(New York, NY - Collin Campbell, Transportation Nation) Jet Blue Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rob Maruster has a refreshingly comprehensive view of transportation. "I may be shooting ourselves in the foot here, with five daily flights from JFK to Boston. But it just may not make that much sense for an airplane on a 150-mile route to fly over 300 air miles to get there. Maybe there's a different mode of transportation that may be better to carry those customers from point A to point B," Maruster said today.
He was speaking at a forum on the future of airports and air traffic control. It was an event filled with charts and maps that drove home how overwhelmed and outdated current air traffic control technology is. One solution Maruster said was obvious is taking airline passengers off some routes, like New York to Boston.
"It seems like there's a mode that might work better for us in that regard. When we see things like high-speed rail going into South Florida, we say OK, that makes sense. But I think this region, with almost 25 million people in the Tri-State area, makes a lot more sense for those kind of things." Maruster says he'd like to see New York City and federal transportation officials put out a 20 or 30-year vision that addresses how airplanes, trains and other modes of transportation can be put together. He hasn't seen one yet.
Secretary LaHood's office, through Press Secretary Olivia Alair, didn't respond to questions about Maruster's comments.
Here's Maruster on what he'd like to see from plans for a mult-modal future, decades down the line:
... and on the roles of airplanes vs. rail: