WASHINGTON – The federal government has denied an application seeking federal funding to help subsidize commercial air service at the Chautauqua County airport in Jamestown.
County officials say the county and the city of Jamestown were notified on Friday by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that the joint proposal by Boutique Air and Chautauqua County to re-establish commercial air service between Jamestown and Pittsburgh was not approved for Essential Air Service (EAS) funding.
In justification of the decision, DOT officials cited the underwhelming performance record of commercial air carriers to the Airport in recent years and the availability of commercial air service alternatives at public airports in Buffalo, N.Y. and Erie, PA.
In its order rejecting the proposed route between Jamestown and Pittsburgh International Airport, the Department of Transportation did not foreclose other commercial air service options and expressly left the docket open for future action.
According to a release from County executive George Borrello’s office, county and city leaders are actively engaged in dialogue with airline and commercial aviation advocacy groups to consider alternate approaches and other options for restoration of passenger service to the Jamestown regional airport.
Congressman Tom Reed also held a phone call with EAS program officials about a new, revised application being submitted as soon as possible.
In January 2018 it was announced that commercial air service would be leaving Jamestown but by the Spring of last year, a new air service provider – Boutique Air based out of San Francisco, announced it would be working to serve the area if EAS funding could be made available. According to county officials, Boutique remains committed to the effort of developing routes that are economically viable under the EAS program and has signaled its intention to redouble its efforts.