JRegan 3 years, 4 months ago on HASTINGS: A different view of the airport committee

For the record, the resolution establishing the Briscoe Citizens Committee tasked the committee with making a recommendation to the BOC on what should happen at Briscoe - privitization, expansion, or nothing. All committee members quickly realized privatization as a general aviation airport was not practical. The remaining choices -expand or leave as is.

Never did the BOC charge the committee with identifying 5 or 10 recommedations for Briscoe, this idea seemed to originate with Ms. Howard. Ms. Howard also stated during a committee meeting her vision was for the 11 committee members to "reach a consensus".

Of course these are technicalities, the important thing here is to know two professional consulting groups have advised against initiating passenger aviation at Briscoe and two other aviation industry analysts have given this project "pratically zero-cent" chance of success. So what if Airport of Paris would manage Briscoe, the airport manager can't change the underlying fundamentals of the passenger aviation industry. Airport managment doesn't control jet fuel prices, carrier ticket prices, which airlines choose to operate at an airport, or many of the other factors which will likely doom Briscoe expansion to failure.

Is this really the type "gamble" our commissioners should be taking with the financial stability of our county government?


JRegan 3 years, 8 months ago on Survey: Gwinnettians want more transit options

Well obviously people don't realized what a good deal mass transit is. Several years ago I rode Gwinnett Transit and once did a calculation of what I saved per day. From my home to work was 80 miles round trip, using the IRS mileage fee of 50 cents to cover gas, insurance, maintenance and depreciation I saved $40 per day plus the $6 parking daily parking fee. Total savings per day $46 - awesome.

Of course I need to thank all the Atlantans, Georgians, and US tax payers for supplimenting my transportation back and forth to work for which I only paid $5.00. I couldn't have bought gas for my car for $5.00 per day.

Isn't it great that our government takes money from those that can afford to pay and supplements other people that can afford to pay transportation costs to get to work just because they want people to ride mass transit?


JRegan 4 years ago on WARBINGTON: Transportation forum chance to give input

Vote no on TSPLOST.

The tax increase will fund light rail - electric buses running on rails sharing a lane with cars-into Atlanta and will also be used to fund MARTA. Proponents like Chuck want to spend Billions of our tax money on projects that will not serve most citizens. Studies estimate light rail would only be used by 3% of drivers. This does not make economic sense when diesel buses could perform the same task, with greater flexiblity, and at a lower cost.

Vote your self a raise, vote against TSPLOST, keep your hard earned money for yourself.


JRegan 4 years ago on LETTERS: Commerical flights could be boon for county

Despite two studies, warnings from consultants, and two examples of failed airports proponents of Briscoe Field expansion continue to attempt to mislead and manipulate Gwinnett citizens.

The viability of Briscoe Field as a regional airport was examined in both the City of Atlanta – Hartsfield and the Gwinnett BOC – IMG studies. These two reports both cast serious doubts on the viability of converting Briscoe Field from a general aviation airport to a regional airport. Concerns included the cost (up to $2.2 Billion), environmental, airspace management, expansion limitations (due to acreage), and the instability of the airline industry. In addition C4BG has concerns about traffic congestion, Gwinnett government guaranty of construction bonds, and the overall impact on our quality of life.

MidAmerica Airport, located 30 miles from St Louis International Airport, opened for schedule passenger service in 1997. At that time politicians said they were investing $320 Million of taxpayer funds in the community’s future. Today everyone realizes they wasted $320 Million and perhaps gambled the community’s future away. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, watch the video and decide for yourself how you would like Gwinnett to proceed. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19934551/

Branson MO Airport completed construction in 2009, expecting 1.5 million passengers per year. The county government backed construction of the privately owned airport with $115 Million in taxpayer development bonds. Now the largest private investor, CitiGroup, is threatening foreclosure as the airport continues to operate under a forbearance agreement. Foreclosure or bankruptcy seems highly likely since the private operator has had little success expanding the number of airlines servicing the airport. The airport serviced 92,000 passengers in 2010, far fewer that the 1.5 million forecast when the airport was proposed.

Aside from these two examples, we have to look at the stability of the airline industry. Over the past five years airlines have been consolidating through mergers (Delta/Northwest, Southwest/Airtran), regional airlines (ATA, Eos, Sun Country, Aloha) have ceased operations, the remaining nine airlines have grounded smaller regional jets, and continue to reduce the number of flights operated. Combine this with the fact that airlines don’t sign long-term contracts to operate out of airports, other than their major hubs.

When considering all these facts most reasonable people conclude expanding Briscoe Field is too great a risk for our community and would never deliver the results projected by proponents.


JRegan 4 years ago on LETTERS: Commerical flights could be boon for county

Want to see the future of Briscoe Field if expansion occurs? Check out this video from NBC news about a Missouri community that developed an airport in 1997 to stimulate the economy, attract thousands of jobs, and increase tax revenue it is very enlightening.

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JRegan 4 years ago on LETTER: Opposition spins airport debate

Yes Paula, by all means let's set the record straight, but let’s also get the facts right. 1) Gaye and Citizens for a Better Gwinnett have been providing independent studies on how other cities and communities have been impacted by commercial passenger aviation. The results are clear - home values decline, noise and air pollution increase, traffic congestion increases, and quality of life declines. These are not speculative or manipulated reports - such as the leading poll questions, fictitious job projects (20,000 - 30,000 new jobs), and over inflated economic impact figures ($1.25 Billion annually) circulated by Propeller Investments and Fly Gwinnett Forward.

2) The City of Atlanta Hartsfield study is germane to Briscoe Field expansion. The report very clear states airline capacity at Hartsfield is currently sufficient for Metro Atlanta, the cost to upgrade Briscoe to a regional airport could be $2.2 Billion, and there are significant obstacles to overcome including environmental and airspace management. I know Paula you're going to complain the report is biased. During my conversation with the head of the FAA's Southeastern Regional office he stated there is no bias in the report, the FAA defined the study parameters, selected the consultants, oversaw the process and paid 75% of the cost. While I have learned a lot about airports over the past 18 months, I know the FAA knows much more, and trust the independence of their study on Briscoe. Everyone should remember the FAA doesn’t have a dog in this fight.

3) The IMG study commissioned by Gwinnett County drew many of the same conclusions as the Hartsfield study. Additionally they pointed out the risk the county would incur because projects of this nature require "significant government funding". That means county taxpayers hold the ultimate liability. IMG also detailed the failure MidAmerica Airport, built by a Missouri community that invested $320 Million of taxpayer funds, as regional airport to relieve St Louis Lambert International. MidAmerica began operation in 1997 and currently has NO airline service. Tom Brokaw even featured it in his NBC News segment call the “Fleecing of America”. Watch the video for yourself, it underscores the risk.

This is a case where the CITIZENS got the FACTS straight and took action. Many citizens, not just a vocal minority, went to their officials who were elected to serve the will of the people, and not the will of “special interests”.