An executive with Southern Airways Express, the low-fare carrier serving Bradford Regional Airport, shared good news via telephone with the airport authority Wednesday.
“We're seeing the seasonal surge at Bradford," said Mark Cestari, executive vice-president for business development. "For example, in May there were 297 outbound passengers, while those inbound totaled 295, for a daily average of 10.9 passengers. One hundred of the scheduled 108 flights were completed. June's numbers were even better with 370 outbound and 372 inbound passengers, raising the average daily passenger count to 14.27."
Cestari also noted that Southern Airways plans to add one supervisory employee at Bradford since the airline's Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager Ryan Dach's additional duties have caused him to spend more time away from the airport.
"There is more good news about the Essential Air Service," Cestari added. "All money for the EAS was eliminated in President Donald Trump's original budget he submitted to Congress. In the past several weeks, though, the House and Senate have not only restored funding, but expanded it in their respective budgets."
Southern Airways, Cestari said, is planning to announce a marketing plan targeting local students, especially those at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and St. Bonaventure, without forgetting about business passengers.
In his engineer's report, Brian Wolfel of GAI Consultants, said bids for rehabilitating Runway 14-32 were opened June 20. Of the three bids, J.J. Cunningham of Shavertown, submitted the lowest base bid, $357,247.35, and GAI recommended this company receive the project. "The grant application has been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration, and we are awaiting awarding of the grant to schedule the pre-engineering meeting," said Wolfel.
The rehabilitation of the Forest Oil Building hangar project is proceeding with the structural design for the new door, as well as the replacement of the existing windows and mandoor and electrical upgrade.
GAI continues to work with Martinez Geospatial on the first phase of the obstruction removal project.
The Airport Master Plan Update of Scope of Services has been submitted to the FAA for review. According to Airport Manager Alicia Dankesreiter, "The master plan takes a comprehensive look at airport improvement projects."
Authority members approved a supplemental agreement with GAI, amounting to $7,189.65 to provide additional supervision and inspection services to complement an expanded four-week construction schedule. The airport's share was $359.48.
In his facilities report, David Thomas said LED bulbs have been installed throughout sections of the terminal. "This will be an ongoing process until all fluorescent lights have been changed," he said.
Thomas lauded the efforts of the Lafayette Township Volunteer Fire Department for its cooperation with airport staff in planning for the airport's triennial exercise slated for August.