MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - The United States Department of Transportation announces Silver Airways has been selected to provide passenger service at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Recently, Mayor Robert Reichert's office and airport management have made their desire known that flights from Macon should include more than just Atlanta.
According to a release from the mayor's office, in the DOT's recent Request For Proposal process, several providers offered service to other cities, and Macon is hopeful that passenger air service can one day be viable again.
"We are continuing to explore ways to expand the impact of the airport – maintenance, operations, and passenger – as a way to make us a transportation and logistics hub for the state and southeast region," says Mayor Reichert. "One big step in doing that is by having passenger air service from Macon to other cities in the region."
The service will come at an annual subsidy of $1,998,696 and will provide air travelers one nonstop round trip per weekday and one per weekend (six a week) to Atlanta and one nonstop round trip per weekday and one per weekend (six a week) to Orlando, using 34-passenger Saab 340B aircraft for the two-year period.
On September 6, 2012, the DOT selected Sun Air Express to provide passenger service at the airport for a two-year contract after the current provider, Pacific Wings (Georgia Skies), announced it wanted to get out, but SAE withdrew from the process on December 20, 2012, citing aggressive expansion in its company as the reason for its pulling out.
Silver Airways was chosen over SeaPort Airlines, Inc, which proposed 12.5 nonstop round trips per week to Charlotte and six one-stop round trips to Nashville (via Athens) using 9-passenger Cessna Caravan aircraft for an annual subsidy of $2,499,837, American Aviation Group, Inc., which proposed 42 nonstop round trips per week to Atlanta using a 19-passenger Jetstream 31 aircraft for an annual subsidy of $1,555,825 and Sovereign Air, Inc, which proposed four nonstop round trips per day (28 a week) to Atlanta using a 19-passenger Jetstream 31 aircraft for an annual subsidy of $1,514,940
The DOT expects Pacific Wings and Silver to work together to make a smooth transition.
Before Pacific Wings suspends its service, it must notify any passengers holding reservations for travel after the suspension date, assist those passengers in making alternate air transportation arrangements, or provide a refund of the ticket price, without penalty, if requested.