It's shortsighted to say that, had the expansion in '96 actually
happened, things would be in the same state of traffic we see today. Coupled
with the newer, longer runway SLC would have been appealing to other airlines.
Airline expansion would have certainly looked at SLC differently had expansion
occurred earlier, we see Alaska today expanding its footprint. Who knows how
Southwest would have responded had SLC had better facilities. Your point seems
valid but we should be careful at condemning past projects and questioning
current/future ones, we have limited ability to say that things would really
have been worse if expansion had happened. And while a scenario like Pittsburgh
is always a possibility there is limited chance for any new airline merger talks
with Delta and a smaller west coast airline that would affect SLC in the same
way. Please don't scare DN readers where it's not warranted.
A bigger airport might make SLC big time, but do we really want to be big time?
Utah is considered to be a well managed state in part because of its frugality.
Let's keep airport spending enough to cover basic needs and no more. What
will attract business to Utah is reasonable taxes and fees and quality of life
brought about by just enough spending. People who are extravagant in their
spending box them self in to high debt payments and little financial freedom.
Hopefully the Salt Lake airport terminal will not become the nightmare that is
the one at Denver, Colorado, or other horrible big time airports that leave
passengers confused, frightened, lost and stressed.