Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Freighter haters

EDITOR:

Recently a number of the folks who I’m now referring to as “freighter haters” put out a blast of information that’s simply wrong. I’ve now posted a summary page on sierrafoot.org, look for the UPS freighter icon in Hot Topics. That linked page includes links to relevant source documents. The one of current interest is the Mather Airport Master Plan Draft EIR, another that includes airport fees is the 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report of the Sacramento County Airport System.

A super-abbreviated summary is this: Nothing plans for or forecasts 600 flights per day of large freighters over EDH. The DEIR counted a daily average of 6.87 per day as existing conditions in 2007, it forecasts growth to 8.97 by 2025.

SMF Terminal B construction is funded mainly by Passenger Facility Charge fees, currently $4.50 per enplanement, and not by landing fees ($4.19 per thousand pounds of landed aircraft weight). In short, passengers pay for terminal improvements, airlines don’t. Where airlines have economic issues it’s usually due to actual operating costs. Fuel costs alone run between about $5,000 and $10,000 per flight hour, depending on aircraft type and current price of JET-A.

SMF landing fees might be a little bit above average for similar airports, but not by a lot. That title probably goes to Lambert St Louis International, at $8.96 per thousand pounds, more than double SMF’s fee.

We have some flying baloney in our area, but it’s the political belief sort. It doesn’t come from real aircraft or real airports.

PAUL RAVELING
El Dorado Hills

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Discussion | 3 comments

  • Chuck HollandOctober 05, 2012 - 6:11 am

    Great information Paul, Its obvious that the "freighter haters" must be fairly new transplants to El Dorado County. Remembering back to Mather, and McClellan's hay days of Vietnam and the cold war we would see hundreds of air craft weekly flying over the county. Both rotary and fixed wing would routinely travel to Nevada for training. The few sparse freighters that approach over the county now go mostly unnoticed. Most afternoons around 4:30 UPS quietly glides by on its approach to Mather letting us know commerce is alive and well in Sacramento. Bring back some of the early military jets and their sonic booms, the Freighter haters will beg for today's quiet freighters.

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  • cookie65October 05, 2012 - 6:28 am

    Mather was the home of the B-52, with an occational C-5 just for fun. They used to run MITO's (minimal interval take offs) all day long. Flatlanders invade our space and then complain about people using space that doesn't belong to them. Many of them believe that pork chops come from raleys.They left the bay area only to bring all the problems of the bay area with them.

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  • West End CynicOctober 06, 2012 - 7:48 am

    I am on the flight path to Mather and have lived in EDH long enough to remember air traffic when it was still an AFB. I know exactly what time the UPS 757s fly over. Honestly, I have to be outside to hear these airliners. With the quiet engines, the noise level is NOT a problem. OTOH, the Blackhawks(medical), CalStar and CHP helos can be heard but no one is asking to ban them.

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