Airport exec to talk about the future of Cleveland Hopkins Sept. 26

PayneTodd F. Payne, chief of marketing and air service development at the Cleveland Airport System, will present “The Future of CLE Air Service” at the next Public Affairs Discussion Group.

The discussion will take place Friday, Sept. 26, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Kelvin Smith Library, LL06 B&C.

On Feb. 1, United Airlines announced it was eliminating its hub in Cleveland and planning to reduce its “regional” (i.e. United Express) departures by more than 70 percent and staffing by about 470 positions. United said it would maintain almost all direct service to “mainline” destinations for its Cleveland-based travelers, but the airport seems empty compared to many others. In fact, there were nearly 20 percent fewer travelers through Hopkins in July of 2014 than in July of 2013.

Having fewer passengers can make airports more convenient. But it can also be depressing to board at a busy airport and arrive home to a less vibrant scene. Excess capacity might enable lower airport fees, t0 attract new airlines and more flights. But the massive decline in passenger loads in Pittsburgh after USAir eliminated its hub does not seem to have reversed.

What, then, is the future of air service at Cleveland Hopkins airport? We may wonder both because it is an important part of our economy and because air travel can be a major part of how we live. Join the discussion this Friday.

Since 1989, faculty, emeriti, students and staff have gathered on Fridays for a brown-bag lunch and to discuss topics in public affairs.

For updates and more information about the Friday lunch schedule, visit