TSA keeps security infrastructure at Klamath Falls airport

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Transportation Security Administration announced they’ll keep their security infrastructure in place at the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport as officials continue the search for a passenger air service provider.

The area’s sole air carrier PenAir left Klamath Falls in August. Since then, the community hasn’t had any options for commercial passenger flights.

SkyWest Airlines is “interested” in restoring passenger air service to and from the Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport, according to airport officials.

Security provided by the Transportation Safety Administration is required before passenger service can resume. If the TSA were to leave the airport permanently, any potential deal with SkyWest would be pointless.

Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River), Representative Peter DeFazio (D-4th Dist.), along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) wrote a letter to the TSA, urging them to give airport officials more time to recruit a new carrier.

On November 27, the group of politicians announced the TSA responded to their letter. They said the TSA has decided to keep and maintain their security infrastructure at the airport. “The decision by TSA to temporarily maintain screening equipment as the airport actively recruits a new carrier is great news,” said the lawmakers. “We look forward to continuing our work with airport officials and the Department of Transportation to bring commercial air service back to Klamath Falls.”

“If a deal is struck with SkyWest, the airline would initiate service from Klamath Falls to San Francisco daily, using a 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet 200,” airport representatives wrote. “Flights to Portland, and potentially other markets if demand supported expansion, could be considered if service to San Francisco was successful.”

Any possible service wouldn’t start until after the fall of 2018 due to lack of available aircraft.

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