Today the Loveland Reporter-Herald ran a front page story titled “City Officials Seeking Clues” that details how “mystified” the city and airport authorities are over the recent announcement by Allegiant Air to leave the Loveland market and cancel all flights beginning in mid-October.
A vote last friday (Aug. 24) by the airline’s 350 pilots to create a Teamster Union franchise is the answer according to sources within the industry. The new contract Allegiant Air executives may be forced to sign could contain provisions prohibiting the airline from flying its MD-80’s or Boeing 757 aircraft into smaller airports that lack an FAA staffed tower, a small runway and other safety infrustructure. (see our story).
Especially troubling is Loveland Public Works Director Keith Reester’s and Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez’s lack of knowledge surrounding the important decision by the only airline serving Loveland. Reester, once a part-time employee of the city enjoying a full-time salary arranged by former City Manager Don Williams, was put in-charge of airport matters despite his complete lack of relevant experience. Add to that his recent taxpayer trip to Las Vegas only two weeks ago that failed to garner any information or clue about the pull-out.
Loveland now stands to lose over $1 million in FAA credits collected from passenger ticket taxes to extend the runway at the Ft. Collins-Loveland Municipal Airport. Regardless of how you feel about unions the incompetency in City Hall is unpardonable.
See response to this blog and our article by Teamster Union President Dan Wells (added Sept. 1, 2012)