Jackson Hole Airport is likely to close for around four days next month because of runway work. The closure is scheduled to begin at 5 PM on May 25, 2009 (Memorial Day), with the four-day estimate coming from the contractors hired by the airport. If the hired help can get the work done according to schedule – and when was the last time that happened? – the airport could reopen as early as May 30, though a range of up to June 2 is proffered.
The good news? The Federal Aviation Administration is going to kick in $5 million for the effort.
Of course, there’s always a critic. Major General Ed Wright, top dog in the Wyoming National Guard, gripes that he and 53 other National Guard generals, and their staffs, where planning to meet in town for a conference for the first five days of June.
He’s quoted in USA Today as saying, “I was more than surprised this week to hear thirdhand that the airport is proposing to close at exactly the time the majority of our attendees are scheduled to arrive.”
Apparently, Wright did not punctuate his concerns with, “Don’t you know who I am?” perhaps because it’s implied.
The general’s true colors are evident in his two statements: (a) generals have tight schedules (even part-time generals, apparently) and (b) “I certainly don’t believe they would purposely single out a military event at a time when our nation is at war and Wyoming is deploying the greatest number of guardsmen in our state’s history.”
Okay, so which is it? Generals are too busy to be interrupted – regardless of what the rest of the world needs? Or, is it that the airport is putting maintenance, safety and reduced scheduling impact ahead of the needs of a nation at war … a war that clearly will be won or lost by the ability of 54 generals to meet in a resort town?
Sorry, Wright. This all seems just a tad disingenuous.
In addition to the esteemed and upset part-time military official, approximately 450 passengers were scheduled to fly into Jackson Hole Airport during the closure. How much of that consists of the generals and their staffs? That information was not revealed.
Passengers inconvenienced by the closure will not be charged fees to change their flights to Salt Lake City or Idaho Falls during the closure.