JAMESTOWN – Commercial air service will soon be returning to the Chautauqua County Airport.
On Friday, Congressman Tom Reed and Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello announced that Boutique Airways has submitted a proposal to the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide air service to the Airport under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which provides essential funding for small airports.
Chautauqua County’s Jamestown airport has been without a passenger service provider since Southern Airways Express pulled out at the start of this year after federal funding was cut.
The EAS program, which is under the DOT, provides subsidies for flights to smaller markets, like Jamestown, that airlines would not otherwise serve.
The DOT has said it would withhold EAS funding from the county airport because it didn’t meet the minimum number of daily passengers required to qualify. However, Reed – along with both Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand – have requested the DOT still provide the money, blaming the low passenger service on poor operations by the previous air service provider.
Congressman Reed said in a media release sent out on Saturday that without air service in Chautauqua County, Jamestown could feel the effects of lagging behind a rapidly changing economy.
Details of the air service, including how many flights would be provided along with where they would go to, were not immediately provided.