Bizarre things are happening at Glacier Park International Airport (GPI), and other airports throughout Montana. Tourists and travelers are being stuck, while planes are sitting on the runway. Federal (TSA) employees are saying it’s a staffing shortage. But the airlines and local officials are saying it’s a jet fuel shortage.
An airport employee at Glacier Park International Airport revealed, “Twice recently, American Airlines claimed their ‘flight crew’ logged too many hours in a row to continue flying, so they left people in the airport overnight.”
The first time there were around 130 people stranded there, and a few days ago, there were over 160 people. The first time this happened, the Red Cross brought in cots and blankets for the grounded passengers to sleep on.”
He continued, “My shift ended before I saw how it was handled the second time. And now I’ve heard rumors that the reasons could be several different things. It may actually have been because American Airlines hasn’t been paying their fuel bills. The airport won’t fuel their planes until they ‘pay up.’ Another rumor had to do with there being fuel shortages.”
Whatever the reason, the results are stranded paying passengers at (Flathead Valley) Glacier Park International Airport sleeping on cots doled out by the Red Cross! The very least that should happen is that passengers should be escorted to nearby hotels, but Airlines that can’t afford fuel or have shortages can only get the Red Cross to bring in cots!.
But it isn’t just American Airlines. Allegiant has also been canceling flights out of GPI, with no promising of customers that there will be fuel for additional flights. Allegiant told Montana Daily Gazette that they had a jet fuel shortage, thanks to the fuel being diverted to fight wildfires from the air.
Montana wildfires don’t just have planes grounded in the Flathead Valley, however. Planes are also grounded in Great Falls.
According to KRTV3, Great Falls is also suffering jet fuel shortages. They write, “A pair of Bridger Aerospace ‘Super Scooper’ firefighting airplanes have been parked overnight at Holman Aviation in Great Falls since last week. It’s not an ideal situation, but they’re here out of necessity.”
The news outlet continued, “The two planes are contracted to assist with aerial suppression on the Devil’s Creek fire near Fort Peck, more than 200 miles away. Normally they’d be based a lot closer to the fire they’re working on, but a critical jet fuel shortage has forced the crews to travel back and forth from Great Falls each day.”
More and more passenger flights are being canceled due to a shortage of jet fuel, being diverted to fight Montana wildfires. As terrorists took down the United State’s largest pipeline several months ago, officials predicted major jet fuel shortages. But Biden has refused to treat the matter as terrorism and remained relatively quiet about the attacks on American infrastructure.
Perhaps a flashback is necessary:
In a year with near-record temperatures and terrible drought, with terrible wildfires, and with Montana being a tinder box, Joe Biden put politics before public safety and chose not to include Governor Greg Gianforte in an emergency summit on wildfire management in the West.
Montana is in the American West. Gianforte is the governor of Montana. But only two Republican governors were included in the meeting, and three Republicans were disinvited at the last moment – the governors of Montana, Idaho, and Arizona. All the other governors invited were Democrats because apparently (in Joe Biden’s mind) wildfires only affect the Blue States.
The meeting, which was held on June 30 by the Biden Administration to discuss how to foster cooperation between the western states and the federal government in summer of little rainfall and heavily predicted wildfires.
The Biden Administration put out the press release stating:
“Today, President Biden and Vice President Harris will meet with Governors from Western states, Cabinet officials and private sector partners to discuss specific actions the public and private sector are each taking to strengthen prevention, preparedness, mitigation, and response efforts – and to protect communities across our country from wildfires and their devastating impacts. During today’s meeting, the President will direct a number of actions, in close coordination with State and local governments and the private sector, to ensure the Federal Government can most effectively protect public safety and deliver assistance to our people in times of urgent need.”
In a joint letter with Idaho Governor Brad Little to the White House, Gianforte chides Biden for not inviting them to what is clearly in their state’s interest and then reiterates that the President needs to be willing to do what it takes year-round to reduce any catastrophes from wildfires.
“While we are encouraged to learn you will meet with eight western governors to discuss the federal government’s response to wildfires, we were disappointed to learn not all western states who face a harsh wildfire season will be at the table.
It is critical to engage governors fully and directly to have a productive discussion about how the federal government can improve its wildfire response and prevention efforts.
…While western states will spend the coming months fighting wildfires alongside federal partners on the ground, it is critical we have a federal partner in the White House who is willing to do what needs to be done year-round to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. The federal government must work with states to actively and meaningfully manage our lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires.
One example of such actions that must be done is found in Biden’s press release, where he states “Decades of shifting development patterns, land and fire management decisions, and climate change have resulted in wildfires that move with a speed and intensity previously unseen.”
“Land and fire management decisions” refers to clearing out forest floors or engaging in proper forest management techniques like controlled burns, selectively and proactively removing trees and creating fire breaks. This is something that many progressive environmentalists aren’t keen to do, making it all the more important that Montana expertise is present. Gianforte’s letter affirms “our states possess extensive experience and expertise in fighting wildfires, preventing them, and managing our forests” and the value it would bring to the situation where states like California have been burning for years on account of their very failure to do what Monatan is proposing, and so there’s no reason not to bring us on.
The fact that Biden’s Summit does not include Montana makes no sense, but it’s sadly about what we’ve come to expect from this divisive government. It’s worth noting that Montana Daily Gazette publisher remarked to Ammon Bundy in a June 23 on an episode of Montana Gazette Radio (in regard to Biden stopping forrestry management in a fire-prone area outside Yellowstone Park, “It’s almost as if the Biden Administration is trying on purpose to make Montana’s wildfire season as bad as possible.”
Bundy responded simply, “They are.”
But now, it seems that putting out Montana wildfires (which is absolutely necessary) is hurting Montana’s second-largest industry, tourism, and clogging our airports.
Montana Daily Gazette will keep its readers informed when more develops in Montana concerning air transportation.