MOUNT ALTON — Southern Airways Express has good news for its passengers at the Bradford Regional Airport.
Effective Nov. 15, Southern will restore one of the flights from Bradford to Pittsburgh that was deleted in June when the airline began its daily flights to Washington Dulles International Airport, according to an announcement Wednesday during the airport authority’s monthly meeting.
Since that time Southern has operated three daily flights to Dulles and one to Pittsburgh.
With the new schedule, Southern will operate two flights to Pittsburgh Monday through Friday. One daily flight on Saturday and Sunday will remain in place. That will reduce the Dulles flights per day from three to two.
Airport and airline officials agree that the one flight that is restored in no way diminishes the airline’s Dulles’ traffic. “The Pittsburgh traffic remains strong,” they said in justifying the restored flight.
In his airline report for September, Ryan Dach, director of Mid-Atlantic and New England hometown stations for Southern, said 98 flights departed for a completion rate of 94 percent. For arrivals, the completion factor was 93 percent, with weather accounting for four cancellations.
For the same time, 280 passengers were enplaned — 141 to Pittsburgh and 141 to Dulles. Passengers deplaned were 265 — 141 from Pittsburgh and 124 from Dulles.
The average passengers per day at the airport was 10.5.
Terry Burlingame, a retired American Airlines pilot with 30 years’ experience on domestic and international routes, joined the authority for his first official meeting after being appointed last month. Burlingame, a Smethport resident and flight instructor at the airport, replaces Ron Dankesreiter of Cameron County who resigned last year.
Airport Manager Alicia Dankesreiter reported the finance committee met in September to discuss the new budget, including opportunities for additional income and cost reductions. “Our committee plans to meet with the county commissioners today,” stated Dankesreiter.
Authority members approved several motions. One authorized the airport manager to negotiate a lease agreement for the multi-tenant center with the DMint Corp.
The second one was an updated Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System Adoption agreement that restates the agency’s pension plan from a Defined Benefit Plan to a Cash Balance Plan. There will be no changes in the retirement system, officials said.
In the airport report, Alicia Dankesreiter noted there are currently seven vacant hangars. “One of the causes is airplane sales are expensive,” she said.
Authority member Rob Huber suggested that these spaces could be advertised to produce additional revenue.
Dankesreiter reported that two old metal storage hangars have been taken down and disposed of at no cost to the airport. “The site is ready for a new airport equipment storage building when Bureau of Aviation and local funds are available,” she said.