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Ryan makes pitch for regional-airline service

Published: Tue, December 21, 2010 @ 12:02 a.m.


The Vindicator (Youngstown)

Tim Ryan talks about bringing the Cruze and the extra shift to Lordstown in February 2010.

Staff report


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, sent a letter to executives with the regional airline Colgan, encouraging consideration of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport as a future site for daily flights to Washington, D.C.

Colgan Air is conducting a feasibility study regarding the service. The letter went to George Casey, Colgan president; Michael Colgan, vice president; and D. Phillip Reed, director of schedule planning.

Results of the study are expected later this week with potential announcement of service in January, said Tom Reich, president of Air Service Partners of Alexandria, Va., a consultant to the local airport.

“By investing in and doing business in our area, Colgan will be able to benefit from what is undoubtedly one of the nation’s newest emerging metro economies,” Ryan wrote.

“By providing a link between these two regions, Colgan also serves to benefit from the Cleveland-to-Pittsburgh Tech Belt Initiative.”

Ryan called the area between Cleveland and Pittsburgh a “mega-region” with 7.2 million people, making it the fourth-largest in the U.S.

The region has more than 700 bioscience companies, employing more than 25,000 people. Since 2005, more than $350 million in venture capital has led to new medical device, biopharmaceutical and health-care startups here, Ryan said.

Meanwhile, Reich says he thinks the data that have been gathered from potential users of the Colgan service may be enough to persuade Colgan to launch the service.

The data will be necessary, Reich said, because right now, airlines have the false impression that “people don’t fly” in the Youngstown-Warren area, Reich said.

“You have to get past that. You have to show them the data. When you show them the data — It’s not Dayton — but three to four turbo-prop trips to [Washington, D.C.] Dulles [airport] per day is very possible, at least within a year or two,” he said.

A Colgan planner has been devoting an entire week or two to evaluating whether it makes sense to start up service here, Reich said.

The bonus for local business travelers is that once an airline such as Colgan begins to operate, its passenger data are reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation and become available to all other airlines, which makes it easy for them to also see whether the Mahoning Valley would be a good market, Reich said.

The leisure flights by Allegiant Air to Orlando, Myrtle Beach and Tampa are helping the local airport build up credibility, but that doesn’t indicate whether business travelers will use a service here, Reich said.


1williamstaerk(1 comment)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I think that health care reform is a great idea. I have type 1 diabetes and for me to get insurance, it was a nightmare until I found "Wise Health Insurance" search for them online and you can get affordable health insurance instantly.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

WHY? With Pittsburgh, Akron-Canton, and Cleveland in the region, why would anyone bring regular flights to Vienna? Another bad Tim Ryan idea. It's no wonder the valley has gotten none of the economic stimulus benefits.

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3faith(200 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

F&E, your pensions were funded by GM 120% when Delphi split. Delphi management screwed up your pensions and now you blame GM and Tim and Ted and Sherrod, and anyone else you can point a finger at. Look in the mirror you dope!

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4valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

You just have to love the pessimism of UnionForever. I have never read anything positive come out of his/her(s) mouth.

Although I am not a supporter of Tim Ryan, I appreciate his support for the airport and his support for a private business coming to the Mahoning Valley. Now it is my hopes that Bill Johnson joins Tim Ryan on this and writes his own letter to Colgan Air!

Daily flights WILL succeed from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport, just as the Allegiant Air flights have succeeded from the airport! The naysayers will be wrong again!

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5valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

CensoredShip.... We are looking at around 27,000 passengers this year on Allegiant, a number that will be sure to go up next year when their is service year-round to Orlando and Tampa, in addition to the seasonal service to Myrtle Beach.

Just curious where you get the $2 million number from? YNG received a $575,000 grant. When you add in contributions from the local business community, that number will most certainly creep closer to $750,000. That is nowhere near the $2 million you have stated.

I just do not understand the pessimists that refuse to acknowledge the successes we have seen at the airport with YNG and the need for a regional airport to help move our economy forward.

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6DJ0(72 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

...let's see... GM retirees. Would that be those who voted for, and got the slick layoff clause that allowed them to come to the work site and play cribbage or read the newspapers while still collecting a lion's share of their former pay? Those same employees who were fine with those outlandish perks while top management collected criminally large paychecks and ran the company into bankruptcy? Ya gets whatcha pays for!

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7redvert(2197 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

It is very simple, bring enough new businesses to the area and the airlines will ask to serve the airport, not the other way around and our taxes will not be buying their services.

Personally I will continue to use Charlie Brown for parking and Pittsburgh Airport. Best all around choice for me.

It ain't rocket science folks!

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8valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Dodge... These AREN'T connecting flights to Cleveland or Pittsburgh. This would be a NONSTOP route from Youngstown to Washington Dulles (IAD).

The savings in terms of gas, tolls, and parking will add up for local travelers if they choose YNG over CLE or PIT. In addition you will save time! You don't need to leave your house four hours early to travel out of PIT or CLE or CAK. Almost everyone in the area is within 25 minutes of YNG.

Like redvert said, it isn't rocket science folks. If you enjoy popping $4 bucks to ride the PA turnpike for 15 minutes, then go ahead and continue to travel via PIT.

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9arbalaugh(13 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

The big picture is that this would benefit Timmy... How many people do you know that will befenfit from daily flights to DC? Myrtle Beach and Florida make sense. It seems to me that only congressmen would be looking for that DC trip. Anyone know a congressmen that would be interested?

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10redvert(2197 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

valleyred, I travel from New Middletown down through Unity and then south out of Chippewa. No tolls! If I leave four hours early I would have a long wait before my flight.

$235.79 roundtrip to Orlando with eleven flights each day to pick from on Air Tran. How does that compare with YNG?

Your turn!

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11Traveler(606 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Regional airports are nothing but pork project that local officials can get kick backs from and hire there families at a exorbitant salary.

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12redvert(2197 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

valleyred, I might add that yes I did look at Alligiant Air booking and yes they do have some roundtrips that are lower than Air Tran but I want to fly on the days and times that I pick and not at their convenience. Also I should of added that I use a Air Tran Visa card for all of my expenditures and thus earn a lot of points which gives me a free roundtrip every other year. Looking at their prices, I have to ask this question, are all the tickets on a certain day priced the same or does the price go up as the number of available seats become less and less. I ask this because the pricing across the month seems kinda strange for the same day of the week. Example Thursday, Jan 2011. 1/06-$41, 1/13-$75, 1/20-$41, 1/27-$60. Now if you wish to travel on their available days and don't care whether you land at Orlando International now or Sanford beginning in February then that is great.

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13acquireu(2 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Do you folks know that there are actually people from outside of north east Ohio considering relocating their business to the area?

Do you think reading the comments of residents suggesting that commercial air service OF ANY KIND is a bad idea, would make them wonder if they should look somewhere else? I sure do.

Come on people, think beyond the past!

Lets all try to move forward an attract companies that can create some good jobs. A positive outlook would be a good start.

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14Tigerlily(509 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

Bring me the flights. I'll take them.

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15peacelover(824 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago


If this area is as terrible as you say, why do you still live here? I'm not trying to be a smart-a** or anything. Just curious.

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16valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 11 months ago

I have said for a long time now and will continue to say this area will NEVER move ahead with such negative people residing here that never have anything good to say.

God forbid the regional airport look to expand flights from the regional airport to help with local businesses and travelers get from point A to point B quicker.

Honestly folks, like they say, if you don't have anything good to say, why say it?

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