Airport 1970,

Minute 046: About These Jumbos

October 03, 2016

Guest Host: James O’Kane

James is an industrial design engineer living in Portland, Oregon. He claims to be the son of one of the co-hosts of the show, although Mark has hired an army of attorneys to refute the paternity. James grew up watching Airport almost weekly, and says that the film has shaped his frequent-flying career in seeking out fireplaces in Delta Sky Clubs. There’s apparently one in Memphis, for example.


Commissioner Ackerman and Mel Bakersfeld are meeting in an conference room. Several dozen chairs sit empty in the room, next to a large map and model of a proposed, future airport. Mel just asked Ackerman if he thought lying to the public was going to make things better.

“Oh, Mel,” says Ackerman, frustrated.

“There’s your answer,” says Mel, pointing at the table-sized model. “A modern, expanded airport, big and efficient enough to take anything the designers can throw at us.  That means buying up Meadow Wood, and rezoning it for industrial use, so the noise won’t make any difference.”

“I didn’t come here to talk about the future of aviation,” says Ackerman.

“Well, you’d better start,” asks Mel “and you’d better start looking ahead a few years. What are we going to do about these jumbos – – that seat 500 passengers? And how are we going to get the people to and from the airport?”

“Aw, Mel,” says Ackerman. “Save that for the women’s clubs and the Rotary luncheons. We’ve got to be practical!”

“Sure, sure  – – ignore it,” says Mel, “Don’t stick your neck out. Well, it’s about time that you and all the other commissioners  began fighting for a bond issue to finance this kind of an airport, instead of running around — checking to see if the toilets flush. ”

“I don’t think insulting me is going to solve anything,” says Ackerman. “so why don’t we get back to our immediately problem: we’ve got to make a decision about tonight!”

“I’ve made it,” says Mel, “the airport’s staying open.”

“Mel, stop being so bull-headed,” says Ackerman, “Think of the consequences!”

“Don’t talk to me about consequences,” says Mel. “When Congress voted to -”

In this minute

Burt Lancaster as Mel Bakersfeld
Larry Gates as Commissioner Ackerman



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