Airports! Once More Into the Wild Blue Yonder

          Here is a follow-up to our past blogs about the misadvetures of Los Angeles which in the early 1970s tried to create what it modestly dubbed the Los Angeles “Intercontinental” Airport by  acquiring some 17,500 acres in the high desert near Palmdale, about 60 miles out of town. Over the years some eight airlines tried their luck operating out of that facility, to no avail. None of them made it, and eventually Los Angeles surrendered (or tried to surrender) its FAA airport certification. The cost to the public for that fiasco: $100,000,000 for the land alone — and those were 1970s dollars so you probably have to multiply that amount by three or four to get the cost in today’s dollars. If all this is of interest to you, check out our posts at and

          Now, we have just come across a sad — no, make that pathetic — postscript to this saga of government ineptitude and gross waste of taxpayeres’ money. Today’s Los Angeles Times (Aug. 11, 2009) carries a small advertisement, and we quote: “Los Angeles World Airports is seeking  competitive Proposals for the purpose of providing management services to the former Palmdale Airport. The RFP package is available at ” No comment appears necessary.

         And speaking of wasting money on airports, catch this item from Alaska. Generous Uncle Sam has popped for $14 million to replace an airport in Aklachak, Alaska, a metropolis of 659 residents. Not to be outdone, Ouzinkie, Alaska, population 167, got nearly $15 million to replace its gravel runway. Way to go Alaska!

See National Briefing, Airport Grants Are Criticized, Los Angeles Times, Aug. 11, 2009, at p. A10.