want to be able to vote in primaries? Sure. I know a handful of Republicans who actually have. But very few of the people who say that are actually Republicans or Independents.
Most are Democrats anyway. Harp and Elicker each fit comfortably within the broader ideological umbrella of the Democratic Party. There were clashes of culture and values that led to great divisions and a narrow outcome. But it was an intra-party squabble.
The mainstream media is obsessed with finding the “sensible center,” and the “radical middle,” and blah, blah, blah. There are actually only very few of such voters. Our electorate is pretty polarized along partisan lines. I’m sort of surprised to see Paul fall for this hooey.
Lots of people are frustrated with our politics. I certainly am. But most Independents are registered as such because they believe that doing so demonstrates that they carefully review all the issues and the character of all the candidates and make a reasoned choice regardless of party. But in reality they pull the lever for the same party in almost every election. “Independent” voters are a myth.
posted by: robn on August 1, 2014 8:51am
Paul’s assertion that a large number of people are registered Independent is factual and verifiable at the Registrar of Voters.
My assertion that a large number Democrats are registered so for the practical convenience of being able to vote for serious local candidates (in the democratic primary) is admittedly anecdotal and based upon my experience and what I know from friends in town. (that being said I would personally have a hard time voting for a Republican (however moderate) who presumably takes his national party seriously…interestingly, I’m getting the same vibe with the Democratic party but with inverse results; I take the national party much more seriously than the locals who like to walk on the fringes of Marxism and use plantation politics as a tool.)
The two assertions are mutually exclusive.
posted by: steve on August 1, 2014 7:17pm
Don, quote “The below quote is from the FAA. Multiply this PFC number ($4.50) by the number of enplanements (36,975) that I mentioned earlier to see how much Tweed can pocket in 2013. That money does NOT go to the City.” You seem to be upset that the money does NOT go to the city. Its one of few federal programs that make sense. People who use the air travel system pay for its improvements. If the city got the money, they might use it to help fund the needle exchange program or some other worthwhile cause. Most of the small airports that lost airline service were much smaller and had way few yearly boardings. Many were also part of the federal EAS (essential air service) program. Many of these subsidized flights had less than 5 passengers, sometimes only 1 or 2. Tweeds flights are not part of this program. Both Bridgeport and the Groton-New London airports lost their Usairways service while Tweed has kept its service. There is a pent up demand for air service in the area and now with American airlines merging with Usairways, Tweed has more possibilities for increased air service, such as service to the Chicago and Charlotte hub airports. If American were to offer flights to both of these airports, it would be with 3 or 4 daily flights. Passenger boarding would go up and so would the airports income, the $4.50 PFC charge on every ticket,landing fees, airline counter rentals, more car rental fees, etc. Tweed for years has been operating with one hand tied behind its back. The talk by some that airlines don’t want to come to Tweed is only because they can’t. Operationally they can"t start new service apart from the Dash-8 and those planes are being parked and have a limited range, Chicago and Charlotte are not possible. Let Tweed reach its potential and many will come to find it can be a handy, close by airport to use.