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News
Jamestown Regional Airport boards 10,000th passenger

by Katie Fairbanks

Posted on 11/25/2016

Tuesday night, 9,970 passengers had boarded flights at the Jamestown Regional Airport this year. So when Cameron Todd was the 30th person to check in Wednesday morning, Airport Manager Samuel Seafeldt knew he was the airport''s 10,000th passenger of the year.

University of Jamestown student Cameron Todd, who was flying to New York to visit family for Thanksgiving break, received a gift bag of travel necessities and a voucher for two round-trip tickets from Jamestown to Denver on United Express from SkyWest Airlines.

Jamestown Regional Airport Authority Chairman Jim Boyd said the airport has had the goal in its sights for a long time.

"It''s a fantastic accomplishment," Boyd said.

Reaching this goal means going from $150,000 in entitlement funding from the Federal Aviation Administration to $1 million, Boyd said. The airport will receive the increased funding beginning in 2018.

"It will be a lot of fun growing our airport," Boyd said.

Seafeldt said the airport was able to reach the goal because of the hard work of the airport employees, TSA security workers and First Class Aviation employees who service the planes.

"Their workload has increased two or three times from previous years," Seafeldt said. "They deserve a lot of credit."

Boyd said he has been on the Airport Authority since 2007, and passenger numbers were down around 2,500 per year. Expanding the airport terminal building in 2011 and contracting with SkyWest Airlines for jet service in 2014 helped attract passengers, Boyd said.

Seafeldt said he is thankful that the U.S. Department of Transportation found the community worthy of jet service through the Federal Aviation Administration''s Essential Air Service program.

Next month the airport will begin using a jet bridge so people don''t have to walk outside to board the planes, Boyd said.

The authority is also anticipating the need for more parking as passenger numbers increase, and will be expanding the parking lot next spring, Boyd said. The airport offers free parking, one of the conveniences that sets it apart from larger airports in the area, Boyd said.

Adding a Saturday night arrival in July helped boost passenger numbers as well, Seafeldt said.

Seafeldt said he is expecting the number of passengers to exceed 11,000 by the end of the year. He didn''t know if December numbers will break the all-time passenger record of 1,164, but they will follow the trend of the rest of the year and exceed last year''s numbers.

"It''s a good thing for the airport and the community," Seafeldt said. "I can''t wait to do it again next year."