Regarding your informative April 22 article about a new airport hangar; Paraphrasing the late Paul Harvey, may we have the rest of the story?
The hangar is apparently intended to occasionally support Bandon Dunes customers (there is no other obvious need). Thanks deep pockets of Oregon lottery players for the $2 million-plus. According to the airport manager, the hangar will accommodate a Boeing Business Jet similar to a 737 aircraft, plus four smaller turbo fan aircraft. The smallest BBJ is a 737, customized for private customers. How will the new hangar “attract the larger commercial aircraft”? The two commercial carriers operating out of the airport don’t own any 737-size aircraft, and there certainly is no market for 100-plus configuration aircraft daily service from the local airport. The short airport runways cannot safely accommodate “heavy” aircraft like a 777, A330 or 747. Several 737 size aircraft have visited the local airport — at least one charter 737 in a 50-passenger configuration and at least one charter A319 operated by Frontier Airlines.
Since a typical new 737 BBJ sells for about $80 million and slightly used 737 BBJ aircraft sell for under $50 million, with owners of these aircraft wanting their aircraft and crew immediately available for their use, why would any owner use North Bend as a home base? Wouldn’t it have been nice to have a long-term tenant/customer signed up before the hangar was built, not “I’m confident this will get leased out within 12 months”? About 10 years ago, the airport manager told taxpayers that the entire airport business park would be built and occupied long ago. We have a weathered sign and lots of weeds.
Perhaps you will inform your readers where we may locate the 56 aircraft that the FAA believes are permanently based at the airport and clarify the average 50 daily takeoffs and landings also apparently reported to the FAA. Boeing has always specified the need for at least 5,000 feet of runway for safe 737 landing on summer days at sea level and about 6,000 feet for rainy days. Only one airport runway is 5,000 feet (runway 04-22 is 5,980 feet; 13-31 is 4,470 feet). What if an unexpected cross wind on approach or a flock of migrating birds are ingested at takeoff and landing atop the Jordan Cove facility is required? Then what?
Fred Kirby Coos Bay
California Aviation Alliance: Airport News List E-mail
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