Airport experiences changes
January 3, 2011 – By JOLENE CRAIG jcraig
WILLIAMSTOWN – The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport experienced a big year with a lot of happenings in 2010, an official said.
“It’s been a big year,” said airport manager Terry Moore. “A lot of very big things happened to the airport and at the airport.”
One of the largest changes is the new commercial air service by Gulfstream International Airlines, which provides four flights per day to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. The new service began on Oct. 1 and the airport has seen a growth of as many as 100 passengers coming through the terminal, which is located off of West Virginia 31.
“It is promising and we look forward to see how it plays out,” Moore said.
Moore said the airport had 586 enplanements in November, which was the highest number of passengers the airport has had in one month since he was named manager four years ago.
Gulfstream’s contract with the United States Department of Transportation to provide service to the local airport will continue until October 2012. The USDOT chose the commercial service as part of the Essential Air Service program, which provides federal funds for commercial air service to a number of regional airports throughout the country.
The airport also hired two new employees to replace maintenance men who retired after becoming fixtures at the facility.
“For as small as our staff is, that is a 20 percent change,” Moore said.
These new employees have been trained and are receiving more hands-on training as more winter weather moves through the area.
In June, the airport also hosted the All-Women Air Race Classic in which 55 teams of two females in single- or twin-engine airplanes flew the 2,000-nautical-mile race from Ft. Myers, Fla., to Frederick Municipal Airport in Frederick, Md., in three days with stops at airports along the way, including the local airport.
“It was really cool to be part of that,” Moore said. “I hope they choose to make the airport a regular stop on their races.”
Another big crowd was drawn to the airport in October for the 2010 Air Show when 25,000 people visited the facility to watch aircraft large and small fly, land and perform tricks.
Also in October, the airport received a $60,000 Small Community Air Service Development Grant from the USDOT to allow the airport to market Gulfstream’s new service.
“We will also hire airport consultants to see what the airport can do to get more service for our customers,” Moore said.
For 2011 the airport will be going through a wildlife assessment which will look at all of the wildlife within a five-mile radius of the airport.
“It will look at everything from deer and racoons to rodents because they feed birds of prey,” Moore said. “It will be interesting to see the conclusions of the assessment in the next year or so.”
Moore said with the large positive changes the airport has experienced in the past 12 months have allowed airport officials to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
“We’re still here and that’s the best part,” Moore said. “We look like we’re ending the year with some level of hope and it’s nice.”
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