EUREKA, CA) - The Redwood Region Economic Development Commission (RREDC) announced today that a giant step has been taken towards attracting more air service to the area — and bringing competition back to the Arcata Eureka Airport (ACV)— when a $1 million fundraising goal was reached today. The money will be used to support a new air carrier flying to a new hub airport until that route is self-supporting. RREDC and the County are now actively recruiting airlines and hope to have new service in place by spring 2013.
|Photo from Humboldt.edu|
“We all recognize that air service is a crucial link to the world for
Humboldt County, just like the Internet and U.S. [highway]
101,” according to Don Ehnebuske, executive director of RREDC. “But like many
people, we questioned why the community should raise funds to attract an
airline to the area. After all, isn’t it their business to provide air service?
However, when we started looking into it, we came to understand the huge
payback for everyone in .” Humboldt
Ticket prices shot up when Horizon ceased flights from ACV, leaving only one airline serving the area, and passengers began driving to other airports to take flights. Average one-way ticket prices to
Los Angeles are now about
$100 over the competitive fares of two years ago, costing the tens of thousands
of passengers flying to LA millions of dollars a year. And there are about
50,000 fewer passengers flying from the airport every year, which dramatically
reduces FAA construction funding available for local contractors and suppliers.
The total loss to the community is at least $5 million per year by the most
The $1 million raised came from the Department of Transportation, the Headwaters Fund and from over 70 local donors — businesses, tribes, individuals and local governments. The total local contribution was $250,000. That translates to at least $40 in reduced prices and construction jobs for every $1 invested by the community over the two-year agreement with a new airline.