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Charlotte-Douglas Airport (CLT) Expansion

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Well, I was just being a smart alec. You had said the parking payment situation was a "bad first impression". I was just saying, if they parked their car here before they left, it really couldn't be a FIRST impression...unless they have amnesia!

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its really shocking how inexpensive parking is at clt - that is a major reason right there why if living uptown i would not take a light rail/brt. honestly though, parking is a major source of untapped revenue for the airport and they could easily increase rate 30% without seeing demand fall. with that extra 30% they could spruce up the terminals

If money isn't that much of an issue, you can always park on the top deck of the hourly parking garage. They will let you park there as long as you like, there are always parking spaces available, and as an added bonus, you are only about 30 ft from the main terminal. Just walk straight to it.

Cheap parking now is way out on Wilkenson Blvd. It's a bit of a hassle to go to a car that far out. If there was a train to the airport, I would definately take it.

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Misein Corners, you will be glad to know that on Monday the City Council is set to approve the airport purchasing almost 100,000 sq ft of new carpeting for the terminal. Where exactly this carpet will go I am not sure...but most likely Concourse A,B, and C.

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Also, a construction date for the 4th runway was set.....February they will begin grading.

Are they building it to be able to handle more air traffic, or to be able to handle the new "Mega-jets?"

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Just more traffic...it will only be 9,000 feet (which is average length, and can serve all transcontinental flights)....the FAA had agreed that 36L should be lenthened to (12,000 ? feet), but I haven't seen mention of those plans in years and is no longer on the FAA project list.

12,000' would pretty much handle any plane at any capacity to anywhere.

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Are they building it to be able to handle more air traffic, or to be able to handle the new "Mega-jets?"

I don't know of any passenger jet that can't be handled by by the current airport except for the A380 i.e. the Whalebus, and it doesn't seem likely that will be an issue anytime soon since they just announced a second delay which will make this plane more than 2 years late. Some of the committed airlines are hinting they might start canceling orders. There were no plans for any airline to fly this plane into Charlotte anyway. Beyond that, the airlines are moving to smaller planes.

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CLT can handle an A380, just not a regualr basis. If an A380 needed to make an diversion to CLT for whatever reason it could land safely on the runways we have. The main problem is that the terminal is not designed to handle an A380, we would need a double boarding jet bridge which we don't have. The only airline that serves CLT and is getting an A380 is Lufthansa and they don't plan on using it on the CLT route.

Earlier this year Lufthansa did use an A340-600 at least once on the CLT route...and it is longer than a 747. Lufthansa used to fly a 747 into CLT on a regular basis back when they had the FRA route.

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In the Charlotte.com article today about USAirways financial health, there was a few notes about possible routes. It said that they will likely resume Charlotte to San Antonio and Austin, as well as some Florida routes in 2007.

They indicated that there would be no new international routes from Charlotte, though they were attempting to add Athens, Zurich, and Brussels from Philly. They also specifically mentioned that there would not be any Charlotte-South America routes due to low originating traffic.

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Misein Corners, you will be glad to know that on Monday the City Council is set to approve the airport purchasing almost 100,000 sq ft of new carpeting for the terminal. Where exactly this carpet will go I am not sure...but most likely Concourse A,B, and C.
:yahoo:

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Miesian Corners, you will be glad to know that City Counil is expected to approve a design contract on Monday to completely redo all the bathrooms in Concourse A,B,C, and D. Construction is expected to begin around April 2007...and be phased over about a year to complete all bathrooms.

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These projects will help pump up the appearance of the airport, which will only be more important if the airport looses its hub status.

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You know, this will be the 3rd or 4th time they have remodeled those restrooms since I have been flying in that airport. It would seem to me there might be a few better places to spend their cash as the current interation don't see to be that bad, especially compare to a lot of airports. It isn't like people are going in there to look at the artwork or the color of the tiles on the wall.

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Maybe they are doing a section they didn't do before. I've been in some decent bathrooms at CLT, but also some terrible bathrooms, where most of the equipment doesn't work, including the sinks. I don't care too much about artwork, but it is very unpleasant to be in a crowded bathroom where there are only a few working sinks. Especially after you have soap on your hands.

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Jerry Orr gave a presentation to the City Council tonight on the status of the Airport. Some highlights:

- Charlotte has the lowest cost per passenger of all major airports in the world at $1.23.

- Charlotte ranks in the Top 10 for Customer Sat in the USA according to JD Powers.

- Charlotte's O&D traffic has gone up 15% in 2006. We now have about the same O&D traffic as RDU and more than Pittsburgh and Nashville.

- Average Ticket prices have dropped considerably in 2006 however they still remain higher than RDU, PIT, and Nashville.

- Jerry stated that he expects Norfolk Southern to come to an agreement soon with the airport to relocate their rail yard there from center city.

- Jerry stated that the airport would remain in good shape no matter what happens with the proposed Delta/US Airways merger.

Edited by uptownliving

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..... We now have about the same O&D traffic as RDU and more than Pittsburgh and Nashville......

I am surprised at this considering this is a larger metro than RDU by a considerable amount. This would seem to suggest that having a hub actually hurts O&D traffic, i.e. it is a disadvantage to business. This is completely opposite, but not a surprising fact, than what has been put forth by people who want to pull out all stops to keep a hub in Charlotte.

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I am surprised at this considering this is a larger metro than RDU by a considerable amount. This would seem to suggest that having a hub actually hurts O&D traffic, i.e. it is a disadvantage to business. This is completely opposite, but not a surprising fact, than what has been put forth by people who want to pull out all stops to keep a hub in Charlotte.

That seems like an illogical leap to me. The higher fares have for years caused much of our (Charlotte's) originating traffic to choose airports in Greensboro, Raleigh, Columbia, and Greenville/Spartanburg. As our fares drop, our traffic increases since it's no longer as much of a savings. This cost savings primarily affects personal travel and small business travel. The large companies who enjoy having an airport with many non-stops would definitely not view a hub airport as a disadvantage. If anyone would argue that it's the small businesses that are driven away by higher fares, I'd say check the job creation numbers in Charlotte each year. Well more than 50% of those new jobs are always due to small business creation/expansion.

Having superior air service (compared to any city anywhere close to our size) being a disadvantage to business would be analogous to saying that having a good network of roads and highways is also a disadvantage to business.

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I think RDU has all the traffic from eastern NC. We have Greenville-Spartanburg and Piedmont Triad just over an hour's drive away, but RDU is a virtual monopoly for the eastern half of the Carolinas.

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Jerry Orr gave a presentation to the City Council tonight on the status of the Airport. Some highlights:

-- Jerry stated that he expects Norfolk Southern to come to an agreement soon with the airport to relocate their rail yard there from center city.

This could be the most significant item shaping the evolution of the "center city" as we now view it in our life times. It will open up parcels for re use that have been undesirable for decades. The center city functionality is already oozing out of the loop and this would be the path of least resistance and possible to occur in a short time frame. Stay tuned to this topic.

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That seems like an illogical leap to me. .....

....Having superior air service.....

I think you answered your this question in your own analysis. Charlotte larger metro than RDU. Charlotte prices higher in hub than in non-hub RDU. RDU airport has higher O/D traffic than Charlotte. Hence the value of Charlotte's hub status to the CLT business community is overstated.

It isn't superior air service if most people can't afford to use it and the claims of job creation are not proven out when you consider that RDU is in fact growing at a faster rate than Charlotte.

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Charlotte's O&D growth this year has everything to do with ticket prices that have been falling. The arrival of AirTran, jetBlue, and USAirways lowering of prices have been the reason behind the dramatic increase.

RDU this year has seen anemic less than 1% growth in its O&D numbers and has seen a 6% drop in flights.

If the ticket prices in CLT were as low as they are in RDU then I would expect to see more O&D here since we are a larger market. But since we still have higher fares then simple economics dictates less demand.

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I think if the US Airways - America West was able to continue to complete integration, and the strategy of more consistent lower-fares (like we have been seeing in recent months) were allowed to continue, then we would see much larger O&D. (I can't believe you guys have me using that acronym ;) ). I'd bet there is still the lingering assumption that we have high fares (I do it myself), that we just plan to drive our trips. I planned to drive up to the NE this Christmastime, but the fares actually aren't so bad. Longer term, I might just make initial plans to fly.

I think Charlotte has more local traffic, but RDU pulls from all over eastern NC. I think with the larger market area, the population would be at least equal. For example, Kinston, NC is no where near the metro area to count as population for the Triangle, but I'm sure a sizeable percentage of Kinston residents use RDU.

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I think Charlotte has more local traffic, but RDU pulls from all over eastern NC. I think with the larger market area, the population would be at least equal. For example, Kinston, NC is no where near the metro area to count as population for the Triangle, but I'm sure a sizeable percentage of Kinston residents use RDU.

I don't think this is the case. There are airports in Wilmington, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Greenville Myrtle Beach, Kinston and Florence, SC, that all serve passengers in Eastern NC. And the Triad airport is as close to the Triangle time wise as it is to Charlotte.

In comparison in Western NC, there is only Charlotte and Asheville with commercial service. GSP is the next closest airport.

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RDU has Southwest airlines which attracts people from ALL over the area (there isn't another SWA for about 200 miles). Most of those rinky dink airports (excluding Myrtle) have USAir and Delta. If you want to fly another airline, you drive to RDU.

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