Tallahassee leaders on a fact-finding trip to Greenville, S.C. were given tours of two Greenville-Spartanburg transportation assets on Tuesday.
The first tour was of the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP).
The GSP serves more than 2.3 million passengers each year with access to six major airlines. Combined, these airlines offer an average of 50 nonstop daily departures with direct service to 19 destinations across the U.S.
Due to the population of the the Greenville-Spartaburg Metropolitan Service Area (MSA) compared to Tallahassee, the Tallahassee International Airport (TLH) passenger numbers are not expected to compare to absolute GSP numbers.
However, the chart below shows that before the Great Recession, the TLH passenger trends followed the trends of GSP. It was after the recession that GSP growth began to significantly outpace passenger traffic at the Tallahassee Airport.
Tallahassee leaders also visited the South Carolina Inland Port which opened in October of 2013 and has become a major economic asset for the area.
The inland port extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland to Greer, S.C., and provides shippers with access to more than 95 million consumers within a one-day drive. Inland Port Greer boosts efficiency for international freight movements between the Port of Charleston and companies located across the Southeast, and the project is expected to create additional economic investment in the South Carolina Upstate, where BMW, Michelin and other international manufacturers already operate.
Norfolk Southern serves Inland Port Greer through its main rail line, and the facility is positioned along the Interstate 85 corridor between Charlotte and Atlanta, where Norfolk Southern operates additional rail yards. Rail service maximizes tonnage moved per gallon of fuel for importers and exporters, helping them save costs and lower their carbon footprint.
The inland port adds an additional benefit – access to empty containers – for regional shippers, who can send trucks to Greer for the containers they need to move their goods.
According to The State newspaper, the South Carolina Inland Port has become the Upstate’s “gateway to the world” and has exceeded all expectations since it opened three years ago to serve its first customer, BMW.
“Having the Inland Port in Spartanburg County is as close as you can get to having Charleston’s port here,” said Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, chairman of council’s economic development committee. “It’s a gateway to the world for business and industry.”
Both tours relate directly to the targeted industry sectors identified by the Great Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce which include aviation, transportation, and logistics.
The question now is will the fact-finding trip provide new information that will help leaders address the opportunities and challenges associated with these industry sectors that will benefit the Tallahassee economy.
Yes, what we really need is several large employers with high wages. Tech, banking, health/medical. Bring in a large credit card processing center, or lure a large banking center or medical products supplier. Create a major research center.
I guess our problem is geography. Location, location. too far away from Florida’s population centers and no port close by. Beaches too far. Only I-10. 319, 27, and 90 are good but not interstates.
Just be thankful we don’t have the pop growth rates of other florida cities or we would be in deep doo-doo.
I think we should be grateful for what we have and what we are. We are the capital of the third largest state, we have two fine universities and several colleges. We have good weather, an educated workforce and a pretty good standard of living. We have a town where you can walk the streets at night in safety. Where you can talk to total strangers and they engage in conversation. Where your kids can grow up in a good safe town.
I think we should stop looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence and just take what we have and improve on it. We don’t have a river (and Cascades is not our riverfront) we don’t have mountains, we don’t have beaches close by, but are easily accessible. We sure could use more tourists, and more retirees. Let’s work on those and try to attract more of both. Continue to build our education system and our workforce. Let’s try to reduce crime, especially gun violence and drugs.
Agreed for the most part, Phil. I’ve been saying for years that COT government should make it a #1 priority to attract more diversified PRIVATE SECTOR businesses and corporations to Tallahassee. This area desperately needs more commerce and well-paying job opportunities other than just the state government and universities.
But of course instead of doing any of that, for over a decade our COT and “mayor” spent most of their time trying to enrich themselves in pay-for-play schemes and cronyism, enough so that the FBI finally put some investigators on it. So sometimes it seems the only thing Tally is known for or is nationally mentioned is our COT corruption – or our infamous violent crime rate.
All that said, you’re correct we should be glad we’re not a major FL metro area – a drive through metro Orlando and across I-4 to Tampa is a good example of what decades of “growth” does to the quality of life. Along with the good comes a lot of downsides.
It was hard to develop Florida into an expanding role in logistics when the previous administrations failed to embrace the deployment of technology allowing Florida to fall behind states such as Mississippi. I believe the new FDOT secretary will rectify those deficiencies and allow Florida to move forward as a major player in the transportation industry!
It’s funny how they keep bragging and advertising that “Tallahassee is not like any other City” and yet, they keep going to all these other Cities to try and copy them. It never works, but they keep trying. You keep visiting the wrong Cities, we are Land Locked, with just one Interstate and two High Ways (90 & 319). We don’t have big Industry because you prefer Trees, We have a big Airport but I mostly see Small and Private Planes landing there, It seems the only Entertainment you want to work on is Walking & Biking Trails, you want Down Town to be an 18 Hour Hot Spot but, there is NOTHING to do Down Town but Very Expensive Restaurants and Bars. Most of Tallahassee is College Students, Low Paid Government Workers, Senior Citizens, and Low Income People.
Scott Maddox was constantly acting as a self-imposed airport director.
I have been saying for years and years and years to get him away from the airport, don’t let him anywhere near the airport.
I wonder if any bribes or extortion attempts by Maddox extended into dealings with the airlines because they don’t put up with such; they would shut it down in a second!
Airlines obviously would not give Maddox the time of day, but the energy and money he expended on his scheme after scheme after scheme certainly is one reason we are so behind regarding our Airport.
We need an airport Authority immediately to get expertise in and politics out.
Ditto for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce… Which is nothing but a PR enterprise for Gary Yordan, Sean Pittman, Vancore Jones, etc… I don’t know why this inappropriate overreaching PR sham wasn’t shut down years ago. But I am sure they are planning their next PR event in Sandestin or Amelia Island as we speak.
If we would have qualified leaders with integrity and experience instead of a Democratic Party operatives scheming illegal misguided nonsense overreaching into our airport and Chamber of Commerce Tallahassee would be safe and thrive, but until voters wake and the corruption taken care of things will remain the same.
Hope, let me point you in an inquisitive direction:
TLH v. GSP Airports
Current Jet Fuel Prices/Gallon
Full Service 100LL
Full Service Jet A
This compares the Million Air FBO to Cerulean Aviation FBO at Greenville.
Ask yourself: Why is our AvGas so much more expensive? Then look into who has the exclusive contract, and how they are “connected.”
Very interesting… Do tell… I think you are onto something very very significant
It’s the brothers.
Meanwhile, I’m guessing Greenville’s “Drag Queens Story Hour” with YOUNG CHILDREN was left off the tour:
News Maven and Hope:
Also – Look at the extensive petroleum discharges and contamination at the COT Airport – at two locations on the Airport property; (go to the Public database OCULUS FDEP), and also the COT Fleet Fueling Facility, COT Hopkins Power Plant, etc. Plenty of associated environmental issues aside from just the purchase price of fuel…; which is bought in bulk (so why not lower prices….?)
good points about Maddox, Hope. In fact, I wonder if Maddox’s persistent “interest” in the airport was the cause of the very abrupt and mysterious resignation of former Airport Director Sunil Harman in 2013. I’d listened to Sunil on Preston Scott’s Morning Show speak glowingly of the great career opportunity that the Tally Airport was for him, and Sunil had an impressive resume as Assistant Directors at O’Hare Intnl. in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson Intnl. in Atlanta. Sunil seemed genuinely enthusiastic and had plans to truly transform Tally Airport in to an International Airport – and then he abrupty resigned months later. Wonder if Maddox issued Sunil some “requests” or was involved in other Airport issues that Sunil perceived as corruption or coercion?
Story states: “Harman submitted his resignation on June 27, 2013 to take the Airport Director position in Okaloosa County. There was no reason given for his departure.
Harman had been widely credited for what some have called major improvements at the Tallahassee Regional Airport.”
So how to gate fees and jet fuel prices between the two airports compare?
I’m betting unfavorably for TLH.
Lil’ ‘ol Panama City airport has Southwest, but we don’t.
The “Gas Mafia?”
I have an ad campaign for our illustrious leaders. “Tallahassee First.”
Point…..stop putting yourselves first and start putting the people and economy of this area first over your own interest and we might could make something of this type of idea. But bet it will NOT happen as long as we continue the trend of leaders lining their own pockets over our local economy.
TLH fares almost 70% HIGHER than national average:
Wow, another string of shootings around FAMU (Florida Assault & Murder University):