Well look at this – a blog post from me. Surprise! Sorry it has been so long. Life has been… well, let’s just say it has been complicated. I haven’t had much free time and, frankly, I’ve been too exhausted at the end of each day to even think about writing. But I’m trying to change that so hopefully you’ll see posts more regularly.
So what have I been up to? Work mostly. Lots of work. So much, in fact, I have done almost no plane spotting in the last 7 months. The only time I see airplanes at work is if they happen to taxi by my desk at the same time I happen to look up. I’ll snap a pic if I can, but let’s face it – photos taken through a window aren’t the highest quality. That said, I have managed to take a few decent ones here and there.
Last fall I volunteered to help out at the annual Runway 5 K. I usually assist with the water station located at the half-way point of the course. This year I was handed the keys to a shuttle and asked if I would drive the water crew and supplies out to our spot. Wait… what? You are asking me to drive a shuttle ON THE RUNWAY??? Oh heck yeah!
Outside of work I have moved to a new house. I love it because I’m surrounded by several acres of fields and forest. The downside, however, is I am no longer on the approach path to the airport so I don’t get to see those big beautiful cargo planes flying over. I miss them. But I do get to see lots of Cessnas and other small planes. I often see student pilots overhead too. If you happen to do your flight training north of the city and find yourself flying over what looks like a Christmas Tree farm – you might see me down there waving. Or taking pictures of you. Or both.
There have been some aviation events in the news over the last few months that are worth mentioning. You may recall the story of a ground crew worker who got sucked into an engine in Alabama. That haunts me. I see ground crews outside my window all the time. I can’t open my window which is a good thing because I’d probably be opening it constantly to yell words of caution. Not because they don’t do a good job – from what I can see they are careful. But OMG if anyone gets sucked into an engine in front of me… That would be worse than horrible.
You probably also remember the great Southwest Holdiay Meltdown of 2022. They are our largest carrier so of course it impacted my airport a great deal. I walked down to baggage just to witness for myself the giant mass of bags which were piled up everywhere. It was truly impressive – and not in a good way. But perhaps the Southwest employees took some comfort from noting that United also had a substantial collection of bags stacked by their baggage office. After all, misery loves company.
Since it has been awhile, you might be wondering how the airport itself is doing. The passenger airport is doing quite well. In fact, we’re getting a new airline later this spring – Sun County. Well, not entirely new – they fly charter flights pretty regularly. But new as a scheduled airline. We have ZERO available ticket counter space, so I’m curious to see how the miracle workers down in building maintenance are going to find a place for them. No word yet on what gate they’ll be using, but hopefully one near my desk.
The cargo airport, on the other hand, is struggling. The war in Ukraine, covid, inflation and other factors have taken a huge bite out of our cargo traffic. A number of regular carriers haven’t been in for months, including Turkish Air, Korean Air, Etihad and China Air. Business Development is working hard to bring in new carriers. In the meantime, one small bright spot arrives in June in the form of an air show. This will be the first one held at the airport in over ten years. I’m already getting excited!
Well that’s it for now. Not sure when my next post will be, but I will try not to be such a stranger. After all, spring is coming which means air show season is almost here. And I’m hoping to visit some aviation museums too. Stay tuned!