Airports: Future Service and Current Developments

What’s up at our two major airports? At Mammoth Airport, the runway is closed down for re-construction. Construction has also started to convert a maintenance building into an airport terminal for passengers.

On that note, officials say that Horizon Airlines does have plans to begin commercial air service between Los Angeles and Mammoth Airport in December, using a Q400 aircraft flying from LAX.

Mammoth Town Manager Rob Clark said that Horizon did sign a non-binding letter of intent to provide service. Clark also said that Horizon will decide on its yearly air flight schedules by the end of June. He said they do commit, in advance, to flights and assignment of airplanes to those flights. They also want to market their services in advance. So, by the end of June, Mammoth should have additional assurance.

As Clark pointed out, Horizon officials have come here to discuss the lay-out of the terminal and equipment they need on the ground. Mammoth’s Airport Project Team has been working with the Transportation Security Administration to federalize the screening process for commercial air passengers.

Meanwhile, Bishop Airport has taken up the slack of service with Mammoth Airplane owners using Bishop for fuel and tie-downs. Visiting aircraft will use Bishop, too.

To complicate matters a bit, today (Tuesday) Inyo County’s Acting Public Works Director, Doug Wilson, said that the FAA has begun a nationwide process to survey airports and Bishop is on the list. This will cause some temporary interference with operations in a couple of weeks.

Wilson also said that the new manager of Bishop Airport, Ken Babione, is looking for ways to improve service. Inyo County did receive a proposal to function as an FBO and another proposal to operate the Airport restaurant. Those proposals are under review. Wilson said he would have a recommendation for the Supervisors later.

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