Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Airport Woes: Opportunity Knocks and Points to Commuter Rail, Transit, Biking, and Walking!

In the paper today is another story on the airport, "Budget Woes Threaten McNary Tower."

But maybe a better headline would be, "Budget talk gives Salem opportunity to reevaluate total transportation system."

When you look at how Salem's airport stacks up relative to other state airports (not including Portland international), it's clear just now much of a marginal, regional, local airport it really is:

Portland — Hillsboro, Hillsboro
Total operations 2005: 219,065
Total operations 2010: 242,544
Mahlon Sweet Field, Eugene
Total operations 2005: 92,806
Total operations 2010: 87,369
Portland — Troutdale, Troutdale
Total operations 2005: 66,225
Total operations 2010: 76,538
Redmond Municipal — Roberts Field, Redmond
Total operations 2005: 62,708
Total operations 2010: 66,530
Rogue Valley International, Medford
Total operations 2005: 61,629
Total operations 2010: 65,936
Klamath Falls International, Klamath Falls
Total operations 2005: 53,822
Total operations 2010: 47,473
Salem McNary Field, Salem
Total operations 2005: 46,608
Total operations 2010: 57,866
Southwest Oregon Regional, North Bend
Total operations 2005: 41,982
Total operations 2010: 49,700
Eastern Oregon Regional, Pendleton
Total operations 2005: 26,091
Total operations 2010: 24,777

Isn't it time we looked to something that could be a strength instead of something that isn't clearly needed and may be overcompensation for a weakness?

Instead of continuing to indulge in wishful thinking for air service, how about we really double-down on commuter rail service up and down the I-5 corridor? Now that's something worthwhile!

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