Abilene Regional Airport one step closer to adding new airlines

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ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - The Abilene Regional Airport is making strides in an effort to make the airport more convenient for travelers.

Director of Transportation Services, Don Green, said the airport will receive help in trying a new airline service to Abilene.

They are doing so by hiring air service development consultant, UBM Princeton, to help them with this process.

Green said with coming together will help decide what airlines to talk to.

He said with six daily departures to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, bringing another airline is much needed.

"Our enplanements are up so this makes our market a lot more attractive to going out and recruiting new air service. So, we would like the opportunity to hire an air service consultant to come in and help us do this. They're very good at preparing the data that airlines request and helping us present that data to the airlines as well as helping us arrange those meetings," Green said.

The airline has come up with a cost of $5,400 a month which is $64,800 for the first year of the contract. This contract has two one-year options after this first year. The airport has already entered negotiations with them.

"We have money built into our DCOA [Development Corporation of Abilene] contract for FY17 and FY18 that would be used to support this contract with UBMI," Green said.

Most of the data work will happen in the first year.

"They'll do what's called a leakage study and that's to look at where people in our market, or where they're flying out of. If they're flying out to Abilene or driving to another airport to fly out of and where they're flying to," Green said.

Green said passenger boardings have gone up over the last two years so he believes they are in a good position to make a strong case for this new service.

"What we have done over the last few years is just kind of monitor the situation. The economy bouncing back nationwide, but also in our region is one of the drivers of this," Green said.

One airline that Green does not foresee is Southwest Airline because it does not fly regional jets.

Abilene Regional Airport is still accepting input from the public on what you expect to see. You can give them your input by clicking here.


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