Murtha Airport

Thomas Lifson
John Murtha ought to be the face of the Congressional Democrats, and the Johnstown airport named after him, upon which he has lavished at least $150 million federal dollars, ought to be the symbol of corrupt federal spending.

The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport is, in the words of Carol D. Leonnig of the Washington Post,

... a testament to Murtha's ability to tap streams of federal money for pricey, state-of-the-art projects that are rare among regional airports of comparable size.

She details the creation and maintenance of major airport facilities in a place where they are not needed. Only three United Express commuter flights a day fly between Johnstown and Dulles Airport (perfect for Murtha's personal use), and these have to be subsidized $147 per passenger by a separate federal program to support essential airport service to small communities.

Johnstown is 84.4 mi - about 1 hour 51 minutes' driving time from Greater Pittsburgh Airport, according to Google Maps. I am certain it is helpful to Johnstown in recruiting businesses to point to airline service nearby as a plus. But a two hour drive to a major airport is not an undue hardship worthy of subsidy by the rest of us.

Murtha Airport will never support much air service. It is a devastated steel mill economy up in the mountains. It costs a lot per passenger to operate small planes, so fares from Murtha Airport will never be competitive with those from Pittsburgh, where no air carrier dominates with a hub, and where therefore, fare levels are very competitive. There isn't that much local demand in a small depressed city like Johnstown, to begin with, even at lower fares. If the local passengers have to pay significantly more to use the local airport, not many will.

It stands as a subsidized Taj Mahal of community airports. A dreadful waste of resources, a significant portion of them drawn from the military budget, against the wishes of the Pentagon.

Maybe if we weren't; so busy talking about the Obama show trial threats, we might be paying attention to Murtha.
John Murtha ought to be the face of the Congressional Democrats, and the Johnstown airport named after him, upon which he has lavished at least $150 million federal dollars, ought to be the symbol of corrupt federal spending.

The John Murtha Johnstown-Cambria County Airport is, in the words of Carol D. Leonnig of the Washington Post,

... a testament to Murtha's ability to tap streams of federal money for pricey, state-of-the-art projects that are rare among regional airports of comparable size.

She details the creation and maintenance of major airport facilities in a place where they are not needed. Only three United Express commuter flights a day fly between Johnstown and Dulles Airport (perfect for Murtha's personal use), and these have to be subsidized $147 per passenger by a separate federal program to support essential airport service to small communities.

Johnstown is 84.4 mi - about 1 hour 51 minutes' driving time from Greater Pittsburgh Airport, according to Google Maps. I am certain it is helpful to Johnstown in recruiting businesses to point to airline service nearby as a plus. But a two hour drive to a major airport is not an undue hardship worthy of subsidy by the rest of us.

Murtha Airport will never support much air service. It is a devastated steel mill economy up in the mountains. It costs a lot per passenger to operate small planes, so fares from Murtha Airport will never be competitive with those from Pittsburgh, where no air carrier dominates with a hub, and where therefore, fare levels are very competitive. There isn't that much local demand in a small depressed city like Johnstown, to begin with, even at lower fares. If the local passengers have to pay significantly more to use the local airport, not many will.

It stands as a subsidized Taj Mahal of community airports. A dreadful waste of resources, a significant portion of them drawn from the military budget, against the wishes of the Pentagon.

Maybe if we weren't; so busy talking about the Obama show trial threats, we might be paying attention to Murtha.