ROME — Oneida County is studying the future of commercial air service from Griffiss International Airport and has hired an expert consultant to assess the feasibility of regularly scheduled passenger air-carrier service at the airport.
“The goal of our investments at Griffiss is to make Griffiss an economic development engine that can help attract, retain, and grow jobs in our region,” Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said in a news release announcing the study. “The time is right for us to assess the climate for commercial air passenger service and determine a realistic, appropriate course of action based upon the current market for air travel and the expectations and needs of the people and employers of Oneida County.”
R.A. Wiedemann & Associates, Inc. of Georgetown, Ky., will conduct an air-service development study to first establish the level of public demand and support for airline service initiated at Griffiss and then determine the feasibility of any options selected for further study.
Phase one of the study will examine the potential demand and usage for a flight route between Griffiss and Dayton, Ohio to provide a direct route for local Department of Defense agencies and contractors to and from the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base area and provide the general public with the option of using Dayton as an alternative connecting hub airport instead of traveling to New York City. Dayton offers direct flights to Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago-O’Hare, Denver, Washington-Dulles, Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, Tampa, Dallas/Fort Worth, Cleveland, Newark, Milwaukee, Charlotte, New York-LaGuardia, Philadelphia, and Washington-Reagan.
Phase two of the study will focus on the analysis of airline service factors, passenger flows, airline fares, and route economics.
If air travel to Dayton is not feasible, the study will examine other potential options that could include direct air service to New York City or seasonal air service to vacation destinations such as Myrtle Beach, S.C.
“Griffiss Airport has outstanding potential, and we want to develop that potential in the right ways to maximize our community’s growth,” Picente said. “As we work to develop the airport’s potential for air freight and other uses, we would be remiss if we did not fully explore our options for passenger travel. We need a sound, expert analysis as the basis for our decision making as we move forward. I know there is an interest in having passenger access from Griffiss. This study will tell us whether that interest can translate itself into an economically viable project.”
The study will also incorporate input and data from anyone interested in the future of the airport. Oneida County residents and businesses are encouraged to contact R.A. Wiedemann & Associates at its website: www.rawiedmann.com.