WBUR

Worcester Airport Is A No Man's Land

A reporter’s notebook

Worcester Regional Airport sits vacant in this January 2003 file photo. US Airways Express has since stopped flying to Worcester. (Christopher Fitzgerald/AP)

Worcester Regional Airport sits vacant in this January 2003 file photo. US Airways Express has since stopped flying to Worcester. (Christopher Fitzgerald/AP)

WORCESTER, Mass. — There is very little going on here at the Worcester Regional Airport. There are a couple dozen cars parked in the open-air parking lot. But no people.

At the parking attendant booth, the sign says “Stop For Attendant,” but there’s no one in the booth. When you pull a few feet up to the machine that dispenses parking tickets, you can’t get a ticket, because the electronic guts are hanging out of the machine.

Inside, plenty of parking spaces.

Inside the terminal, it’s very, very empty. Not one passenger in here. Not one passenger in front of the airline ticketing counter. No one to take the tickets. The escalators aren’t running.

There are no passengers down the way waiting to rent cars at the car rental counter, although there does seem to be someone staffing the counter. On one end of this football-length long terminal is a sign that reads “Welcome to Worcester.” On the other end, there’s a huge sign that reads “Air Capital of the World.”

Not here.

That sign, “Air Capital of the World,” was put up when the recent Tom Cruise movie “Night and Day” shot some scenes at the Worcester Airport and made the terminal to resemble Wichita’s airport. The Worcester Airport’s managers left the sign up but candidly admit it’s not a realistic goal.

They also point out the escalator is turned off to reduce energy use in between flight arrivals, and many customers who rent cars pick them up without ever visiting the rental car counter.

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  • jose rosario

    Welcome and thank you for coming to Worcester, as a resident of this city since 1969 i have seen many changes.We have always felt like we did’nt exist it seemed as Boston always got the attetion, its like being the middle child that no one payed attention to.Worcester is a good city to live in,i raised my family here and i will die here so again thank you for noticing us.

  • Chris

    I live on the hill directly opposite the Worcester Regional Airport (Bailey Hill), and I am an avid listener to NPR and, in particular, to “Morning Edition.” I was listening to the report today, which is Tuesday. Flights fly in and out of WRA to Orlando and Ft. Myers on certain days (Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, I believe). If the above notes were recorded based on observations made at the airport today, then I believe it is unfair to create such a negative view of our area’s airport. If you were to observe the airport on flight days, as I often do from my backyard, you would find it erroneous to say that “very little” is going on at the airport. It is often a very busy place. I think this report is negative in tone and, once again, makes Worcester appear to be dead and lacking action or involvement. Considering we are often the “forgotten” city in Massachusetts, I think we have a lot going on. Worcester is a wonderful city in which to live and raise a family. We have wonderful services, great eateries, access to major highways and public transportation (Commuter rail and WRTA), plentiful retail options and fantastic opportunities for education, entertainment, fitness and outdoor recreation in Worcester – all of this without the traffic and outrageously high rents that are synonymous with living in Boston.

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