Disappointment from earlier this year has been turned inside-out for the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport.
In late April, Governor Steve Beshear vetoed $750,000 dollars from this year’s budget that would have gone to help lure a commercial airline to Bowling Green for the first time in decades. But airport general manager Rob Barnett learned Thursday morning, Kentucky will be able to invest that $750,000 dollars in July 2015 in the second year of the biennium.
“We now have a total incentive package of two million dollars to offer airlines that might be interested in servicing Bowling Green, Kentucky,” said Barnett.
Barnett says a recent study showed over 700,000 airline tickets were purchased by residents in Warren and nine surrounding counties over the past year. He says he’ll continue dialogue with potential airline partners over the next year. Barnett says he never lost confidence that the airport would receive the state funding, even after the veto in the spring.
South-Central Kentucky area House members from both sides of the aisle are teaming up to push legislation that could send millions of dollars to the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport over the next five years to expand flights and services.
The Bowling Green Daily News reports the bill's sponsors include Democratic Representatives Jody Richards of Bowling Green and Wilson Stone of Scottsville, and Republican Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green.
Yet to be determined is which airline route, either to Chicago or Atlanta, would best serve the airport's business customers if a commercial service is landed. Also under consideration is a less than daily flight with a leisure carrier.
If approved, the bill would direct $2 million for each of the next five fiscal years to communities that already have federal Small Community Service Grants. Bowling Green has received a $500,000 grant in that category.