Airport News- Medford Is BUSY, Eugene’s Adding Service

While our ACV struggles to maintain a four-flights-a-day schedule, the Medford airport is jammed. A Friend of the Blog turned us onto this story from the Medford Mail Tribune . Medford is handling 19 departures a day to ACV’s four and passenger traffic is at an all-time high.

Eugene too! The excellent article also points out that “Eugene’s Mahlon Sweet Airport has announced expanded service, with a daily flight to San Jose by Alaska Air Group’s Horizon unit, a Southwest Airlines flight to Dallas and five flights per week to Beijing by Hainan Airlines.”  (One-stop in San Jose). Yes, Beijing.  Whee!

I mentioned the Eugene flights to a Chinese friend who commented that due to the economic expansion in China there are direct or one-stop flights to China now from American locations that would have been unthinkable until recently.  Like Eugene. 

Our Friend also points out that the departure of Avis R/A/C from our ACV has been accomplished and Avis didn’t mind paying $9K to get out of its contract.  A windfall!  Not exactly, but it will cover the cost of trimming a few trees.

The invaluable Mad River Union has a story today about the Grand Jury recommendations re: ACV.  The piece is not online but contains the following startling statistic: “Between 2007 and 2013, McKinleyville enplanements plunged to 56,682 from 105,969, costing vital federal dollars, which are apportioned by a formula linked to the number of annual enplanements.”

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20 thoughts on “Airport News- Medford Is BUSY, Eugene’s Adding Service

  1. It’s pretty well known throughout aviation that the County of Humboldt has the highest price aviation fuel in the state among small airports. That matters both to the airliners and local pilots who avoid filling up here if they can avoid it at all.
    Today per gallon for jet fuel
    ACV-$6.60
    Medford-$4.22
    Santa Rosa-$4.22
    Crescent City-$5.04
    Gold Beach -$5.48
    Grants Pass- $4.09

    Now, if you were an airliner or a local pilot, where would you go? What non-aviation types don’t realize is how widely publicized and discussed these fuel prices are in the aviation world.The airport staff here has no business sense. ACV doesn’t even have a true Fixed Base Operator, which is unheard of for an airport this size. Why? Because our county and airport leadership have priced themselves out of the market, while they run around looking for money from citizens and local businesses. The most expensive rent for hangars and fuel you will find anywhere around.

    Sincerely,
    Disgruntled local pilot with 25 years of commercial aviation experience.

      • Incidentally, Medford has two full service FBOs with aviation mechanics on staff. Medford Jet Center and Million Air, so if a plane has a problem, it isn’t instantly grounded like they are at ACV. Now consider that small jets burn as much as 4000 pounds of fuel in their first hour of flight. A $3.80 per gallon price difference is huge. As it is, the jets that come here rarely take on fuel here if they have the capacity to avoid it. However, they always fuel at Medford. So we sometimes don’t even get the fuel revenue from the few planes we do get.

        Cal Ore Life Flight, who buys Jet A for their turbo props, avoids fueling here at all costs, and they have two planes based here. Each fill up of one of their Cheyennes is over $1500.00 and they fuel them multiple times a day, usually in Crescent City.

        I buy over 5,000 gallons of fuel per year, and I never fuel in Humboldt, nor does UPS or FedEx, or any other turbo prop pilot I know.

        Why would Avis pay rent, or a restaurant pay rent, or an FBO want to set up shop? Why would anyone move into a high rent neighborhood with zero infrastructure or services, and a clueless management team that thinks the fewer services they have, the more rent they should charge- until they have none, which is pretty much where we are.

        Don’t get me started on the shell game they are playing with the county aviation hangars that has local pilots up in arms.

        That place needs new management, and they need someone in there who understands how to grow a business- not travel around to industry speed dating services trying to sell our airport to airlines as if the execs at those airlines can’t do math.

        Everything I’ve cited on fuel prices, FBO’s, etc can be verified on a number of industry websites. airnav.com is one.

        • Really appreciate your perspective.”Speed dating” ! Interesting that pilots and the freight services are avoiding ACV due to fuel costs.

    • I must agree. From what I’ve seen very poor management at the airport. There really needs to be a change, someone who can work cooperatively with the airlines, airport staff, county staff, as well as private vendors and contractors. A good airport is critical to the future economic health of the county.

    • When I went looking for it I found that the Medford paper had mistaken a direct flight from San Jose for a direct flight from Eugene. they must have been so excited! Still, one-stop to Beijing ain’t bad. I’ll take it.

  2. Actually, ACV is at 4 flights per day and is exceeding 90% load factor as of late. With the addition of the 70 seat jet into the mix, we now have 220 seats per day available, which is the equivalent of 7 of the old EMB 120 turboprops that ended service in March.

    • Yes but who can afford to fly from arcata???? It was cheaper for me to fly to LA from Medford even after paying gas & $50 each way for a car ride. Screw ACV!!!!
      Ever since Alaska air left its been bad. Worst customer service ever with united. The new jets are loud and obnoxious, its one of the sounds I hoped to not hear again after youth in a city. The dogs are barking at the jets as they sound like trucks driving into the yard. Especially the late nite flights, at least lose those!!!! ACV has 4 flights versus 14 in medford and that seems good to you???? I for one wish we could vote to just shut it down, or demand affordable flights. Who is pocketing all this money going into the airport? Didnt the restaraunt there close? Are these new planes even full of passengers? Talk about carbon footprint!!! It seems pretty dumb to have all that money, security guards (ie taxpayer funded sheriffs), etc, being doled out for 4 flights a day. The county could use that money to get the small airports enhanced instead thus giving southern humboldt (garberville airport) & northern humboldt (McNamara airport) both close local places to fly from & create more jobs around the county.

      • The flights out of ACV are pretty full, and the revenue is well-accounted for. Do we want more and better service out of ACV or do we want to be a second-rate community without an airport?

        • Just a clarification. McNamara airport in in Del Norte County. They currently don’t have any commercial service, but will be adding 2x day to Portland on 30 seat turboprops on September 15th.

          • Thanks! Their website shows a daily flight to Sacramento but I may be misreading it. It has happened.

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