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Chico, Calif. --- The effort to bring commercial airlines to Chico is going strong. Airport Manager Sherry Miller says the city has made contact with four major carriers, but she would not say which ones.
Miller says the city could hear from those carriers any day. The city is working with Jet Chico, a citizen and business-based non-profit organization.
A recent study by a consultant firm shows the Chico Metropolitan service area, which includes Oroville, Paradise and Gridley would support two commercial flights departing and two arriving each day, or about 682 passengers coming and going to the area.
The passenger study is based on information derived from credit card information and zip codes from passengers in the Chico area. The study also shows Los Angeles would be the number one destination.
The last commercial service in Chico was in December of 2014. Miller told Action News Now Friday, "Businesses have left Chico because of no commercial air service and businesses have not come because of it." Miller says they are just beginning to work on revenue guarantee funds of a million dollars.
The money will come from businesses and the local community. Miller says several major businesses in Chico, including Transfer Flow and Chico State University, are on board with the effort. The public can help by participating in a 'ticket bank' by promising to buy tickets. Miller says people who Uber Drivers to get to Sacramento can put money into the ticket bank for a ticket guarantee.
An agreement with possible airlines could be made quickly, but it could take six months after that, as the carriers have to get Chico into the route planning and Transportation Security Administration or TSA has to set up equipment. Miller says she is encouraged, optimistic and excited at the direction the movement is going and they are prepared for any hurdles that may come.