Airport Manager Robin Sobotta called that day “a milestone.” She is expecting an even bigger one on or about Dec. 29, when the 10,000th passenger boards a plane from the Prescott Regional Airport. “That’s when we qualify for the multi-million dollar increase in federal aviation grant money to improve our airport terminal.”
At the time the Quad Cities Business News went to press, that milestone was in reach.
City officials are optimistic.
For the past several months, city and community leaders have been urging passengers to buy tickets on United Express operated through SkyWest Airlines to propel Prescott Regional Airport into a position of genuine strength as a commercial jet airport.
In October, city officials initiated a Fly Prescott 10K campaign.
“Community response has exceeded expectations,” Sobotta said. More than 9,000 commercial passengers have boarded carriers since United Express began flying its non-stop routes to either Denver or Los Angeles International Airport. Those flights began in late August.
Sobotta noted a critical factor was that it was not just ticket sales that qualified. The reality is that passengers had to board the plane in order to be counted as an “enplanement.”
Having reliable commercial jet passenger service out of Prescott is deemed a critical and positive economic factor, said James Robb, economic development consultant for the City of Prescott.
“I consult with companies from throughout Arizona and the West Coast. This past summer, I had one venture capital firm executive here from Silicon Valley. He visited Embry-Riddle and Yavapai College and was really impressed. But he told me he had a major problem: no commercial air transportation.”
Robb explained now that having regular commercial air service and air transportation is “a …100 percent game changer for economic development. You cannot believe how excited I am.”
Those interested in booking flights can visit United.com or the United app on a smartphone and select the airport code “PRC” for Prescott to complete the process. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
#1City Council members Phil Goode and Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr flank David Anderson, the 9,000th passenger to board a commercial airliner in 2018 at Prescott Regional Airport. Anderson enplaned Wednesday, Dec. 19, on a United Express flight to Denver.