New airline will face the same challenges as the old

March 1, 2013 

Hooray, Macon’s Regional Airport has an airline. Silver Airways will fly the horde of passengers from Macon to Atlanta and Orlando daily and on weekends. OK, stop laughing. The horde rushing to the airport to board flights may be an exaggeration. Georgia Skies, the airport’s last airline saw passenger traffic plunge to its lowest level in a decade with only an average of 2.5 passengers a day. We have contended in the past that the airport’s future lies in maintenance and cargo -- not passengers. For that reason, we have agreed the one thing that would make our airport viable and an economic engine would be the lengthening of its runway so it could handle larger aircraft. That means jobs, good jobs.

We will not pooh-pooh Silver Airways for accepting the government’s $1,998,696 annual subsidy to provide service and we’re happy the airline received the 2013 Regional Airline of the Year award from Air Transport Magazine, the first U.S.-based airline to do so in five years. Still, it has a climb ahead. We wish Silver Airways well and while we don’t expect a horde, may it at least attract more than a trickle.

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