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Clarksburg And Lewisburg Airports May Have New Carrier

An American Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from Miami International Airport.
Wilfredo Lee
/
AP
An American Airlines Boeing 767 takes off from Miami International Airport.

Airports in Clarksburg and Lewisburg may have found a replacement carrier in anticipation of SkyWest Airlines’ departure. The budget airline asked to end service in March.

The directors for North Central Regional Airport in Clarksburg and Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg have identified Contour Airlines as their preferred carrier moving forward.

In March, the Department of Transportation blocked SkyWest Airlines from ending service to 29 airports across the country including Clarksburg and Lewisburg.

In documents filed with the Department of Transportation (DOT) at the end of June, both airport authorities requested a waiver to award their Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to the Tennessee based airline, which is affiliated with American Airlines.

According to DOT, the EAS program was put into place to guarantee that small communities that were served by certificated air carriers before airline deregulation can maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service.

As an Essential Air Service carrier, Contour would connect the regional airports to the National Air Transportation System via the American Airlines hub in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Contour currently offers service to 10 other EAS cities, including Parkersburg and Beckley.

Both airports declined proposals from Boutique Air and Southern Airways Express. Those airlines only offer single-engine service, and that would require the airports to waive their rights to twin engine service.

A proposal from Team Tundra was rejected by both airports as incomplete.

North Central/Morgantown Reporter, cschulz@wvpublic.org, 304-284-1497, @SchulzReports

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