The schedule for commercial flights in and out of the Altoona Blair County Airport are changing later this week. The new schedule is a big concern to some of the people who work to support that air service.
The company that provides the commercial air service between the Johnstown and Altoona airports and Dulles International near Washington D.C. say the number of flights that offer is not changing significantly. But the timing of those flights is being altered and that is a concern for some local airport supporters.
A spokesman for the Florida based Silver Airways says that the new schedule of primarily mid-day flights will enable that carrier to do a better job of keeping its flights on schedule and meeting the needs of the flying public from this part of Pennsylvania.
The big changes is that the early morning scheduled departure from Altoona , and the evening flight from Washington each week day are being eliminated, Instead there will be an additional mid day flight to and from Washington .
A company spokesman says the change will allow Silver Airways to better maintain its equipment at it's hub facility. But local officials are concerned about fewer options for the flying public from the Blair County Airport.
"They seem to have a winter schedule and a summer schedule. I think right now we are going into the winter schedule. The summer schedule they usually had the early flights and the late flight at night, and they had additional flights on Saturday and Sunday."
The representative of Silver Airways say that company is following the schedule developed by united express that should help passengers from Altoona and Johnstown make connecting flight at the Dulles Airport. They say he company will continue to provide the level of service currently required under the essential air service programs that helps support commercial air service to smaller community airports.
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