MOUNT ALTON — An architect on Wednesday presented the members of the Bradford Regional Airport Authority with an update of the terminal building rehabilitation project.
Architect Ethan Hine, vice-president and chief architect of KTH Architects in DuBois, showed architectural renderings of the terminal’s planned upgrades, which include major interior and exterior improvements that will affect almost every section of the building.
Among the interior improvements will be LED lighting throughout the building, a new gas fireplace and boiler, new flooring, as well as remodeled restrooms, stone columns, digital marketing space, a warming up space and increased space for non-airport related events. “We’re catering to the current generation by also including cell phone charging space,” Hine said.
Outside, travelers and visitors will readily notice new signage, new canopies and a new roof over the drive-through lane. “The building’s exterior will be low-maintenance materials,” said airport manager Alicia Dankesreiter.
Advertising for bids for the project are slated to be made prior to the authority’s June meeting. After bids are opened and contracts awarded, actual construction should take approximately six months, which could be late this year or early 2020.
Many of the plans will adhere to the development objectives as set forth in the PA Wilds Design Guide for Community Character, Dankesreiter reported.
Mark Cestari, chief commercial officer for Southern Airways Express, the airline serving Bradford, gave an airline update. “We had a good March, but our numbers were down in April,” he said. Those figures showed 272 outbound and 304 in bound passengers, for a daily average of 11 passengers. Two in bound and two departing flights were cancelled due to weather for a 98 percent completion rate.
According to Cestari, there are several possible causes for the lower traffic numbers. “One,” he said, “is that Pittsburgh had no advertising in place for the airline, but this will change within the week. Additionally, Frontier Airlines, a low-fare carrier, has begun service at Buffalo, and American Airlines is offering service from Buffalo to Las Vegas and California.”
SAE, in cooperation with the chamber of commerce, has expanded its advertising campaign into Warren County, a potential new market now that Jamestown no longer has a commercial airport.
On the positive side, Cestari said, Southern Air Expressways and Mokulele Airlines, which SAE purchased recently, recorded the highest “On Time” rate for any American airline — 93 percent, compared to Southwestern’s 63 percent. To be considered “On Time,” airlines must depart or arrive within 15 minutes of scheduled times. “This is extremely important for us with our interline agreement with American Airlines,” Cestari said.
SAE will host a customer appreciation party at the airport from 4-7 p.m. on June 11.
Brian Wolfel, an engineer with GAI Consultants in DuBois, reported that the obstruction removal project on the 32 end of the Runway 14-32 is finished. Work on the other end of this runway is slated next. Bids are to be opened May 29.
The authority members approved the engineering agreement with GAI Consultants for engineering services pertaining to rehabilitate Parallel Taxiway A, crack and sealing and marking, in the amount of $57,538.34.
The Runway Bar and Grill will close on May 12. Dankesreiter said, “This opportunity is generating interest, however no business proposal has been selected at this time. We have a few exciting things planned during the absence of a full-time operator, including two fly-in breakfasts, and I’m looking into the possibility of having a drive- or fly-in food truck party in the airport parking lot. We would invite all the area trucks for an operation and spread the word to communities and airports.”
In addition, local Girl Scouts will host a Breakfast Fly-In from 8-11 a.m., May 18.
Authority members met in an executive session prior to adjourning.