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Cool $1 Million Dollars Raised For New Airline

 

RREDC and Humboldt County Hope for Competitive Air Service in 2013

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 
 
You have to pay to play.
 
The Redwood Region Economic Development
Commission
(RREDC) just announced that a giant
step has been taken
towards attracting more air
service to the area.
 
The goal of bringing competition back to the Arcata Eureka Airport (ACV) was realized when a $1,000,000 fundraising goal was reached yesterday.  The money raised will be used to entice and support a new air carrier flying to a new hub airport until that route is self supporting.
 
RREDC and the County are now actively recruiting airlines and hope to have new service in place by spring 2013.
 
“We all recognize that air service is a crucial link to the world for Humboldt County, just like the Internet and US 101,”
Don Ehnebuske, Executive Director of RREDC, said.
 
“But like many people, we questioned why the community should raise funds to attract an airline to the area.  After all, isn’t it their business to provide air service?” Ehnebuske asked.
 
“However, when we started looking into it, we came to understand the huge payback for everyone in Humboldt County.  Ticket prices shot up when Horizon ceased flights from ACV leaving only one airline serving the area.  Passengers began driving to other airports to take flights,” Ehnebuske added.
 
Average one way ticket prices to Los Angeles are now about $100 over the competitive fares of two years ago, costing millions of dollars to the the tens of thousands of passengers flying to LA each year, according to the RREDC.
 
50,000 fewer passengers flying from the airport every year dramatically reduces FAA construction funding for local contractors and suppliers.  The loss to the community is at least $5,000,000 per year by the most conservative estimates, RREDC said.
 
The $1,000,000 raised came from the:
 
  • Department of Transportation
  • Headwaters Fund
  • And from over 70 local donors – businesses, tribes, individuals, and local governments
The total local contribution was $250,000.  That translates to at least $40 in reduced prices and construction jobs for every $1 invested by the community over the two year agreement with a new airline, the RREDC said.
 
The RREDC group contributes to a Facebook page devoted to bringing in a new carrier and appreciating the efforts of the donors and businesses of Humboldt County’s cool one million dollar fly-by-night extortive travel cause and subsequent dearth of air service.
 
* * * * * * * * *
 
As we have all experienced, flying into or out of Humboldt County is a risky gambit nowadays that utterly sucks.
 
Folks are driving to SF, Sacramento, Redding and Medford for the reliability of air service.  It’s far easier to fly from elsewhere if you want to make it off in time, catch a connecting flight, reach your conference and not lose your first overnight accommodations doing so.
 
It took us two full days to get to Las Vegas out of Humboldt County last month.  A bicycle– or winged monkees– would have been a more efficient way to go.
 
 
 (Posted by Skippy Massey)
 

 

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