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DwntwnGeo

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I came across this article on Mlive this morning. It sounds interesting and has some merits, but I don

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I wouldn't totally abandon the peripheral airports but I do agree that primary flights should all be routed via Grand Rapids with the aforementioned airports serving as ports for commuter planes with connections to smaller cities of equal size. However, if some sort of consolidation were to happen expect to pay more for a boarding pass. I know a lot of people who fly out of those smaller airports because they can get cheaper rates. The Ford Airport would also need a major overhaul in terms of the terminal and gates if this ever were to occur.

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Good idea, where do we start?

I think at some point universities in Michigan will have to look at consolidating as well. Just like the airports and services, we have a whole bunch of "mediocre" and not a few "great" or "phenonemal", and it is hurting us as a state. Grand Rapids needs to aggressively position itself as the next Charlotte, Nashville, Minneapolis, Portland and Denver of the U.S.. Otherwise, we will sink with the rest of the small Michigan cities (Saginaw, Flint, Lansing, Battle Creek, Jackson, Kzoo, Pontiac, and on and on).

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Good idea, where do we start?

I think at some point universities in Michigan will have to look at consolidating as well. Just like the airports and services, we have a whole bunch of "mediocre" and not a few "great" or "phenonemal", and it is hurting us as a state. Grand Rapids needs to aggressively position itself as the next Charlotte, Nashville, Minneapolis, Portland and Denver of the U.S.. Otherwise, we will sink with the rest of the small Michigan cities (Saginaw, Flint, Lansing, Battle Creek, Jackson, Kzoo, Pontiac, and on and on).

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Good idea, where do we start?

I think at some point universities in Michigan will have to look at consolidating as well. Just like the airports and services, we have a whole bunch of "mediocre" and not a few "great" or "phenonemal", and it is hurting us as a state. Grand Rapids needs to aggressively position itself as the next Charlotte, Nashville, Minneapolis, Portland and Denver of the U.S.. Otherwise, we will sink with the rest of the small Michigan cities (Saginaw, Flint, Lansing, Battle Creek, Jackson, Kzoo, Pontiac, and on and on).

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Lansing, as the capital city and home to the largest university in the state will never relinquish its airport. Besides, the 787 Dreamliner will contribute to the demise of the hub. It can open up more direct flight possibilities at lower operating costs than now.

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Looking to the long term, trying to understand what the future of air travel is might be useful in this discussion. I recently read an article that starts with the premise that the hub-and-spoke system is fundamentally not working and is looking at a radically new system that works more like a peer-to-peer network.

Here's the URL for the article:

http://blog.jonudell.net/2007/09/15/a-conv...-of-air-travel/

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Sounds as if they took some notes from the illegal downloading community- peer-to-peer file sharing!

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As a Kalamazoo native I'm feeling a little hate from this thread.

Don't let Grand Rapidians become like New Yorkers - it's a great up-coming-city, but it's not the center of the universe just yet.

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I'm not so sure that the dreamliner is going to totally negate the hubs and spokes system; after all, it is a pretty big plane, and I'd question whether or not it would be economical for an airline to fly one regularly into a GRR sized airport. (To answer the question about runway length, no, there is no problem with GRR handling the Dreamliner. You might be thinking of the Airbus A380 Super jumbo, which requires modified gates and taxiways to handle its size.)

I'd have no problem with consolidating service here in GR, though. Although I bet you'd hear no end of complaining from those in the cities that lose service and have to drive an hour to fly. I'd say it's not likely to happen.

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The system proposed (and it may have already started trial operation within a network of small Florida airports) will REACTIVATE small airports. I pulled the 'peer-to-peer' phrase from the first paragraph of the article, but I think the later description of 'on demand' better describes what the system is about. It's a bit much for me to fully comprehend. I have GREAT respect, admiration and gratefulness for folk that are able to not only envision something that doesn't exist, but are able to figure out how to get us there -- or give it a try.

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I wouldn't hold my breath on seeing the other airports close so everyone can fly out of GR. I know in Muskegon the airport has lost a large portion of its passengers since it lost it's 3rd carrier but it still is an important part of the local economy and alot of money has been sunk into it. What should have happened in the 1960s is combining the airports between the two cities as was mentioned in the article. That possibility no longer exists.

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I could see most of those airports' commercial flights being consolidated into GRR except for Lansing. It's the state capital and I imagine their airport is an important link to Washington. I don't think the hub and spoke system is broken so much as we're just reaching the limits of its capacity. Smaller flights directly between mid-tier cities certainly makes sense rather than endless delays between connecting flights at over-capacity hubs.

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The future of air travel will definitely play a part in whether or not this ever happens. I pretty much detest air travel, but feel like we're quite lucky to have our relatively uncongested airport here in Grand Rapids. If the other regional airports consolidate with us, there goes (most often) easy in, easy out air travel from GRR because we'll have that many more people to accomodate. No thanks. If I were living in any of the cities mentioned and the proposal came up to close and consolidate with us, I'd also say NO WAY! I have family living in New Hampshire and to fly there, you actually fly into Windsor Locks (near Hartford), Connecticut, then have to drive about an hour+ to get to their place. Pain in the neck...and that's what folks in Michigan would face if this happened.

*fish

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Haha y'all are swimming in some rough seas kids. From an economic stand point it makes sense. But as with everything in Michigan there is alot of local pride, with everything within a community. You'd never get the people from the surrounding cities to sign on to that. Take a cue from Tracer and be careful, talk like this is gonna open a can of worms :)

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I'd be all for a mini-hub, but the only way it would work is if there was an easy-to-use rail system between GR and all these cities. If you can just hop on the train to GR to take a flight, I think a lot of people would buy into it.

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Haha y'all are swimming in some rough seas kids. From an economic stand point it makes sense. But as with everything in Michigan there is alot of local pride, with everything within a community. You'd never get the people from the surrounding cities to sign on to that. Take a cue from Tracer and be careful, talk like this is gonna open a can of worms :)

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Nix out Lansing, for now though. All this will happen if it becomes a matter of economic necessity for the metro area. Isn't Tulip City and Muskegon all taxpayer funded? I could see that being a win for them to do away with the burden and just use Ford. However, its all an uphill battle as these are well established places.

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Haha y'all are swimming in some rough seas kids. From an economic stand point it makes sense. But as with everything in Michigan there is alot of local pride, with everything within a community. You'd never get the people from the surrounding cities to sign on to that. Take a cue from Tracer and be careful, talk like this is gonna open a can of worms :)

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In the article, the Muskegon Airport manager said "it's probably a good thing". Hopefully he doesn't regret saying that and sticks to his initial thoughts on it.

And as far as "opening a can of worms", that's exactly why this forum exists. There is no hate for the other cities, but there are economic facts and reality: Kalamazoo = shrinking; Lansing = shrinking; Battle Creek = shrinking. I agree that you'd never wrestle the airport away from Lansing, but the other cities are a better possibility.

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I'd be all for a mini-hub, but the only way it would work is if there was an easy-to-use rail system between GR and all these cities. If you can just hop on the train to GR to take a flight, I think a lot of people would buy into it.

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Battle Creek wasn't mentioned in that article. Have they completely phased out consumer airlines there? I remember there being discussion several years ago about the redundancy between BC and Kzoo.

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Lansing, as the capital city and home to the largest university in the state will never relinquish its airport. Besides, the 787 Dreamliner will contribute to the demise of the hub. It can open up more direct flight possibilities at lower operating costs than now.

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