This month marked the 2nd anniversary of JetBlue’s daily service from Worcester (ORH) to Orlando (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). During this month, I have read various articles from multiple media outlets, who depict either:
- We should be happy , ORH is on the right track.
- We should be disappointed.
What is the answer? Let me ask you this, if I told you in 2012 that over the next 3 years:
- JetBlue would begin service out of ORH with daily flights to MCO and FLL.
- The first two years passenger loads would be in the 80-85 % range with 230,000 passengers.
- Rectrix, the FBO, would build a new $5 million facility at ORH.
- Massport, the new owner of ORH, would begin installation the best landing system (CAT III) with a cost of approximately $35 million, that will enable airlines to deal with our achilles (fog), not an access road, that would be installed by the end of 2016.
- The FAA would grant ORH 2.7 million to improve infrastructure.
- The FAA would grant another 486,000 f0r marketing.
- At a cost of $3 million the old tower, next to the terminal, would be replaced with a new fire station.
Would you ever have imagined that all of this would have been done?? Imagine if we had never sold ORH to Masssport?? We would be looking at none of the above accomplishments with the City of Worcester trying to figure out how to pay an operating deficit that would have been approaching $2 million per year. Of course, we (me too) hoped that we had three airlines here and 7 destinations, but for anyone to be disappointed???
In the end the real game changer for ORH will be CAT III (watch the video below). Once that is done, the accomplishments of the past 3 years will look insignificant.