Boise’s Airport (BOI) is asking the City Council for approval of even more welfare for airlines in addition to the $100,000 waiver of landing fees for the first year of new service routes.
Now, they want to give away ticket counter space and parking with the hope such a discount program will encourage an airline to offer more flights to and from Boise rather than another community. The airport is run as an “enterprise fund” like an independent business exclusive of city taxes. The profit margin must be incredible if they can go into debt for a new terminal, two parking structures, and have hundreds of thousands left over to dole out to airlines.
The GUARDIAN editor has lived in Boise 46 years and has NEVER found a place in the entire world he couldn’t reach by air from Boise.
We find it illogical to offer public money to ANY company, airline or not. We would never think of offering a year of tax-free residence to an individual as a thank-you for moving to Boise, so why give away city resources to an airline? State level deals to the former Albertson stores and Micron have done nothing to create the promised jobs.
Another non-stop flight will not bring business to Boise. The lure of making money brings business and that money should not be public money. If they can make enough to pay good wages, their fair tax rate, and be good citizens we welcome them with open arms. If not, we can’t afford corporate welfare.
As Mayor Dave Bieter is so fond of saying, “Boise is the most remote city of its size in the country.” We say, “True enough. Live with it.”
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Jun 3, 2014, 12:34 pm
“We say, “True enough. Live with it.””
I say “We like it that way”!
Jun 3, 2014, 2:09 pm
Question…will another airline make it less remote??… oh no the trolley will…oppss I forgot… forgive me
Jun 3, 2014, 3:54 pm
Did Boise have better airline service before the Jimmy Carter fix of 1977?
And it was so nice of Team Dave to tell the Air Force last year that those not even in the city would love to hear the shrill noise of their new F-35. Local leaders need to put in place noise restrictions on the Boise Airport flyways before that happens again.
I’ve found that 80 mph on the freeway in a fine Japanese auto is much more enjoyable than the TSA hernia check and a close encounter with overweight Americans in a 17″ seat.
Jun 3, 2014, 8:13 pm
Zippo: I agree with you, but you would be even more comfortable in an American made car like a Chevy! Just saying. God bless America!
Jun 3, 2014, 8:58 pm
LOL, Chevy not American made. Get with the program. The most American made cars are Japanese. The traditional American brand names are largely foreign owned and built elsewhere like Mexico.
EDITOR NOTE–Stay on topic! We are talking airline welfare, not cars.
Jun 4, 2014, 6:44 am
Channel 7 is on board. The male anchor (Johnson? the guy who used to be a sports reporter) announced last night on the 5:00 p.m. news that “this is a good idea” because with “all of the growth, we need more flights.” So much for any pretense of objective news reporting. At least we now know the correct answer. Thanks 7! Good of you to let me know your opinion so I can formulate mine. (sarc)
Jun 4, 2014, 7:14 am
What are landing fees per landing? Couldn’t get management to answer that yesterday. My point is this 100k is a lot of money but, if it’s 1000 a landing the 100k will get used up pretty quick and then their making money and maybe flight prices would drop a little…
Jun 4, 2014, 9:59 am
Great editorial and comments!
Jun 4, 2014, 10:34 am
Nobody squeezes a dime harder than an airline. Also there’s a faction of the Boise business community which uses lots of airline seats. They lean on the Mayor for all kinds of free stuff and are always making the threat to stop giving him election money or move to some “better” place to do business.
Those business owners need to be reminded that their costs are very low in Boise. The Mayor needs to start harping on the many benefits of Boise, such as 10 min traffic jams, very low crime, low cost of living, abundant intelligent low wage workers, low energy costs, excellent community health, nearby recreation, work rules favorable to the employer, and many more.
But instead he’s a liberal idiot selling us short by insisting we need a free planes. And a train to carry hoodies from one crime to another like the big cities do.
The Mayor should also get after the snobby liberal publications which refuse to rank Boise because of our lack of ethnic diversity. In fact we have huge numbers of refugees which came here with nothing, some groups did well and are no longer distinguishable. Some have triumphed.
Jun 4, 2014, 3:36 pm
I work at the Boise airport for an airline. We see how the airport is being built up for business that is not there (see huge parking garage). The procedures for airlines to service cities has changed fundamentally.
If there are a finite number of passenger seats to be filled, and Boise city brings in another airline to compete with the ones now in place, the current airlines will take their aircraft elsewhere. The new airline may be able to make money by flying to Boise for a while, but may eventually leave when the tax exemption ends. Net effect: LESS airline service until the original airline service returns. I’ve seen it happen over the years. Remember PSA?
EDITOR NOTE–We also remember Continental, Frontier, Empire, Alaska, American, Western, countless local start ups. It would seem easy to diddle the system by dropping 737 service in favor of two CRJ flights run by a no-name carrier with big name tail feathers and getting credits for counter space or landing fees while never really increasing costs.
Jun 4, 2014, 4:44 pm
Sure, we can fly anywhere from here and get here from anywhere, but at what cost? It is $650 round trip to Chicago. But $560 RT to Washington DC on the same airline, where the first leg of that longer flight IS the Chicago leg (plus transfer to a different plane at Chicago)? Looking just at Chicago, why should it be cheaper for me to fly first to Portland (PDX – $178 RT) and then go RT from there to O’Hare ($318) then simply going RT to O’Hare straight from here?
Understand not everyone needs to go these places, but global and national business for many includes regular trips to/from DC, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles (I can now go cheap RT to San Diego, but Orange County and LA still tedious/expensive…if time not an issue, it is cheaper to rent a car in San Diego and drive to Orange County). From my experience, I would say all of these primary business destinations are pricier and/or harder to maneuver from/to Boise. As well, family vacations for those who fly have the same connection/cost issues. Is there any way to improve efficiency in transfers and costs, especially to these main business hubs without bringing in new airlines that (agreeed) likely can’t sustain themselves in the long run?
Jun 5, 2014, 6:01 pm
I finally got thru to a person at the BOI and asked what landing fees for commercial airplanes are. I was told they are $1.60 per 1000 pounds of landing weight using the FAA’s max landing weight table. As an example a 737 such as flown by SWA each landing would be charged approx. $192. Using that number the 100k would last approx. 520 landings or 1.5 landings a day for one year.
I would disagree with zippo on one point.. Boi does NOT have a low cost of living,(compared to so-cal it might be low). You sir are exactly right on all your other points, low crime (unless you ask BPD), ridiculously low wages and labor laws which favor the employer without fail(unless you ask employers).
EDITOR NOTE–Rick, thanks for the factual research. Good work!