VetteDude wrote:Regarding Akron and Cleveland working together, I've actually thought quite a bit about a region-wide airport, and my conclusion is that even if leaders wanted to, and could get the capital too, it still isn't a good project. There isn't much area to put a greenfield airport in between the cities, except maybe Richfield. The Coliseum back in the day tried to merge the Akron and Cleveland regions, and didn't really work. 77 would become an even bigger pain than it is. And, worst of all, it would actually inconvenience more people than the current situation of having 2 airports. A greenfield airport between the cities would inconvenience Canton travelers (furthur away than CAK), and it would really inconvenience downtown and west side travelers. The only people would would benefit are us east siders who could hop on 271. Plus, even with CAK dying off and cut to the bone, there are still people who will defend it until their final breath (especially on Cleveland.com).
If we really wanted a radical idea, I'd be in favor of tearing down the I-X center and building a modern O+D focused terminal there, kind of like what MSY is doing. The city would never go for that though, it would require a huge relocation of all the support buildings south of the current terminal, plus it would move the terminal even further away from the rental cars.
A and B aren't going to last forever, and C and D are undoubtedly our best concourses, so my wish is the city would bite the bullet, build the C-D connector parallel to the terminal exit road (would add a few more mainline capable gates), then move the ULCCs to D, widen C dramatically to both (1) increase seating in the waiting areas and (2) add moving walkways to get to the banjo quickly since it is apparent United will be staying there in perpetuity, then do whatever with vacant A. The backside of D (hardstands) is useless without a hub, so I'm sure renovations could add some mainline gates. It's a shame that building is rotting away right now; our newest concourse sitting abandoned. What a mess...
What a great post, and you are absolutely right. CAK is a good airport to fly out of, and A and B and CLE is somewhat akin to walking through a medieval castle. That D concourse will not last long it is not used, but is there anyone in Cuyahoga County local government that has any vision of the future, or even cares about CLE?