Will Quincy Fall Short on Getting a One Million Dollar Airport Grant?
With 2018 coming to an end, the question is will there have been enough boarding's in 2018 at Quincy's airport to secure a $1-million grant from the United States Transportation Department?
Some thirteen months ago, I commented about the City of Quincy changing air carriers for Baldwin Field at Quincy Regional Airport. I hoped it would be a good move, but I really didn’t support it.
A year ago last December the new service provided by SkyWest began with 12 United Express flights weekly to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. With the change of air carriers from Cape Air (who provided 36 weekly flights to St. Louis’ Lambert Field) to United Express (who provides 14 weekly flights to Chicago) the thought was that there would be more boarding’s at Quincy Regional Airport.
The ultimate goal was to have more than 10-thousand boarding’s to Chicago in 2018 which would secure a 1-million dollar grant for Quincy’s airport. The power’s-that-be thought Chicago and not St. Louis was the way to go.
In making the change in December of 2017, Quincy now had and still has four ways for public transportation to Chicago daily….two by plane and two by train and no way except by bus to get to St. Louis.
So the million dollar question is how well did SkyWest and United Express do in their first year? The answer is we don't know yet. According to Quincy's new Airport Director, Sandy Shore, the unofficial boarding numbers thru November of 2018 were pacing ahead of November of 2017. She is optimistic that the magical 10,000 number needed to get the $1-million grant will be attained.
Even if the United Express (SkyWest) numbers are short, it is believed that the numbers from Quincy Aviation, which handles private flights in and out of the airport, can possibly make up the difference needed.
Compounding the issue is the fact that the United States Government, which oversees the United States Transportation Department, is currently shutdown. The official numbers are due to the Transportation Department by January 31. Hopefully, the Government won't still be shutdown then.