Airport seeking customer's opinion on second carrier - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Airport seeking customer's opinion on second carrier

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January 20, 2006

Albany -- The Department of Transportation awarded Albany's airport a half million dollar grant. The money will be used to lure a second air carrier to the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

 Monday the Albany Dougherty Aviation Commission invites you to an "air service summit", to hear your opinion on bringing in more competition for the ticket buyers to choose.

A.S.A. is the only commercial airline carrier serving Albany's airport on a daily basis. But the half million dollar D.O.T. Grant will be used to bring in another airline. Airport Director Yvette Aehle said "What you have to do for air carriers to start new service in a community anymore, is you have to pay them to come in."

 Monday the Aviation Committee invites everyone to talk about which air carrier would be a good match for Albany. Aehle said "Obviously we do want to hear from the community of what hub they might want to fly to besides Atlanta."

The airline industry is in distress now, with many major carriers in bankruptcy. Little expansion is underway. The Boyd Group consultants will also be at the Albany meeting, to gives strategies for the airport's future. Aehle said "We try it out and see how it works. If there is enough demand, and the people use the service, that could lead to a long term commitment."

 Adding a second carrier to Albany would lower ticket prices, and could be a boost to the area economy. Aehle said "A lot of jobs and a lot of money are tied up here. So we need to keep growing and putting Albany out front. "

Albany will have to raise one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars to add to the grant. The Airport Summit meeting will be held at 5 PM Monday in the Airport's restaurant.

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