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Comments about ‘$1.8B project to take Salt Lake City International Airport to new heights’

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Published: Thursday, July 17 2014 5:10 p.m. MDT

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New Yorker
Pleasant Grove, UT

Jobs! Tourists! New Business Development! More jobs! Lots of other pluses!

Best of all: "Taxpayer dollars are not being used on the project, and travelers won't have to worry about inflated airfares, said Maureen Riley, executive director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports."

I'm duly impressed with the Capitalist engine on this. Something's bound to trickle down my way.

aceroinox
Farmington, UT

I love it when public employees claim that no taxpayer dollars are being spent. Federal grants are not free, they come from taxpayer dollars. And yes, the tax load is spread across the country, but likewise Utah taxpayers are funding grants for airports in other states as well, so that's a specious argument. In addition, the "user fees" are just another name for taxes, which any of us who travel now pay in abundance. In fact, the car rental and other funding sources mentioned all eventually come out of our pockets. And yet, it is so easy for government officials to spend this "free", painless money. Do they realize it comes out of their individual pockets as well?

Red
San Antonia, TX

Federal Grants use tax payer dollars. All the other "users" of the airport who get to pay for it will raise their rates.

We all pay for it one way or another.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Don't take the SLC airport to "new heights". It ain't broke. Lets learn to life frugally.

Frank Fourth
New York, NY

Having expanded areas for missionary arrivals and departures is important. It is money well spent. No matter where the money is coming from.

waikiki_dave
Honolulu, HI

The Utah GOP is all about cutting the federal deficit, except of course when it comes to funding a pet project like the SLC airport expansion. What a bunch of hypocrites.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Someone always wants to make a everything partisan issue. In this issue there is nothing partisan at all.

If no State revenue is used and as the airport is the SLC airport which the SLC County is also partners in, the decision to take on the project was not a Utah GOP decision at all. In fact, it had to do with the SLC City Council and Mayor and a County Mayor and Council. Look at the partisan make up of the City and County Councils and Mayors.

Perhaps the hypocrisy is coming from afar.

Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

Love the idea of glass. Reminds me of one of those 1970s disaster movies where the 747 comes crashing into the terminal.

WeThePeople
Sandy, UT

Didn't anyone look at the option of privatizing the airport?

Some airport user fees are added to the prices of airline tickets, but what about all those missionary families? They're using facilities they didn't pay for, and asking the taxpayers to cover the costs! Those free-riders are no better than illegal immigrants!

But just think of the money that an investor could make if he charged a $3 per head admission fee for those "expanded waiting areas"!

carman
Wasatch Front, UT

sounds like costs to travel are about to go up...

Reader
Sandy, UT

I love that there will be a passenger meet and greet area. It will be great when we drop off and/or pick up family. I also like the linear design. The Detroit airport is designed linearly and is very easy to navigate.

Fullypresent
Salt Lake City, UT

Glad to know that between the taxes people pay to the state and what they pay to the federal gov't that there is 1.8 bil to spare.

ManInTheMiddle
SANDY, UT

This is a complete waste of taxpayer money - the airport is fine - I use it all of the time - leave it alone.

And to say that no taxpayer funds are being used is a lie - a lie is saying something you know to not be the whole truth in an effort to deceive. So to say that no taxpayer funds will be used is a bold faced lie. Shame.

1Observer
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@ waikiki dave - the airport falls under the Salt Lake Airport Authority which is under Salt Lake City government which is primarily run by Democrats - nice try though.

As a frequent user of the airport my observation is that it is way past due for an upgrade and reconfiguration. The current design creates bottlenecks for planes getting in and out of gates and the passenger areas are very congested, especially at the ends of the terminals. In the event of an emergency it would be a nightmare to get people out of the current facility at peak travel times.

As for the funding, yes, we all pay. Just like we do for roads, police, fire and other public infrastructure even though we may never use it. A good airport as part of a good transportation system will attract jobs and tourists and we all benefit from that and over time that revenue growth will offset the cost of the rebuilding.

I applaud the coming changes. They should have started 10 years ago.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

It's about time we get the airport we need, this should have happened 10-20 years ago. SLC can rival the better airports and really needs to avoid becoming LaGuardia West.

Please also update your caption on the satellite image picture, that's an overlay showing the size of the airport in relation to downtown, not an actual satellite image of the current site. It would be amusing if the terminal actually sat downtown, talk about a logistics nightmare!

jsf
Centerville, UT

"what about all those missionary families? They're using facilities they didn't pay for, and asking the taxpayers to cover the costs! Those free-riders are no better than illegal immigrants!"

Now we blame the church, oh wait the church pays for the airline tickets that have user fees attached. They are not free loaders as you imply. From your thought process every passenger using the airport is a free loader. The bigotry of such a spiteful statement of something you suppose.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

cjb,

One must understand what it means to be frugal before making such a demand. ;)

Frugal doesn't mean "don't invest in anything above food and shelter", it means "invest with prudence". Also, economic growth and frugality aren't mutually exclusive. You have to spend money to get it. I want a more welcoming airport to Utah's environment and atmosphere. It will bring more tourism, more layover city trips and business, etc.

$10 from taxes/grants and other stuff

Spend $10, $9 of it on labor.
Labor means the $9 went back into the same economy
Earn $16 in tourism, low energy costs, etc.
$16 goes into the same economy.

Not only is the first $10 made up for... but it wasn't really lost in the first place as it was already earned money being spent to recirculate. Money is never lost, it's simply paper. Our resources are reallocated. The question then is whether it's worth it.

Lower energy cost is worth it
Tourism boost is worth it
Other economic boosts are worth it
A smoother In/Out of airport traffic is worth it, saves money, time, wasted time, and helps tourism.

Not doing this is already costing us more.

don17
Temecula, CA

Why the Airport expansion is needed and beneficial to Salt Lake City and Utah in general:

Salt Lake City manages this airport. Not the state of Utah.

8 additional gates means approx 192 extra daily landing and takeoff's and 28,400 additional passengers carried daily increaing the airport capasity on a yearly basis from 20 million passengers to 30 million passengers. The long term effect on the economy by 2022 would be near to 6 to 8 billion dollars a year in additional economic impact to Salt Lake specially and Utah in general.

Larger planes such as A380's and 747's and newer designs will be more easily accomodated.

Future growth of larger corporation could be enhansed that is not factured in yet.

Example: Chicago Midway airport: Similar runway numbers and passenger traffic remodeled and handles nearly 100,000 additional airline operations per year. In addition, if Chicago hadn't the foresight to expand 60 years ago Ohare and it's 8 runways would not exsist: resulting in 70 million passengers and more importantly 38.1 billion dollars in economic impact affecting the creation of 500,000 jobs directly related back to Ohare.

Salt Lake needs the expansion to grow. Politicians of both parties see this economic driver. Do the residents?

don17
Temecula, CA

This is actually a function of combined government agencies that makes sense economically. The build out will lessen the cost to individuals in the long run by expanding the pool of users. This spreads the costs to a wider segment thus lowering the per use cost. Better efficency. In addition, the new design will cut enegy use at this airport by 30% or so. Saving money while giving a commanding look at the mountains there, which no mural in any other airport can match. That will positively benefit tourism.

For those of you thinking 1.8 billion will magically appear or all come out of your wallet please take into account these facts:

1. Additional airline landing fees
2. Additional air cargo fees
3 Additional sales tax revenue
4. Additional property, income, and other taxes.
5 Tens of thousands of new jobs created over the next 8 to 10 years with those individuals paying taxes from the new business development: new homes, stores, schools, highways, parks, being built to service the expansion of jobs generated by an expanding airport. More jobs means additional city, county and state revenues without raising taxes if done right.

Other Airports expanding that will have an effect on SLC. Chicago Peetone, LAX.

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