Anyone departing Kingston’s Norman Rogers Airport has played this game – “will my luggage make it to Toronto” – let alone the final destination? A relatively recent decision by Air Canada has resulted in the termination of AC Jazz DH1 service to Kingston, and a new sub-contract to Air Alliance, which flies tiny and apparently anemic Beechcraft airplanes from the Limestone City to the Big Smoke. These aircraft have serious weight limitations, and depending upon the passenger load, the balance point of the aircraft can obstruct a full luggage load.
While boarding a Beechcraft bound for Toronto, I noticed that some luggage was removed from the airplane. I guess I won’t find out until I arrive in Germany if I was a luggage lottery winner. More whining / cross-posted at juniorannex.
It seems that the City of Kingston – owner and operator of Norman Rogers Airport – published a comprehensive master plan in 2007. Although the document is rather dense, it is a worthwhile read for those of you who have an interest in the future shape of our modest airport. NB: get yourself a good stiff drink and reserve about two hours to get through it all.
Recommendations such as terminal improvements are now underway, while planned extensions to the North and South runways may follow in the near future. Given the physical constraints imposed by the airport’s property boundary, the planned runway extension will only be able to accommodate small regional aircraft. With no guarantee that improved service will be offered to Kingstonians, one could easily argue that the City’s runway extension plan is simply unnecessary. The master plan also assembles detailed user profiles and statistics, however I am not entirely convinced that the City has the business acumen to interpret this data correctly, and ultimately generate improved service. As well, there appears to be little consideration given to privatizing Norman Rogers – an oversight which could lead to higher expenditures at the airport with little return to taxpayers. With the economy on the ropes, one might think there would be few takers, however private airport authorities have been quite successful in remaining somewhat recession-proof.
On my last excursion I briefly spoke with the Air Canada Check-In Agent regarding the (then) impending renovations, and in her opinion, not enough consideration was given to examining relocation of the airport to north of Hwy 401. This idea really caught my attention. I should think that the value of the existing airport lands for development, might offset the costs of acquiring a new, better suited piece property north of the 401.