Commercial air service, TSA one step closer to Klamath Falls

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Efforts to restore commercial air service to the Crater Lake / Klamath Regional Airport cleared a major hurdle Tuesday.

A Federal Aviation Administration bill passed by the U.S. Senate Tuesday morning includes a provision to restore T.S.A. screenings to the airport in Klamath Falls.

Klamath Falls has been without passenger air service since United Express pulled out nearly two years ago.

Car rental agent Mark Young was hit hard, “We lost maybe 18 to 24 percent of our business when we lost the airline two years ago.  And that’s not a hit that we relish taking, nor would anybody.”

While the city made a deal last summer with PenAir to restore air service to and from Portland, the T.S.A. said they would not resume security screenings – effectively grounding the effort.

The ‘T.S.A. Fairness Act’ was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to restore the screenings. While the House has passed the act, they’ll still need to pass the F.A.A. bill to put it before the President for a signature.

Airport Director John Barsalou said, “We’re hopeful that if everything goes well, which we anticipate, that we’ll have air service back maybe in the fall, late fall, before the holidays.” Barsalou adds that the effort will then shift to retaining that service, “We have to keep those flights full, in order to keep PenAir here, and to keep the T.S.A. here.”

At this time, there are no indications as to when the F.A.A. bill will go before the U.S. House.

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