1. The Hub System

Many of the problems created by the hub system result from the need to bring many aircraft with many people into an airport at one time and then load those people on other aircraft and depart as quickly as possible. Prior to attaining hub status, departure delays at Metro were relatively rare. The airport had fewer gates and rarely were they all in use simultaneously.

Hubs create great demand on all facilities and, because many aircraft are scheduled to depart simultaneously on limited runway space, they also create many of the departure delays. During periods when the departure gates are relatively empty, the airport operates without delays.

However, many business travelers are more sensitive to departure and arrival times when selecting flights than they are to price. When demand is great based on time of day {such as early morning and evening}, premium prices for travel are charged by the airlines.

Just as the airlines generate higher revenues by charging higher prices at these peak hours, the airport should also enjoy some of these benefits by charging premium prices to the airlines. Currently, many of the airport's greatest capacity problems are occurring at these peak timer periods throughout the day. The airlines have a direct financial benefit from these heavy costs which they place on the airport infrastructure.

Expansion can solve many of the hub-related capacity problems at the airport. Through privatization, the expansion and renovation of the airport can proceed in a more timely manner. This expansion needs to be done most appropriately within the framework of resource needs of the airport (serving the customers efficiently) rather than within the political needs of the county.