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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Airlines Didn't Get The Memo

By Walter Moore, Chief Economist and Legal Analyst, L.A. Policy Institute.

You know how the Mayor's PR machine has been spoon-feeding stories to the L.A. Times about how we "need" a $720 million makeover at the international terminal to attract more flights here?

You know, the stories with un-named "economists" opining that airplanes are instinctively attracted to shiny new terminals? The ones covering the happy happy ground-breaking photo-ops?

Well, it turns out the airlines didn't get the memo.

The Daily Breeze reports, "Nearly two dozen international airlines have joined a fight against Los Angeles International Airport over steep increases in the rents and other fees they pay to operate there."

The article goes on to say, "That complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation late Friday. In it, 22 airlines that use the Tom Bradley International Terminal describe the rate increases as unjustified, unfair and unlawful."

Wow! Where was the photo-op for THAT? Why don't the local TV stations send reporters to cover THAT story? Twenty-two airlines are complaining about the remodeling for which City Hall and the press-release journalists claim they are clamoring? Can you say "cognitive dissonance?" Sure you can.

The airlines, of course, don't object to the remodeling per se. But they don't want to pay for it, and wonder why they're supposed to pay higher rates since the airport agency is already operating at a profit. Good question.

Perhaps the L.A. Times should interview some REAL economists, to see whether raising the cost of using an airport is likely to increase, or decrease, demand for use of that airport. Oh, here's another question: given an industry that's always teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, will a major hike in operational costs help, or hurt, that industry?

P.S. As for the need to remodel to accomodate the new Airbus planes, Airbus announced today it's laying off 10,000 workers. Maybe the remodel for that isn't a "rush" job.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Matt Dowd said:

airbus is insane. those A380's are so big they were making them in two countries. now they gotta retool it all into one plant.
I never liked them or their planes. Give me good old Boeing Corp 747 any day.
just like the president uses.....

February 27, 2007 8:40 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Also, Airbus says they DO NOT NEED the runway separation or lengthening on the Northside of the airport!

February 28, 2007 2:52 PM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:

2:52

Balderdash. They need both runways to operate this aircraft. Just having one will be silly because most of the other international airlines that will use the A380 operate from Terminals 2,3 and 4. Guess where Terminals 2 and 3 are boys and girls. Near the northside runway!

February 28, 2007 3:19 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Actually, they can land it right now.

The added runway separation will simply allow simultaneous landing on two runways, rather than requiring planes to take turns.

At least, that's what someone told me a while ago. I forget who it was, but it was someone credible.

February 28, 2007 6:40 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Turns out the A380 not only CAN land, but will land -- next month!

http://www.dailybreeze.com/news/articles/6133176.html

February 28, 2007 7:03 PM  

Blogger Archie Bunker said:

Walter,

That is a photo-op landing for Mayor Beaneraigosa. When they try to operate this plane and you have Qantas and Luthansa and other major International carriers landing from the South runways and have to taxi for close to 35-40 minutes to get to their gates on the NORTH terminals, let alone it would delay other planes trying to take-off or land.

That North Runway looks like a flat out neccessity.

February 28, 2007 7:09 PM  

Blogger Walter Moore said:

Ah so. Thanks for the 411.

Man, that guy really needs to be on a photo-quota. I've seen him three times in three days on the evening news. I know one was the bus one. Tonight was handing out flyers in traffic. Day before yesterday was . . . I can't remember.

February 28, 2007 7:51 PM  

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