Saturday, January 07, 2017

ViaAir resumes service at Greenbrier Valley Airport

In a prepared statement, Via Air announced Friday it is resuming service to Greenbrier Valley Airport, beginning Monday, January 9th.

MAXWELTON — ViaAir is once again providing commercial air service to Greenbrier Valley Airport.

According to a brief press release issued by the Greenbrier County Airport Authority following an emergency meeting Friday afternoon, the airport's governing body and ViaAir "have worked closely with all partners" to immediately resume the service that was suspended on New Year's Eve.

"The partnership and support of our community has been exceptional, and we look forward to providing you exemplary service," the authority wrote in the release.

None of the three members who participated in Friday's airport authority meeting, which was largely conducted in executive session, offered public comment on the ViaAir situation. Authority President Lowell Johnson said the topics up for discussion in the closed-door session with the airport's attorney were contracts and employee evaluations.

Airport manager Stephen Snyder said after the 48-minute executive session that he and ViaAir officials are still in the process of coordinating a comprehensive joint press release that will contain more details about the agreement to resume commercial service. The authority, Snyder noted, voted unanimously in favor of issuing the shorter statement quickly in order to get the word out that flights were no longer suspended.

Snyder had stated in a Thursday email sent to a group that included media representatives that discussions were then under way with the aim "to restore operations immediately in a coordinated effort with Via."

Upon emerging from executive session Friday, the authority also voted to sign a contract with Bolaire Aviation Consulting, founded by a consultant with whom the airport has worked previously.

Snyder explained that the consulting firm would "help us with acquiring commercial airlines when bids go out," as well as helping to fill special charter needs, providing statistical data and assisting with media outreach. He said Bolaire is a "full-service, everything" consultant.

Additionally, the authority approved an emergency procurement of a new heating system for Hangar 3. The old system gave up the ghost during the recent cold snap, said Snyder, who already has three bids in hand for a replacement.

Prior to convening the meeting, authority members met privately with the auditor who spent the past month at the airport poring through the books. The private meeting gave the auditor an opportunity to preview his findings before filing a written report with the State Auditor's Office, Johnson said.

"The exit interview was very positive," Johnson said, noting that the complete audit report will be available on the airport's website once the state auditor reviews and releases it.


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