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Proposed MSP expansion spurs questions about demand, noise.
Go with the less expensive plan. Committing the entire main terminal to Delta will put the airport in a weaker position to bargain with the company. Already, Delta does not need both Detroit and Minneapolis as hubs and will continue to play them off against each other. Cities like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati are also competition. Skype and other video communication will continue to make air travel less necessary, not more. They should base their decisions on what they KNOW will be needed, not what they think might happen.
Doing ANYTHING that benefits Delta should be rejected. Banishing all non-Delta carriers to Humphrey could be detrimental to the spirit of competition.
Sounds like quite a gamble. It would take just one bad news phone call from Delta closing the hub, and there wont be half a million passengers from whom to rake in fees. All us taxpayers would then be on the hook for this Billion dollar tab. But what does MAC care, it aint their money.
Forcing every airline except Delta to Humphrey stifles competition and puts the airport at Delta's mercy. And, as we've seen before, Delta can be pretty lacking in mercy.
The airport has expanded several times since 2004 (including adding a new runway that opened in 2005) and traffic 13 years from now is not expected to reach what it was 8 years ago. Air traffic operations at MSP have decreased each one of those 8 years. Can someone explain to me why an airport better than the peak; needs to be further expanded?
When Delta signs on to cover 150% of the cost should they opt to reduce employment, flights, or hub status we can break ground. Their word regarding future plans for MSP is worth less than nothing without an iron-clad contract behind it.
I live in Richfield and have already noticed increased airplane noise compared to previous years. If this continues, airport officials will be hearing from me and my neighbors. Of course, Delta moving their newer, quieter airplanes from Minneapolis to Atlanta and giving us the older, noisy ones hasn't helped the situation.
Yes, airlines are eliminating 50 seat commuter jets, because the are very inefficient, and replacing them with somewhat larger aircraft. The assumption that more people will fly because the planes are bigger, does not pass freshman logic. Demand is created by passengers, not the planes. It is more likely there will be fewer flights with more people on them. Tread cautiously before building a bigger airport.
Have we learned nothing about how the airlines do business? The State of Minnesota poured a ton of money into Northwest Airlines. Even before they were bought out by Delta, they were weaseling out of their agreements. And none of those obligations carried over to Delta because the contracts were badly written. I like having MSP as a hub, but then I liked having Northwest as a home town airline. Both meant more direct flights. But spending money based on hope without robust contractual mandates means next to nothing.
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Updated Aug. 22, 2011
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