If Chautauqua County can't privatize the Chautauqua County Airport at Jamestown, then it needs to make the airport profitable.
Sam Arcadipane, who took over early in 2013 as Chautauqua County airport and parks manager, knew when he took the job the road to profitability lay in getting more people to use the airport. Many area residents, unfortunately, couldn't afford to use the airport because the fares were too high.
That problem is gone, at least for a while, with an agreement by Silver Airways to offer one-way, nonstop flights from Jamestown to Cleveland for $49. In the future, Arcadipane hopes to add competitive flights connecting to destinations such as Pittsburgh and Newark, but Cleveland is the first step, he said. Silver Air also connects passengers from Bradford, Franklin and Dubois, Pa., along with Parkersburg, W.Va., to Cleveland.
Adding 5,500 passengers a year makes the county eligible for federal funding that could pay for the runway extensions needed for larger planes - and the increased traffic obviously would do wonders to the airport's bottom line. Arcadipane will be the first to admit there is much work to be done to reach 10,000 riders a year, but securing cheaper flights is a wonderful first step.