20 March 2006

A bloody war or a sickly season

Traditionally, naval officers used to offer a toast for a bloody war or a sickly season, either of which would kill off their fellows and speed the chances for promotion.

Well, St. John's city council and the St. John's International Airport Authority aren't quite that blood-thirsty, but you have to wonder how they might possibly increase military aircraft traffic through St. John's by some 300 aircraft per year. They are considering adding more ramp and taxi-way space to the airport and, presumably some sort of promotional work.

They call this military tourism, a phrase they likely picked up from the Baghdad Visitor and Convention Bureau.

Allied military aircraft that can't refuel in the air use St. John's on their way to and from Europe. If they aren't heading back and forth, there's no reason to drop in here.

The single biggest reason for recent increases in traffic at the airport has been the war in central Asia and Iraq.


The only way to increase military tourism - the phrase smacks of fundamental ignorance - would be to have the Americans become more deeply involved in military operations in the Middle East.

Now there's a good idea.

I can't wait to see the marketing plan for this latest bright idea from city council.

Left: United States Air Forces crew pose in front of their C-130 Hercules on the ramp at St. John's. [Photo: Paul Daly]