Sunday, June 24, 2012

JetBlue eyeing Naples Municipal Airport (KAPF), Florida

JetBlue has expressed interest in serving Naples Municipal Airport with nonstop, low-fare service from several New York airports. The airline recognizes the airport’s 75,000-pound weight limit for aircraft, and the City of Naples Airport Authority is investigating the airlines’ request for a waiver of that limit for specified commercial service. Under consideration by the airport authority is the possible impact of heavier aircraft on the airport’s runways and taxiways.

 “Working with our attorneys and our board of commissioners to evaluate the weight-restriction issue is only an initial step,” said Executive Director Ted Soliday. “Our bylaws require meetings with the city council and the public to change the weight limit in any manner. Whether JetBlue begins service or not, attracting the attention of this premier airline is a great achievement for the airport and the Naples area.”

“Although our modern fleet of Airbus 320 and Embraer 190 aircraft exceed APF’s current weigh limits, they have a noise footprint similar to or lower than smaller aircraft currently utilizing the airport,” Scott Laurence, JetBlue’s vice president network planning and partnership, wrote in a June 19 letter. “I am confident JetBlue can be a good neighbor and an active, positive member of the Naples community.

“We are pleased with the market dynamics of the Naples area and are confident that JetBlue’s high-quality, low-fare air service will drive significant increases in travel to Florida’s Southwest coast,” wrote Laurence.

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