FALLS CREEK – Members of the Clearfield-Jefferson Counties Regional Airport Authority, at last week’s meeting, announced their support for the continuation of Southern Airways as their essential air service commercial airline provider for the DuBois Regional Airport (DUJ).
“With the success of Southern in our market, it is with great optimism by all parties that Southern Airways will continue to be our commercial airline provider at the DuBois Regional Airport,” said authority Chairman Jay Chamberlin.
At the May meeting, Shaffer said bids were being solicited for essential air service. Every two years, the EAS goes out for bid to select an airline to serve the DuBois Regional Airport. Southern Airways is the DuBois’ airport’s current EAS.
The bids were due from the airlines to the federal Department of Transportation by May 27.
Before the pandemic, for three years in a row, DuBois Regional Airport, along with partner Southern Airways Express, maintained significant growth to serve the tri-county footprint of Clearfield, Jefferson and Elk counties, according to the authority.
More than 10,000 passengers were served in each calendar year 2018 and 2019 showing a 50 percent increase and 30 percent increase year-over-year.
Also within those two years, there were many record-breaking months for passenger counts, including more than 1,200 passengers served in July 2019. In addition, up to 65 percent of those travelers came from outside the tri-county area to the region for leisure or business purposes making a large economic impact through lodging, recreation and spending in the local economies.
“The airport is a major pathway for economic growth and business in the region, and Southern has been the reliable airline partner that we’ve needed to succeed in the past four years and to continue on in the future”, said DUJ Manager Bob Shaffer.
In April, DUJ received an award of $1.9 million through an application for campus enhancement projects. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Department of Transportation (DoT) allocated funds to the airport to use toward plans for improvements and additions to the airport.
DuBois Regional Airport and Southern Airways still operate the full schedule of daily flights.
Flights on Southern Airways from DuBois to Pittsburgh or Baltimore range from $39-$79 depending on how far in advanced tickets are booked. Car rentals are also available through DuBois Airport Rentals.