My heart sank when I read this. It CAN’T get any worse, can it? Then I realized I was reading about Ukraine. Here, to give you something to think about besides the elections are accounts of two meetings in the last 48 hours, the County Airport Advisory Committee and the Humboldt Harbor Working Group. On the latter website, look up at the banner and click on “Community Forums” to see what’s coming up.
The Airport group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month, currently at the Prosperity Center, 520 E Street. Eureka. I won’t give a blow-by-blow description because they have a very competent secretary, Mr. Fenton, who provides minutes of the meetings, so here’s just a few of the juicier items that came up.
-The Quest For Another Carrier. A small delegation from ACV ( Gregg Foster and Emily Jacobs, according to the Fly Humboldt Facebook page) staff will travel to Edmonton for a meeting on June 3 with THREE major airlines. These meetings were described as something like Shark Tank with numbers and load factors being bandied about. Apparently we were the only small airport to get meetings with THREE possibles, so that’s good work. This is against a backdrop of United cutting service to Vegas and cutting a Portland route which also serviced Eugene. Not specifically addressed at the meeting but clearly on everyone’s mind was trend by UAL and other majors to dump their low-volume routes in favor of jumbo jets (the “Dreamliner”) carrying big crowds to big cities. We wish the ACV folks well in Edmonton. If you’ve ever been there, you know they’re not going for fun.
-Infrastructure issues at ACV are going to be critical as the new Courthouse spurs expansion. Right now there isn’t even a safe way for pedestrians to get from the Holiday Inn to the airport without running across Airport Road with their baggage and limited visibility. HCOAG was at the meeting yesterday to present their initial plan for ground access. This will be a high priority since killing tourists is bad for business. The remarks was made that “We have so many needs, and not much money.” The word “insurance” was used at least 30 times during the meeting, just another factor in a complex operation. They will be working with Moser Properties to develop safe pedestrian and bus access
-The FAA is not the easiest agency to work with.
-The proposal to rename the airport the gawdawful “California Redwood Coast -Humboldt County Airport” is alive and well and the Committee will be writing to the BOS and to Jared Huffman soon for backing. Those of us who want to stop this abomination should act quickly. This County has already provided enough fodder for the late-nite comedians. Maybe the FAA will save us from ourselves.
EAST-WEST CONNECT- Ryan Burns was at the sparsely-attended Harbor group meeting and provided his usual excellent reportage on LOCO so I won’t duplicate him, not that I could. Bottom line is they’re looking for $300,000 for another study and have already been turned down by CALTRANS. This will be a long slog, but I’m a north-south advocate, so what do I know?