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Public Interest Needed For Air Service To Succeed In City

To The Reader’s Forum:

As the former (and last) chairman of the Jamestown Airport Commission, nobody feels worse than I do about the lack of passenger service at that facility. During the time of my tenure there were two airlines serving the Jamestown area — Mohawk, and Allegheny (the precursor to U.S. Air). Allegheny eventually took over Mohawk, and their chief pilot, Joel Hall, was asked to start the first commuter service. So we formed Chautauqua Airlines Inc. I learned many years later that Chautauqua Airlines was still flying as the link to local airports for several major airlines. I took some pride in forming the corporation, but of course by then it had gone through several reorganizations.

At that time, Allegheny was flying large twin-engine Convair airplanes, but as time went on, the aircraft became smaller, and the cities served shrank.

At the time the county took over, a new terminal building, apron and taxiways were constructed. Altogether, the Jamestown airport was a nice, attractive place serving all of Chautauqua county’s flying public.

The shrinkage continued until we get to today’s situation. I read with interest the article by the Cohens, and I largely agree with them, except that I would add to the support group the flying public. If air passengers would be willing to put up with a change of planes at a major airport, and a one or two stop trip to their destination, ridership would increase substantially.

I sincerely hope that an agreement can be worked out by all the parties involved so that Jamestown will once again be served with regular air service, which is so essential to the economic strength and wellbeing of the community.

Samuel C. Alessi

Jamestown

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