The Johnstown Airport has seen an upswing in interest in providing service. Four airlines have put in bids to provide federally subsidized commuter service at the airport. The contract with Colgan Air expires June 30th. That airline is bidding to continue but Gulfstream International of Orlando, Charter Air Transport of Cleveland and Sovereign Air of North Dakota are also bidding under the Essential Air Service Subsidies Program.
Scott Voelker, Johnstown Airport Operations Director, says this is a process that is done biannually. It began with a request for proposal, and the bids that were received last week will be evaluated by the Department of Transportation and the Johnstown Airport Authority.
The companies bid by offering a menu of flights and then suggest how large of a federal subsidy they require. The subsidy requests range from $1.1 million to $3.9 million.
The last time the airport had a request for proposal in 2008, only two air carriers applied. He says it’s good to have more competition. Voelker says there is a public comment period during which passengers can make suggestions to the Department of Transportation.