May 2016 20 Questions: Grant Sussey, Watertown Airport

Growth in full flight

Watertown International Airport manager Grant W. Sussey talks about several projects in his office at the county-managed airport. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Watertown International Airport manager Grant W. Sussey talks about several projects in his office at the county-managed airport. Photo by Justin Sorensen, NNY Business.

Sussey: Watertown Airport on pace as driving force for region’s economy

Serving as Watertown International Airport’s first airport manager, Grant W. Sussey, stepped into the role during a period of extensive growth involving substantial projects like the runway extension and an addition on the airport’s terminal to make space for TSA checkpoints. He sat down with us this month to discuss the continued success of the airport’s operations and plans to transform it into a future economic driver of the region. [Read more…]

DOT tentatively selects American Airlines to continue service at Watertown International Airport

U.S. Department of Transportation officials have tentatively decided not to increase the required level of service at the Watertown International Airport and have asked American Airlines to continue the current schedule with a subsidy level set at $3,356,349 — almost a full $300,000 less than the airline requested.

An overreliance on federal aid apparently is in question.

American Airlines, which operates under an essential air service contract at the airport through its subsidiary American Eagle, characterizes its tenure at the airport as a success, pointing to the fact that it has beaten the yearly passenger target it set two years ago, according to a DOT document.

But the airline, which offers nonstop flights to and from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, has been unable to reduce its reliance on the federally funded essential air service subsidy, which officials said was a cause for concern. [Read more…]