Here we go again, the Chamber of Commerce and Travel Salem engaging in another round of fantasies about commercial air service returning to the Salem airport.
Salem's Angry Owl isn't impressed. Neither am I.
Having moved to Salem in 1977, back then there really were airlines flying out of the Salem airport to places people actually wanted to go. Can't remember exactly what they were, but I recall there were frequent flights to the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, and probably other locations.
Now a Salem Reporter story paints a decidedly less rosy picture of where it might be possible to fly.
Avelo Airlines, a budget carrier based in Houston, Texas, was one of the airlines signing in support of the grant. Paskell said they’ve expressed interest in offering two passenger flights weekly to either Burbank, California — in the Los Angeles area — or Las Vegas, then growing to offer flights to both destinations.
...In addition to Avelo, Aha!, another budget airline, has also expressed interest in serving Salem with two weekly flights to Reno.
Wow. I'm underwhelmed.
A possibility of two flights weekly to either Burbank or Las Vegas, plus two weekly flights to Reno. All that for a mere $4 million to $12 million in terminal renovations, money that the City of Salem doesn't have.
Like Lucy and the football, periodically there's another effort to have commercial air service return to Salem, which gets some people excited, then the whole scheme collapses like Charlie Brown falling on his butt when Lucy snatches the ball away as he's trying to kick it.
The B.S. already is starting to spew from backers of this new dumb idea.
The Salem Reporter story quotes Angie Onyewuchi, CEO of Travel Salem, as claiming commercial air service will result in a carbon footprint reduction. That's absurd. Traveling by air is, mile for mile, the most damaging way to travel for the climate. We need to discourage air travel, not encourage it.
Bizarrely, Onyewuchi also says “This critical grant funding moves us closer to launching our first flights and provides a direct connection between Oregon’s spectacular wine country and the world.”
No, it doesn't.
Unless by "the world" she means Burbank, Las Vegas, and Reno, because those are the only direct connections planned from the Salem airport. I suppose with enough extra connections from those places you could get anywhere in the world.
Or you could simply drive to the Portland International Airport and do that much more easily.
Sadly, a majority of the Salem City Council appears to have bought into the hype surrounding this newest commercial air service scheme. When it fails, as it likely will, only Councilor Tom Andersen is going to come off looking wise.
Dissenting from his colleagues, Councilor Tom Andersen questioned the business sense of the effort, and expressed skepticism that the effort would reduce carbon emissions.