Speed Bird, the nickname for the logo that once represented the best run airline in the US, Winston Salem based Piedmont Airlines* or Chicken little, a neurotic little bird that goes completely hysterical under the mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Which is Charlotte's Jerry Orr?
Photo AP Davie Hinshaw
Seems that Charlotte's Aviation Director Jerry Orr is now completely convinced that the sky is indeed falling at least in the form of ice, as the now suddenly panicked Orr is asking for nearly $2,000,000 in City tax dollars to fill his de-icing tanks, something that he should have done weeks ago.
According to the Charlotte Business Journal next week’s City Council agenda includes requests for de-icing fluid totaling $1.9 million. Of that amount, $520,000 is requested as a change order, meaning the airport made the purchase last week. A related resolution will be considered by council members to acknowledge “immediate action was necessary” to buy more de-icing fluid “to preserve the health and safety of the travelling (sic) public.”
Two more contracts — for $783,000 and $600,000 — to buy more fluid for the remainder of the winter are also on the agenda for Monday's council meeting.
No word from US Airways as to what their thinking is, but one would imagine that a fair amount of pressure to get his act together was applied.
Of interest is the Advertisement For Bid Addendum #1 for Aircraft Deicing Fluid Type 1 which explains that "At this point the airport is unable to provide estimated consumption volumes" and that the storage capacity is limited to "10,000 gallon and 20,000 gallon tanks" and that the "airport storage tanks do not have electronic monitoring capability"
City Council Members should also note with interest that during the December 2nd meeting Jerry Orr discussed "the possibility of the Airport taking over security and baggage" saying "I think it is very possible that the Airport could do this...."
Can you imagine if Jerry Orr was in charge of your baggage? He'd been the Seinfeld "Soup Nazi" of baggage handlers.
It might be time for the "Potted Plants" on our Charlotte City Council to start asking Uncle Jerry some tough questions.
Cedar Posts has five: First, why all the poor planning? And second, how much to we owe US Airways for our mistake? Third, why didn't we admit our mistake and issue a formal apology to the traveling public? Fourth, do you even have any idea of WTF you doing? The the final question, have you given any thought to retirement?
Read Cedar Posts "Charlotte Douglas International Airport Manager's De-Icing Fiasco" which is here and Carolina Business Journal's report on Monday's Charlotte City Council agenda which is here.
* Purists will argue the British Airways' call sign is Speedbird and that Charlotte was really where Piedmont was based until being merged into US Airways in 1989. Let's not forget that Piedmont has been resurrected to operate as a regional airline DBA US Airways Express.