Saturday, October 22, 2016

Inyokern air service not expected until spring

INYOKERN — It may be spring of 2017 before Mokulele Airlines begins offering service from Inyokern Airport to Los Angeles International Airport. Airport General Manager Scott Seymour reported on the progress during a special meeting of the Indian Wells Valley Airport District Board of Directors Friday.

“I received word late yesterday that the airline is looking at a mid-February to early March start date,” said Seymour. “We’ll negotiate a fare structure with them and a flight schedule … hopefully that will all go well and we’ll have an airline in here by March.”

One of the delays has to do with the need for passenger screening by Transportation Security Administration.

“TSA is waiting for us to hand in the new airport security program, which we finished on Monday,” said Seymour. TSA will then need up to 90 days to review and verify the information.

Seymour said he has had three meetings with TSA since the last board meeting and things appear to be going well. “There’s been absolutely no push back at all,” he said.

Hawaii-based Mokulele began offering service to LAX from Imperial/El Centro Airport earlier this year and on Oct. 10 expanded into Santa Maria. A planned expansion into the Carlsbad market has been delayed, according to Seymour.

“There seems to be an extraordinary amount of interest (among the public) in this,” said board President Paul Valovich. “I wish they’d start earlier than March, but it is what it is. I’d rather do it right than fast.”

The Business Development Committee of the board is scheduled to meet with Mokulele representatives in November to discuss more details, according to Valovich.

In related news, Seymour told the board that airport Assistant Manager Nicole Hale will be taking on additional duties as airport security coordinator.

In other business, Seymour reported four days of filming for a Nissan commercial in September.

“We did quite well,” he said. “We made $32,500 and the city also got a lot of TOT tax, the first part of the shoot there were 160 people here. Every hotel was pretty booked.”

He added that a planned gate improvement project is scheduled to start Oct. 31. Seymour also reported that a structural engineer has taken a look at the big hangar at the airport and is preparing a report for board review at a later date.

Following the special meeting, a closed session was held regarding property negotiations with an unidentified potential tenant. There was no reportable action following the closed session.

Source:   http://www.siskiyoudaily.com

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