Wednesday, September 15, 2004

What Can I Do?

Write a short letter to your local newspaper.

If you live in Durham or Wake County, write or call each of your County Commissioners.

And if you live in the city of Raleigh or Durham, write or call each of your City Councilmen and -women.

For all of these, contact information will be provided here soon.

NOTE: I have heard many voices sharing my concerns. But there is a lot of planning and money at stake, and even if you don't write to the newspapers and officials, others will do so in support of the Airport's plans. So it is important for people to participate through letter-writing and phone calls.

30 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone has their opinion, so I must say I'm happy to see RDU doing something with Terminal C. There were plans in the works to spend a billion on a temp terminal between A & C, to replace terminal A since American controlled the destiny of C. For a short time I worked for Midway Airlines before it's demise and American did nothing but let it go to waste. Midway was ready to spend considerable money to improve it's appearence and upgrade it's facilities there, but every time, American put a stop to it. It's great that RDU regained control over C and is doing something to improve it's appearence. It's been nothing but an eye sore for the last several years, and it's a shame that American let it get to the point where it has to be torn down and rebuilt.

One of the first places that visitors to our area are at is the airport. What do you think when they step off the plane and see the mess that of C or the over crowding of A. It's time for change and yes it is lot of money and a waste of landfill space, but it is the center peice of this region and I say go for it.

A better airport will bring a better appearence to the community and a better community will hopefully bring in better business which in turns brings in better jobs.

You have your opinion, and I have mine.

September 15, 2004 at 8:48 PM  
Blogger RaginMav said...

I don't know about this C terminal thing... That's kind of over my head.

What I do know is that Northwest really needs to replace their DC-9's. These things are ANCIENT! Some were built during the 60's, or so I hear.
Now, you don't see taxi companies driving about in 1960something cars, do ya? NOT USUALLY!

So Northwest should replace their DC-9's, and I think it should be with the 717, because it's a cool plane. And they should have a 42 inch seat pitch in coach, and charge half price. Oh yeah, and PTV's in every seatback.

Oh, I almost forgot... The KC-135 should be replaced with the KC-767 because it's made by Boeing and Boeing is good.

thanks and have a nice day

September 15, 2004 at 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, My name is Ryan. Jeff Vanke, most things you say about RDU are extreamly ignorant. All you have shown is how little you know about the airport.

September 15, 2004 at 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that demolishing Terminal C is a waste. Why does each time construction anywhere is completed, some agency decides that something must be torn down and a new building built? I have been living in this area for 25+ years and most of those years RDU has been in a construction mess. Give the travelling public a BREAK!

If the terminal is demolished and a new one built, what will be next? Another new parking deck?

September 15, 2004 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger RaginMav said...

Yeah, in all liklihood, Norhtwest will never buy another Boeing plane. So the question becomes: A318 or EMB190
The 318 would be good because it would mean the introduction of practically NOTHING new, as it's just a midget 319, which they already have. The down side would be acquisition costs higher than that of the 190

the EMB190 would be good because it's cheaper to buy than the 318, but it would mean another fleet type.

In the end I vote 318. But maybe they just won't worry about it and buy more 319's and over-serve a few markets. Actually, that's not a big deal at all!

September 15, 2004 at 10:20 PM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Some of these anonymous comments are using terms and arguments like "regionalism" that echo themes in RDU's own press releases. Hmmm. Critics who fail to identify themselves in a traceable way lack credibility.

September 15, 2004 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger RaginMav said...

"Regionalism?" CRIPES! Regional is a word that should be banned from our vocabularies! Regional jets are crap, every city deserves 3 747's a day to every other city in the world!

September 15, 2004 at 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HI,
I think the comment about not giving a name is not correct. You have your opinion and I have mine. Just because I choose to post or say my opinion in my way does not at all discredit the thoughts and theories. This is my first post so I am in no way associated with the other's. I feel that a long term growth and goal's need to be dealt with no matter if its construction, work, school, or home life. As for RDU Construction this is a long term goal the airport feels it will need and may feel it is good time to do this since the passenger volume is low at this given time. Also it just amazes me that there are so many people that do not want to see growth, see business grow, see more conviences given to the public. If we argue against this then why not the I-40 project, why not the the I-85 project, why not Northhills Mall, why not the new Raleigh Convention Center. That is because all of these people can either avoid those projects or it benefits them in one way or another when completed. It is amazing that when a construction project is mentioned the first thing is "How is it going to inconvience me" not how is it going to make things better for our community, our city, our county, our children. Another thing is that money does not grow on trees, things are not free, we have to pay for everything in our society one way or another that is just life. Construction projects do not start and finish in a time that is overnite. It amazes me that the public in central north carolina what things completed on there time frame, on there schedule. They do not care about how it will affect the other 90% of the people just how it will affect them only. I think this is one of those cases also. People need to stop thinking about themselves and about how there actions may affect others then maybe we will have construction projects done ontime, we will have more jobs created, we will be able to support our families. My last comment is that you need to sit back and think about the families you will be affecting with no pay checks, no jobs, no way to support there families if RDU aggrees there is no need for the renovation. We need to think about everyone else not just ourselves and how our own personal actions may affect 10's to 1000's of people. Also you may get your way but what harm was caused to get there. Good luck in your pursuit for your cause, I do not agree with you about this. May I need to tell you what car you can drive, what gas you need to buy, what house you need to buy, what food you need to buy, and what clothes you need to buy because I feel the way you do those things now and in the future may inconvience others and also what you can post and can not post on this website then maybe you will see how your treating others in the same way. Have a great day.

September 16, 2004 at 5:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude get a life. Both terminals are an embarassment to the area we live in. As a frequent flier, the airport is disjointed without amenities and is lost in the 60's. Go ahead put a surcharge on my ticket and raise parking, I really don't mind.

September 16, 2004 at 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff

I have read more about this subject since you brought it to my attention. I think you are 101% wrong, and have ZERO chance of blocking this free enterprise expansion. While it appears most people agree with me, your anti-progress campaign will likely improve your standing in Carrboro were people hate improvement.

ToddtheBlog

September 16, 2004 at 9:16 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Progress would be widening I-40 to eight lanes in spots where it's only being widened to six.

Hey, I'm all for making the airport look nice, and keeping its capacity ahead of demand. But we already have the latter, and I'll post a message about Terminal A's problems later.

The problem with Terminal C that people are complaining about is interior design, which needs a complete makeover, not (for many of you) the building itself.

September 16, 2004 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Todd, The Airport Authority is a governmental agency, not a free enterprise business, and in any case it holds a regional monopoly which, due to economies of scale, is unlikely to face local competition. Jeff

September 16, 2004 at 9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously do not much knowledge on construction and progress in the area. Widening I-40 to 4 lanes would only create more traffic problems. Studies show that if you widen a road, it daily usage goes up by a percentage per lane greater than before the extra lanes. Construction and growth are signs of a growing economy. The Triad kept FedEx out of the Greensboro Airport because of similar reasons that you are stating, that it is not necessary and it will be unsightly. This growth from construction helps to entice business to the area, hopefully lowering the office vacancy in the Triangle. We do not live in the past or in Carrboro with the tallest building is 2.5 stories, we need extra capacity and growth to compensate for the population explosion in Wake County.

September 16, 2004 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously do not much knowledge on construction and progress in the area. Widening I-40 to 4 lanes would only create more traffic problems. Studies show that if you widen a road, it daily usage goes up by a percentage per lane greater than before the extra lanes. Construction and growth are signs of a growing economy. The Triad kept FedEx out of the Greensboro Airport because of similar reasons that you are stating, that it is not necessary and it will be unsightly. This growth from construction helps to entice business to the area, hopefully lowering the office vacancy in the Triangle. We do not live in the past or in Carrboro with the tallest building is 2.5 stories, we need extra capacity and growth to compensate for the population explosion in Wake County.

September 16, 2004 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You obviously do not much knowledge on construction and progress in the area. Widening I-40 to 4 lanes would only create more traffic problems. Studies show that if you widen a road, it daily usage goes up by a percentage per lane greater than before the extra lanes. Construction and growth are signs of a growing economy. The Triad kept FedEx out of the Greensboro Airport because of similar reasons that you are stating, that it is not necessary and it will be unsightly. This growth from construction helps to entice business to the area, hopefully lowering the office vacancy in the Triangle. We do not live in the past or in Carrboro with the tallest building is 2.5 stories, we need extra capacity and growth to compensate for the population explosion in Wake County.

September 16, 2004 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes the RDUAA is indeed a government agency. They are chartered by the state just like any other city in NC. The three triangle counties pay a flat fee every year(not sure wht the exact amount is but it is in the $1,000s range and hasn't changed from the day the airport was created. )

There comes a point where complete destruction becomes more cost effective than just renovations, and looking at the gate level doesn't say for anything for the infestructure above and below what the public sees.

C was created as a HUB terminal and that is not what it's future is going to be, at least not any time soon. The RDU wants to terminal to be for many airlines and the infestructure that is downstairs just will not support it, nor ticketing or even baggage. C can bearly support two different airlines in its current shape.

RDU pays for itself with bonds and fees coming from the airlines and vendors.

1st anon poster

1st Anonymous poster

September 16, 2004 at 10:49 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

Parts of the previous comment are not based on actual data. First, the Triad FedEx hub is under construction at this moment. Second, if airport use is way down since 2000, then we don't have a capacity problem -- we have the illusion of one due to shift of traffic from Terminal C to A. Third, while I won't dispute your research statement against a 4th highway lane (on an overused highway), I'll note that it contradicts your argument for accommodating growth at the (underused) airport.

I'm all for encouraging and accommodating the Triangle's growth, including expanding airport capacity before it's overcrowded. But we have finite resources that should be allocated where and when needed.

September 16, 2004 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

"RDU pays for itself with bonds and fees coming from the airlines and vendors."

RDU doesn't print money; it raises user costs, which translates into potentially less money spent on local retail and restaurants.

September 16, 2004 at 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point about the lack of need for a 4th land on I-40 does not mean that I am against growth; it simply means that growth through other roads like the potential toll road connecting the Durham Freeway is necessary. Usage at RDU is down due to a downswing in recent air travel since 9-11-01. Before that incident, RDU was the fastes growing airport in the nation. If we do not prepare for that type of growth again than it will create congestion problems. Our parking rates are nothing compared to the large airports in the Northeast, so a small rise will not kill travelers budgets. RDU is fortunate to own such and expansive plot of land; that land should be used wisely and growth through terminal C is greatly needed. This construction will not affect traffic in a bad way, it is all being completed behind fences and walls that are restricted access. I know that FedEx is currently being built, but it took years of fighting with residents such as yourself to get the project going. That project is bringing thousands of new jobs plus the potential of Dell constructing a facility in the Triad. Dell only wants the Triad because of the location to the highways and the FedEx hub. While Raleigh does not have I-85, we should be expanding our airport's capacity to entice similar growth. FedEx is not going to open until 2009 because of the usless barriers that people created to keep them out. Again, simply put, construction means progress, and it means that money is being moved, which is good for the economy. A few extra dollars for parking is a small proce to pay to help the Triangle grow strong and large again!
Kevin

September 16, 2004 at 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was a large amount of plans in the works to build a temporary terminal between A & C to allow demolition of Terminal A. Those plans were scrapped when 9/11 occurred and the airport authority regained control of Terminal C. Midway tanked and the FAA ramped up the screening requirements. So, to accomodate the new baggage screening equipment and check-in requirements, a whole new plan had to be devised.

Yes, passenger traffic is down at RDU, but it's down everywhere. That's some (but not all) of the reason why Delta, United and US Airways are struggling. In the meantime, I'm glad we didn't waste any construction dollars on the first plan and have to scrap and demolish a building that had been designed before 9/11. So, in the long run, the airport authority probably is going to save money from not having gone down that path.

September 16, 2004 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger Eric J. Horton said...

I am curious Mr. Vanke why I have not heard or seen any oposition from you as to the recent renovation and construction of the new Ceneral Aviation facilities. Is it that you have no problem with the funds used to create this new area or simply were not aware that it even existed?

As a corporate pilot at RDU I really could care less about the Terminal reovation plan. I hardly ever fly from either terminal. I have seen it asked on your sight how often you fly from or use the facilities at RDU. I have not seen a response. If you could give one that would be great. But speaking as someone who rarely uses these facilities himself, I still understand that this is a project to begin improving the facilities at RDU. The day will come when airlines want to start or enhance their service at RDU and we will have the facilities to do so. This will be achieved at a much lower cost to the taxpayers then if we wait until the last minute years down the road when the costs associated with a project of this scale will be even greater.

I liken this develpoment and your views to my own situation. My wife and I do not have any childern in any school system here in Cary or any other town. However we pay taxes which go towards funding for school expansion and building. Should I start a site that semi-details how bad a decision it is to expand West Cary Middle School seeing as I don't have an involvement with the school system? I wouldn't, because down the road in a few years, when our son (who is 15 months old now) is ready to use these schools the money and concern put up now will benifit him and ALL those who use the system will hopefully benifit.

September 16, 2004 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Eric J. Horton said...

By the way , I hope this is a credable post as there are a few typos. I did, however put my name on the post so I should be okay, right?

September 16, 2004 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger Eric J. Horton said...

How exactly do you figure the RDUAA is "packing it" at Terminal A? They have not moved a single operator from terminal C for construction purposes. In fact, there has been a recent move by Air Canada "Jazz" and I believe Air Wisconsin from Terminal A to Terminal C.

September 16, 2004 at 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be misguided, but I think Terminal C looks much better than Terminal A. In my opinion it is more modern in design. Terminal A looks like a BIG BLUE BARN.

September 16, 2004 at 12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm posting anonymously purely out of laziness (to create a personal account). This is my first post. I can't believe they want to do this! I mean come on... Terminal A and Terminal "other A" (as I call it) look horrible. Terminal C is only 10-15 years old, right? I could understand if they would rebuild either of the Terminal A's but not C. The fact that it's mostly vacant actually speaks to this rebuilding efforts being bad from a business point of view. Maybe this whole thing is that some politicians or their friends, who are contractors and builders have been promised more work (i.e. more $$$).

I support your efforts.

September 16, 2004 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not going to sign up for an account.

1. The greater triangle area is growing.
2. If you look at the stats, the numbers from RDU this year are well on pace to break 8+ million
3. The loss of the midway hub hurt numbers, but if you took away all the numbers attributed to Midway over the years, you would find that the numbers have been increasing, except possibly the 6-8 months after 9/11
4. It is cheaper and easier to fly now than ever before, and more people are doing it.
5. Terminal C was designed as a HUB for American Airlines. It does not have the capacity to handle multiple airlines.
6. Terminal A needs to be rebuilt as well, but since Midway is gone, it is better to do C at this time.
7. I like the new design, and I think it will distinguish this community instead of the Blue Barn crap, and the "We rushed and bulilt so American will come" design.

September 16, 2004 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect your opinion, but do disagree with it totally. RDU, as all airports around the country have had a decline in passenger and airtraffic. Just because it's not breaking 2000's passenger record doesn't mean the new terminal isn't needed. What if the RDUAA decided to wait until all resources at the airport and gates were used up and then decided to do something about it? We'd have RDU looking like I-40. We've got to build for the future. The new terminal will expand the ticketing and baggage area greatly, which is TRUELY needed. Also, new international gates and customs will be built for more transatlantic service down the road. It's best to start now when traffic isn't as high, that way when traffic becomes an issue again the terminal will be able to handle it. Also, as said before, Terminal C can hold maybe three airlines, tops. It wasn't built for multi airline uses, so it must be converted to releave Terminal A. But, that is just my opinion. Oh, by the way, did you vote against the RDU Fedex hub?

September 16, 2004 at 6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeff

You are trying to stop a moving train--and you are too late. Demolition starts next month http://triangle.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2004/09/13/daily32.html?jst=b_ln_hl .

ToddtheBlog

September 17, 2004 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Jeff Vanke said...

I'm perfectly willing to respond to most anonymous postings, but it would be easier to respond to several at once if you would at least invent a first name. Also, if you make statements of fact anonymously and do not source your information, I am less likely to address related points.

I am going to do a separate post about discrepancies in RDU's story about how it's going to save money by demolition vs. mere renovation and expansion.

I'm amazed by people that reject the passenger data as if we were writing in December 2001; it's 2004, N.C. employment stats are recovering, and the tech boom is not going to happen again, at least not with such "irrational exuberance." I think we all agree that sooner or later, airport passenger capacity will have to expand. And I actually agree that the airport should plan and construct ahead of the curve. But if the airport could handle the 2000 traffic, then it should be able to handle those levels (some 25% above current usage, at least by data from early 2004) again simply by expanding security-clearance areas, and importantly staffing.

Eric Horton, thank you for signing your posts. (Others: this is possible just to enter in your text, without becoming an official blogger user.) If I don't address all your points here, please let me know. Is the question of how much I use the airport relevant? Yes and no. My young family and I use the airport once every month or two. But we are also committed to staying in this area possibly for our entire lifetimes, in a way that most people aren't. I do believe that business users should have their opinions weighted in proportion to use. But this is a governmental authority and a local monopoly. I still believe in one-person one-vote, and so I've taken to my one-man blog. Furthermore, I know a number of people who use the airport more often, who agree with me. I'm the activist type, and unimpaired by what a local employer may think of my opinions on this (I telecommute). Your analogy to school taxes is a smart one, but as all analogies, it has its imperfections; I am not airport-less, but more like the family with a single child next door to the seven-kid family; we're not talking about direct taxes, but user fees; and I can't move across district lines and still be part of our little region here, because we only have one airport.

Kevin brings in an unrelated issue and points to benefits the FedEx hub will bring to the Triad, because somehow he found out that I opposed that when I lived there. Yes, there will be gross benefits. But even though the Triad has planned to expand that airport for decades, and real estate agents should have disclosed that fact to all concerned home shoppers, it is an entirely different proposition to run continuous nighttime flights from the new runway. There are at least thousands of homes across western Guilford -- many of them older than the airport and not right next to the noise cones -- that will hear FedEx airplanes throughout the night. But that issue doesn't concern most of our readers.

September 17, 2004 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Build a better road to greensboro and do away with rdu and build a hi-banked race track and football field in it's place

September 27, 2004 at 12:08 AM  

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