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New group takes upbeat approach to bring back daily airline service

Published: Thu, May 12, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Ed Runyan



There was no room for cynicism at the Youngstown-Warren Re- gional Airport on Wednes-day night.

Economic development officials and citizens kicked off an effort to show the world that the Mahoning Valley believes in itself again.

Douglas Kibby led the upbeat talk as he presided over the first meeting of YNGAir Partners, which aims to support the airport so an airline will invest in restoring daily service to the facility.

Daily air service will support the local economy because executives looking at areas for business expansion are very interested in the health of the local airport, Eric Planey, vice president for international business attraction for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce, told about 30 attending.

Planey noted that a number of magazines have sung the area’s praises in recent months, and that should give people hope that businesses will give the area a good look and give airlines reason to take a chance on this area.

Earlier this month, Forbes magazine said the Youngstown-Warren metro area had the fifth-highest manufacturing job growth in the U.S. during the first quarter of the year.

In April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the Youngstown-Warren- Sharon area had the third-highest job growth in the U.S. for the first quarter.

In March, Forbes and Manpower magazines said the Youngstown-Warren metro area is the fourth-best place to find a job in the U.S.

Youngstown had the largest privately funded business expansion project in North America in 2010 at V&M Star.

To persuade an airline to bring flights that would capture 30 percent of the airline business now going to the Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh airports will require a revenue guarantee, said as Dan Dickten, airport aviation director.

That means the airport needs to set aside as much as $2 million in a bank account that an airline would be able to draw from if its flights here were not profitable on their own over the first couple of years, said Tom Reich, a Washington, D.C., airline consultant working for the local airport.

The airport already has about $1 million because of a $575,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant and in-kind services that airport officials believe will be available.

The other million can come from a variety of sources but have not been identified yet, Reich said.

There is no doubt that local business people would rather fly out of Vienna than the other airports because travel time is important to them, Reich said.

Using the local airport means a business traveler can work on the plane rather than drive an hour to get to an airport, and they don’t have to leave three hours before their flight to avoid traffic or deal with snowy conditions, Reich said. Dickten added they would save on gas and parking fees — around half or a third as much as Cleveland or Pittsburgh.

Reich said he and Dickten are in communication with Delta and U.S. Air to determine what size revenue guarantee would be needed to persuade them to come here. Delta would fly to and from Detroit; U.S. Air would fly to and from Philadelphia. Other front-runners are United Express and American Eagle to Chicago or United Express to Washington, D.C.


1TAXEDOFF(118 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Eric Planey of The Chamber is doing more of the same old same old. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME!!!

The Chamber and Humphries benefit and profit themselves from the continuing to WASTE millions on that BLACK HOLE!

The proof of this airport being a failure was the study done by EXPERT Bruce Miller which The Chamber paid $30,000 dollars for and then buried it..

They had to release it after a mandamus was filed.


You brain dead cheer leader can FORGET getting already scarce tax dollars to support some big corporation.

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2valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

TheThinker, can you please provide us with some proof of these other organizations that you made mention of below:

Every couple of years some group comes along and puts a different color lipstick on the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport and proudly proclaims, "it is not a pig."


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3redvert(2240 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

This story reminds me of the airport in my winter home of Melbourne, Florida. Melbourne had tried for years to compete with Orlando international for flights which of course was not going to happen.

Eventually after many screwups they began attracting aircraft related industries. Right now they have,

Northrop Grumman where they perform maintenance on the USAF AWACS reconnaissance aircraft,

Embraer, a Brazilian company that is building executive jets,

AAR, a company that reconditions commercial airliners and also provides transport of supplies for the military.

Thousands of good paying jobs!

Perhaps this is a avenue that Youngstown should look at. Enough activity at the airport and the airlines will see the need to come.

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4valleyperson(7 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

for those of you with little or no knowlage of the airline industry please dont comment because your making yourself look like and idiot. US airways backed pittsburgh down because the airport screwed them over not because the demand dropped. united is going to back down cleveland because united isnt a big fan of the cleveland airport they have gotten screwed by that airport too so for the record the airlines are'nt seeing a lack of service they are getting screwed by the airports. Youngstown's airport is not a black hole maybe you morons should go sit and watch how many people get on and off thoes "150 seat" jets you will count 145 to 150 hmmm sounds to me like people don't want to use any other airport but here. Oh not to mention the fact akron canton can say bye to Air Tran so their left with only a few carriers. and honestly if you dont like your tax dollars going to the airport then get the hell out of the county and better yet get the hell out of the state because thats one less a##hole we have to deal with!!!

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5valleyperson(7 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

i never said that but your commenting on an industry that you have no knowlage about non at all. The airlines are coming to youngstown wether you like it or not so you have absolutly no say in that, and if you another thing you have no say in where your tax dollars go so tuff. the airport will continue to get your money and if you dont like it leave.....whats stopping you? you can have any opinion you want all the free speach you want too i dont care but at least if your gonna comment on it make sure its an industry you know something about. And no sh*tcleveland has more in a day then yng does in a year they have 4 maybe 5 flights a week. thats the purpose of getting more traffic dumbass!

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6AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Congrats to Kibby, Planey and team in this endeavor.

If the Mahoning valley wants new businesses to come and offer high paying jobs, the airport would be of great benefit. Business travel and commuting are essential part of growth in the valley. Saving travel time is important to the business traveler. Having the airport for even business owners own aircraft is very beneficial. Vacationers and leisure travelers can utilize additional flights also.

Any big business that comes to town will be given big tax incentives. We all pay for that. Should we never use tax dollars as incentive to come to the valley?

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7valleyred(1103 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Finally a well thought out comment. Instead of bashing the organization, why not give it a chance to succeed? The fact of the matter is this, we need this airport to help us expand the global economy into Youngstown.

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8YNGAirPartners(3 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


I would like to thank you for your comments. I was really looking forward to seeing you there at our fantastic meeting last night.

I would like to clear things up. First, Cleveland is a great place to fly out of and of course being the second largest city in the state, would have larger amounts of enplanements than YNG. However, your numbers are off. Last year, CLE had just over 14,000 enplanements a day. Granted, YNG will have around 40,000 this year, but the fact of the matter is, CLE and PIT enplanements are shrinking and CAK could be and probably will be joining them.

Next,about your comments on the airport spending taxpayers dollars which is a common myth and is misinformation. Airports, airlines or aviation does not, let me repeat that, DOES NOT use taxpayer dollars. It comes from the tax imposed on aviation fuel and ticket sales. Sure if you get technical, you could say the fuel and ticket sales tax is the taxpayers money, and you would be correct, but it is money paid by travelers who are using the airlines.

To be realistic, I don't think anyone from our organization and board believes that YNG can surpass CLE or PIT in total enplanements. YNGAir will assist in attracting the airline service the public needs and wants, and help YNG expand as the region grows. It can't be hidden the amount of recognition this region is getting lately like being identified in Forbes Magazine as having the 5th fastest industrial growth. The recent news of Youngstown hosting an International Economic Conference and the expansion and growth of many businesses around the area. Plus the gas and oil industry interest. The fact can't be denied, the region is on the verge of taking off (no pun intended!).

Thank you for your comments and I truly hope you can come to our next meeting.

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9valleyperson(7 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

thank you valley red and yng air partners, finally someone who understands aviation and wants to see this community grow!!

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10VindyPost(436 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago

Business affilliates need to be accommodated! The Youngstown Airport is number ONE source in creating strong economic development! Make travel efficient and expedite business. A good percentage of business folks utilizing Pittsburgh and Cleveland is folks HERE in our Mahoning/Trumbull area and more targeted to come. That's why Dickten and Reish & Kibby and Planey teamed up, their studies and research project has proved a well-rounded / educated

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11VindyPost(436 comments)posted 5 years, 2 months ago


stance. This is great for business to utilize the service and will be a huge convenience for vacationers. This is an exciting plan in the making and will flourish!

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