The axiom is: “The market is smart. The government is stupid.” Here’s how an entrepeneur is making a business out of having less obtrusive, stupid, unnecessary government in his customers’ lives.
“In the post-9/11 world,” Craford told me, “we identified a need and moved to fill it. Remember when Congressman (Peter) DeFazio threw a fit when he was pulled out of line at PDX for a security check and complained that he was one of the congressmen that established the TSA regulations? Well, we realized that business travelers were being terribly inconvenienced by the TSA regulations. So we decided to right-size the platform for the market and offered them a way to get from Portland to Seattle without dealing with airport security.”
Transportation Security Administration regulations apply only to aircraft that carry 30 passengers or more. Because SeaPort’s aircraft are smaller, business travelers to Seattle can enjoy commuting without the hassle of airport security screeners.
If SeaPort, or someone else, doesn’t introduce a service like this between Oakland’s North Field and, say, Burbank, I’ll eat my hat. I see they are already operating also in the Mid-South. Yes, I see that they are taking subsidies. Using government money to get less government interference is a kind of economic Judo, I think. And:
“One thing I’m really proud of and that I think speaks well to the potential economic sustainability of the service is we never hit our subsidy cap, and we don’t expect to,” Craford said. “The amount of revenue as a portion of cost is going up. The subsidy is trending down.”
Besides, the Pilatus is a wonderful airplane.