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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Portune criticizes airport

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune, who has often voiced concern about Delta's airfare rates and the way the airport is run, didn't mince words Wednesday as he made some strong suggestions for what he thinks should be done about it.

"The airport has been managed to serve Delta. That's why everyone is operating in crisis mode right now. If Delta goes, what do we do? We're in a panic."

Therefore, he said, some changes need to be made.

All this was brought on by recent talks of Delta merging with another carrier. "This issue involving Delta and how everyone is reacting has helped crystalize what the problems are in respect to that airport and have put in focus what changes need to occur," Portune said at the meeting.

Those changes (according to Portune) are:

1) Restructuring: The airport board should be restructured to represent the interests of the entire airport and the region, not just Delta. He said although Hamilton County has a representative on the board, that person has no voting power.

"The Ohio side should have a bigger say so in the future so this area is not as at risk by the success or failure of a single airline," Portune said. "I’d encourage a model that is more representative of Ohio and Hamilton County and more representative of the interests of the local economy." He plans to urge Governor Ted Strickland to speak to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear about the issue. The makeup of the airport board is dictated by the state.

2) Shuttle: The county should work to provide a shuttle service to take travelers to cheaper-fare airports like Dayton or Lexington. Portune said he worked with Auditor Dusty Rhodes on such a measure a year or so ago. He wants to renew those discusions and put together a request for qualifications for a shuttle company.

"This proposal benefits leisure and small business travelers and injects competition," he said.

3) Gate fee: The airlines should consider tacking on a $3 to $4 gate fee and use the proceeds to build a rail line from the airport to Downtown Cincinnati. Portune said this idea has also been discused for years, but has gone nowhere.

A rail line would "immeasurably add to the attraction of this airport," he said.

Portune plans to invite the local chamber of commerce and the county's airport board representative to the commission staff meeting Monday to discuss these ideas further.


at 5:00 PM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although it would have been agonizing to endure Portune saying it, he is right on the mark with the idea of a rail line from the airport to downtown. It should also connect all major venues. NK will put one in if Cinti doesn't. It should be tied into the Brent Spence replacement.

Thank you for reporting this in print, so we don't have to listen to him oververbalize it.

at 5:04 PM, February 06, 2008 Blogger RPA said...

frankly, i don't care if we lose the delta hub.

i should care... a lot of folks would lose jobs. but at the same time, i would be able to fly (and i do so quite often for business) at a reasonable price without having to drive to dayton or columbus. i don't care if it means an extra connection. especially since (even from hyde park) going to dayton only costs me an extra 15 mins or so by the time you take the parking and bus to terminal c situation in to account.

i have no sympathy for delta at all, and i question the wisdom of cvg putting all of its eggs in one basket. if i have to connect via detroit or memphis on all my future flights in exchange for paying 1/2 the price, i'll happily do so.

cvg exists to make money for delta. period. and i'm sick of it.

at 5:41 PM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I personally agree with Todd Portune: build a rail line from CVG to Downtown Cinci....doubt that the airlines would agree - typically they fight any proposal that would negatively impact one of their key profitability figures: "Cost Per Emplaned Passenger."

I bet Todd Portune would like to be a County Commissioner here in Broward County, Florida (Fort Lauderdale, as in the airport FLL)...the Board of County Commissioners are
the "Airport Board," as in "the nine Broward County Commissioners are 100% in charge of Fort Lauderdale's Airport."

So you can imagine that Broward County Commissioners truly enjoy this opportunity to run a billion dollar enterprize, in addition to their everyday activities running one of the largest metropolitan areas in the nation: gives them a chance to dole out patronage jobs, award lucrative contracts to their best friends (that would obviously include campaign contributors).

Last year, the Broward County Board Commissioners decided not to really get behind a proposal (later shot down by Governor Jeb Bush), which would have put a $2 per vehicle tax on rental cars in order to fund local transportation needs. Tourists, of course, would have largely paid that tax.

1) Maybe you Hamilton County folks should have a least a voting representative on your airport board......

2)Broward County Commissioners have no business running an airport -that should be handled by independent airport authority, and its members appointed as mandated --as it is in Ohio, via a State Charter. As you can imagine, this is an idea which is being fought tooth and nail by the local powers-that-be here in FLL/Broward County

3)Most major Florida airports have wonderful air service and some of the lowest airfares around, regardless of how their airports are governed.

So maybe Cincinnati and Hamilton County ought to work to "build content" in Cincinnati....you know, develop an attraction there in Cinci which will just pack in the tourists.

at 6:16 PM, February 06, 2008 Blogger Quim said...

You guys realize TANK has a bus going to the airport on a regular basis.
A nicer bus stop (as in dry & warm) in Cinti would be nice, however.

at 7:49 PM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...


There should be a rail line running from Coney-River Downs, to Lunken to Sawyer point to OTR.

Such a line could serve the revitalization taking place on the river front in the east-end to downtown ?

Where is the competitive regional carriers that were suppose to appear at Lunken ?

Their prices are outrageous !

Where are all the Virgins ?

at 8:00 PM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

3) Restroom fees:The public restrooms should be upgraded with coin operated toilet stalls. The fee should be $1.00. This upgrade would help curtail the presence of the foot-tapping Bold Typist along with any Bold Endeavors staff members.

at 11:34 PM, February 06, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

For a multitude of reasons, buses are an unattractive form of public transportation. There is a social stigma attached to riding the bus that doesn't exist with other public transportation.

Plus, trains don't get caught in rush hour traffic the way buses do. Much more effective for people on a deadline.

at 10:20 AM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

A train is the answer for dedicated, high volume routes.
We need one from the airport to downtown- period.

at 10:24 AM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the notion of a rail line. I'd put one from Kings Island south and from West Chester south.

I think Portune is wanting to be the regional czar.

He attempts to control everything in Hamilton County to no avail, let's now add the airport board. Last time I looked, Kenton County owned the airport.

at 10:39 AM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

And the "good old boys" from Kenton County are the ones who screwed it up, handing the monopoly to Delta which has gouged
Tri-state travelers for over 20 years.

Maybe they can use their empty runways for drag races on the weekends.

at 10:54 AM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamilton County needs to stop spending any money on CVG until we have a voice on its management. Delta can drop dead as far as I'm concerned; they are hosing the people of this region and have been for years. Take your hub and shove it. Bring on Northwest....

at 11:26 AM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portune has, obviously, lost his mind.

at 1:56 PM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

At what point did you think he had his mind?

at 9:24 PM, February 07, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know I'm a little late for the game, but why does Portune think the airport board should be restructured to be more representative of Hamilton County while said county plans to develop a shuttle service to transport travelers to other airports? You either support CVG or you don't--make up your "lost" mind Portune.

at 8:48 PM, February 08, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Portune takes over SORTA, highjacks CVA, and snuggles with the Mayor...not quite the leader the county needs. How about getting the county's house in order first? Reach out to the other elected officials in the county government and see what great things can be done. This grandstanding will get him nowhere. Soon we will not be able to tell the difference between Portune and other "leaders" who have an opinion, but can't get things done for the betterment of the community (i.e., Smitherman).

at 10:54 AM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some rather descriptive words for Mr. Portune, yet likley my comment wouldn't be added.

The reality is that the airport staff is constantly trying to attract other low cost carriers, but until the Federal Government enacts anti-trust rules or other rules that governs airlines at hub airports that prohibits for 'x' period of months the purposeful and often loss-leading pricing structures Delta will enact to compete directly with new carrier and {their} routes serving the airport.

Yes, I agree that CVG is expensive, yet I guarantee that if the airport was a standard competitive airport, Delta would not even be commenting that they would be staying in the event of a merger. You can't have it both ways - enjoy a $4+ billion injection into the community and have a low-fare hub.

Thank God for Hamilton County and Cincinnati - NKY is by default successful because of the mis-management of government from our neighbors to the north. Since you folks are so good at wasting money, build your own airport with all the taxes you squander from the residents and businesses of your communities and then you can control the whole thing.

Save the rhetoric Portune and your puppet-master Rhodes.

at 2:46 PM, February 09, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hamilton County does not vote on the airport since they did not pay to build it. Northern Ky does not get to vote on how Hamilton County administers any of its county owned assets.

Hamilton County and Cincinati had two shots at an airport, Lunken and Blue Ash and screwed the pooch each time.

at 12:06 AM, February 10, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous said...

...not as bad as the Kenton County good old boys screwed the rest of us by handing a monopoly to Delta and gouging local travelers for 20 years.

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