Thursday, January 20, 2011

Charlotte Douglas International Airport's Jerry Orr - Speed Bird or Chicken Little?

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.


Anonymous said...

I miss the days of Piedmont Airlines, they were good, and much like Southwest is today always cheerful employees happy to help.

US Airways staff are some of the most miserable people on the planet. They are rude, mean, nasty and lie about everything.

I think Jerry Orr is the reason we don't have Southwest in Charlotte he's on the take from US Airways!

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should just change the name to CDIOrrport and give it all to Jerry (to take down).

The majority of the US Airways employees in Charlotte and elsewhere are former Piedmont or PSA employees. Maybe they, too, are just tired of being jerked around and lied to.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Piedmont back in the day, earned the left seat in a 737.

Cedar you are right US Airways isn't the customer driven airline Piedmont was, and I doubt it never will be. I'll retire next year with Delta its been a great ride.

But things have not changed for the better, and we're not talking peanuts either.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Orr will of course get his money as he always has, but City Council needs to ask the hard questions this time if they don't they along with Orr should be removed.

Anonymous said...

I still have my Speedbird plate on the front of my Sunday driver. Hard to believe its been more than 20 years!

About Orr, Cedar you need to remember the City of Charlotte will eventually recover these funds from the airlines. That is if it snow again.

Anonymous said...

TO: Anon 7:12am

I so agree!

Anonymous said...

Yes Chicken Little has spoken!

Cedar, I think US Airways will ask for full compensation which could run into millions.

It was a huge screw up and while Jerry Orr with blame everyone from Mother Nature to Gobal Warming, the buck stops at his desk. In corporate America he would be out of a job. Period!

Anonymous said...

So why hasn't Jerry Orr released the contract price for the de-icing service?

How much of a personal kick-back did he get in all of these no-bid purchases?

Anonymous said...

Sorry Cedar, good effort on your part but council members like your target Andy Dulin are just a bunch on "yes men" and will not even ask a question when this come up on Monday.

Just watch and see.

Anonymous said...

Ask the airlines for it, cause if they aren't flying, there aren't making money. Any information out there about other cities out there that deal with more snow and ice that NC does and if they pay for this service?