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Old 01-11-2008, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
1,821 posts, read 4,628,609 times
Reputation: 5065

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In the news the other night. Midwest Airlines, which serves Grand Island, raised there fares $100 each way, making a round trip to Omaha $338 and to K.C. $358!! This is going to hurt the airport in a big way, especially after they put $200,000 for advertising as this is a new airline. Since G.I. is a small airport they rely on government money and the government basically chooses there airline provider, so there is nothing the airport can do, but recommend a new provider next go around. Also mentioned was that Kearney, Scottsbluff and North Platte have all gone over 10,000 emplanements this year, I believe they have flights to Denver. I even believe that Kearney is $89 one way to Denver.

Even though I don't fly much at all this got me thinking. Would Nebraska be better off making two regional airports. One for Lincoln-Omaha and one for the tri-cities. A very expensive and unlikely deal, but I believe it might provide more opportunties. Also if the Tri-city airport was big enough and be less reliant on the government, an airport would have more say if a situation as G.I.'s would come up again. I guess the question is if this would be something that Nebraskan's would be interested in and what are the benefits, non-benefits?
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,526,090 times
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I think the tri-city idea for a regional airport for Central Nebraska makes lots of sense. It could be a great economic boost for those areas as well. It could also serve as a connector to the NW Nebraska, thru possibly Chadron. Today if you want to go to a place like Chadron from Omaha or Lincoln you connect thru Denver. Would be nice to stay in the state.

In regards to a combined Omaha/Lincoln one that would make sense and some ideas had been floated in previous years; however, I don't think it will happen for a long long time due to Omaha's hold on Eppley. This specific aspect was discussed last fall, check out this thread: OmaLink Int'l Airport?, by Steve_W on 7-18-2007.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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Thanks for the link, very interesting discussion.
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Old 01-12-2008, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,526,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tpabes View Post
Thanks for the link, very interesting discussion.
That I-80 Commission has actually moved into their next phase. I saw an article in the paper the other day that they are seeking public input and have developed an online survey. I found the links last week, so if interested to research or post you opinion they are below.

My understanding is while the I-80 Commission is currently focused on the corridor between Lincoln and Omaha that the Governor sees this as a model on how to get inter-governmental and public/private cooperation across a region and that the Commission could be extended west of Lincoln and then to the tri-city area in the future. (wow that was a long sentance)

The Nebraska Innovation Zone Commission (http://www.neded.org/content/view/197/425/ - broken link)(NIZC) was established August 2005 per LB 546.


The future of the I-80 corridor region is underway, survey/feedback link.
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Old 01-12-2008, 10:27 AM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,160,881 times
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I think that the Tri-Cities and Lincoln-Omaha airport concepts are great ideas, but will have challenges due to funding, land acquisition, and bureaucratic red tape. The two concepts would, in my opinion, enhance air travel options in both rural and urban segments of Nebraska. I think this concept of communities cooperating and pooling their resources is a concept that should be applied in this and other aspects to attract opportunity and improve quality of life and ammenities for the residents.

I think the Lincoln-Omaha airport idea would allow more flight options and will put the two metros on a competitive stage with the larger cities regarding flight options. Hopefully, there would be more competitive airline rates. I usually fly from Sioux Falls, SD but may consider Omaha if the flights were considerably cheaper (with it being a cross country flight).

The tri-cities combined would allow the airlines to view Kearney/Grand Island/Hastings as a broader area with a larger pool and would have three or four viable airlines (my guess would be United (to Denver and/or Chicago), Midwest, Northwest (to Minneapolis), Frontier) and allow the airline industry to stand on its own more so than having the three go on their own. The expanded airport options will enhance economic development and allow more choices for the residents in the area.

I would like to see the similar ideas floated for South Dakota, but its larger cities in the east are 60-80 miles apart from each other (as opposed to Nebraska being 40-60 miles in the eastern part).
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Old 01-12-2008, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
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Chris I totally agree with you, and besides like Dave said Omaha probably wouldn't go for it and in the tri-cities, Kearney is having success so they probably won't go for it. It's just sad what is happening to G.I. You would think that Midwest would almost be pricing themselves out of business.

Dave, thanks again for the links. It will be interesting to see what the feedback is. There have been so many rumors/proposals (airport, stadium, amuesment park, light rail, a big lake) we will see what people want.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Sandhills
2,177 posts, read 3,167,833 times
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I would love to see an airport that serves the tri city area that has competitive air fares. Living in north central driving into Omaha to fly and the hazzle with the location of Epply would be a welcome relieve.
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Old 01-17-2008, 10:51 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,160,881 times
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For those in rural areas, it would considate service duplicated in Kearney and Grand Island and would allow more competition and better rates, hopefully. I try to support Sioux Falls airport when I can (it has Allegiant, Delta, Northwest, and United) due to it being 20 miles away for me, but I get disgusted when airfares are $200 more than Omaha per person (I am sure it is due to less competition and volume than Omaha). I was looking for tickets this evening for a trip I want to take this summer. Do the higher airfares in airports in your area compared to Omaha frustrate you also?

With Delta looking into merging with United or Northwest, I think that it is going to have negative effects for regional airports in the likes of Kearney, Grand Island, Lincoln, and non-Nebraskan cities such as Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Fargo, and the like. Less choices and higher ticket prices due to less competition is not fair to the smaller markets and is certainly not making me a happy camper.

I can understand the viewpoints mentioned in the thread and they are valid points. Sometimes, bold ideas are needed to help improve air service along with other ammenties in a place such as Nebraska and South Dakota to improve quality of life and opportunities for its residents.

Last edited by Chris19; 01-17-2008 at 10:59 PM..
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Old 01-18-2008, 07:48 AM
 
Location: Central Nebraska
1,821 posts, read 4,628,609 times
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I don't fly much, but know people do get frustrated by airfare prices, and with Grand Island's new rates that will increase. Sometimes you can say the same with Omaha when comparing with K.C., it's sometimes much cheaper.
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Old 01-24-2008, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Papillion
2,585 posts, read 9,526,090 times
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Airline Plans To Cut Grand Island Service
01-24-2008 4:59 AM

(Grand Island, NE) -- Mesa Airlines wants to end federally-subsidized service to 13-cities, including Grand Island and McCook. The carrier filed notice with the Department of Transportation yesterday, saying it's been unable to make a profit. If all goes as planned, Mesa's planes would leave those 13 airports on April 20th, although the DOT could order the company to continue service through October. That's when their two-year contract is up. The government will try to find another airline to take over the vacant routes. Just two-weeks ago, Mesa raised its fares by 100-dollars each way, for flights from Grand Island to Omaha and to Kansas City.<

Source
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