Expanding the Sunport is a dumb idea

The first major economic policy issue of the 2013 Albuquerque Mayoral election has been broached by candidate Pete Dinelli. According to media reports, Dinelli wants to spend $300 million to expand the Sunport. I’m almost thinking that, based on Dinelli’s own statements, he’s not really serious about the issue as he states in the same article “Construction wouldn’t begin until a major air-related company agreed to expand operations in Albuquerque.”

OK. Well, who are these air-related companies that are expanding? Is anybody seriously looking at building some kind of hub in Albuquerque? If they were, that could be a real boon for the area economy and expanding the airport might make sense, but UPS and FEDEX are struggling right now due to the poor economy. And, of course, Frontier Airlines has announced that it will be pulling out of the Sunport.

I think the Sunport is one of the best things any government in New Mexico does. It is beautiful (as airports go) and functional. I’d love to have more direct flights and more international flights in and out of the airport. You know how we do that? We grow not only the local, but the state economy as a whole. Unfortunately, local governments have limited capacity to change the bedrock economic and educational policies that the Legislature in Santa Fe deals with.

So, perhaps Dinelli is running for the wrong office? He should go to the Legislature and advocate for Right to Work, reduced regulations, tax reform, and an education system that works….then we’ll have a reason to expand the Sunport.

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3 Replies to “Expanding the Sunport is a dumb idea”

  1. Now just where does the $300 Million come from? What are the benefits?
    If the money is from a bond issue, then higher airport fees, or charges to the passengers, is one answer?
    I just do not get it.

  2. ABQis a medium hub airport. It sits at over 5000 ft altitude which limits capability. Already planes lite load in the summer in order to get off the ground. The location is limited for growth due to its location.
    It is not geographically located for hub operations.Southwest does as good a job as an airline caan due to these limits. Jet Blue uses Sunport as a positioning flight to get the plane back to NYC wher its business is. Don’t look for expansion there. International flights have failed be cause there is no market for Mexico which is the only logical destination again due to altitude of this airport. Mr Dinelli needs to talk to people with knowledge of aviation before making I idiotic statements.

  3. The same “build it and they will come” arguments were voiced about building a new “Downtown Events Center” and the Trolley Folly. Without an expanded economic base, the investment of huge amounts of taxpayers’ money (via bonding one presumes) is fiscally ridiculous. Proponents need to recognize the difference between “vision” and “delusion.”

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