Staff robbed the airport fund to pay their pensions, and now Redding will get increased commercial service because they put money into their airport

16 Aug

Why is Mark Orme surprised that Skywest has cut service to Chico? Is he new around here or something?

I’ve attended the Airport Commission meetings on and off for a few years now. Their agendas read like a broken record – get commercial air service! And, there has always been an underlying fear that Skywest would bail out on us completely.  From my own and experiences I’ve heard about, it’s no loss. Skywest was awful, leaving people stranded in Frisco with no refund.

Jim, how about that story you told me about the fueling problem on your Skywest flight? That is a great story about how Chico airport is run – or not.

Orme reveals that the city’s plan to save the airport over the last year has been to encourage people to use Skywest. That’s the plan? These people are bigger idiots than I could ever imagine.

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine who is a tenant and plane owner at Chico airport told me the real problem – the runway at Chico airport is not long enough for the new jets they’re bringing in. The tarmac needs to be lengthened. Redding did such a project a couple of years ago, and I think it cost less than a million dollars. Now they announce on Ch 7, as Chico loses Skywest, Redding airport will be getting more flights. That’s because they lengthened their tarmac to meet modern needs. Chico instead pilfered the airport fund, which Orme reminds us, has been in the red for some time, to pay their CalPERS payments.

Chico Airport has suffered from a lack of management for over 10 years. I can’t remember when the airport had a full-time manager. The fund has been in the red for several years.  Now, they suddenly find funding to hire a manager? I’m just going to guess – this guy is a friend of Orme’s or Constantin’s.

Orme says it’s time to get over the loss of commercial air service. I agree. I think it’s long past time they started better serving their tenants and pilots who pay fees to park and fly out of our airport. Last year, according to staff, they lost 130 planes. 130 yearly parking fees.  I don’t know the dollar amount on that, but they were bumming about it. 

These people who are banging for commercial air service in Chico better get their heads out of their asses and think – they really think a commercial air liner is going to land on our pot-holed old tarmac, short, I don’t know, what, 100 feet? That’s a lot when you’re landing a jet people. And then there’s the fueling station – I’ll let Jim tell you about that.

2 Responses to “Staff robbed the airport fund to pay their pensions, and now Redding will get increased commercial service because they put money into their airport”

  1. Steve August 16, 2014 at 9:20 am #

    I have parked my airplane in one of the south hangers for over 10 years. The airport needs a full-time worker for maintenance. The AP does not need a $200,000 year manager!

    • Juanita Sumner August 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Thanks so much for coming over to the discussion Steve. I think you’re right, the airport doesn’t need a big salaried manager. There’s already a lower-paid staffer, Debbie Collins, who spends her time facilitating the toothless Airport Commission. I think she should instead spend more time directly serving the airport tenants. I’ve heard that complaint about maintenance, and I’ve heard really bad stuff about the fueling station. I’ve also heard that every little thing they want to do out there gets channeled through a bullshit network of gobblety gook forms, just getting abandoned cars towed away took like a year or something.

      I also think it’s crazy that the city is able to tell their tenants they have to be responsible for building maintenance – look what happened to the old Aerounion building, the roof is unsafe. They leave it to this little non-profit museum group to fix the roof – $200,000! By contrast, I was just looking over my Nolo Press Landlord book, and I am not allowed to do that for my rentals, I’m liable for repairs and any damage or harm the lack of repair causes to my tenants or anybody else. But the city can let a building like that rot to the point it’s not safe for habitation, and they don’t even get a ticket from code enforcement. That’s not very conducive to tenancy – are they trying to chase people away?

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