We're using it less and less. The Modesto Airport, that is.
The number of people boarding Sky West flights in Modesto continues to decline, as the figures below show.
No doubt, the reduction in flights from four to three daily each way, effective in the fall is a contributing factor to the lower number of people boarding planes at the Modesto Airport. But fewer people are flying out of Modesto because they've had a bad experience with flights that are canceled or delayed, causing them to miss a connecting flight. Weather is a big part of that.
With these bad experiences, people are less likely to fly out of Modesto, reducing demand and therefore reducing flights offered. It's a downward spiral.
In mid-summer, we wrote about the possibility that Sky West could be persuaded to again offer flights to and from Los Angeles and might, as a trade-off, drop its service to and from San Francisco. That hasn't happened yet.
Last month the Modesto City Council extended its contract with a consultant who has been trying to line up additional airline service for Modesto. It is an incentive contract, with the cost to the city based on results, not effort. The consultant gets $15,000 up front and $2 per passenger who gets on new airline service for the next two years. That translates to a potential $243,000 for Sixel Consulting Group.
We're hopeful, but not optimistic, about what will happen.
Meanwhile, the message to local residents remains: If we don't use air service, we could lose it.
SkyWest offered flights to Los Angeles between June 2006 and June 2008. Otherwise, the boardings were all to San Francisco.
Source: Modesto Airport
Other numbers of note as we wind down this first month of 2013:
262 The number of Modesto City Schools students attending a school outside their normal attendance area this year through the district's open enrollment program. For 2013-14, there are 287 students whose parents requested a change. Two of the requests were for elementary students to continue attending Beard; all the others involved high schools: 69 to Beyer, 16 to Davis, 191 to Downey and 9 to Johansen. The district approved all of the open enrollment requests for the current year and for next year.
FYI: Next week is National School Choice Week. The term used to be a euphemism for those pushing vouchers i.e., the government providing the money for parents to send their children to private schools. These days, school choice includes private schools, online schools (public and private), charter schools and traditional public schools. Open enrollment is one way for a district to offer choices and keep those average daily attendance dollars coming into the district rather than going elsewhere.
29 percent of the Modesto Irrigation District's power coming from renewable sources as of this year, putting it in a good place to meet the state mandating of having 33 percent of power from green sources by 2020.
35 percent of American adults say they have turned to the Internet to diagnose their own ailments or those of others, according to a study by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. About 41 percent of those had their self-diagnoses confirmed by a medical professional; 35 percent said they didn't seek a clinician's opinion; and 18 percent of the time the doctor or other professional had a different conclusion.