Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tracy today

I do not go out of the house much, so there's next to nothing to report.

3 commissioners and the chairman quit from the City Airport Advisory Commission after the City declined their recommendations.

As it is now, the airpor is a millstone on the neck of the city of Tracy. It ows about a million bucks to the city already (although I don't know how this is possible, since the city owns the airport; moving money from pocket to pocket?), and as long as things go as they do, it continues to lose money. Not much money, but still, it either has to be declared the way it is (the pseudo "debt" erased; airport subsidized), or the airport has to be turned around and bring revenue to the city.

Commissioners wanted to grow out of the current situation by letting profitable aircraft in (e.g. business jets and turboprops). I have a buddy who keeps a 1947 Taylorcraft on a tiedown. He can't replace fabric on wings, certainly he can't pay too much for the parking. But jets are different. Prices at San Jose and Hayward are INSANE. So, Tracy can undercut enough to attract them, yet make handsome profit. But this needs a) upfront investment into better hangars and runways, and b) the runway extension.

But the runway extension is problematic, because some wise guy in the city used up the necessary land for a business park. Way to think ahead!

The city wants to get by with half-measures, like building a few extra T-hangars and attract poor guys displaced by the jet influx from Livermore. It's the same thing as happens with housing for people, yanno? I bought house in Tracy because I could not afford Fremont. So, they hired a consultant, who told the city what they wanted to hear: that a business case for a few small boxes closes.

Anyway... When I moved to Tracy I thought that a community airport was neat, but now I think it's very likely that I'll move out of town in a year or two, so I probably shouldn't think about this too much.

Other than that, we got good wind. Wind picks up dust from construction sites all along I-5 in Lathrop, so the visibility is poor.


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