“Use Philadelphia International Airport,” says Tom Morr of Select Greater Philadelphia


Zabeth Teelucksingh, for GPA -- On Friday September 16, 2011, the Global Philadelphia Association (GPA), in partnership with the International Business Initiative of the Philadelphia Bar Association, sponsored a discussion with leading business and organizational leaders about the creation of non-stop air service between Philadelphia International Airport, on the one hand, and China and other possible Far Eastern destinations, on the other.

After an introduction by Michael Considine, Jr. of the International Business Initiative and initial remarks by GPA Chair John Smith, Tom Morr, the President of Global Philadelphia Association member, Select Greater Philadelphia, led the discussion. Possessing a great command of the subject – he did, after all, help bring Dulles International Airport in Washington, D.C. to prominence – Mr. Morr reviewed both the need for such service and the multitude of municipal, industrial, and financial concerns that are necessarily involved in bringing it about

Non-stop air travel between Philadelphia and China would, he pointed out, not only create more jobs in the City and boost the economy, but would also demonstrate to the international community that Philadelphia is in fact an international hub, one that is very well connected – both literally and figuratively – to a boundary-crossing world.

The audience consisted of members of the Bar, interested citizens, and leading figures in our increasingly global city. Both World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia CEO Linda Conlin and Michael Scullin, Honorary Consul of France in Philadelphia and Counsel to the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, participated in the discussion.

As Mr. Morr spoke, it became increasingly clear that this was a multi-faceted challenge and that economic considerations would ultimately be the factors that were most meaningful to the airlines. A forthcoming conference in Berlin, Germany, the 17th Annual World Route Development Forum, would provide both the City and potentially interested airlines with an opportunity to explore the institution of new routes in depth.

While there are a number of things that interested persons might do to be helpful, at the right time, the most important thing for area citizens to do, he suggested, would be simply to use Philadelphia International – as contrasted with other large airports in the U.S. Northeast Corridor – as often as possible for our air travel needs! Doing so will help demonstrate to investors and airline industry professionals that the Philadelphia International Airport is a chosen travel source for a vast array of people, people who could very easily become customers for an airline traveling to China, India or indeed Japan.

This is one of a number of key issues that the Global Philadelphia Association will be focusing on. Interested viewers will want to follow the issue through future postings on our website.