Worcester Needs More than JetBlue
For the first time in many years, Worcester is now served by a top-tier commercial airline, and that is certainly something to celebrate. In it's first year, JetBlue exceeded it's expectations for the Worcester Airport, serving over 100,000 passengers. But despite a successful year, Worcester needs to look towards future airport expansion if wants to compete in the long term. A city like Worcester cannot get by on JetBlue alone.
Problems of Today, Opportunities for Tomorrow
100,000 commercial passengers is great, but it simply falls short of competitive for Worcester. Boston's Logan Airport services upwards of 25 million passengers per year and Providence serves about 3.5 million. Worcester has a population greater than Providence and it's airport should represent that. As the second largest city in New England, it would be a point of pride for Worcester to have the second largest airport as well!
Despite the fact that it's freezing cold outside in January and I would love to escape somewhere warm, I have no plans to go to Florida anytime soon. If you live in Worcester and are traveling to Disney World, then Worcester Airport is the place to be. Unfortunately, Worcester offers zero destinations outside of Florida.
The third and final issue with the Worcester Airport of today is that it has no easy highway access. This certainly isn't a deal-breaker for the airport, but quick highway access would certainly increase the appeal.
Worcester Could Have a Great Airport
It wouldn't take a lot of work to convince many hundreds of thousands of people to fly out of Worcester if they had the choice. Hardly anyone in central Massachusetts would make the choice to drive to Boston, Providence or Hartford if they could access the same destinations by flying out of Worcester! For anyone who lives west of Framingham, Worcester is close and probably quicker to get. For everyone, Worcester could offer cheaper airport parking than Boston.
The Worcester airport has the potential to add a lot of value to the local economy. A strong airport could increase tourism and business activity at the same time. The city may have to make some sacrifices and endure some costs in order to get the airport to grow, but it would be worth it to Worcester and all of central Massachusetts.