Jan 16, 2010

Flight To NoWhere


If you want a good laugh, go to the Lehigh Valley International Airport and watch the expression on the first time Continental passengers as they are loaded on a bus to Newark; this is after they check in at the flight counter! Today the constantly expanding and remodeling airport has less destinations than ever, about nine, including Philadelphia and Newark. Years ago, the Authority members hired what they mistook as a hot shot, George Doughty, to make the new terminal and airport something to match its new name. The old ABE Airport terminal was built as a WPA project, and like the rest of the valley back then, teemed at its seams. About ten years ago the hotshot talked the Authority members into expanding the departure terminal. Looking for a large under used space for arena football, I think I know a place. Recently, a judge awarded an adjacent landowner many more millions than he ever wanted, for land the airport took for its never needed, never built new runway. Rendell has designated $3.5 million in modernization grants to help the airport keep up with its declining use? Although there are not many places one can fly directly to from the airport, parking fee's are big city. There is a recorded tape loop which keeps reminding the few passengers that unattended cars will be towed for security reasons, i'd prefer water-boarding at Guantanamo.

The postcard depicts the first hanger and terminal, before the former one built by the WPA. The hanger still exists, as does the lettering on it's roof.



Postcard of former terminal built by WPA, added Jan. 16, 2010 for this reprinted version

Reprinted from Feb. 12, 2009. In less than a year, this has become a hot topic for County Executive Cunningham, and Mayor Pawlowski has just been appointed to their Board. I rejected a comment the other day claiming this was a negative blog, and I should look at things in a more positive light. This is a reality based blog, which often points things out before our officials are ready to concede that there is a problem.


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12 comments:

Polish Eddie said...

MM: I for one appreciate your reality. don't worry about criticism, you are on the job helping us. I used to fly regularly for my mission work out of ABE and it is a disgrace how it has changed.

Anonymous said...

In Thursday's Morning Call front page story, Mayor Pawlowski admits he has the city $3.2 Million in the red. So, of course, he's a perfect candidate
to help manager an airport's future.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Reprinted from Feb. 12, 2009. In less than a year, this has become a hot topic for County Executive Cunningham, and Mayor Pawlowski has just been appointed to their Board. I rejected a comment the other day claiming this was a negative blog, and I should look at things in a more positive light. This is a reality based blog, which often points things out before our officials are ready to concede that there is a problem."

So far as I know, you are the first person to have written about this matter in any detail, either in the blogoshere or MSM. You are to be credited for that.

Allentown resident Jay Goldstein has been the driving force that has galvanized Lehigh and Northampton County officials into examining the airport authority. He made his concerns known to Northampton County around 2 years ago. It resulted in a study that produced even more complaints than you mention.

Since that time, both Cunningham and Stoffa have been replacing Airport Authority members with people who will ask questions. They also want to reduce the board and replace the leadership.

One person can make a difference.

michael molovinsky said...

bernie, thanks for giving mr. goldstein the credit he apparently deserves.
excuse the arrogance, but i know that my blog, and certainly yours, have predated and precipitated stories in the msm, and some policy changes have subsequently occurred. the price to pay is being called a naysayer and a misinformant.

Anonymous said...

You are right! They are wrong. Plain and simple. The current administration lives in a perpetual state of denial.

We made some serious mistakes in the 70's and 80's. Luckily we can still correct some of these in the parks and the post office etc.

Instead we prefer to let our history waste away. Hopefully we will not end up like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6WKMNmFsxM

Wake up Allentown.

West End Betty said...

Mr. Molovinski you are not a naysayer and misinformant. You, like Sarah Palin, tell the truth and stand up for us true Americans. Just like Polish Eddie I used to fly out of ABE when Allegheny Airlines was the sole carrier. It worked pretty well then. Now the bureaucrats are ruining our airport just like they have ruined Hamilton Mall and the parks.

michael molovinsky said...

betty, i don't ever recall there being just one carrier. my main criticism is that they keep expanding and remodeling the airport, but with no increase in volume of flights or passengers.

West End Betty said...

Michael:

You need to get on the Lehigh County Commission and turn this airport thing around. Perhaps we should take it away from an "authority," whatever that is. It just seems like a way to avoid accountability. What do you think of a major business buying it and running it according to sound market principles.

LVCI said...

LVIA:

Wasn't this the airport featured in Steven King's 1995 made for TV movie, "The Langoliers"?

:-)

"The Langoliers"

LVCI said...

I case my last remark went over you head, here's the part I was referring to..
"The Langoliers"
:-)

michael molovinsky said...

lvci, yep, seems to be the same airport, except the parking rate is higher at lehigh valley international

Anonymous said...

Another conflict of interest. Why do Authorities continue to load their boads with local politicians who have conflicts of interest. Pawlowski has already said he wants to bulldoze Queen City Airport to build something he 'hopes' will bring more revenue to Allentown. Well, the Airport Authority is a regional one whose mission is to represesnt the people of the 'region' not one city. It's time to pass laws preventing county execs from loading the boards with their friendly local pols. Perhaps an issue for the next tea party?