Reno airport seeks airlines |

Reno airport seeks airlines

Susan Wood

The Reno/Tahoe International Airport may get a much-needed lift in boosting air service, once its governing board adopts a plan for financial incentives to carriers.

The Washoe County Airport Authority’s Board of Trustees are expected to vote Thursday on the proposal that uses airport revenues toward promoting competition among new airlines or existing carriers offering non-stop service to markets currently not being served.

“This really sets the stage for future airline incentives,” airport authority spokesman Adam Mayberry said.

The airport authority walks a fine line when it comes to what it can or can’t do in relation to bringing air service to the regional airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration prohibits the agency from using airport revenues for general economic development, marketing activities unrelated to the airport or providing a direct subsidy to air carrier operations.

To work through these specific guidelines, the airport authority has been teaming up with the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority to create a proposal that’s legal yet direct in its attempt to turn around declining air service in the last 18 months.

The total maximum value of the campaign is about $115,000, to come out of a special fund for air service delivery.

“It looks like some efforts are being made to turn things around,” Tahoe-Douglas Visitors Authority Executive Director Steve Teshara told the Tahoe-Douglas chamber Tuesday.

The airport authority has been wooing new airlines such as Vanguard to find some common ground in developing service for the Northern Nevada airport. West Coast Airlines also expressed interest in flying regional jets out of the airport.

Efforts to boost passenger counts have slowly accelerated since Reno Air was bought by American Airlines, thus reducing flights and eliminating the city as a hub.

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