Corporate Welfare is "More Convenient" than Free Market, says FedEx
While on the surface, this sounds like an economic boom for the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, this amounts to corporate welfare at both the Federal and state level. In order to attract FedEx, the local airport authority is required to build a third runway and other large intrastructure projects to support the hub.
The airport's current two runways are only 35% utilized! The cost of construction is initially estimated to be more than $160 million which will have to be appropriated by the Federal Aviation Administration (by no coincidence, the subcommittee that appropriates funding for the FAA is chaired by Sen. Lauch Faircloth, R-NC). The $160 million does not include funds necessary from the state to build additional road improvements.
There are additional Federal and state tax incentives proposed of up to $300 million. Plus, there are hidden additional costs that may be necessary to purchase land from nearby residential areas, that will probably total up to $100 million more. These properties will fall into a noise cone that has not been established through any engineering studies.
These costs of course do not include the loss in the local property tax base as well as the loss in local tax revenues. FedEx will be located on airport property and therefore excluded from local property taxes.
All of this for a hub that will only intially handle 20-25 flights per day (half of which will land on an existing runway) and up to possibly 75 flights in 15 years.
This whole plan appears to be simply a excuse for the local airport authority to extract funds from the FAA to build parallel runways in hopes of attracting a passenger airline hub. Local demographics and geography will not support an airline hub.
There is an alternative plan being proposed to allow FedEx to come to the Piedmont Triad. Greensboro already has two runways that could be used for the hub for a fraction of the proposed cost, and be more efficient with less noise. However local authorities and FedEx says it will not work. FedEx's reason for the proposed plan instead of using the existing runway is that "it is more convienent."
If you want to find out more or wish to assist the local opposition, please
send email to Mark Warren, MWARR@msn.com
Warren can give you information about the Piedmont Quality of Life Coalition, as well as newspaper articles and other pertinent information.