OBPA Board Looks South to Maintain Jet Service at Ogdensburg Airport | St. Lawrence County


OGDENSBURG – The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will review the AEAS Alternate Essential Air Service program to maintain jet service in and out of Ogdensburg International Airport.

The airport’s essential air service provider, SkyWest Airlines, announced in January that it would cease EAS service this spring, although the US Department of Transportation requires the company to remain until a new carrier is found. be found.

The OBPA board received two offers for the EAS contract, both of which were ultimately rejected. One was from Boutique Air and the other from Air Charter Express. The DOT rejected Air Charter’s proposal because it did not meet EAS minimum standards. The OBPA board rejected Boutique, which offered flights on propeller planes that seat eight or nine passengers, because the board said it failed to meet its minimum standards.

Board members passed a resolution on Thursday directing staff to research the AEAS program. Although board members did not mention any airline by name, they said they would contact AEAS carriers at southern airports.

One of them, according to a January article by ch-aviation, an airline information site, is Contour Airlines. Contour offers flights to regional hubs in the South on 30-passenger Embraer E135 jets from regional airports in Tupelo, Miss. and Muscle Shoals, Ala. to larger hubs in Nashville, Tenn. and Charlotte, NC

Contour also has interline agreements with American Airlines, meaning that travelers would purchase a ticket and could be transferred from Contour at the regional airport to an American Airlines flight at the larger airport without having to check in twice, including including seamless luggage transfer. Contour took over at Muscle Shoals in January from carrier EAS Boutique Air.

The article also explains the difference between EAS and alternative EAS.

“Instead of DOT paying compensation to an air carrier for providing EAS service, the department may provide financial assistance directly to a community, to be spent in a way that best meets their needs,” it read. “For example, communities can use the aid for more frequent services with smaller aircraft, on-demand air taxi services, scheduled or on-demand surface transportation, the purchase of an aircraft or regionalized air services.”

OBPA Board Chairman Vernon D. “Sam” Burns said board members have nothing against Boutique. The airline is just not what they are looking for.

“It’s a great airline, a great company. we of course wish them good luck. For our plans for the airport and the traveling public, we need to do everything we can to have jet service to a regional hub, and that’s what we’re trying to do here,” he said during a briefing. an OBPA board meeting on Thursday. “We believe that’s what the Bridge and Port Authority and Ogdensburg International Airport need to do to grow into the future, and that’s why we’re doing what we’ve done today.”

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