May 01, 2012

Manchin and Rockefeller Announce Expected New Air Service in Morgantown, Clarksburg

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Senator Joe Manchin today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) selected Silver Airways to provide air service at Morgantown’s and Clarksburg’s airportsThe service is currently provided by Colgan Air, but that company is ending service.

“This is an excellent first step to make sure residents around Morgantown and Clarksburg maintain commercial air service.  I’m very encouraged by the interest in both airports and that Silver Airways is committed to serving West Virginia,” said Rockefeller, who has become the leading defender of Essential Air Service in the Senate.  “I’ve continued to say that commercial air service in West Virginia is absolutely necessary – it creates jobs and helps our economy grow.  

“I fought hard to protect EAS funding for Beckley, Clarksburg, Morgantown, and Parkersburg, and this announcement will make certain the funding in West Virginia is secure.  I will always fight to preserve commercial air service for our state.  And I strongly encourage residents and businesses to use this new air service when it starts so that we can make sure it stays in West Virginia.”

“I am so pleased that Silver Airways will replace Colgan Air, ensuring that safe and reliable transportation is available to residents and businesses in Morgantown and Clarksburg,” Manchin said.  “In order for our state to remain competitive and attract new jobs and industries, we must offer businesses the type of transportation they require.  Quality infrastructure is so important to our economy, and this announcement is good news for West Virginia.” 

In March, Colgan Air, which operates as United Express, filed notice with DOT to cease Essential Air Service (EAS) operations at airports in Morgantown and Clarksburg.  Silver Airways has been selected to take Colgan’s place and has proposed 18 roundtrip flights per week for a two year period.  

The airport in Beckley also faces the same situation, and Silver Airways is soon expected to begin operating there as well and has proposed 26 weekly frequencies.

When Colgan Air announced its decision, Rockefeller immediately set to work to find a new airline to provide service to Morgantown Municipal Airport, North Central West Virginia Airport in Bridgeport, and Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley.  Rockefeller has continued to encourage DOT to maintain access to commercial air service across West Virginia.