Friday, June 3, 2016

Preparations for air service moving quickly: Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport (KBWG), Bowling Green, Kentucky



Preparations to get the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport ready for commercial service are moving quickly.

In the last several days, the federal Transportation Safety Administration has posted part-time screener position job openings on its website and the airport has placed advertisements in the Daily News for an operations manager and for a contractor to do the utility hookup of the portable terminal building at the airport for the commercial service.

"There are a lot of pieces to the puzzle," Airport Manager Rob Barnett said.

Last month, it was announced that Contour Airlines, starting in August, would offer two round-trip flights to Atlanta Monday through Friday and one round-trip flight Saturday and Sunday. It will also offer two weekly flights to Destin, Fla., from April through October.

The TSA has also posted the part-time screener jobs for the airport. According to the TSA website, the jobs pay a starting salary of $15.13 an hour with benefits.

The airport is also seeking an airport operations manager.

The position will be responsible for "anything operations-related at the airport," such as training, maintaining certifications and day-to-day functions, Barnett said. With the commercial service comes a need to deal with heightened security and TSA regulations. The operations "are on a different level" now, Barnett said.

While the airport board, appointed jointly by the city and county, is looking for someone with aviation experience for the position, Barnett said training for the right candidate could be provided.

The airport hopes to have the position filled "by August, so they are totally familiar with operations," when commercial service begins, Barnett said.

One of the tasks of the new manager will be to coordinate with the Bowling Green Fire Department and Warren County Sheriff's Office, which in coordination with TSA and the FAA will provide emergency response and security for the airport.

The airport will use a portable terminal building after deciding against building a permanent building – a roughly $1.8 million investment – until air service proves to be viable long-term. "If we achieve the load factor, then we'll build a building," Barnett said. Leasing the portable building will cost about $3,500 a month.

As the commercial service, returning after a 44-year absence, becomes closer to reality, Barnett expanded on the reasons Contour Airlines was chosen for the service. The new carrier has only been providing commercial service since April, for a route between Nashville and Tupelo, Miss. It is owned, however, by Corporate Flight Management, which started in 1982 and has a flight school, 80 pilots on staff and offers charter flights and related services nationally, including for the Bowling Green airport.

"One of the reasons we chose Contour is first, we have a great business relationship with CFM," Barnett said. "Second, they have well maintained planes with highly trained pilots."

And as an added bonus, the Smyrna, Tenn.-based company "is just a few miles down the road," Barnett said, meaning that if there was a mechanical issue with the Jetstream 41 being used in Bowling Green, CFM can quickly get a replacement plane from its charter fleet to Bowling Green.

Original article can be found here:  http://www.bgdailynews.com

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