Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Battle of Midway Looms

A second battle over the Pacific island of Midway is looming. Not an attempted invasion this time, but an attempted retreat.

The U.S. Government pays $6 million a year to maintain the airport on the island, even though the airport is privately owned. And they want to pull out to save the money.

Why is this significant? After all no one goes to Midway. The catch is that the island airport acts as an emergency strip for airlines. Even though I don't think it's been used for that in a generation or more. Two engine aircraft, like Boeing's 767, 777, and 7E7 are required by the FAA to always be within 180 minutes of an airport. Without Midway, airlines would have to route trans-Pacific traffic along the Aleutians or south closer to Micronesia. This could add 90 minutes to a flight to Japan, and lots more in fuel costs.

Why don't the airlines chip in to operate the airport? They would save more than $6 million a year in operating costs.


Post a Comment

<< Home