It looks like Worcester Regional Airport may be a step closer to becoming full property of MassPort. It’s not close to a done deal yet, despite the wishes of many, but already there are quiet cries of “is this what we really want?”
As City Councilor Rick Rushton stated on the Hank Stolz show earlier today, there are concerns about what MassPort will do with ORH under their control.
“The devil is in the details,” he said, “”If we get a cargo airport, I’m not sure that’s good for Worcester.”
Fair enough, but the truth is that when it comes to ORH’s future, it’s going to be very hard for the city to give away its cake, and not let it fly too. Politicians and citizens alike have declared for years that Worcester should get out of the business of owning/running airports; MassPort would be much more effective owner/opertator, they say.
City Manager Michael O’Brien has worked tirelessly to give Worcester some sort of say as part of his ongoing negotiations with MassPort, But let’s be clear: a MassPort owned airport would mean the agency and the state, not Worcester, would have final say over what happens there. If that means more passenger flights or cargo flights, politicians in the area better be ready to deal with neighborhood complaints.
In other words, Worcester residents and pols can’t hope for the airport to succeed and then be upset when it succeeds too much.