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Old 11-15-2006, 01:07 PM   #1
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Jetport

FAA gives lift to regional airports
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By Edward D. Murphy Portland Press Herald Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Portland transportation officials have some serious talking points to draw on when they next try to lure an airline to the city.
And they also have data to back up requests to federal authorities for money to help expand the Portland International Jetport terminal.
Both come from the Federal Aviation Administration's recent assessment of air service in New England.
The assessment grew out of the realization in the early 1990s that Boston's Logan International Airport was rapidly running out of capacity. Without room to expand, the idea of using the Hub's airport as, well, a hub for the region's air travelers no longer made sense.
So regional officials decided they had to consider different approaches in helping New England's 45 million annual passengers take flight.
As a result of that study -- and changes in the industry -- the feeling now is that New Englanders can get by without a hub-and-spoke system for the region, according to the FAA's new blueprint for air travel through 2020. Instead, more passengers should head to the nearest airport and find a cheap practical flight.
Granted, this model has not turned into immediate reality. A couple of airports were already there -- Manchester, N.H., managed to land low-cost carrier Southwest, which turned it into a popular alternative to Logan. Likewise, T.F. Green near Providence, R.I., prospered with Southwest and managed to stem the tide of passengers trekking to Boston.
But other airports in the region, including the jetport, initially suffered. With the loss of flights to Logan, passengers flying out of Portland faced expensive flights that were not always the most convenient. So southern Mainers kept heading south to Logan: In 2004, more passengers (41 percent of the total) in Portland's service area flew out of Boston than flew out of the jetport (40 percent).
Airlines, however, noted those numbers and figured that hundreds of thousands of passengers could be found outside of Boston. In Portland, that led to the arrival of JetBlue, which offers low-cost flights and access to overseas destinations via daily flights to JFK airport in New York.
To Jeff Monroe, Portland's director of transportation, the de-emphasis on Logan and the new numbers provide a lot of promise.
He said it's not unreasonable to think that those airport numbers from 2004 -- before the arrival of JetBlue in Portland -- will soon begin to change. If Portland can recapture even half of those people within the jetport's service area who are now going to Boston, that's about 600,000 passengers a year. And airlines would love to have some of those people filling daily flights from Maine.
"Now we don't have to worry so much about the competition, we just need to make sure that our own passenger base is strong," Monroe said.
Monroe said the study also gives some backing to plans to expand the jetport terminal -- along with a boost in seeking some federal help to pay for it.
The city can quote the FAA its own numbers and say, "We think we're in a growth market here and you need to invest in Portland," Monroe said.
Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:
emurphy@pressherald.com


Reader comments

Chris of Harpswell, ME
Nov 14, 2006 3:56 PM
Just to keep this glowing news report in perspective the report says Logan is expected to grow to 42 million passengers in 2020 from 26 million in 2005. That compares to Portland JetPort expected to grow to 2.3 million passengers in 2020 from 1.5 million passengers in 2005. Therefore by 2020 the Portland JetPort is projected to have about 5.5% of the passengers compared to Logan, which will offer direct connections all over the world. Also Logan has two 10,000 foot runways, Manchester has a 9,200 foot runway, while the JetPort's longest runway is only 7,200 feet.

One interesting aspect of the report is Portsmouth International Airport has no passenger service now and only 13,000 passengers in 2005. Portsmouth is primarily used for aircraft maintenance, air cargo and air charter. The problem is Portsmouth is too close to existing airports, the same problem BNAS will likely face since it's only a 25 minute drive to the JetPort, which has no significant capacity issues.

Tony of LA, ME
Nov 14, 2006 2:00 PM
To Katie: If only Southwest would fly out of Portland!

I'd imagine they suspect that as long as they can fill planes out of Manchester there's no reason for them to come further north.

I'm hoping Jetblue will expand their offerings, and maybe offer a few flights through a hub out west rather than south.

And yes, the fares out of PWM have come down a bit, but when you're talking points way west they're still hundreds more than flying from MHT. I usually look for a fare on kayak.com, then compare it with what Southwest and Jetblue offer.

Tim of Portland, ME
Nov 14, 2006 12:53 PM
Have people checked the fares out of Portland recently? they are often times cheaper then Boston and Manchester. I think think that the Jetport has done a great job and having JetBlue in Portland has helped bring all airfares down. I fly out of Portland frequently and have found that most flights from Portland are usually less then $100 more then other airports. Figure in the cost of travel to other airports and Portland is a bargain. I have even found some flights that were cheaper then Boston! I think more people should give Portland a chance again. Don't assume that the costs are going to be that much higher. They probably are not and if more of us continue to travel out of Portland the fares will probably continue to decline.

Katie of Yardley, PA
Nov 14, 2006 11:16 AM
Yes, Yes! Get Southwest to fly out of Portland! Manchester airport is almost 100 miles from Portland. If you want to visit north of Portland -- Brunswick, Bath, Boothbay, Rockland, etc. -- your talking 2+ to 3+ hours to Manchester for a flight that won't break the bank. Staying the night before your flight at a Manchester airport hotel is still cheaper than flying from Portland, but that wastes a valuable day. And Augusta isn't really an option -- few flights, few non-stops/no plane changes, and expensive!
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:41 AM   #2
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I wonder if the jetport will ever allow a hotel of some sort to be built on that grassy area that lines congress where the newest entrance was made a few years back... it looks pretty farm-landish right now.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:42 PM   #3
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Jetport's plans to expand parking sensible response to demand
Adding nearly 500 spaces will help make the airport a more popular place.



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May 30, 2007



? If the prosperity of the Portland Jetport is measured by the number of passengers it services, then it logically is the facility's mission to make it as convenient as possible for you to get to the terminal, get to your plane on time, and get where you're going when you come back home.
Thus, providing sufficient places to park is central to that mission, especially if present facilities are often filled to capacity. That makes the jetport's proposal to build a new parking garage that would be nearly twice the size of the one it would replace a wise investment of jetport revenues.

Right now, the terminal building is mostly served by a two-story, 570-space garage built in 1978 and an adjacent facility with 1,142 spaces built in 2002.

The idea is to raze the older structure and replace it with a 1,039-space, five-level garage that would link with the newer facility to provide a total of 2,181 spaces. The new structure would cost $36.1 million and be completed by the end of next year -- if the City Council approves the general airport revenue bonds required to build it.

The bonds, as their name indicates, would be paid off by money provided by jetport income, without burdening city taxpayers.

Right now, the parking structures are filled so often that the city has had to use off-site parking for the past three months.

Not coincidentally, passenger totals have broken records in six of the past seven months, and they are expected to climb from 680,450 in 2006 to 937,000 eight years from now.

In addition, a new discount airline, AirTran Airways, is beginning service at the jetport on June 7.

That means that parking needs will continue to climb, as will jetport revenues -- as long as people can get there and find a place to park.
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:41 PM   #4
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Jetport plans to double size, construct new parking garage, with skybridge, and add food court
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Old 01-11-2010, 07:29 AM   #5
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Re: Jetport Expansion

This is a neat article; according to it, when this expansion is done PWM may be the most energy efficient airport in the nation (probably the smallest too!). I heard somewhere that PWM is the fastest growing airport in new england, but I suspect that was simply because of the economy and energy costs causing people to fly locally instead of travel to the bigger airports to the south.

a proposal for a $75 million expansion is back on track (has animation).

http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/st...08301&ac=PHnws

The Portland International Jetport is nearing the start of the largest expansion in its history.

The $75 million project would nearly double the size of the terminal and add more capacity for screening baggage and passengers.

If the City Council approves a borrowing plan next month, construction will start in April.

Airport fees and a federal grant would pay for the project. The target date for completion is February 2012.

Airport director Paul Bradbury said the expansion is needed to meet existing demand and attract new air service. Currently, there are not enough gates to support another airline, he said. The project would add three gates.

The expansion also would allow the terminal to handle an anticipated increase in passengers, he said.

Funding would come from a $4.50 fee on every ticket. Passengers are already paying the fee, with the revenue going toward debt payments that will soon be retired.

Additional funding would come from rent paid by new vendors in the expanded terminal, and the federal Transportation Security Administration would provide $9.1 million for security upgrades.

The project was originally scheduled for completion last October. But the airport was forced to delay it in fall 2008 because the crisis in the nation's financial industry made it impossible to find a company that would insure the debt. The airport's original underwriter was Bear Stearns, a global investment bank and securities-trading brokerage that collapsed.

Councilor Dan Skolnik, chair of the building committee for the project, said he expects the council to support the plan because the airport is a critical component in attracting economic development and job creation to the region.

Bradbury said the jetport has benefited from recent changes in the industry that have caused some airports to lose their regional monopolies on cheap air fares.

The arrival of low-cost airlines such as JetBlue has helped the jetport pull business away from Boston's Logan Airport and Manchester Airport in New Hampshire, and Bradbury expects the trend will continue. Since the last terminal expansion in 1995, passenger volumes at the jetport have increased more than 50 percent.

The airport has done well during the recession compared with other airports in New England, Bradbury said. At Manchester Airport, for example, passenger traffic declined more than 14 percent in 2009.

In contrast, the increase in passenger volume at the jetport since summer will make up losses suffered in the first half of the year, leaving overall volume essentially flat for 2009, he said.

The project would increase the size of the terminal from 150,000 square feet to 280,000 square feet. In addition, 10,000 square feet of existing space would be renovated.

When completed, the terminal possibly would be the most energy-efficient in the nation, Skolnik said. It would have solar panels and a geothermic heating system.

Construction costs for the terminal are budgeted at $58 million.

In addition, jetport officials plan to spend $3.5 million for a new road system, $1.35 million for a new sky bridge connecting the terminal with the recently built five-story parking garage, and $3.3 million for a new explosion-detection system for outgoing baggage.

Currently, passengers have to check their baggage and then carry it to the explosion-detection system in the lobby. The new system would be integrated with the baggage system, reducing work for both passengers and security staff, Bradbury said.

The changes would free up security staff to help screen passengers, he said.

In addition, the number of passenger screening lanes would increase from four to eight, allowing lines to move faster. The airport currently lacks capacity to efficiently screen the large volume of passengers who arrive for flights early every morning.

Turner Construction, a national firm with an office in Boston, would be construction manager. Bradbury said local contractors would be able to bid on portions of the job, and he expects most of the 90 to 100 construction jobs would go to local people.

The airport is a department of the city, and the project can't go forward unless the City Council approves the bond issue. The project would not affect city taxpayers.

Bradbury will present the plan to the City Council at a workshop meeting at 5 p.m. today in the council chambers.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:50 PM   #6
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Re: Jetport Expansion

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Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
This is a neat article; according to it, when this expansion is done PWM may be the most energy efficient airport in the nation (probably the smallest too!). I heard somewhere that PWM is the fastest growing airport in new england, but I suspect that was simply because of the economy and energy costs causing people to fly locally instead of travel to the bigger airports to the south.
It's about percentage increase in passengers over the previous year. PWM isn't growing as much as airports like Manch. PVD, Bradley, etc. in terms of numbers; but because it's such a low volume airport, the percentage increases are higher. I believe it saw a 16% increase in service last year from the previous year even though the number of passengers wasn't too high. Going from 1 to 2 is a 100% increase, but going from 20 to 25 is only a 25% increase even though it grew by a larger number. That's where the disparity comes from (obviously on a larger scale!). Anyway, the numbers I saw were from 2008. I think most airports have done poorly in the recent economy of 2009 holding steady the number of passengers at best, and posting decreases in many cases.

Also, it's often times cheaper to commute to Boston and fly out of that airport than it is to fly out of Boston. Because the majority of flights to Portland are spurs on "express" (i.e. American Eagle, USAirways Express, etc), meaning small aircraft, the overhead to fly them is more and the resulting ticket costs are more. Also, you have far fewer flights direct flights to/from Portland than you do at other airports. While there are some budget airlines (Jetblue/Airtran), they have a limited number of flights and destinations from PWM.

I do think Mainers (and some Canadians... it's SUPER pricey to fly out of Canadian airports) are choosing PWM for convenience. It's a nightmare to get in/out of Boston (especially if you're not used to driving there) and the lines can be long. Portland is the smallest non-Caribbean airport I've ever flown to/from. It was also one of the most hassle-free experiences I've had flying anywhere. No lines, short walks, easy/cheap parking, etc.

In addition, I think a lot more tourists are visiting Maine in the down economy. Maine's a big tourist draw as it is because of the natural beauty, and many people (I've met a ton of them) are doing affordable woodsy getaways in Maine instead of traveling to Europe, the Caribbean, or other exotic locales. Maine's a great escape and can be done much more affordably than many other place (not to say there aren't expensive spots as well!).

Interesting news, regardless. I'm curious to see what the added capacity would be. An enclosed bridge would be a nice touch because it does get cold in the winter.
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:39 PM   #7
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Re: Jetport Expansion

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Originally Posted by Lrfox View Post
It's about percentage increase in passengers over the previous year. PWM isn't growing as much as airports like Manch. PVD, Bradley, etc. in terms of numbers; but because it's such a low volume airport, the percentage increases are higher. I believe it saw a 16% increase in service last year from the previous year even though the number of passengers wasn't too high. Going from 1 to 2 is a 100% increase, but going from 20 to 25 is only a 25% increase even though it grew by a larger number. That's where the disparity comes from (obviously on a larger scale!). Anyway, the numbers I saw were from 2008. I think most airports have done poorly in the recent economy of 2009 holding steady the number of passengers at best, and posting decreases in many cases.

Also, it's often times cheaper to commute to Boston and fly out of that airport than it is to fly out of Boston. Because the majority of flights to Portland are spurs on "express" (i.e. American Eagle, USAirways Express, etc), meaning small aircraft, the overhead to fly them is more and the resulting ticket costs are more. Also, you have far fewer flights direct flights to/from Portland than you do at other airports. While there are some budget airlines (Jetblue/Airtran), they have a limited number of flights and destinations from PWM.

I do think Mainers (and some Canadians... it's SUPER pricey to fly out of Canadian airports) are choosing PWM for convenience. It's a nightmare to get in/out of Boston (especially if you're not used to driving there) and the lines can be long. Portland is the smallest non-Caribbean airport I've ever flown to/from. It was also one of the most hassle-free experiences I've had flying anywhere. No lines, short walks, easy/cheap parking, etc.

In addition, I think a lot more tourists are visiting Maine in the down economy. Maine's a big tourist draw as it is because of the natural beauty, and many people (I've met a ton of them) are doing affordable woodsy getaways in Maine instead of traveling to Europe, the Caribbean, or other exotic locales. Maine's a great escape and can be done much more affordably than many other place (not to say there aren't expensive spots as well!).

Interesting news, regardless. I'm curious to see what the added capacity would be. An enclosed bridge would be a nice touch because it does get cold in the winter.
I am aware of the notion of percentage increases versus absolute figures, but that changes nothing about the fact that PWM is the fastest growing airport in new england. never said it was the largest (in fact I said its probably the smallest, at least after Burlington, Bangor, Brunswick, Pease and sanford).

Also, in the article I posted it says Manchester didn't grow at all (nevermind faster than portland) last year. In fact it had passenger rates decline.

Also, people who fly out of Boston that I know from Maine take a bus, direct to the airport. off the bus and on the plane. Portland is very hassle free, though. Part of the reason it (portland that is) hasn't grown more is that Manchester has invested massively in an expansion of its own airport as part of a deal to absorb increased metro boston travelers with limited land available in Massachusetts. The same reason is applicable to Prov.

At least one person I know of has proposed moving the Portland jetport to Brunswick at the former naval air base, and turning the PWM site into a mixed use development similar to what they have done in some parts of states like CO. It really is prime land. The mall should be redeveloped as well, and the whole surrounding area, to foster a more sustainable economic base, and freeing up airport land could be a boon to such an effort.
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:50 PM   #8
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Re: Jetport Expansion

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I am aware of the notion of percentage increases versus absolute figures, but that changes nothing about the fact that PWM is the fastest growing airport in new england. never said it was the largest (in fact I said its probably the smallest, at least after Burlington, Bangor, Brunswick, Pease and sanford).

Also, in the article I posted it says Manchester didn't grow at all (nevermind faster than portland) last year. In fact it had passenger rates decline.

Also, people who fly out of Boston that I know from Maine take a bus, direct to the airport. off the bus and on the plane. Portland is very hassle free, though. Part of the reason it (portland that is) hasn't grown more is that Manchester has invested massively in an expansion of its own airport as part of a deal to absorb increased metro boston travelers with limited land available in Massachusetts. The same reason is applicable to Prov.

At least one person I know of has proposed moving the Portland jetport to Brunswick at the former naval air base, and turning the PWM site into a mixed use development similar to what they have done in some parts of states like CO. It really is prime land. The mall should be redeveloped as well, and the whole surrounding area, to foster a more sustainable economic base, and freeing up airport land could be a boon to such an effort.
Oh I'm not saying it's notthe fastest growing. I'm just saying it's worth noting that the small size (thus larger percentage increases) can explain a lot of the disparity when it comes to comparing to other airports. That's all.

The article did say that in 2009, Manchester saw decreased service, but it also mentioned that Portland didn't grow either. The stuff I was talking about was the year prior (Before all of the major economic impact).

Personally, I think Manchester will continue to shrink. Since the big dig, Logan is a bit easier to access than it used to be. The Blue Line, Silver Line and all of the bus/water taxi service make it easy to connect and parking isn't difficult anymore. Many people find it easier to get into Logan than it has been in the past. Also, Providence is about to undergo yet another expansion. In addition, they are opening their $336 Million intermodal MBTA train station with direct service to Downtown Providence and Boston early next year. A rail connection to Boston (and Providence) makes TF Green the far more appealing option for commuters than Manchester. Add to that larger runways and more terminal space, and it will be the primary "metro" airport aside from Logan.

As far as Northern New England goes, Portland, Bangor and Burlington provide better access for tourists to the destinations there than Manchester. Portland (as we've established) is super easy to get in and out of (I assume Bangor/Burlington are too). If Portland continues the way it has, it may eventually have as much traffic as Manchester (I could be getting way ahead of myself).

I do like the idea of moving the airport, but I think it's a bit too early. If they need to expand runway space, they have nowhere to go in the current spot. Some of that land could be freed up to replace the mall and create new development opportunities. I don't see it happening soon (especially if the current project continues), but it would be an excellent re-use of the BNAS site.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Jetport Expansion

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Oh I'm not saying it's notthe fastest growing. I'm just saying it's worth noting that the small size (thus larger percentage increases) can explain a lot of the disparity when it comes to comparing to other airports. That's all.

The article did say that in 2009, Manchester saw decreased service, but it also mentioned that Portland didn't grow either. The stuff I was talking about was the year prior (Before all of the major economic impact).

Personally, I think Manchester will continue to shrink. Since the big dig, Logan is a bit easier to access than it used to be. The Blue Line, Silver Line and all of the bus/water taxi service make it easy to connect and parking isn't difficult anymore. Many people find it easier to get into Logan than it has been in the past. Also, Providence is about to undergo yet another expansion. In addition, they are opening their $336 Million intermodal MBTA train station with direct service to Downtown Providence and Boston early next year. A rail connection to Boston (and Providence) makes TF Green the far more appealing option for commuters than Manchester. Add to that larger runways and more terminal space, and it will be the primary "metro" airport aside from Logan.

As far as Northern New England goes, Portland, Bangor and Burlington provide better access for tourists to the destinations there than Manchester. Portland (as we've established) is super easy to get in and out of (I assume Bangor/Burlington are too). If Portland continues the way it has, it may eventually have as much traffic as Manchester (I could be getting way ahead of myself).

I do like the idea of moving the airport, but I think it's a bit too early. If they need to expand runway space, they have nowhere to go in the current spot. Some of that land could be freed up to replace the mall and create new development opportunities. I don't see it happening soon (especially if the current project continues), but it would be an excellent re-use of the BNAS site.
Yeah, I get it. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure when the economic crisis began. It was clearly 2007 when things began to unravel economically, but as you mentioned airports continued to experience growth thereafter until 2009 (which is, incidentally, also the year the recession was supposed to have ended). Also, air travel throughout most of the last decade has been altered by the terrorist events of 2001. So, is this one giant air recession, or is it a portion of the larger current global recession? It is sometimes tough to tell.

also, just to note, Portland may not have grown during 09, but it didn't decline at as great a rate either, which is for all intents and purposes equivalent to being more economically stable. Manchester thrives off of greater Boston and Greater Portland air traffic. When portland gets cheaper flights they draw customers that should have belonged to PWM all along back to the state. Manchester's numbers are not reflective merely of the manchester region, but of manchester, boston, and portland combined. Part of the reason portland probably didn't decline at as fast of a rate as manchester has to do with this fact because when manchester declines, its not due to an overall decline in travel necessarily, a portion is due to switching nodes of travel.

I don't think Manchester will shrink, far from it. Just the opposite is forecasted. Both Manchester and Providence are part and parcel of the same concentrated effort and policy approach to accommodating increased passengers at Logan with limited actual land space within Mass to accomplish the same. Providence will undoubtedly grow faster than manchester, by virtue of its greater size and the other factor you mentioned, rail, but manchester is, like it or not, the strategic gateway for all passengers coming nationally and internationally to the northern edge of greater boston and northern new england in general.

Manchester is also considering a rail option (progress remains slow, though) and I believe has a bus shuttle service direct to Boston. In fact, it capitalizes on its strategic alternative position to Boston by incorporating Boston in its name.

and finally (this post has been written in spurts, so if it doesn't seem coherent, that's why...im writing it in segments...) the BNAS site is not being considered for expansion needs purposes, but rather so that the land around the mall could be freed up, as you said, because it is kind of a buffer between two huge economic areas (the mall/scarborough and downtown portland). I don't think anyone is taking the idea seriously, though. Also, there is room to expand in the current site, albeit not much. in fact, there are plans to expand the runways for safety reasons (which has some trails people up in arms as it could preclude a pedestrian link to the city from the mall for bikes and walkers). Also, the previous expansion of the runway (a few years before you came to town) moved the jetport road completely to make additional space. Something similar could be done again. Its not a space issue, for runways anyway, because the main issue is terminal space. the runways are more than sufficient for the small airlines that currently use PWM. The only real hindrance is that some of the larger planes are incapable of landing on our small site...but they probably wouldn't be worth an expansion anyway, as there wouldn't be tremendous demand for jumbo jets here anyway....again I have been ranting in segments, so apologize if this doesn't read coherently.
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:17 PM   #10
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Re: Jetport

What is a "jetport"? How is it different from an airport? Is this some gimmick from circa 1963?
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: Jetport

I don't know why it is referred to as the jetport. Other towns do the same thing. There seems to be no difference from what I can tell. Maybe because it is significantly smaller? I'm not sure.
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:24 AM   #12
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Re: Jetport

Main article - Jetport plan likely to win city approval

PORTLAND ? A $75 million expansion of the Portland International Jetport appears to be headed for approval.

The City Council will be asked to authorize borrowing for the project on Jan. 20, with a final vote set for Feb. 1. Construction could begin as soon as April.

After the meeting, Portland's mayor said he doesn't expect opposition from fellow councilors.

"I think it's a great project. And we are at a time where it makes sense to do this," said Nicholas Mavodones Jr., an at-large councilor who serves as mayor. "Funding for the project is on the airlines. There is no risk to the city."

Mavodones said the city would borrow the money for the project, but the jetport would be responsible for repaying the 30-year bond. The bond would be paid off with airport fees and with funds from a federal Transportation Security Administration grant.

Airport Director Paul Bradbury was the only person to speak at Monday night's City Council workshop. He said now is the time to build the terminal because construction costs are historically low.

"First and foremost, there would be no taxes involved," Bradbury told the council. "Nothing would come directly from state or local taxpayers."

The last terminal expansion took place in 1995. Since then, passenger boardings have increased by 57 percent.

The jetport serves 1.8 million passengers a year, a figure that is expected to increase to 2.1 million in the near future.

Bradbury said the project would nearly double the size of the existing terminal, adding 137,000 square feet of space.

The expansion would create three new departure and arrival gates, eight new passenger screening lanes and a new baggage-handling system, which would be capable of in-line explosive detection.

Bradbury said a new pedestrian bridge over the road that passes by the entrance to the terminal would allow people to park in the garage and walk directly to baggage and security screening areas.

Bradbury said the new arrival gates should be large enough to attract at least one new airline carrier to Portland.

Only four of nine city councilors attended Monday's workshop, and none expressed any serious concerns about the project.

Councilor Dory Waxman asked if any residents of Stroudwater ? the neighborhood closest to the jetport-- had voiced concerns.

Bradbury said he was not aware of any issues surrounding the terminal expansion.

"Several people have asked me, 'Why isn't this project already happening?' " Mavodones said. "I think it's going to happen."

The project will take 22 months to complete, and on average, it will employ 90 to 100 workers.



Editorial - Jetport expansion offers rare chance for growth

At a time when most city services are shrinking, Portland has one chance to grow.

That should be reason enough for the City Council to give its approval to a major expansion of the Portland International Jetport when the issue comes up for a vote next month.

This looks like a great deal for the city that could reduce costs for locals when they travel, give the regional economy a shot in the arm and provide an upgrade of a city asset at no cost to taxpayers.

The city only has to approve the borrowing plan and the $75 million project can get under way. The council should take advantage of the opportunity.

The proposal would nearly double the size of the jetport, adding more capacity for screening passengers and baggage. It would add three gates to the terminal, allowing the addition of more airlines to service the facility, which is currently at capacity and cannot expand service.

It was the introduction of low-cost carriers like JetBlue that reduced the average cost of a plane ticket in and out of Portland and has made business at the jetport remain steady despite the national recession that reduced demand at other airports, including Portland's rival in Manchester, N.H.

Low fares and more flights to choose from, which would result from a jetport expansion, would be a selling point for regional economic development efforts as well as a convenience to locally based travelers.

Although Portland would have to secure the financing, the project would not be funded from city coffers. Most of the money would come from a $4.50-per-ticket fee that is already being collected for debt payments that will soon be retired. The federal Transportation Security Administration would supply $9.1 million in additional funding for security upgrades.

Jetport officials project that even with recession-dampened demand, jetport business will stay at a high enough level to make this project necessary and generate enough revenue to finance it.

The project is expected to support more than 90 jobs during the nearly two-year construction period. Low costs for materials make this an ideal time to go out to bid.

Later this year, the council will have to make votes on proposed service cuts and tax increases as the city struggles through another year of recession. It should take any opportunity it can to invest in the local economy, and the jetport expansion is a way to do that.
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Old 01-14-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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Re: Jetport

There are a few videos are on the airport/jetport website about the expansion. I find the music humorous and over dramatic. The google sketchup models provide a good glimpse of the plans, anyhow.

Any guesses or wishes for what the new carrier might be that would hypothetically be drawn here by the expansion?
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Old 01-14-2010, 10:11 PM   #14
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Old 04-21-2010, 07:37 AM   #15
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Re: Jetport

After years of studies, reviews, and master plans, Portland's 137,000 sf terminal expansion is finally approved with the official groundbreaking ceremony planned for May 4th @ 10 AM. Actual site preparation started last week with a project completion timeframe of 22 months. This will almost double the size of the current terminal and will help New England's 5th largest airport remain competitive in the future. The new terminal will provide Greater Portland and the entire State of Maine a facility to be proud of and will give visitors a positive first impression of Vacationland. Fly PWM!
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:47 AM   #16
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Re: Jetport

Excellent news! Also, next month direct service to Toronto begins, enabling PWM to remain an international jetport despite losing service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:42 AM   #17
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Re: Jetport

Service to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia resumed last month via Twin Cities Air Service. That gives us two "international" destinations and don't be surprised to see Montreal added in the future.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:50 AM   #18
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Direct to Montreal would be FANTASTIC! We love Montreal. I must have had the dates on Nova Scotia wrong/
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:47 PM   #19
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Re: Jetport

The word "Jetport" was conceived many years ago by PWM's staff as an interesting way to emphasize the airport's ability to handle and utilize jet aircraft for passenger flights. Many airports Portland's size and smaller were primarily serviced by "prop" aircraft back in the sixties. The arrival of Northeast Yellowbird DC 9's put Portland on the regional map along with a brand new terminal in 1968.

Portland's emplanement growth eventually led to 727 and 757 service by Delta and this was using a 6800 foot runway without centerline lights. Due to the airport's almost at sea level location and Maine's cooler ambient temperatures, runway length is not as critical when compared to airports at higher altitudes and/or warmer climates. This is a lucky break for PWM due to the Maine Turnpike on one end of the primary runway and the Fore River at the other end. With a recent extension to 7200 feet, we have now reached our limit.

Largest passenger aircraft servicing the Jetport are JetBlue's Airbus 320, Delta's MD-88, and Airtran's 737-700 series (seasonal to ATL). Fedex brings in a daily 757 for cargo requirements. Furthest destination served by Portland is currently Orlando, with Minneapolis as a seasonal route, and rumor has it that JetBlue will be announcing new service to Fort Lauderdale in the near future. And for those who may not know, the PWM airport code is an abbreviation for Portland Westbrook Municipal.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:08 PM   #20
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Re: Jetport

^ Interesting tidbits.

I came upon this little site years ago that is about abandoned airfields. It has a section about the 'original' Portland Airport which was in Scarborough. The site is now an industrial park. It would have been interesting if that was still the site of our airport today. Perhaps if the airport was in Scarborough, it would have spurred higher density development between Portland and Scarborough. Maybe we could have justified some sort of light-rail line going from Portland - Maine Mall - Scarborough.
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