Provo city and Allegiant Air announced a second flight route from the Provo Airport. But as UPR’s Stephen Tanner tells us, federal budget cuts might make flying from Provo a little harder.
In front of a model of the Golden Gate Bridge, Allegiant Air representative Jessica Wheeler announced the news.
“Provo has been a really great airport for us...We’ve been excited to be here," Wheeler said. "Our flights to Mesa have done really well so we’ve decided we’re going to try one more. With new nonstop service to the San Francisco Bay Area."
Starting in June, Allegiant Air will begin flights from Provo to Oakland, Calif. The new flight plan comes during uncertainty for the Provo Airport.
Provo is waiting to hear if their air traffic control tower will need to shut down because of recent cuts to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The FAA must cut its budget by 4 percent, or about $600 million as part of the federal budget that was a result of the sequestration. The FAA said in order to save that amount of money, they will close air traffic control towers at 173 smaller airports across the country. One of those airports may include Provo.
Provo Mayor John Curtis said his city will find a way to keep the airport working in case the control tower is shut down.
“We’re committed to keep service going with or without the help from the federal government. It is an impact on the airport, it is an impact on UVU, so we are working hard to keep the tower open," Curtis said. "We want the public to know that these scheduled flights will continue in any event and will be handled safely, effectively and efficiently.”
Recently the airport received some bad news from a Frontier Airlines. In early January, Frontier discontinued its service between Provo and Denver, stating that the flights were not meeting company standards.
Shortly after, Allegiant signed up with the airport and became the only commercial airline to fly from Provo in early February when it began service to Phoenix.
Even during the big changes and potential loss of funding from the FAA, Mayor Curtis said he remains optimistic about how the airport will continue to serve Utah County.
“It’s a fantastic asset to our community. It impacts our quality of life, convenience and economic development. All of those things have really been fostered well by this airport,” Curtis said.