City Government

Flying Low, Boise Airport Use Worst In More Than 10 Years

While politicos in Washington, D.C. are on the brink of the “financial cliff,” Chamber of Commerce types, some businessmen and Boise airport brass seem to advocate a jump off the cliff as they seek “grants and community support” to subsidize airlines with 80% seat occupancy guarantees. Next it will be paying the DAILY PAPER a minimum circulation, even if the copies are not printed.

KTVB-7 reporter Jamie Grey aired a well done story Monday showing how BOI is at a ten year low for passenger boarding, flights are being cut, and the airport is going into debt to build a new parking ramp.

Recently, Southwest has dropped Reno, Seattle, and Salt Lake City flights and announced its curtailing Portland flights. American Airlines stopped flying to Los Angeles, and Frontier stopped flying to Denver.

At a meeting hosted Tuesday by the Idaho Business Review, airport managers, Chamber of Commerce, and businesses discussed ways to increase air traffic at BOI. Grey reported, “The airport, business community, and city all say they’re committed to working on grants, coming up with ideas and working on building the community and airport back up to pre-recession numbers.

If tax money (federal, state, or local) is used for the airport it will certainly benefit the airlines–even if there aren’t enough passengers to fill the seats. One could also reason there won’t be enough cars to fill the parking structures either. Who will pay for those empty stalls?

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Legendary rainmaker J.R. and Joe types are dead so Boise is going backward in addition to the terrible national economy. Plus they all refuse to mention how the stupid security games are the cause of so many people driving, or not traveling at all. So The traffic count is beyond a 10 year low (Please ask the airport or feds for all the records going back further. Note how the airport was big enough back in the 1990s for the current traffic levels.

    PS: Maybe we can get the USAF to base 100 ultra noisy nighttime jet aircraft here so we can’t sleep while paying the extra taxes to the airport.

  2. There’s several reasons for the low air traffic. The Airlines themselves have reduced service and raise prices too much. However, the main reason I’ve reduced air travel is the dreaded TSA! They’ve gone beyond the pale of any reasonable boarding investigations. I feel like I’m entering some sort of labor camp prior to boarding an airplane. I recently drove to Seatle and Los Angeles rather than suffer the indignities of a TSA search. I forgot about the simple pleasure of a quiet drive with my wife on the road. I will not board a commercial flight again if my destination is within a reasonable drive time. I’ve rediscovered the joy of the drive once again. Thanks to the TSA and Aorline pricing.

  3. I’d love to go on airports which are not congested with people because it is so tiring at times but airports need to gain revenues. More people means more money for them.

  4. Well Mr. Guardian…. build it and the cars will come ;)

  5. This goes back to George Bush and his idiotic TSA and Homeland Security Departments.

    The attack on the World Trade Center was a criminal act and nothing more, not some act of war. Yeah it made for spectacular video, but big deal. In the intervening years far far more people have died in car crashes.

    The real blame goes to the pilots of those aircraft who let the hijackers in the cockpit. Why does no one talk about this?

    If they had not let the hijackers in the cockpit and if airline policy had been to allow passengers to beat hijackers to death we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Remember, the policy back then was for flight attendants to demand no interference from passengers. Passengers who tried to fight hijackers would have been arrested just as if they tried to use their cell phone during take off and landing.

  6. Thanks to Zippo for mentioning the stupid security games! I and some of my friends simply refuse to fly any more. The security team at BOI airport were usually rude and also aggressive with pat downs. I loathe, despise, and protest the use of the x-ray machine and the invasion of my body that so-called “security” entails. I fail to see why the US public still goes along with this real menace to using air transportation, as well as peace of mind: (pat downs) or health concerns(the x-ray machine).

  7. TSA, DEA, ATF, and Homeland Security… Dump them all.

  8. Erico49—Agreed!

    We now live in a maximum (phony) security state, where various government agencies are allowed to collect our personal information as they wish.

    Interesting that this doesn’t seem to bother the Repugs among us. Maybe the Libertarians don’t approve of it? Dunno.

  9. Maybe build another parking lot, that might fix the problem right?

  10. Nobody in their right mind would spend money expanding that airport right now. To do so smells like an east coast political kickback.

    BTW Team Dave: The never used, ten years old, overflow parking lot needs a sealcoat. So start thinking about how you’re going to pay for the upkeep on all these seldom used facilities. Even the school districts will close and sell an empty building, and they are expert at wasting money.

  11. put this under mayor accomplishments and give him another 20% raise.

  12. Another reason to put more nails in the “convention cent(re)” coffin. No one wants to fly to Boise unless you have to like to get home. My wife just recently had to fly East with her 83 yr old mother and the Boise TSA search team pulled grandma out of the line for the mega search. And they were extremely rude about it. Makes me sick. No problems at any other airports. Boise is the worst.

  13. In addition to rising travel costs and the ridiculous TSA shakedowns…I have another monumental reason for not traveling.

    Airport fees and tax hikes on virtually everything. On a recent trip to New Orleans, I paid taxes of 13-20% on every hotel room, 12-19% taxes on rental cars, 30 dollars a day to park the car in New Orleans. Long term parking costs at airports is ridiculous as well. These local taxes and fees are unavoidable and every municipality in the US seems to mine that same gold mine.

    I just refuse to fly if at all possible.

    One other point. With 40 million people out of work, people can’t afford to fly. So it doesn’t really matter just how much government wants to lie and fudge unemployment numbers.

    The truth is all around you. It is in the 47 million people getting food stamps, the ginormous deficit each year because there are no jobs to tax. Unemployed people generally don’t fly unless someone else buys the ticket.

    Now the government wants to tax us all some more.
    There will be even less people flying after that.

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