Mar 13, 2015

Saving The Queen City Airport From Pawlowski

The Old
When I grew up on Liberator Ave., I would walk up Catalina Ave. toward school, which was at the end of Coronado. The streets were named for the Vultee-Consolidated WW2 planes, and the neighborhood was next to the airport built as part of the war effort. Vultee Street was built to connect the hangers with the Mack 5C plant, which was given over to Vultee-Consolidated for plane part manufacturing. Today this small airport is known as Queen City, and is threatened by Mayor Ed Pawlowski.
1944 was the first full year of the operation for the company's Allentown, Pennsylvania factory. Consolidated Vultee handled over $100M in wartime contracts at their Allentown plant where they produced TBY-2 Sea Wolves, components parts for B-24 Liberator bombers and other essential armaments and products for the war effort.
Pawlowski covets this unique part of our history to expand the tax base. What he doesn't understand is that more housing or commercial space is not in Allentown's best long term interest. Unfortunately, long term interest is not a term understood by our current leadership. There is a whole development of started houses off S. 12th St. and Mack Blvd. which were never completed. There are filled in foundations on 8th Street, also never completed. More housing is the last thing both the real estate market and school system need. Likewise, the existing commercial sector has been struggling to maintain an acceptable occupancy rate. Queen City airport is a unique asset to Allentown. If LVIA does successfully expand, a separate airport for small planes is very desirable for safety. Considering Pawlowski's predetermined objective, I question whether he should have been appointed to the LVIA Board.
The New
I wrote the above several years ago. Last week The FAA has reiterated their requirements for selling Queen City, and such a sale remains totally unfeasible. Pawlowski says that he won't give up; He never meet an Allentown asset that he didn't want to sell. Although Airport Board Chairman Tony Iannelli conceded that it's time to move on, his quote is disturbing. "I totally understand the mayor's goal here, but unfortunately the hurdles are too high and too many." Tony, if you agree that the mayor's short sighted goals are in the best interest of the Airport Authority, and that it's unfortunate that you can't sell Queen City, then it's unfortunate that you're Chairman of the Authority. The recent FAA letter also prohibits Pawlowski's planned sale of the fire training tower to Lehigh Valley Health Network. Pawlowski claims that if the Hospital cannot expand their lab on Lehigh Street, that they will relocate to the suburbs and that Allentown will lose hundreds of jobs. He hasn't expressed the same concern about suburban offices relocating to Hamilton Street's NIZ.
reprinted from July 2012

UPDATE: I'm rather amazed about today's Morning Call article questioning whether Pawlowski should be reappointed to the Airport Authority, and the news therein that he was found free from conflict. Pawlowski should have never been appointed to the Authority in the first place, and his agenda since 2006 has been for Allentown to obtain the Queen City and develop the property to expand the city's tax base.

UPDATE 7:00pm: I have been informed back channel that the conflict evaluation referred to a financial conflict of interest.  I never meant to imply that Pawlowski had that type of conflict, but rather a predetermined agenda for the future of Queen City.


Anonymous said...

In The City Without Limits it's all for sale

Anonymous said...

MM, This post is yet anoter dead on truth about our fine mayor¿ There is one little uknown tidbit that has never been published¿ The city's assets are not the only target on this agenda¿ Private property as well as personel family property is also a marketable asset sale for city intrests too¿ I could go into dept of almost a ten year battle and beoned to about the late 80's that the claiming of ignorance ignorance to facts is an administrational work in progress¿

See the sights and judge for yourself, true investigative reporting has been dead for years¿ Wondering if the wfmz open air cafe will ever see the clamoring crowed of the shows live from various city's elsewere¿

patent pending

Anonymous said...

Queen City airport is about as use full in today's world as a B-24 would be to today's Air Force.

Any air craft at Queen City could move to ABE which is underutilized.

If the owners of these air craft can't afford ABE then they obviously have made bad decisions and shouldn't own air craft.

michael molovinsky said...

@10:05, when ABE relieves, Queen City will be much needed as a safer alternative for small aircraft. pawlowski was blunt about his plans for queen city after being elected the first time. don cunningham should have never appointed him with such a one track agenda. the recent declaration of him being free of conflict, in my opinion, was a whitewash. since 2011, i have written 6 posts on this very subject.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you know very little about the people who utilize Queen City...I am honored to say that I do, and in years past attended their meetings on Thursday mornings. They are fellow Military Veterans, most U.S. Air Force...Queen City is not just a parking lot for privately owned small aircraft, but a very effective "spill over" emergency field for others. Also as back-up for A.B.E.'s medium,to small aircraft as well. It serves as a very efficient flight training field. completing an extremely valuable asset to the Community at large.
"The Old Allentown Curmudgeon" (PJF)

michael molovinsky said...

pertaining to my comment of 10:46; the conflict evaluation was NOT a whitewash, because it pertained to a traditional financial conflict of interest, which i believe that pawlowski does not have. however, i believe that pawlowski's agenda for queen city might be in a philosophical conflict with what's best for the airport authority.

Anonymous said...


Maybe Pawlowski will do like Chicago Mayor Daley did to Meigs Field. He ordered the runway torn up in the middle of the night.

michael molovinsky said...

@11:31, meigs field was mentioned years ago in one of my previous posts on pawlowski and queen city. those interested in defending queen city should attend the commissioner meeting on wednesday march 25th, and let the commissioners know that pawlowski's reappointment to the airport authority endangers queen city.

Steel Force said...

I feel Queen City takes up too much valuable space within city borders. It does not contribute enough revenue to allot for the huge space it consumes. While I understand the nostalgia it holds, and other interests as an emergency strip and convenience for a few pilots, I believe the airport should be moved outside the city limits so the much needed development space within the city limits may be used for the greater good of the majority of the citizens, not just the few sentimentalists and special interest owners and pilots etc. it's great good usefulness has come and gone with the passing of WW2 and it should now be moved out of the city to allow for development that will benefit the majority, not the minority's. I'm sure the users of this airstrip would be happy with a newer strip somewhere on the outskirts of town. Moving it would also be a positive for some of the outlining townships while greatly reducing the possibility of accidents happening in residential zones.

michael molovinsky said...

steel force@12:20, actually pawlowski pursued this avenue when first elected in 2006. the current fAA requirements for a new airport location are so demanding that there is no reality to that happening. allentown has a surplus of existing space to develop, both commercial and residential.