JAMESTOWN – The U.S. Department of Transportation has denied the joint proposal by Boutique Air and Chautauqua County to re-establish commercial air service between Jamestown and Pittsburgh.
In justification of the decision, the Department’s Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs cited the underwhelming performance record of commercial air carriers to the Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport in recent years and the availability of commercial air service alternatives at public airports in Buffalo and Erie.
In its Order rejecting the proposed route between Jamestown and Pittsburgh International Airport, the U.S. Department of Transportation did not foreclose other commercial air service options and expressly left the docket open for future action.
County and City leaders are actively engaged in dialogue with airline and commercial aviation advocacy groups to consider alternate approaches and other options for restoration of passenger service to the Jamestown regional airport.
According to Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello, Representative Tom Reed held a phone call with Essential Air Service (EAS) program officials about a new, revised application being submitted as soon as possible.
“Thanks to Congressman Reed’s direct engagement with DOT, we have received actionable feedback on how we may adjust and improve our application,” said Borrello. “That combined with further advocacy and continued bi-partisan support from our federal representatives, should increase the possibility of approval in the future.”
“We are disappointed by this decision, but we would like to thank County Executive George Borrello for all of his hard work to bring commercial air service back to Jamestown,” Reed said. “However, the fight is not over, and we will continue to work together as a team to bring commercial air back to Jamestown.”
In addition, the air carrier, Boutique Air, remains committed to the effort of developing routes that are economically viable under the US DOT EAS program and has signaled its intention to redouble its efforts, in collaboration with local business and community leaders, to put Jamestown back on the commercial air service map.
Shawn Simpson, President and CEO of Boutique Airlines, expressed his commitment to bringing commercial air service back to Jamestown.
“With our recent route expansion into Pittsburgh, Jamestown makes even more sense now for Boutique Airlines,” said Simpson. “Further, our partnerships with United and American Airlines give us an unprecedented level of service and convenience not seen before in Jamestown, or the southern tier of New York.”
Under County Government leadership, and with solid bi-partisan support from New York’s U.S. Senate representatives Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand and Tom Reed, the return of commercial air service to the region will be pursued as an integral element of the broader economic development and global integration of our region.