Committee recommends Southern Airways Express proposal to service Quincy Regional Airport
QUINCY (WGEM) - The Quincy Aeronautics Committee unanimously made a recommendation to accept the Southern Airways Express proposal.
Committee Member Ronald Frillman said the committee weighed cost factors and connection factors to narrow down their decision to go with Southern Airways Express, an airline out of Palm Beach, Florida.
“One of the things you had to be concerned about is it less expensive for me to fly to St. Louis and transfer or to drive to St. Louis and park my car for long-term parking, for a couple hundred bucks in long-term parking,” Frillman said.
He said Southern Airways Express already has a commitment with United Airlines to have a gate in Chicago and St. Louis, whereas Boutique Air couldn’t confirm when they’d secure one.
“Southern has connections going from Nashville to other places,” said Frillman. “Theoretically, I could fly a Southern flight from Quincy and make a connection on their route and go somewhere else.”
The committee ultimately all voted in favor of Southern Airways Express, a proposal they said is a million dollars cheaper than Boutique Air out of San Francisco.
“To me, it came down to what do we need to supply the flying public out of Quincy?” Frillman said. “A very cost-effective way to get from St. Louis to Quincy and from Quincy to Chicago.”
But there was some opposition from committee members Jeff Steinkamp and Orville Jones.
Jones said Boutique Air proposed a quicker more comfortable option.
“By it being a pressurized aircraft it automatically is climate-controlled and most of these airplanes are not airconditioned,” Jones said. “Now once you get up to altitude it’s not a great huge issue, but in the summertime when you’re sitting on the tarmac trying to get ready to take off, that is a major issue.”
Mayor Mike Troup said some residents were concerned about the city accepting either of the single-engine aircraft proposals.
Jones said, as a licensed pilot, a single-engine aircraft is safe.
“One of the sales persons mentioned that the single-engine is safer than the twin-engine because if one of the twin-engines fail the plane would flip over,” Jones said. “That just does not happen.”
The Quincy Regional Airport Interim Director Gabriel Hanafin said this recommendation still has to go before the city council Monday, Aug. 8, before anything else can happen.
Hanafin said if council approves it, they’ll draft up an official recommendation to send to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“Ultimately it’s their decision, the contract is held between them and the airline. So ultimately they can decide to go with Boutique, but they tend to really put a lot of weight on what the community says,” Hanafin said.
Hanafin said he doesn’t have a direct timeline as to when the U.S. Department of Transportation will make its final decision.
He said it usually takes a month or two.
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