To: Mr. Kevin Schlemmer,
Dept. of Transportation (OST)
Dear Mr. Schlemmer,
Greenbrier Valley Airport has been in close contact with your office in the last several months as we prepared for the official docket on Essential Air Service bids for the 2016-2018 cycle. We have received an exceptional response to our air service requests and want to thank each of the airlines for their proactive approach, and hundreds of hours of planning, as they each developed a submission for our community.
Greenbrier Valley Airport would like to respond to these submissions and accept Via Air under proposal option number three, and accept that proposal under Alternate Essential Air Service regulations. We do believe that this proposal gives our region the best opportunity for success and recover from a market that has been severely wounded by poor performance of the incumbent carrier. Alternate EAS would also allow us maximum flexibility in scheduling to meet the seasonal markets of our tourism driven economy.
We feel that Via Air has a strong understanding of our market and is customer service driven. Additionally; the restoration of jet services to Lewisburg/ Greenbrier Valley would reinvigorate a market that has shown strong historical numbers with a regional jet servicing a major southerly hub. We also believe that the selection of Via Airways by our regional partners at Beckley/ Raleigh County Airport will help us serve the region in the best manner. The partnership would allow us more frequency to a major hub and allow our shared demographic the best opportunity for success.
Via Air has indicated their ability to begin services in our community prior to an Oct. 1, 2016 contract award date. We would ask that your department take this under serious consideration. We believe that the Greenbrier Valley Airport, nor the customer at large, is properly served by the incumbent carrier and that their presence only continues to harm our market.
Greenbrier Valley Airport has received numerous positive public comments on Via Air from customers who have utilized their services. Additionally; the comments regarding their proposal of a Charlotte market have been very well received. The performance of Via Air over the last eighteen months has been exceptional and we look forward to working with them as our partner. Please accept this as the official response from the Greenbrier Valley Airport Authority. Additional comments will be posted by our individual Board Members to augment this letter.
Stephen M. Snyder