It is high time ‘Aerodromes’ and their operators stopped apologising for their existence. In fact, its time for airports to start pushing back. We have huge docks along our waterfronts; all parked on highly desirable development potentials; they are noisy, dirty and dangerous places – yet do they have a constant barrage of ‘developer attacks’, building shopping malls around the perimeter; course they don’t. Do the docks have to contend with a stream of whining householders who bought ‘cheap’ and are trying to get them shut down – NO, they don’t. Railway stations and the tracks through suburbs – do they have to face down developers or the endless whining of ‘ban noise’ groups; No they bloody well don’t. But ‘airports’ do, perhaps it’s the wide open green fields that drive developers into a feeding frenzy, who would know. What is patently obvious is the potential for an airport to generate income has not been fully realised; particularly from those bases ‘close’ to the city.
The London docks airport for example; compare it to Sydney’s Bankstown (BK) airport. One flourishing, employing hundreds and generating some serious income. The other a mouldering pile of toxic waste and crumbling buildings, the South side a waste land. With comparatively little money spent, the airport could be developed into a crackerjack commuter /executive jet port and maintenance base. Why not close down Kingsford Smith and relocate the whole mess at Badgerys’s Creek and develop BK as the ‘city hub’?
That notion makes sense to a lot of people; huge noise reduction over electorates; massive benefit to road users; savings off the chart for pollution; waterfront properties and a huge area to develop close to town. Mouth watering stuff – at least Wagners and some councils are seeing ‘the light’.
Or; why don’t the developers buy the ducking golf course next door to BK which employs what, 50 at the most and does little to assist ‘the economy’ – build their blasted shopping malls and DFO’s there – out of harms way and let the airport generate real income, jobs and business. Airports are ‘essential’ infrastructure, like docks and train stations. If the government insist on selling them off, then let it be responsibly; only to those who want to develop the airport and the aviation industry; not more DFO’s. Enough –.
The 2 ‘box sets’ which made this morning’s #roadtrip possible
I note our illustrious minister Darren 6D stars again on the ‘reads’ count; topping the Senate Estimates and airports by a considerable margin. Not that it will trouble him, not so long as Cheezels and ‘the Boss’ are still freely available – at tax payer expense, so the hours between opening mouth to change feet can be filled in between manicures. Everything that can possibly be wrong with politicians in one neat, well groomed package. How can the likes of Barry – Braces – O’Sullivan who bother with tedious little issues like ‘drones‘; or David Fawcett fussing about dangerous airports; or, Burston trying to sort out the underhanded parting up of airport infrastructure possibly compare.
Mind you 6D has some influence; he managed to get the Hi-Viz – oh, so delighted Hood to speak up on the MH370 shambles. I notice that man ‘Iggins was quick to pick up the clanger and use it to ‘foster and promote’ the integrity and expertise of the ATSB. Nary a word on the Pel-Air rewrite of the rewrite yet though. Although how, in the seven hells, two government departments, charges with ‘air-safety’ can get away with seriously ‘interfering’ with an investigation and audit still has me beaten hollow. Someone needs to be in jail over this event, actually several someone’s. But no; it’s all very low key and subtle shifting of positions for ‘distance’ and plausible deniability. We will be left wondering about the credibility of every report ATSB and CASA make now; can’t wait to see what they do with Essendon. Top marks for top cover and denial of any or all responsibility: again. No matter we will always have Darren 6D to rely on – who needs statesmen with guts and integrity caring about the country and its people.
With your indulgence: a short ramble: prompted by the latest spill over of anger on an American carrier. From about the age of seven, a young “K” was a regular ‘commuter’ – boarding school – home – back again. One of two uncles often ‘in command’ and flight deck rides in the Britannia or Viscount were more usual than not. The thrill of arriving at the airport, checking in, waiting for the boarding call were eagerly anticipated, then the stroll out up the stairs, sitting down and strapping in were all part of the fun. The passengers always seemed polite, well turned out, the cabin crew immaculate, helpful and cheerful. Over the years, I have come to a point where I’d rather not travel by air, if I can avoid it. Not flying it – not going; if I can avoid it, much like the supermarket or dentist. There are, I expect, many reasons for things being the way they are; but for me, the saving of a few dollars on the ticket cost is not worth the trouble, aggravation and discomfort. – Must be old age creeping in, but if I get hit with one more backpack, or trodden on by someone trying to stuff a huge ‘bag’ into an overhead locker – or; another child swings on the back of my seat; or; the bloke in front insists on full recline; or; the lady in the middle really needs two seats and unlimited access to the dunny; or, the chap with the broadsheet newspaper can’t fold it in half…..well, I just don’t know. The joys of air travel.
Aye well; not today. Second coffee in the garden, lovely day – then; we shall see.