Comment and analysis on all things Charlotte

Concord and Allegiant do it again

The airline announced yesterday that it is starting twice-a-week service from Concord to St. Petersburg, FL beginning in November. But that’s only part of the story. Recall that last year the city filed a request for a federal Small Community Air Service Development to help promote possible Allegiant service from Concord to Orlando Sanford International Airport. Soon thereafter and before the U.S. Department of Transportation had handed out SCASD grant money for the year, Allegiant announced it was starting service on the route. Unsurprising, the DOT turned down Concord’s grant request.

The same thing happen this year — Concord filed a SCASD grant request a few weeks ago, this time seeing $250,000 in federal money to help promote Allegiant service on possible new routes to Florida like, well, St. Petersburg and then Allegiant announces the route before the feds can act. The SCASD application also mentions Ft. Lauderdale and Punta Gorda (somewhat near Ft. Myers) as destinations in Florida the airport is targeting for additional Allegiant service. Allegiant provided a letter supporting the grant request and specifically references the possibility of service to St. Patersburg and Ft. Lauderdale. Punta Gorda isn’t mentioned. The odds of Concord now getting its grant approved are infinitesimal.

(I’ll post the Charlotte Douglas International Airport-related SCASD grant requests later today.)

Bonus observation: Cabarrus County absolutely should not have a representative on the board that oversees (depending upon what the courts decide) Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The county is part of the public-private partnership backing the grant requests, creating an inherent conflict of interests.

2 Responses to “Concord and Allegiant do it again”

  • Aug

    it’s times like these that I appreciate NC gen asm voting down so-called economic development boondoggles. Nothing says you aren’t getting screwed like having your legislature vote down “Your getting screwed” legislation, even when the name’s changed to “Economic Development”.

    Oddly, I have actually met Speciale (rhymes with “Raleigh”) and recall that he had his act together more than most. How nice to hear he helped defeat Eco-BS. Seems some NC businesses might reconsider moving out of NC if people like Speciale are allowed to flourish.

    On the other hand: email Duke, UNC, and NCCU career centers, or NCSU’s Centennial office people, and ask if they wanna employ students and/or lease office space for well-paid analysts; I suspect there will be absolutely no replies. (seriously, who’s kidding whom when paid jokers don’t even respond to emails? At least Duke doesn’t tax me to pay for their eco-dev oblivion that’s propped-up as being so worthwhile, but only in brochures.)

    As for all the company’s that could have mooched off NC in the future, we hardly knew ya, we’ll hardly miss ya. If you have a problem with that, talk to Speciale. And if you’re in NC’s university system, you should thank God that Speciale isn’t working on making you plausible. (IMHO: Speciale’s in a league above most everyone else – like a Notre Dame in a world of UNCs.)

    …and why would $1/4MM be granted to a commercial airline again?

  • Aug

    Can’t say I agree about Concord not being on the board. JQF is a significant relief partner for CLT. CLT does not want general aviation aircraft in the airspace and Concord provides the best facility in the area for general aviation. Since decisions made by CLT have a significant impact on Concord’s airport and since the citizens of Concord and Cabarrus County do pay for operations of CLT (facility fees, parking, etc), it makes perfect sense for there to be a representative from Cabarrus on the board.
    There is no argument that Allegiant competes with the mainline carriers. Those flying out of Concord would not likely fly but for the Allegiant service. Allegiant is competing with the cost and inconvenience of driving.

February 2016
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