Massport Owns Worcester Airport

There have been so many great comments on the blog.

My favorite from Mark C:

I fly 2-4x a month for work. The jfk flight back to Worcester is so unpredictable. The lack of a mechanic and 2nd flight also make it nearly impossible for business travelers like me to rely on this flight. I’m a card carrying (literally) JetBlue member but it appears I may be switching to American in October. We need a reliable business travel airline to and from Worcester.

Now our Airport Director, who seems to be more concerned about our default images that are posted by accident for a couple minutes on our blog, may not take this seriously. We do..

This is why our loads for the JFK flights are now closer to 30%, then 40%, and declining daily.. Although we tried to take a break for one week about this flight, we can not. It is a great flight, but is failing, getting worse and will be cancelled, if nothing changes.

Do you remember when the City of Worcester owned the airport with an agreement with Massport. The long and short of those agreements was that Massport subsidized our operating losses for 3 years and we kept renewing them.

would usually start with a high percentage then decrease every year of the agreement. The exact terms actually make no difference. Why??? Answer: When we had these operating agreements, the City of Worcester owned the airport.

Our point is that Massport owns the airport!! Now for the analogy:

1) Assume you real estate in Boston and make 300+ million per year on the rentals.
2) You decide to buy real estate in in Worcester, but nobody rents apartments and you are losing money in Worcester.
3) Keeping in mind you are making 300+ million per year in Boston, you offer rentals in Worcester with many incentives.

When we suggest that Massport should give incentives to JetBlue to begin a 2nd JFK flight, are we (the taxpayer of Worcester) looking for a hand-out from Massport? No!!! We do no own the airport any more!!!!

We actually think this would be a good business decision by Massport to help them get a return on their investment in Worcester. Something the taxpayers deserve after Massport has invested 100+ million of taxpayer monies into Worcester Airport.

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User Comments

Common Sense

commented on 2018-07-09 20:45:47

Massport could probably dump the airport land to a private developer for the $15 million they paid for it. The rest of their lost investment in their ORH experiment could be easily recovered by the revenue a new major airport would bring them. The truth is that ORH is imploding. I admire your passion, but there comes a time when you gotta stop throwing good money after bad.


commented on 2018-07-10 06:14:42

I thought you were a businessman. Your analogy makes no sense at all. If I was in real estate in a booming market, why would I buy real estate with low demand and throw money at a money losing venture if (and this is key) the community is not going to support it? The difference here is that Massport didn't go after the purchase of KORH. It was jammed down their throat by the Lt. Gov. and state legislature. And to throw salt in the wound, they were forced to pay Worcester for it. Personally, I'm an optimist and in the long term, KORH will be vibrant. However, they are going to need help getting there. Here's a better analogy, using real estate. How many pieces of property in Worcester have been sold to developers who would only purchase it if they got Tax Increment Financing (TIF). Isn't that considered a "tax payer hand out"? TIF's waive taxes on businesses, putting more burden on residents to pick up the slack. You liked Mark C.'s comment. I loved Guiness's. He was spot on. Where's the business community support to grow KORH? The tax payer's are winners here. The city got a money losing line off the tax books 10 years ago. That's got to be $10's of millions of dollars residents are not having to pay! Now it's time for the City, and more importantly, the business community to step up and jump start the airport. Massport put a hemi under the hood. Now they need a battery to crank it over. You're a businessman in Worcester. Use your clout. Aren't you on the Chamber board, or active in local bureaus and associations? What do they have to say about your views?


commented on 2018-07-10 07:49:31

Common Sense just do not see any way possible that another airport will be built?


commented on 2018-07-10 07:52:30

The question is not whether Massport should invest in Worcester or not, they already have. The business community can not support one shuttle per day. It simply does not work. That is why we see American having success to Philadelphi with their flights. Massport needs to get a 2nd JetBlue JFk flight in here. Until then there is no support from the businesses. It would be a wise investment by Massport.


commented on 2018-07-10 10:51:07

For the record, I did not post the last comment. When are you going to understand that Massport cannot tell an airline to fly specific flights? They have already incentivized JetBlue and American. Worcester and the business community have to get on the band wagon too! Geez, even Hillary knows it takes a village. Come on Bill, you keep demanding Massport do everything. Its time for others to step up to the plate (no pun intended for what they are already doing for the PawSox).


commented on 2018-07-10 11:00:50

Massport owns the airport... They have done an incredile job with infrastructure including CAT III. The JetBlue Florida destinations and great and we believe American will do well. One flight per day to JFK simply is not working here and it is not done anywhere else.. . Asking Massport, the owner of the airport, for 2nd flight to JFK, is not unreasonable??? The alternative is to do nothing and we feel this flight will disappear....

Common Sense

commented on 2018-07-10 14:10:41

I respect your opinion and I admire your passion, but I must disagree. Please come up with some ideas about what other choices the state has when Logan reaches full capacity in 10-15 years? You think ORH is going to grow like a Manchester or TF Green without an access road and surrounded by residential neighborhoods? The airport was carved out of a 1,000 ft. mountain. There are steep slopes on each side of the airfield making it impossible to expand. JetBlue has restored some of the public's confidence in our airport. If their JFK flight fails I would argue that the load factors on the two FL flights would suffer as well.


commented on 2018-07-10 14:43:20

Common Sense the state has only one choice when Massport reaches capacity?? The other airport they own in Central Mass.... There is no other choice. To that end they should add a 2nd JFK flight to start a business following, RIght now 90+ percentage of the people flying the 2 FL destinations and 1 JFK flight are leisure travelers. There is no chance in hell of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts building another airport.


commented on 2018-07-10 15:36:50

It's funny Common Sense only seems to live 30 years ago or 15 years from now. People don't care about access anymore in 2018 they care about price and selection. Ryanair is making millions of dollars using alternative airports over an hour from the major cities overseas in Europe and other airlines are starting to follow behind. It used to be a nightmare when GPS' weren't a thing and you were one wrong turn away from the wrong parts of Worcester. Another airport is not coming and you are delusional to think so. Be it that it may Massport has the bargaining chip TF Green and Manchester don't have - keys to Logan. For that reason alone your negativity to the future of ORH is just biased negativity. American has a chance at success, JFK is doomed and Detroit will be a disaster behind it. This is a reflection of the offering of service out of ORH and not the Worcester market - it could not be any more clear. Stop whining about stuff we used to hear in 2001 times have changed my friend.


commented on 2018-07-10 15:44:11

For the record we have never ever had anyone complain about access to Worcester Airport. That is no lie!!! Right now, however, we get complaints constantly about the JFK flight. Practically all of which would go away if we had a 2nd turn/....

Common Sense

commented on 2018-07-10 18:15:23

The state spent over $50 million for studies and consultants to find the best site for a second major airport. Those plans were put on ice, but expect them to resurface in the next 5 years. After 5 years JetBlue can't even get to full loads on it's "small" plane. Their JFK flight is going down the tubes. The AA planes that will fly out of ORH aren't CAT capable. People will sour on those flights after they get sick of the delays and cancellations. It's very likely that in 2-3 years ORH will be without passenger service again.


commented on 2018-07-10 20:22:32

American has said they will operate down to Category II minimums which is 1200' RVR as opposed to the 4000' needed before Massport ever stepped in. American Eagle operates into airports with more fog per year than Worcester every day. Plus if the flights prove themselves Republic has a large regional base at PHL with CAT III capable E175s. JetBlue the first three years was at 84 percent with one of those years being in the awful time slots they are in now. JFK is a disaster we can all agree nobody is disputing that. You're just making blanket statements based on opinions and absolutely nothing factual. If you think Massport is just going to shrug their shoulders 5 years from now and give up you are wrong. There is no future airport coming in fact you are the first to mention anything regarding it. Also, the access road was not done because the city decided against it. Now that it's up to Massport if the airport starts to catch on you don't think they're going to buy the land by eminent domain and build the road? It's only 5-10 minutes by highway - typical Worcester resident complaint.

Common Sense

commented on 2018-07-10 21:18:55

The study to find a new site for a second major airport was front page news in many Boston and Worcester papers. It was discussed openly on TV and radio. It makes me wonder if you have been incarcerated for the last 25 years. You also aren't to clever with politics. 25 people (ROAR- Residents Opposed to Access Road) stopped the state's proposed access road from I-290. If you think Massport is going to force a road down our throats you're very naive. The current head of the Massport Board of Directors is Worcester guy who holds an "elected" position in our community.


commented on 2018-07-11 00:17:14

Funny I'm the naive one - you actually think Massport is going to spend over 100 million dollars at ORH just to build another airport. Where is all this money coming from? You said they're going to sell it back for hypothetically $15 million which would be less than half of what they spent on the landing system alone. I would personally love another airport because logistics would say it would be in the Worcester corridor. I googled "study for airport in the Boston area" and found absolutely nothing except for a noise study done around the time you said you saw it - are you sure you aren't confused with that? Please provide a link to this "front page story" so I can read it myself. If we are going to see any kind of airport in our lifetime the ball would need to get rolling ASAP, Look at the timelines of recently developed airports - Berlin Brandenberg for example began proposals after years of permitting in the mid-90's and isn't expected to open until 2021 if things even go smoothly (and that airport was just a redevelopment of the current airport Schonefeld). In the meantime there is PLENTY of room to expand - there is a proposal out now for expansion and the 20 year master plan in 2012 highlighted plenty of future potential growth all around the airport primarily on the Goddard Drive side. Thank you for your comments on the blog and obviously respect your viewpoint on the airport but base some of your negativity with facts next time instead of hearsay please.


commented on 2018-07-11 06:52:00

Dylan we agree with everything you say here. Never remember any "front page ' studies especially naming Sterling as a great spot for a new airport.

Common Sense

commented on 2018-07-11 14:47:58

You ever think that Massport has no interest in making ORH a successful airport? Maybe its a plot to show the public that they gave it the college try. Then they can throw their hands up and convince the public that another major airport is the only option.


commented on 2018-07-11 14:54:32

Common Sense , at different times I felt that way when they were running the airport under an operating agreement, while the City of Worcester retained ownership. Have not thought that way ever since they took ownership and they have invested over $100 million. I do, however, think they underestimate the potential here and think we are in Appalachia not 40 miles away.

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