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Seaport Airlines to Remain at McKellar-Sipes for Another Year

By WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News Staff
By news@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn.-There is good news if you like to fly in and out of McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport in Jackson.

Seaport Airlines has announced its contract has been extended by the U.S. Department of Transportation through next year.

The carrier was awarded a one-year, rather than typical two-year contract, due to the low number of passengers that used the flights operated by the previous carrier. Those low numbers had put Jackson's continued eligibility for subsidized air service at risk.

Federal funding for essential air service, which helps subsidize Seaport in Jackson, requires an average of 10 passengers per day.
During the last fiscal year, Jackson averaged just 3.9 enplanements per day.

"They're going to have to reach ten enplanements a day which shouldn't be very hard to do we were doing that with the previous carrier in the first 12 or 14 months then it slacked off quite a bit so hopefully we can build that back up," said Steve Smith, director of the Jackson-Madison County Airport Authority.

Seaport Airlines launched service at McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport last January and for the year carried a total of 3, 077 passengers.