Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charlotte City Council Gives Jerry Orr Another 2 Million to buy Anti-Freeze

As expected, without so much as a raised eyebrow or discussion, Charlotte City Council members approved the purchase of $1,920,000.00 of "anti-freeze" also known as De-Icing fluid. Total spent of this "new" venture around $28 Million so far...

What really stumps Cedar it is the amount of spending that goes on without discussion during our City Council meetings. Not one Charlotte City Council member questioned the purchase of nearly 2 million dollars worth of what is basically nothing more than antifreeze.

No questions as why the airport ran out, no questions about the flights that were canceled, no questions as to why CDIA failed to understand the effect that a real winter storm would have on airport operations and what an adequate supply of de-icing fluid should be.

The View Of De-Icing Ops Cockpit Side before CDIA ran out.

Council member Warren Cooksey told the Charlotte Observer that he was surprised that the airport ran out. But he didn't question airport officials because "it was our first year doing it. We estimated as best we could."

Warren "Best We Could" Cooksey

Cedar Posts Take: Frankly, I need to take a breath after reading that statement.

Can you imagine Council Member Cooksey starting an airline, "sure we crashed a few planes, oh what the hell, it was our first time and did the best we could".

Note to Charlotte City Council: This is not SimCity .... or is it?

Aviation Director Jerry Orr told Council members that they "didn't run out they just ran low". In other words they had enough to do a couple of single engine airplanes just not enough to do a whole 767.

Jerry Orr likes to tell Charlotte City Council that the airport is self supporting, that the airlines pay for the costs via user fees and it doesn't cost taxpayers a dime. Well that is complete male bovine manure because you can bet that US Airways will pass every cent of the fees they pay directly on to passengers, who for the greater part are us, the taxpayers.

And if you think that is bad, wait to you read about the new departure lanes Uncle Jerry wants to add at CDIA.

We have three now, and it gets a little congested a couple times a day. So Uncle Jerry wants to build some more lanes. How many you ask?

Well since we have three elevated lanes at the terminal, how many would you add? One, maybe two additional lanes? How about three new lanes? That should do it, don't you think? But, Uncle Jerry wants to go big or go home. He's going to add five lanes for a grand total of eight elevated departure lanes.

Crazy? Sure is and that's why you recently wrote a check for $1.3 million to cover the design phase.

Don't worry you won't need to come up with the build costs until April when they expect to award a contract something around $50 million should cover it.

Note: Not only will the extra 5 lanes cost a large pile of millions, it will also require that the Queen Charlotte statue be removed. Over the last 20 years the Queen has stood between the parking deck and the terminal. Building Uncle Jerry's extra five lanes would mean Queen Charlotte would be in constant danger of being run over with traffic passing a less than six inches from the base of her column. Discussion during the November airport board meeting suggested moving her inside.

Update January 25, 2011: Susan Stabley with the Charlotte Business Journal made the calls to get the artist's thoughts on the change. Details are here.

Of course airport planning is not without its missteps, but hey it was our "first time".

Airport Planning Fail.

Don't worry we are going to fix it, next year we are going to build a bridge for the cars and buses.

You can read the "Local Paper" coverage of Jerry Orr and Waren Cooksey's fail here.


Anonymous said...

I'd be laughing at the airport design fail, except it wouldn't surprise me if city council would approve the bridge idea, they are such dim wits.

Good Post Cedar!

Anonymous said...

TOO F'ing Funny. That photo isn't real is it? No can't be! But if it was I'm sure Cooksey and Orr would explain that it was the "First Time"..... hah!

Anonymous said...

Jerry Orr is an IDIOT, and CC members are IDIOTS, do we need further proof?

Okay, they approved helicopter "parts" for $350,000 for CMPD last night, while CC and the Mayor were just a few weeks ago talking about cutting back on salaries, boots on the street, pensions, you name it.

We live in a parallel universe, folks, topsy turvy Alice down the rabbitholeville!!

Andy Dulin said...

So whats wrong with a bridge over the runway for the cars and buses a lot of airports have bridges....

Oh wait... that wouldn't work would it?

Would it? Will someone be there to take my picture? I'm not voting to approve it unless there's a photo op.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dulin....I am truly surprised you didn't attach a photo to your comment.
That's the best you've got? YOU are the best Chatlotte has got?
Whoa....now that's a sad commentary.

Cedar said...

Just to be clear I'm pretty sure the 12:30 Comment is not from the real Andy Dulin.

ThaQueenCity said...

Dulin and the rest are a joke and WE are the butt of it! Even worse they are in control of our money which they continue to waste!

Anonymous said...

Cedar, did you notice the sudden coverage of the Queen Charlotte statue?

USA Today and all the local tv news operations have covered it. Looks like the WBT read your blog and the rest followed.

What a bunch of lemmings and none give credit to you. They all act like it was orginal news they dug up. What is really disturbing is they ignored the traffic lane expansion. That's the news!

Anonymous said...

I noticed that too Cedar. Someone is missing the point. I'm sure the "Queen" will be fine but the 50 million for 8 lanes what the heck!

Kevin Olo said...

You cannot run airports win the winter time without De-Icing Fluid. The airlines do in fact pay for the fluid they use. The reason for the sudden loss of fluid was likely because US Air allowed their di-icing trucks to run low on fluid and then suddenly filled them all up at once in anticipation for hazardous weather.

Charlotte is an airport competing directly with Atlanta. Airport capital costs are shockingly high, but they're lucrative. Atlanta brings 5.4 out of city passengers through its concourses for every 1 passenger who originates from Atlanta.

Charlotte needs to compete with Atlanta for "flow through traffic" and they cannot do that without deicing fluid and capital investments.

Consider using the term Runways instead of lanes. Orr is not building five runways, but is building two more in addition to the three currently standing.

This is a very bad post Cedar:

"The only problem with the world is that the idiots are cocksure and intelligent are doubtful." - by William Shakespeare.

Cedar Posts said...


Thanks for reading and posting your thoughts.

Since the ice storm and following purchase CDIA has not pumped one gallon of de icing fluid. The shelf life of the product is normally 3 years unless it is stored about ground and subject to temps above 63 degrees.

Testing should be do on a reoccurring basis. But I would guess it is not worthless.

Lanes vs Runways - I was speaking to the expansion of the traffic lanes in fron to e terminal.

CDIA has currently four runways 18/36 L,C,R and 5/23 and Ali is of adding another runway by 2017.

The business of air travel is changing, and he hub and spoke system may be on he way out , I'd use Delta's shut down of Comair as a prime example.

US Airways pulled out of Pittsburg for the most part. We need not go into detail about what happened, but CDIA is setting itself up for failure, and guess who is backing thoses airport bonds?

Yep taxpayers