Commonwealth Journal

Local News

February 14, 2013

Commuter air service on hold

Somerset —  

Possible resumption of commuter airline service out of Lake Cumberland Regional Airport is not going to happen until late spring or summer at the earliest.
  “We’re facing a delay ... not from our end but theirs,” said Martin Shearer, executive director of Somerset-Pulaski County Development Foundation. He was referring to a commuter airline service reportedly interested in flying out of the local airport.
  Shearer wasn’t specific but said the still-unidentified airline service has issues on its front burner that must be resolved “ ... before they can get back to us.”
  “They are still interested ... still hoping (to fly out of Somerset),” Shearer emphasized.
  A recently completed regional survey of airline travelers indicates a robust market in this Southern Kentucky area for a commuter airline service at Lake Cumberland Regional Airport.
  Released by the development foundation, the survey indicates a potential annual enplanement of 142,166 passengers who would use airline service in and out of the Somerset airport.
  A Florida-based commuter airline operated out of Lake Cumberland Regional Airport, first to Nashville and then to Washington, D.C., for a little more than two years. It was subsidized with about $900,000 obtained by Congressman Hal Rogers from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $100,000 in local matching funds. No sustaining local source of funding developed before the federal funds were exhausted and the airline shut down February 19, 2010.
  The survey to reestablish commuter air service out of Lake Cumberland Regional Airport is an effort by the development foundation, Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce, Somerset-Pulaski Convention & Visitors Bureau, Corbin Economic Development Agency, London/Laurel County Chamber of Commerce, local airport board and Somerset and Pulaski County governments
 

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