WKU Public Radio News Staff
Sat October 20, 2012
Bowling Green-to-Atlanta Air Service Under Consideration
An airport official says Bowling Green is closing in on bringing commercial air service to the area with a route to Atlanta a possibility. Bowling Green Regional Airport manager Rob Barnett told The Daily News that five airlines at a recent conference expressed interest in flying from the southern Kentucky city to a hub in Atlanta.
Previous air surveys of businesses focused on a Bowling Green-to-Chicago flight, but because the interest from the airlines is for a Bowling Green-to-Atlanta route, a new survey is needed to see how much potential traffic there would be for that route.
"With an unproven market there is a lot of risk," Barnett said. "So we have to prove our travel patterns (with the survey). If everything comes to fruition, we could see service start with a low-risk, one flight, once a day and return leg back to Bowling Green."
Barnett said the airlines would be looking at a 30-passenger plane, either a regional jet or twin-engine turbo prop. Barnett expects a decision within three months from the interested airlines.
Luggage would carry the same code check from flight to flight.
Landing passenger service in Bowling Green would require some remodeling, perhaps a small addition to the airport terminal building. There would need to be room for the TSA screening equipment and ground operations that take place.
A projected cost of the flights has not been determined, Barnett said.
"In the next two and half to three months I expect we will have a decision with one or the other (airlines) that we are in negotiations with," Barnett said.
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon is as excited about the prospect as Barnett is.
"I think there is really good possibility that we are going to have some passenger service," Buchanon said. "If we can get one flight, I think we will see justification for a second (flight) and then possibly a vacation destination route as well."