The Jamestown Airport is on the verge of losing its main airline.
Silver Airways said it plans to stop flying out of Jamestown and four other regional airports by mid-May, blaming low passenger levels and rising expenses caused by new federal rules on pilot certification and rest requirements in the wake of the Flight 3407 crash in Clarence five years ago.
The airline, which operates five daily flights to Cleveland and Bradford, Pa., also said the decision was influenced by United’s announcement earlier this month that it would reduce its own flights out of Cleveland.
“New federal regulations related to air transport pilot certification, as well as new flight and duty limitations and rest requirements have had the unintended effect of creating a nationwide pilot shortage and significantly increasing operating costs,” said Dave Pflieger, Silver’s president and chief executive officer.
The news sent Chautauqua County officials scrambling to find a new airline to serve the Jamestown airport.
“Scheduled airline service out of Jamestown is essential to support our ongoing economic development initiatives,” said Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan.
The airport has been trying to maintain its status of having at least 10 passengers on flights each day from the airport to be able to receive federal funding as an Essential Airline Service.