Next step for Chico airport

Sep 24, 2014 12:11 AM by Jason Atcho

Last month, Skywest announced that it would be discontinuing service to Chico by the end of the year. That would leave Butte County without a commercial airline service, which had city officials thinking about the future. "We're getting close to the time in which our commercial air service will come to an end on December 2nd and we really need to strategize and plan and develop methods by which to deal with that," said Chico Mayor Scott Gruendl.

The city council, airport commission, and chamber of commerce have all expressed interest in solving this issue. Tuesday night's meeting was about bringing all the ideas together. "(We want to) make sure everybody's got a role and they've got something to do because there's a lot of moving pieces and we don't want anybody out there moving on their own," said Gruendl.

Professors from Chico State are also assisting by gathering data and trying to figure out the needs of airport passengers in Chico. "We know that there's a significant amount of data out there that's available to us already. Why not begin to gather it? That data may already tell a story," explained Gruendl.

One of the main objectives is to have someone manage the airport and establish an authority. The city has had several proposals. "One of the committees that was formed this evening will take a look at those proposals, score them, and decide if either one of them is appropriate."

In the meantime, they're trying to figure out alternatives like charter flights to Sacramento. "After December 2nd, what type of services can be provided to the public that they're connect to flights?"

The next meeting is set for October 28th. By then they hope to have a possible choice for a consultant and have some direction on what the next step will be.


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