Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ogdensburg International Airport (KOGS), New York: Authority seeks air service to Quebec

OGDENSBURG — The operators of the Ogdensburg International Airport are pushing to bring passenger air service to Quebec into the area. 

 Wade A. Davis, executive director of the Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, pitched the idea to Cape Air of Hyannis, Mass., which provides daily flights between Ogdensburg and Albany.

“We talked to our essential air service provider about air service to Quebec,” he said. “Cape Air was not interested.”

But Andrew W. Bonney, Cape Air’s vice president of planning, said the proposed service was a bad fit for the company.

“Montreal to Ogdensburg is not far enough that the aircraft we fly could provide a competitive service with the automobile. On the other hand, Quebec City is just too far for our airplane,” he said. “It is not so much that we’re not interested; it is just not a great fit for the service we provide.”

The OBPA was encouraged to create closer connections with Quebec in a marketing plan unveiled last month by DCG Corplan, a West Orange, N.J., strategic planning firm.

Though Cape Air declined to provide the service, Mr. Davis said, it recommended another carrier that could provide flights to Quebec.

Meanwhile, ridership continues to grow at the airport, with the total number of passengers increasing from 568 in June 2011 to 832 this June. Part of that increase is due to a surge in Canadian fliers who cross the border to take advantage of cheaper airfares.

“Seeing those numbers continue to go up is encouraging,” said Frederick S. Morrill, OBPA deputy executive director.

Mr. Bonney said if numbers at the airport keep increasing, Cape Air would offer additional flights. “Some of our markets have been so successful that we have been able to add unsubsidized flights,” he said.

Cape Air offers three flights daily between Ogdensburg and Albany, subsidized by the Federal Aviation Administration’s Essential Air Service program. One flight daily continues from Albany to Boston Logan International Airport.

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