Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Are Regional Airports Viable?

South Burlington, VT

I recently wrote a blog post about the Burlington Airport (BTV), and how peaceful, quiet and comfortable it is.  My post was inspired by the stories and photos of horribly long security lines in major airports.

It made me wonder, "Is BTV a luxury doomed to die because it is underused?"   So I did a bit of research, to compare the finances of BTV, and a major airport Denver (DIA).

So, the answer is that the cost per passenger at BTV is about twice as much as DIA even though DIA has 88 times as many passengers.  That sounds completely reasonable.  In fact, because of the economies of scale, I expected a bigger cost difference.

So, based on this tiny bit of research, I conclude that small regional airports like BTV should not be threatened.  Their costs are reasonable, and the big airports have to send the passengers somewhere, the flying public would fly much less if there were only 12 major airports in the whole USA.

Caveat: My research is not robust.  I should have included several other regional and major airports.  I should have considered the contributions of the VT Air National Guard to BTV's costs.  I should have considered the effect of the nearly new and massive airport terminal at DIA.  I'm not a researcher, just a curious blogger.

One more thing.  In a fit of excessive political correctness, BTV took down the "FAMILY BATHROOM" sign and replaced it with this sign.

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