What is the future of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport?
The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is set to get over $268,000 dollars through a federal grant from the United States Economic Development Administration.
Senator Sherrod Brown's office said the funds will go towards airport studies, which will look at market trends to support workforce development, promote sustainable income, and stabilize the regional economy.
Commercial service took off at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport in 1941, and it wasn't just for passengers, but also for delivering the Valley's mail. This was the second city in Ohio to have an airport, and it thrived in the 40s.
In 1949, 42,000 passengers used commercial air service through the airport.
"It was booming in terms of all aspects of aviation probably up through the 80s and early 90s," Mike Hillman, President of JETS, FBO network, said.
The last commercial allegiant flight was on January 4th, 2018.
Although the airport is quieter now, it continues to be active when it comes to general aviation.
"We have multiple flights every day for general aviation, which serves local factories, cargo and corporate execs as they travel, not to mention the airforce reserve base," Hillman said.
The Western Reserve Port Authority said the goal is to expand on general aviation, while also working to bring back commercial flights.
"We've begun communication with other companies like Allegiant that are growing their model in regional airports," Anthony Trevena said, "We think there is definitely a market here for direct flights to warmer climates."
Trevena said they're using the grant funds to conduct studies on what the future of aviation in all aspects actually looks like.
"Whether it's advanced air mobility, which we're seeing drones becoming more and more popular, and how we're moving people in this country," he said.
He said they hope in the next couple of years, commercial flights will be back at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.