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cltbwimob

A second commercial airport for Charlotte?

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I found out last night that Concord Regional has applied for a grant that would allow the airport to gain revenue air service to Florida and Las Vegas via Allegiant airlines...Also, back in January they began to talk of bringing some charter airlines to the airport.

Perhaps we are on the verge of seeing some of the ultra low cost carriers entering the Charlotte market.

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My first reaction was there would be no way this could happen but after thinking about it more this could be a regional area's way to sort of stick it to the city of Charlotte by not wanting the entire region to be involved in the new airport authority. The runway is definitely long enough to support it at over 7,000 feet but I'm not sure if the current building they have is able to support a baggage claim, a ticketing area, and a TSA checkpoint. Another factor is Greenville/Spartanburg airport is not too far away from Charlotte and they already have flights with Allegiant to South Florida; so I don't know if this plan of Concord's really will actually work because I feel there would be a lot of pressure from larger facilities like CLT and GSP to make sure this does not happen. If this actually happened and say Allegiant and/or Spirit fly into Concord I personally would love it as most of my business takes place in Miami and Las Vegas and the result of this would also be the new American would be forced to bring down their fares to these areas as well, but I don't think this effect will make people like myself and other business travelers switch to flying out of Concord because we value our Frequent Miles too much...

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Fares would be like... $100 round trip and like 2x weekly.

Not sure why spirit wouldn't fly to CLT instead though. I only imagine turbo prop tiny intra southeast regional flying to Concord.

Charlotte's not really a vacation market and it's inconvenient for business travelers (though it's not the target market but still).

Besides, US would easily not only under cut the airline, but offer thousands of more seats plus nearly 7 flights daily as opposed to 2 flights weekly

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Here is the proposal:

 

http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=DOT-OST-2013-0120-0024

 

To address some of the concerns noted above, I will begin by saying that Allegiant sent a letter to the DOT in support of the grant.  The letter is included in the link above as part of the PDF file.  Furthermore, Allegiant has service to Greenville/Spartanburg, Asheville, Chattanooga, Knoxville, and Tri-Cities.  This implies they do not mind serving multiple airports within a geographic region.  They are not a start-up, nor are they a commuter airline with small turboprops.  They are a low-cost carrier with all mainline jets and an extremely profitable business model. 

 

They cater primarily to the leisure traveler and would begin by offering routes to leisure destinations.  While Charlotte is not typically considered a leisure destination, it is a large metro area with over 2.3 million people, an ample number of potential customers for additional service such as this.  Concord is, however, one of the tourist hotspots in the region with the Speedway, Concord Mills, Great Wolf Lodge, etc all calling Concord home. 

 

Concord Regional is not as inconvenient to the O&D business traveler as one may think.  It is a 15-20 minute drive to downtown Charlotte and will soon, with the BLE, be much closer to a light rail line than Charlotte Douglas.

 

While I do not think this is a done deal, it seems like it has a decent shot if the grant is approved.  The grant request also implies that several airlines are interested.  Although Allegiant was the only one overtly supportive of the grant request, based on the destinations given, I think another airline in the mix is Spirit. 

 

In my opinion this could be a game changer for the entire region, especially if the airport were able to eventually get 15-20 flights per day

Here is the potential I see:

 

Initially Allegiant starts service to Orlando, Tampa/St. Pete, and eventually once weekly service to Las Vegas; Spirit starts service to Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Through targeted growth the airport's destination/airline list could look something like this:

 

Allegiant service to: Orlando-Sanford, St. Petersburg, Las Vegas

Frontier service to: Denver

Spirit service to: Ft. Lauderdale, Myrtle Beach, Dallas-Ft Worth.

Sun Country sevice to: Minneapolis

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I thought something might be up a couple weeks ago when I saw that the Concord airport had submitted a permit request for a new passenger processing building. FWIW, I think it was 7000 sq ft. I can pull up the link to it when I'm not on my phone.

 

EDIT - Here is the link to the permit request:

http://bit.ly/13QEDo0

 

Search for case # 3613

 

It is actually 7200 sq ft not 7000, not that it makes that much of a difference. I assume this would just be for passenger security and ticketing?

Edited by Neo
Added link to permit application

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For you airport nerds, at what point does it make sense to have a second commercial airport in a metro area? I'm thinking along the lines of DC with Dulles and Reagan. If the Charlotte metro started the groundwork for airport #2 today, would it make the region that much more successful in the future?

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My opinion:

No secondary airport here would work. We have the airport we have because of American/US/Piedmont. Not because of demand to travel to Charlotte.

As soon as a secondary airport would be proposed, American would shake its fist and it'd be dead.

DC, Chicago, LA, New York. They could build 5 airports & tell airlines to go bump-a-stump but the airlines wouldn't do anything.

But until we have the demand to travel to Charlotte like Chicago & DC have, no 2ndary airport would work.

American/US drive any airline out of Concord fast. I'd be surprised if airlines would even consider doing that. At most flights to Concord would be one daily if not 4 weekly.., versus American/US who has ~10 daily flights to all destinations considered above.

So my opinion is no secondary airport nor flights to Concord will work.

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^^^There is no algorithm per se in answering this question. DC and Baltimore have 3 major airports, yet all three combined carry less passengers than Atlanta handles with a single airport. Hampton Roads even has 2 commercial airports yet combined they have less than half the passenger traffic of Raleigh-Durham. It's not that CLT is so over capacity that Charlotte needs another airport. Carriers such as allegiant and spirit would likely be crushed by US/AA in CLT but have a better chance of working at Concord where they can receive help through marketing incentives and provide travelers a more hassle free experience than they could in CLT due to long security lines, traffic delays, etc...

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Sounds like the state needs to step in and create a Concord airport authority to keep public money (incentives) from the untrustworthy people of Cabarrus County. 

 

Honestly, if they don't put the Concord airport under the "regional authority" that is being proposed for Charlotte then that on its own would be a huge victory for Charlotte's quest towards keeping its airport; the judge will certainly see that as a sign that state legislature is acting outside of their authority by adopting one policy for one airport and adopting to not take a similar stance towards an airport barely 20 minutes away. This is why I also think anything to do with Concord's proposed commercial aspirations will not occur until after they sort out the mess with CLT.

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For you airport nerds, at what point does it make sense to have a second commercial airport in a metro area? I'm thinking along the lines of DC with Dulles and Reagan. If the Charlotte metro started the groundwork for airport #2 today, would it make the region that much more successful in the future?

 

It's really not uncommon though for airlines such as Allegiant and Spirit (to some degree) and Southwest in the past to fly to a small airport near a larger metro area so as not to go completely head to head with the legacies and to pay a lower cost.  So I don't think for us it's about size and meriting a second airport.  It's really about those airlines specifically.  Another instance that I know of is Allegiant flew to a small airport north of Denver for a few years but recently cancelled that.

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Would it not be fairly profitable for a small airliner to rotate a flight schedule based on race towns?  I know race teams have their own private jets and helicopters; but it could be much more economical for them if they only needed to fly one or two individuals out for some reason.  I have a friend that used to work for Ganassi Racing's IT and he would routinely have to catch flights out of Charlotte Douglas nearly every week, even in the off season.  Seems like with the number of race teams and racing related businesses clustered in the area, it would have a pretty decent demand that could save the race teams and businesses time and money.  Just a thought.

Edited by AuLukey

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.I work right under the flight path and coworkers already complain about the small jets. This will be like 10x louder, ha ha. (I love planes so I don't mind)

Edited by AirNostrumMAD

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Daggum.  Just flew round-trip with Allegiant to Orlando-Sanford out of Greenville last week.  They must be planning around me. :ermm:  

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That'll be nice to utilize while visiting my girlfriend's parents.  I hope more routes come along.  It'd be nice to utilize the Youngstown route Allegiant has.  $99 for roundtrip to get 55 miles from my family.  I just paid $375 to fly in to Canton Akron which is 45 miles from my final destination.

 

It's not a glamorous route but I hope this airport hits some locations that currently aren't serviced by US Air.  I think that'll be the way Allegiant has to grow without causing issue with US Air.

Edited by SouthEndCLT811

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Raleigh better add Concord to the Regional Airport Authority lest Bruton Smith taps another revenue source.

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Looks like the permanent terminal/security/baggage/etc will be going somewhere in this yellow area:

 

post-1-0-75210400-1377195439_thumb.png

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Maybe they'll take the time to find a new airport code a little more intuitive than... JQF

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Saw a brief segment on the local news about this the other day. Nothing really new, but they did say that the $99 round trip fee was an introductory price.

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FWIW, here's a rendering of the temporary terminal that will open in December:

 

post-1-0-51162200-1377394423_thumb.jpg

 

I would love to find renderings for the permanent facilities but I doubt they even have those at this point. That would give us a pretty good indication as to their seriousness.

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FWIW, here's a rendering of the temporary terminal that will open in December:

 

attachicon.gif521647ed8ce58.image.jpg

 

I would love to find renderings for the permanent facilities but I doubt they even have those at this point. That would give us a pretty good indication as to their seriousness.

As much as I would love a true second commercial competitor to CLT, I can't imagine their seriousness is going to shoot for the stars.  Especially since their runway space is permanently constrained pretty tight.  Still though, $99 for round trip to Orlando/south Florida is going to turn some heads either way.  I'm headed to Miami next weekend, I would kill for that price right now.

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As much as I would love a true second commercial competitor to CLT, I can't imagine their seriousness is going to shoot for the stars. Especially since their runway space is permanently constrained pretty tight. Still though, $99 for round trip to Orlando/south Florida is going to turn some heads either way. I'm headed to Miami next weekend, I would kill for that price right now.

I don't believe that the runway is an issue. Just look to places like Baton Rouge (BTR).

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