MOUNT ALTON — The Runway Bar and Grill at the Bradford Regional Airport, which has been closed since Mother’s Day, could reopen under new management as early as the end of this month.
The Bradford Regional Airport Authority has reached a lease agreement with Kerrie Teats, who plans to retain the restaurant’s name and same hours The new lessee brings an extensive background in food service to this job, having worked as a sous chef and intern general manager as needed with former owner Doug Brown.
Teats, who spoke to the airport authority meeting Wednesday, said several positions have been filled, but plans call for hiring two additional servers and a hostess.
The food license inspection was slated for Wednesday. Plans calls for opening the restaurant prior to receiving the liquor license, for which application has already been made and is being handled by Teats’ attorney.
In his report, Brian Wolfel, airport engineer, announced that two bids for airport projects were opened on May 29. Bob Cummins Construction Company was the low bidder for the painting and marking of the parallel taxiway with a quote of $88.913. J. J. Cunningham’s bid of $85,948.50 was accepted for the obstruction removal project on Runway 14-32.
Authority members discussed funding for the airport terminal rehabilitation project, which will include such interior improvements such as LED lighting throughout the building, new boiler, flooring, digital marketing space and increased space for non-airport related events.
Outside, visitors will readily notice new signage and canopies and a new roof over the drive-through lane.
Much of the funding for this project is provided by the Bureau of Aviation in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Airport manager Alicia Dankesreiter is authorized to seek interest rates for loans to finance the remainder of the cost.
This work has a six-month timeline — June to December — according to Dankesreiter.
Ryan Dach, Bradford station manager and director of stations for Southern Air Express, provided the airline report for May, which showed 304 outbound and 316 inbound passengers for a daily average of 11.5 passengers. There were no cancellations.
Dach reported that Bradford, Kane and Smethport are the most popular addresses of passengers flying out of Bradford, while, American Airlines, Southwest and United are the leaders for passengers continuing on from Pittsburgh. “This shows that our interline agreement with American Airlines is becoming more popular,” Dach said.
Commenting on May’s passenger traffic, Dankesreiter said that the 11.5 average daily passenger count is above the ten required by the Essential Air Service federal subsidy, but falls short of the $200 per passenger subsidy as required by the same program. “To reach that subsidy goal, daily passenger levels should be in the 16 to 17 range,” she said.
Dankesreiter also reported that the Customer Appreciation Party at the airport Tuesday afternoon was a success with more than 300 guests in attendance.
Prior to the authority meeting, members of the authority, airport advisory committee and press were given a guided tour of the airport facilities. One of the stops was at the airport observation pavilion, where Dankesreiter explained that members of McKean Aviation have been making improvements, which are almost complete. “These include a new floor and roof, while a fire ring and new BBQ grills are to be added.”