Last month we teased a bit in this blog about the potential opportunity to add a few flights to the Ogden Airport’s integration into the National Air System, controlled primarily by the FAA.
The local newspaper, the Standard Examiner, has written articles and presentations have been made to several government organizations that have the ability to help move the Commercial Service dream along.
The Ogden-Weber Chamber and the Ogden/Weber Convention and Visitors bureau have both had an active part in moving this large undertaking along the last few years.
What new progress has been made?
The Ogden CED department has moved ahead in cooperation with Ogden Administration and the Ogden City Council to take a bold undertaking of asking for Request For Proposals (RFPs) from interested air carriers to provide increased commercial air service to the Ogden Airport. These RFPs are due back to the city by the end of March 2017 and begin initial service by June 2017. Local entrepreneurs with many years of experience in the industry are working with air carriers to create a new vacation package with several destinations out of the Ogden Airport.
The airport has made presentations to eighteen air carriers over the last three years with a professional consultant and participated in a state funded Feasibility study to see what the best return on investment might be. Ogden’s subsidy of the airport grows virtually every year and has become a point of discussion to its future. In a previous blog, we pointed out that 25% of the outbound passengers using the Salt Lake City Airport live closer to the Ogden Airport, meaning 75 of the 300 daily outbound flights contain passengers who have a closer proximity to Ogden. The experiment with Ogden Airport will begin with two flights per day.
Where are we going to fly?
RFPs and soliciting bids are looking for flights to Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando and other potential destinations if the experiment is successful. Ogden’s regional airport is significant in the National Air System because it is the primary reliever for Salt Lake City Airport. Four major carriers have agreements with us for their potential needs, primarily landing in inclement conditions and gas if they are stuck in the Salt Lake holding pattern too long.
Ogden is also a primarily General Aviation airport and we enjoy those pilots calling us home. The Feasibility plan mentions that and encourages us to potentially divide the airport with our General Aviation pilots and planes on the East side of the airport and the Commercial piece to grow on the West side.
We are living in interesting times. Do we have a federal government truly looking at improving the air transportation system? Stay tuned and we will find out together