As NewLincolnCounty.com reported to you last week, Seaport Airlines CEO Rob McKinney fired off a short and not-so-sweet email to Newport Mayor Mark McConnell telling him that because fuel prices are rising and the fact that “NOAA has completely refused to use our service,” Seaport may have to cease service in July. And that the email is Seaport’s 30 day notice to the city.
The issue was raised during Monday night’s city council meeting, councilors reminding the public that if they want scheduled airline service to Portland and Salem to continue, they should start buying tickets.
However, City Councilor David Allen and several other councilors concluded that Mr. McKinney’s assessment of NOAA’s attitude toward his airline seemed a bit strong. Councilor Allen said he wanted clarification on who, at NOAA, gave Mr. McKinney such an impression. Airport Manager Gene Cossey said he has been assured by several NOAA officials that NOAA employees are free to fly with any airline they chose. Mr. Cossey said he has been unable to locate the person who gave Mr. McKinney the understanding that NOAA “completely refuses” to use Seaport. But Mr. Cossey said he’ll keep trying. He added that Newport has been giving Seaport a very good price for aviation fuel. Mr. McKinney admitted as such in his email but added that such favors are not being afforded Seaport at other airfields.
Councilor Allen suggested the city examine Mr. McKinney’s “30 day notice” email to determine if its language is clear enough as to Mr. McKinney’s claim that it constitutes a valid 30 day notice. Councilor Allen says the wording, in his view, may not clearly indicate that a valid 30 day notice was, in fact, contained in the email.Share on Facebook