Thoughts and Opinions On Today's Important Issues

Friday, January 29, 2010

BREAKINGBLOGnews--Is This Edgar's Airport Plan

Quick somebody. Contact Sandra. Contact Lufthansa and put that consulting agreement on hold before we waste another $300,000. That's about half the cost for the daycares!

Airports are not a good business these days as Edgar and Pat may have learned from Robin Hood Airport and their Merry Men.

There's new shocking information that should be of concern to Members of Council specifically because they approved spending the money for a foreign consultant and to the Members of the Board of the Windsor Airport but most especially to taxpayers and to the Ontario Government which is putting in most of the cash for the study.

In a word or three: Do not bother!

Does anyone think that the people who run Robin Hood Airport in England would be impressed by this remark published by the Star:
  • "Windsor Airport currently offers direct flights to Toronto, Cuba and Pelee Island -- the latter two only in winter -- but the sky could soon be the limit."

Is that the kind of airport, miles away from any significant city in Canada, with whom you would want to partner? If a service from the UK from the Doncaster airport to Hamilton could not make it, and it is just an hour from Toronto by car, then why would any airline want to come here when it is so far from Toronto? If people want to go to Detroit, they would fly into Metro.

There had to be a different reason why they would bother meeting with Edgar (aka Eddie). I think I figured it out. Read on.

Did our Mayor and the Undevelopment Commission VP, who spent those nice pleasant days overseas at our expense, do their homework in advance before leaving to decide whether Robin Hood should be our partner. You might not think so after reading this:

  • "Robin Hood Airport passenger numbers tumble by up to 30%

    PASSENGER numbers at Doncaster's airport are plunging and on course for their worst year since it opened in 2005.

    Figures just released by the Civil Aviation Authority show that only 99,000 people flew from Robin Hood Airport last month, compared to more than 130,000 at its peak in August 2007.

    Aviation experts predict Doncaster Sheffield Airport will have its worst annual figures since 2005 when it was operational for just over eight months after the maiden flight in April of that year.

    But airport chiefs say all regional airports have been affected by the recession and they are confident they can ride out the storm."

Now that was written in September, 2009. What traffic could they send here with declining volumes? And yes, the economy is a convenient scape-goat for everything.

If you think that is bad, then what will you think of this:

  • "[Doncaster Chamber of Commerce Chief executive Stephen Shore] added:

    "I think everybody agrees that Robin Hood needs to do two things - get in a low-cost no-frills carrier and try and forge a link with a hub airport in Europe such as Schiphol or Charles de Gaulle to connect with long-haul flights."

DUH...nothing there about partnering with an airport like Windsor for trans-Atlantic flights.

Then look at this which is even worse that was just reported the other day that makes upgrading YQG for cargo very risky and a questionable investment:

  • "Durham Tees Valley Airport chiefs in investment talks

    THE owner of Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has confirmed it is in discussions with potential investment partners for its loss-making airports division.

    Peel Group’s airports operation has seen losses escalate by more than 15% following a slump in passenger numbers.

    The group, which also owns airports at Liverpool and Doncaster, said talks with potential suitors were “ongoing” but the nature of the joint venture had not yet been decided.

    The possibility of a new investor taking a majority stake in the airports division has not been ruled out."

The airport business is a disaster and Edgar thinks it is our salvation! Give me a break. If we wanted a study, why didn't we do what Cleveland did:

  • "Urban planners are taking a fresh look at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport as a magnet for development much like the region's highways or the banks of the Cuyahoga River...

    Now, Cleveland State University researchers are examining whether the idea is workable for Hopkins. They were hired under a $63,000 contract by the cities of Berea, Brook Park, Cleveland, Olmsted Falls and Parma, and the airport, to explore what role Hopkins can play as a nucleus of economic development."

That City used a local University and paid them lunch money to research an Aerotropolis of the region. Why would we hire Lufthansa and pay them so much?

OMG, could it be? No, not possible. No he would not dare do it. But why not, Windsor Airport has been "privatized" under Edgar so he can do what he wants. Could this be why the money for Lufthansa's fees came out of the City and not the Airport bank acount? We know the City pays a fee every month to the airport. Was Edgar as head of YQG trying to build up a big nest-egg? If so, why?

Oh no, I get it now. He needs the money for a downpayment!

The guy who wants Venetian-type canals here, a Champs-Élysées on Huron Church, who wanted a Chunnel to the border and who flies to Europe at the drop of a hat, even for a day, may want to buy a European airport, Robin Hood Airport, or maybe the whole bunch owned by Peel Group! They are looking for an investor after all. And Lufthansa, they operate out of their hub at Frankfurt. Didn't Doncaster think it made sense to "forge a link with a hub airport in Europe."

It all fits together so nicely. This is huge!

Edgar would not go over just to land a charter flight from England here perhaps once a week or so--that is what Ms. Nazzani does. Nope he had bigger ambitions as did Sandra who was so proud when Red Bull was here since she was in France. She might like to own a share of a European airport too for her overseas extravaganzas:

  • "Pupatello said she was at the Paris Air Show last year when she saw Windsor's Red Bull event being profiled on a French television.

    "It was unbelievable ... there I was on the other side of the world, watching my city," she said, predicting "a stellar weekend for us."

Ridiculous you say. Come on now, Edgar was prepared to spend $75M on an international Tunnel that is losing money, backed an international DRIC bridge which will be a financial disaster and wanted to have the Senior Levels spend a few hundred extra millions on our version of the Chunnel, an approach road to an international crossing.

Why not own an international airport to link with his own domestic airport and have his own private international route connection! Airport to airport. No one does that. This is Edgar's kind of deal---makes no sense economically but puts us, or rather him, on the world's stage with our money!

Mindboggling in scope.

Now this all makes sense: Robin Hood airport---take from rich Windsorite taxpayers and give to poor Peel Group investors.