OBPA undertakes four-year program to attract commercial airliners to Ogdensburg airport; Allegiant expresses interest
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 - 11:36 am

OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority has initiated a four-year program to attract commercial airline service to Ogdensburg’s George B. Looney airfield.

It appears the program has attracted the attention of at least one commercial carrier, Allegiant Air of Las Vegas, Nev., which also has operations out of Plattsburgh Airport.

The commercial air carrier incentive program is designed to help boost the regional economy and increase passenger services at the airport, according to OBPA Executive Director Wade A. Davis.

The incentives include waiving a year's worth of landing fees for airlines starting new routes and destinations that are not already served from Ogdensburg, and will waive fees for increased operations and new destinations in future years to carriers offering new passenger services.

The incentive program was approved by the authority’s board on Monday. Carriers will qualify for the incentives on a first come, first served basis, according to a press release from Davis.

The airport is in line for some major improvements, including a runway extension.

The airport expansion will consist of an extension of 1,200-foot to the existing mile-long runway, to permit traffic by jetliners. The plan also calls for relocation of a portion of State Rt. 68 to accommodate the longer runway, terminal upgrades, and a waterline to the airport for fire protection.

The interest of an airline in the airport at Ogdensburg is a necessary piece of the development. The federal Aviation Administration, which can exercise approval of the plans, would need to see a real prospect of use of the extended runway before they would approve construction.

Allegiant air has formalized its interest in the plan by committing to a $1 million loan for expansion and upgrades to the passenger terminal at the airport if the project is to go ahead, Davis said.