Commercial Air Service Not Likely For Bowling Green In 2014

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- "To say that we would have an air carrier by January 2015 at this point is unlikely to be quite honest with you," said Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport President, Rob Barnett.

That's the thought at the Bowling Green-Warren County Regional Airport after area leaders met with Governor Beshear at the State Capitol Tuesday to discuss $750,000 vetoed from the state budget that was intended for the airport to attract an airline.

"Although it was non-committal it was encouraging to lay the case out in front of him one more time," said Bowling Green Mayor, Bruce Wilkerson.

No commitment means a set back for an area that's considered undeserved.

Area leaders say the numbers don't lie. They believe south central Kentucky has enough people and growth for a commercial airline service to thrive. They think the Governor shares that confidence.

"He indicated that he was interested to try and help find funding and was going to meet with staff and try to make that happen," added Wilkerson.

"We now know that there are over 720,000 airline tickets bought in this ten county region on an annual basis. Out of those 720,000 tickets that are purchased, 94% of those dollars are going to Nashvile, Tennessee," said Barnett.

Though progress is lost, optimism still surrounds the project, due to genuine interest from capable carriers.

"We were in discussions with three airlines of the major brand carriers. So, we've got some hurdles to clear," added Barnett.

Barnett said he and officials will continue to meet with the Governor until the numbers add up.

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