Essential Air Service

The Telegraph has an article on essential air service in Macon. We’ll be meeting today at 4pm to discuss the options.

I am actually appalled that the federal government would fund something called “essential air service.” If a community cannot, in the free market, fund its own air service with demand from its citizens, why the hell should the federal government step in and fund it?

About the only reasonable justification right now is having Robins Air Force Base five minutes from the airport and a reasonable number of the personnel there in need of regular flights out. Macon, at one point, did have very reliable, affordable air service between Macon and Atlanta on ASA. Unfortunately, the more Delta worked its way into ASA the more the air service sucked. Just three years ago a passenger would have found fully booked flights out of Macon. Now, assuming the flight does not wind up getting cancelled, there may be a dozen passengers.

The service became wholly unreliable. Having been a frequent flier, I finally had to ditch the service in favor of a drive up to Atlanta.

I’m willing to give one of these services a shot. The catch, of course, is that I better be able, from day one, to check my bags through to my final destination and not have to check out of the airport and wind my way back through security. That is a total deal breaker.

6 comments

  1. heroV says:

    It’s less than a two hour’s drive to ATL, so, citizens of Macon, just drive there. If gas is too expensive, then take a bus. If there’s too much traffic, take the the train. Oh wait, nevermind. If all of this is too inconvenient for your volume of travel, then move closer to ATL. You probably don’t really save much time by flying from Macon, anyways, since all of your flying must eventually come through Atlanta.

  2. dewberry says:

    Talking about free markets, in Savannah we have these cute ferry boats that carry people across the river to the trade center which does very little business (ongoing liability) and the Westin Hotel.

    We have been providing free rides across the river for years and I guess they will tell you that the 3600+ gallons of fuel they consume each month is free too.

    The current director of the public transportation system is even talking about efforts to provide a high speed ferry to connect Savannah and Hilton Head.

    A free market could not exist in this environment because the guberment has a sure source of funding and in this case a lock on the ferry business.

    He has some other bold ideas and all with the blessings of the county commission who make up most of the board members of CAT

    “Come to Savannah and see our purdy ferry boats where everyone rides for free”. This will be the next stupid campaign by the shamber of commerce but how could you top the stupid “Savannah est. 1773” marketing campaign?

    Read more…

    http://savannahnow.com/node/503870

  3. drjay says:

    for the places we travel–houston being about the farthest we go w/ an regularity, we’ve talked about just getting our own plane or possibly renting for some trips…i would think the military could charter for all the people coming in and out of robbins–or just go them them from hartsfield

  4. drjay says:

    no not me-a few family members are and the missus has contemplated taking lessons –i suppose that comment was a couple of steps ahead of itself–my uncle has a plane that he flies up from jax

  5. dewberry says:

    It is really a rewarding thing. You and the wife should take some lessons. I think you would like it a lot. Gas prices being what they are, you can surely pick up a nice airplane much cheaper than you could have only a year ago. I’ve flown a 1946 Stinson from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back. You should do it. You will never forget.

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