Tag Archives: Airport

Russert International Airport

18 Jun

I was waiting for someone to catch it. Sign the petition, anyway.

Petition to Rename Buffalo's Airport after Tim Russert

18 Jun

Thanks to WBEN for letting me promote this in peak drive-time, live with John and Susan. To sign the petition, click here.

Some have criticized this as being disproportionately too generous for someone who was just doing his job, or was just a mere journalist, and I guess there has been some Russert fatigue setting in among some. Some suggest he shouldn’t receive this honor because he’s a liberal Democrat. Or because he was too easy on George Bush. Or because he’s not an aviator.

All of those criticisms miss the point.

The point isn’t that he was a well-respected journalist. The point isn’t that his was the political junkie’s program of record on Sunday morning. The point isn’t his politics or anything like that.

With Tim Russert, you have a favorite son; a man who never forgot where he came from and was a tireless, vocal ambassador for his hometown, its past glory, and its future potential. When people turned on Meet the Press during football season, they got a reminder of Tim’s roots with his “Go Bills” signoff. When the Sabres were in the playoffs, he expressed his support for them. He wrote a book about growing up in Buffalo that shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. He helped to promote Buffalo Old Home Week/Homecoming.

Orange County named its airport after an actor, John Wayne. Liverpool’s airport is named after a singer/songwriter, John Lennon. John Wayne was an Iowan who lived in Orange County. John Lennon was a favorite son, like Russert. It beats naming a stretch of Route 20, and is, I think, more appropriate than putting his name up in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Tim Russert Buffalo International Airport

17 Jun

If you’re down with the NFTA naming the city’s international gateway after one of its most prominent and well-respected native sons, click here.

Louise Slaughter (NY-28) on the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station

21 Feb

Last week, during a meeting with the Air Force, I received news from Major General Charles Stenner, Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Programs for the Air Force, that 12 C-130H2 aircraft will be delivered to the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) by July 2008. This is truly great news for a base that is vital not only to the security of our nation, but to the economies of Buffalo and Niagara Falls. Frankly, it is quite an extraordinary achievement given that only three years ago the Pentagon recommended the Base be shut down.

In early 2005, NFARS was included on the list of recommended base closures put forth by the Department of Defense as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission. As a major source of employment, closing the Base would have resulted in a catastrophic blow to the Western New York economy. Additionally, it would have negatively affected our national security due to its strategic location along a highly-trafficked border.

I, along with several of my fellow New York colleagues worked tirelessly to ensure that the Pentagon’s ill-advised proposal would never come to fruition. Our work to preserve NFARS paid off and the Base has remained open.

Now, in demonstration of the important contribution to national security that NFARS provides, the Air Force has guaranteed that the 12 C-130H2 aircraft necessary to sustain the Base will be delivered by this July. To put this achievement into perspective, we must consider that the cargo planes were initially not scheduled to arrive until the summer of 2010. By pushing up the delivery date by two years, the Pentagon is exhibiting a renewed dedication to the Niagara Air Base.

Securing the C-130H2 planes two years ahead of schedule is very encouraging news for Western New York. I will continue to ensure that the Base remains both an engine of economic growth for the region and an asset to the nation’s defense structure for generations to come.