With the abrupt departure of SeaPort Air from both Newport and Salem, the Newport City council appears to have, temporarily at least, lowered their expectations of airline service to Newport. The council told Newport Airport Manager Gene Cossey to contact aircraft owners and other knowledgeable aviators, along with business and prominent figures in the community to determine what kind of air service Newport “really” needs.
Cossey initially recommended that the city spend upwards of ten thousand dollars for airline consulting firm Mead and Hunt to seriously press smaller airlines to consider serving Newport. He said individual council members could also contact the smaller airlines and pitch them themselves but that they would be far less effective at it because the airlines trust consultants more to provide verifiable passenger counts and freight figures.
However, the council balked at Cossey’s suggestion. Instead they told him to circulate around town to determine what level of air service the Newport needs. Mayor McConnell said he has heard that there has been speculation among pilots at Newport Airport that something less than full airline service might tide the community over until another airline sees fit to jump in. McConnell said the recession has made airline recruitment extremely difficult.
Cossey said he would check around and report back to the council. Meanwhile the city of Salem is also on the hunt for another airline to serve their community.Share on Facebook