OBPA looking into direct Florida flights, may negotiate with Contour for new destination | St. Lawrence County

Otto I. Eovaldi

OGDENSBURG — The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority will glance into including a next airline to Ogdensburg International Airport. OBPA board users are hoping to add a very low-charge flight directly to Florida. In the meantime, they might try out to negotiate with Contour Airways to transform their vacation spot from Philadelphia to someplace additional south.

The OBPA Board of Directors discussed the ideas for the duration of its Thursday month to month meeting.

Board Chair Vernon D. “Sam” Burns mentioned the authority will seem to an airport specialist the OBPA is previously utilizing to seek out out carriers, this kind of as Allegiant or Spirit Airways.

“I’m not likely to wait around for an airline to come to us. That could possibly hardly ever occur. I feel in getting a lot more aggressive and going just after a low-charge provider,” Board Chair Vernon D. “Sam” Burns explained Friday. “The middle of July is a very good time to start off looking and ideally to start out talking.”

He anticipates they’d be equipped to fill most of the seats, but acknowledges pandemic-related concerns may well be a problem.

“I do not see any reason why we just cannot fill the planes any where from 80% or much more,” he claimed. “It’s a very little difficult coming out from COVID … we never see the trafic coming across the bridge we’d truly like to see. Let’s hope website traffic improves and we can market a direct flight to Florida and people today in this article in NNY and southern Ontario.”

Contour took in excess of this month as the Ogdensburg International Airport air provider funded by the federal Alternate Crucial Air Service plan, which subsidizes flights from rural airports to much larger hubs. Contour’s existing desired destination is Philadelphia, with 12 weekly flights in and out.

“There may occur a time, hopefully gasoline rates will occur down … we can renegotiate with Contour Airways a distinctive support,” Airport Supervisor Stephanie A. Saracco said.

“We’re not imagining Florida, we’re not contemplating Ga, perhaps a little more north than that,” explained OBPA Board Chair Vernon D. “Sam” Burns.

The price tag of those flights would have to be the same as the AEAS subsidy — $11,218,457 masking from July 1 of this calendar year to Sept. 30, 2024.

Mr. Burns requested how considerably Coutour’s jets can fly.

“It is the exact same dimensions as your Skywest aircraft. Nonetheless, considering the fact that it has 30 seats in its place of the 50 seats, it has a lengthier vary,” Ms. Saracco said. “Further down south is conceivable for the potential.”

She also noted that if the OBPA and Contour were being to negotiate a new spot, the U.S. Department of Transportation, which resources the AEAS flights, would not be associated.

Ms. Saracco included that they could go around the $11.2 million AEAS spending budget. The authority would have to cover the difference, which Mr. Burns claimed is “not probably.”

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