OGDENSBURG -- The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority is close to winning a $1 million bonus from the Federal Aviation Administration that they are all but calling it a done deal.
“We’re forecasting 10,225 enplanements” for the year at Ogdensburg International Airport, said OBPA Executive Director Wade Davis on Wednesday, which would exceed the 10,000 passengers on outbound flights in 2016 that the FAA said would be needed to claim the big bonus.
“We’re going to be very close,” Davis said.
If they don’t make 10,000 enplanements their bonus will be $150,000 that the OBPA can use for airfield improvements and equipment purchases.
Davis wouldn’t give us an exact number as of today, but with three Allegiant Air flights to Florida through Saturday of about 150 passengers each and up to 27 passengers a day with Cape Air flights to Albany and Boston, he was comfortable with the 10,225 number by midnight Saturday night, “depending on weather,” Davis said.
A promotion the OBPA announced in November will account for 150 passengers. Anyone traveling on Allegiant and Cape Air out of Ogdensburg who bought two or more outbound tickets at once would get a “two-for-one” ticket deal, and as of Wednesday, about 150 ticket buyers had taken advantage of that.
“We have not hit 10,000 yet, but we are on track,” he said. “We’ve never hit that number. We’re very excited about it.”
“The weather in the North Country is certainly a concern, so I don’t want to say we’ll get there for certain, but we’re fairly sure we’ll make it,” Davis said.
A runway extension completed this year allows Allegiant jets to land and take off from Ogdensburg, so the airline started up their low-cost flights to Florida from the airport. Money was also put into improvements to the terminal building and parking areas.
On Dec. 24, an Allegiant Ogdensburg-to-Ft. Lauderdale flight made an unscheduled landing in Syracuse. Davis referred questions about the incident to Allegiant public relations staff who did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
However, WWNY reported the plane suffered mechanical problems of an undisclosed nature and passengers were transferred to another plane to complete their journey.