Reality Check

Sunday, March 31, 2013 – 11:15 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, April 1, 2013 – 08:00 a.m.

Could it be an attempt at brainwashing the public for maybe the twentieth time!

Maybe the term “deceiving” is more appropriate.

The fresh revelations of criminal misconduct at San Bernardino International Airport (SBIA), involving former manager Scot Spencer, and an associate, has also brought out the airport cheer-leading corp this week.

Spencer, and his cohort, who looks like he came directly out of a Godfather movie, are accused of conspiracy to commit grand theft of an amount totaling just under $2 million.

The saga has Pat Morris, Mayor of bankrupt San Bernardino, a man completely disconnected from reality, once again out there in the wilderness saying that SBIA is destined to have a scheduled passenger airline. Morris even cajoled The Sun newspaper into writing another story in what’s believed to be an attempt at taking some of the heat off the airport’s governing board, of which, he’s the president.

Maybe, just maybe, Morris is attempting that old Star Wars Jedi mind-trick. You know! If he says it enough times people might just actually believe it.

It could also be some form of hypnosis.

Well, regardless, it’s not working. It’s been 20 years since activity at the Former Norton Air Force Base essentially grounded to a halt, and that same old “We’re getting an airline.” story is disgraceful. I guess those individuals, tied to the blowing of some $200 million in taxpayer money, have no choice but to try and spin it anyway they can.

They, the officials telling the tale, really shouldn’t expect anyone to believe it though.

Even the local, and usually-gullible, newspapers appear to now be on the path of enough is enough. Two newly-published editorials, in The Sun newspaper, “Arrest doesn’t mean San Bernardino airport mess is over” and “San Bernardino’s airport troubles — and ONT’s: Opinion” while mainly milk-toast, sound a more negative tone for Morris and company.

Morris says the consulting firm Mead & Hunt is preparing a report on the feasibility of commercial passenger, and/or freight operations, at SBIA.

Let’s get this straight! A feasibility study after they spend all that money? After all, I guess it is the San Bernardino County way!

You know? Line people’s pockets and ask questions later.

But now, there’s a new spin angle that’s come out of this ongoing debacle. Yes, a new excuse has emerged as to why there’s no scheduled airline after two decades. The new story is companies wouldn’t do business with us because we, the SBIA board, hired Spencer. But, we, the airport board, hired Spencer because no one else wanted the job, they say!

In reality, SBIA officials really don’t want to talk about why no one else wanted the job. Why you ask?

That reason being, the idea of developing a passenger operation was completely ridiculous to the aviation industry then, just as it still is today.

It’s amazing just how blind officials can be.

LAX/Ontario International Airport, just a thirty-minute drive to the west of SBIA, is in serious financial shape. A bad economy and shifting demographics has resulted in multiple successive year-over-year drops in passenger traffic. Terminal 2 at that airport, could easily be closed down and its sparse traffic flow moved to Terminal 4.

Traffic flows do affect fare pricing.

Palm Springs International Airport and Orange County’s John Wayne Airport also serve the region. So what makes SBIA officials believe they can bring in passenger traffic?

Absolutely nothing but wishful thinking.

SBIA has already tried offering $2 million to any airline that starts operations there. It didn’t work!

Maybe SBIA could offer free fuel forever to the first airline to show-up.

At this point, one has to feel for newly-hired SBIA Executive Director A.J. Wilson. He has to deal with these people.

Ask yourself a simple question. Would any profitable airline want to establish any operation at a vacant airport in bankrupt San Bernardino?