Thursday, August 7, 2008

Sacramento Airport Activity Reflects the Region's Troubles

Max over at SacRealStats has been documenting his experience at several airports in CA.

Since aviation is my industry, I thought I would take a quick peak at our regions airport statistics for June of 2008, which is the most recent data they have on their webpage:

I don't have good news to report. Activity at our local airports is experiencing substantial declines. This is not a good sign for our region and our economy.

Sacramento International -
Passenger traffic is down 6.4% over last year.
Operations are down 10.4%.

Mather Field -
Operations are down a whopping 25.2% (with general aviation taking the biggest hit)

And operations at Sacramento Executive Airport are down 15.7%.

Update: I just checked the FAA's Terminal Area Forecast....from 2007 to 2008, SMF was actually supposed to grow operations by 2.3%! I guess we will be seeing some revised forecasts.


Paul said...

The airlines, much like the banks holding mountains of REOs, appear to have forgotten that they are in the business of selling. The very first thing that I learned in regards to selling anything is, make the entire experience as pleasant and easy for the buyer as possible, and you increase the number of buyers (and your corresponding revenue) for whatever you are selling, be it airplane seats or homes. Interestingly, although eventually any seller can reach a price point that scares buyers away, until that price point is reached, the experience is more controlling than the price.

Ed said...

This would not imply it is a good time for a Billion dollar expansion at SMF.

Buying Time said...

Ed I thought of that as well, and actually hesitated about publishing the numbers, because I was nervous people might jump to that conclusion.

Aviation infrastructure investments tend to be reactive as opposed to proactive.

I feel that it is actually best to make those investments before they are necessary because of the long lead times for completion.

That said, if oil starts to move upward again, it could permanetly alter the demand and industry cost structure.

Ed said...

I agree in principle that the right thing to do for a stable business is to invest in downturns, preparing for the natural cycles to reverse. this case I believe it is overpriced and frivolous, from this outsider's view.

Sacto EJ said...

"Airports brace for fewer flights, passengers"

"Unlike airlines, airports do not control their spending during economic downturns, which runs up the tab on the airlines."

"The more you raise fees, the more you drive airlines and customers away."