JAMESTOWN – Chautauqua County’s only air service, is no more.
On Tuesday the Tennessee based company packed up their operation after lack of customers led to the termination of funding by the US Department of Transportation.
County officials were notified of the loss of funding back in December 2017.
Executive George Borrello is disappointing with the outcome.
The executive says the Essential Air Service program that allowed Southern Airways to come into town needs reform.
“It encourages poor performance,” said Borrello. “They do this subcity based on the number of flights instead of passengers.”
“But then they hold them (Southern Airways) to a certain dollar amount per passenger,” said Borrello.
The program that was funding flights required ten passengers a day to continue.
It helped subsidize flight to smaller airports like Jamestown that would not otherwise have service.
Borrello says he’s already working with other airlines to bring a permanent solution to the Jamestown airport.
“I’d rather have two flights a day that is reliable than three or four flights a day that get canceled a lot with nobody on them,” said Borrello.