Friday, November 30, 2012

Inefficiency, Part III--Puerto Penasco International

Puerto Peñasco is about an hour south of the US border, about 4 1/2 hours from Phoenix.  It's a tiny little town--not long ago I'm sure it was nothing more than a dusty little Mexican fishing village.

But it has an airport.  An international airport.  It's not just Puerto Penasco International--no, it bears a much more impressive name.
Would you like to see the terminal building?  Here you go:
There you go.  That's it.  That building with the glass side is the single terminal building.  At an international airport!  It's about the size of the building that contains my classroom and 5 others.  As for the entire airport, what you see is what you get--that terminal, the tower, a couple of small out-buildings, a parking lot, and a runway capable of supporting a 737.

I saw Gate 1 inside.  There's no Gate 2.  Yet.  It's a dream, it may happen someday, kinda like Studio B at Motown.

International flights are expected to start next March, with Aeromexico flights to and from Las Vegas.  The week we were there, just a couple miles from the airport, I didn't see a single flight land, international or otherwise.  It's possible a Cessna or something landed that week, and it's not like my eyes were riveted on the airport watching for it, but I certainly didn't hear anything that sounded like commercial traffic.

But the airport was fully staffed.  Immigration.  Customs.  Gate agents.  Car rental.  Snack bar.  Tower, with marine guards.  Maintenance.  Security guards.  Who knows what else.

There were a couple dozen people working inside the terminal building, and plenty of others working in the other buildings, all at an airport that probably didn't have a single arriving or departing commercial flight all day.

OK, this isn't really inefficiency in the same vein as the towel card gig or the security guards at the resort, but I still thought it was kind of funny.  Everyone there was so happy to talk to us because we were probably the only other people they'd seen all day!  And we only went there because I was curious to see what a small town's international airport would look like.

Now I know :)

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

Puerto Penasco is the town where my son had to pay the sheriff $25 every time he saw him or risk arrest. While the town itself is pretty, the policies that allow officials to extort money from visitors is alarming. And this happened despite the fact one of the guys he went down there with was the son of property owners on the coast.