Friday, September 18, 2009

Jet Set Says "Thanks, Suckers"

I have long been of the opinion that the Fayetteville Corporate Executive Jetport in Greenland is a shameless boondoggle and have said so here. Those who disagree always say that Airport Director Ray Boudreaux is a good songster at Rotary and that he is good at getting grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to fancy up the place around those empty hangers for the convenience of private jet owners and a couple of corporations that are behind on the rent. The Fayettevillage Voice recently noted that Ray wants another $23 million from you for his playpen.

It is very nice for the handful of corporate executives who use the publicly financed facility. Theirs is "a world of ease and tranquility unknown to airline passengers who endure long trips to airports, costly parking, slow security screening, packed airplanes and delayed flights." Think about the last time you had to fly somewhere and how much fun that was. You could avoid all that if you owned your own jet and had the taxpayers building you a convenient jetport.

What I never knew until last week is that I have been wedging my tired body into cramped economy class and suffering the other indignities of flying out of XNA -- and paying for Ray's jetport for the rich and famous. The $15 billion in grants that have been handed out to general-aviation airports from the federal Airport Improvement Program -- more than $2.1 billion this year -- is financed by federal taxes on every commercial airplane ticket sold in the United States. These can add as much as 15% to the cost of your flight to see your sick granny, maybe $60 on a roundtrip ticket, to keep $90K Ray's jetset buddies happy at Drake Field and thousands of other dinky airports like it as far away as Springdale and Rogers.

They appreciate your generosity and toast you with champagne.


  1. .

    I figured at best one half of one percent (.5%) of Chickenopolis residents use or are effected by Springdale International Airport. I forgot how much we fork over for the privileged to keep their twin engine planes located about dead center in the city.

    Meanwhile the city cannot afford to fix the fountains at Murphy Park. Those fountains kept the water refreshed and prevented it from smelling like a sewer which it resembles today.

    Open sewers vs. airports for the elites. No question about priorities.

  2. As Director of the Executive Airport, I would apply for a grant to acquire a nice corporate-style jet which would be available for tours by hoi polloi. Sit in a comfy airplane seat! See how the other 1% lives! Just ten dollars for adults, five dollars for children under twelve. No fuel costs, and I'd keep it in one of those empty hangars.

    All this for half the salary.

  3. I am so sick and tired of Ray, Connie and the rest of the high dollar Coody holdovers.

    Jordan should finish cleaning house and maybe save the city some money by eliminating some of those positions.

  4. Boodlerow is worthless, and the airport is losing money. How many local people actually use it? If Brenda insists on keeping Ray on the payroll and the airport open, why not charge users at least enough to break even? Why doesn't the city council look there for reducing the city budget?

  5. I like Ray, but I think it is time for him to save face and retire.

  6. C'mon people, lighten up: it's called trickle-down or p-on-you.
    Yea though I walk through the valley of poverty, my rich people are with me.
    Thy jet and thy staff they comfort me.
    Thou preparest a skybox before me in the presence of thine enemies: thou anointest my head with jet fuel; my cup runneth over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of recession; and I will dwell in the house of rich folk forever.

  7. Here's a plan--

    (1) Let's approach Campus Crest to bid a purchase on the Drake Field property. They could build two-three-times as as many units there as they could at the Sale Barn site and it is only 4 miles away.

    2) Get Ozark Regional Transit (o.k. - ORT won't do it because it might be a viable route -- go to Razorback Transit instead) and establish bus routes to the University based upon intelligent analysis of student population density AND University class schedules.

    3) Have Campus Crest build their student housing on a greater available land area along existing high-traffic transportation corridors AND offer a functional public transit option for the students. (Dump the Drake Field Corporate Welfare Project AND build some needed student housing that would allow the University to serve a larger population.

    4) Sell the Old High School to the University for enough $$ to build a proper facility (or two) for the additional University Student Population.

    5) Actually contribute to the economic growth of South Fayetteville.

    Ooops -- I forgot. South Fayetteville is still the po' folks ghetto. We don;t want any growth plans that benefit po' folks.