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OST-2005-20454 - EAS at Victoria, TX

http://www.flyvictoriatx.com/ - Victoria Regional Airport


EAS Docket


Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas

OST-2005-20454


February 18, 2005

Re: 90-Day Notice of Skywest Airlines of Intent to Terminate EAS at Texas and Louisiana Communities

SkyWest Airlines currently serves the ten communities listed above as the Continental Connection. All service is to/from Houston, Texas utilizing 30-seat Embraer Brasilia aircraft. Working closely with Continental Airlines, we have cooperated in the transition of these routes to Colgan Air which intends to serve them with Saab 340s. All markets should have seamless service with Colgan picking up the trips the same day that SkyWest vacates. Both services will be flown as Continental Connection. Service will be substantially identical including the schedule and the class of aircraft.

By: Skywest, Eric Christensen



February 10, 2005

Re: Proposal of Colgan Air - Abilene, Waco, Beaumont, College Station, Killeen, San Angelo, Texarkana and Tyler, Texas and Monroe, Louisiana

Colgan is working closely with Continental Airlines and Sky West in the transitioning of these routes to Colgan. All communities should experience a gradual and seamless transition between the two carriers without an interruption in air service. All service will be flown as Continental Connection, and will be substantially identical including the schedule and the class of aircraft.

By: Michael Colgan


February 10, 2005

Re: Proposal of Colgan Air - Victoria, TX

Colgan Air, a Continental Connection carrier, plans, pending DOT approval, to replace SkyWest on or before June 30, 2005. Colgan Air will utilize a 34-passenger Saab 340 aircraft for this service. Colgan agrees to continue this service under the same rate, terms, and conditions as SkyWest has agreed to as set forth in DOT Order 2003-6-34 dated July 1, 2003.

By: Michael Colgan



Order 2005-03-03
OST-2005-20454 - 90-Day Notices of Intent to Terminate EAS at Abilene, Waco, Beaumont, College Station Killeen, San Angelo, Texarkana, and Tyler, Texas, and Monroe, Louisiana

Issued March 3, 2005 | Served March 8, 2005

Order Allowing Suspension of Service

By this order, the Department is allowing SkyWest Airlines, Inc., d/b/a Continental Connection, to suspend its unsubsidized services at the nine communities listed above on various dates from March 3 until June 30, 2005.

In reaching this decision, we have carefully reviewed the circumstances at the communities. Sky West and Colgan have agreed on a plan that will ensure that the communities' services to Houston will remain roughly equivalent to their current levels. Moreover, all of the communities receive service to another hub besides Houston: seven of the communities receive service to Dallas/Ft. Worth by American Eagle with aircraft ranging from Saab 340s to Embraer Regional Jets, and the other two receive service to Atlanta by Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc., d/b/a Delta Connection, with Canadair Regional Jets. The communities' services will thus remain far above the levels that the essential air service program was designed to ensure.

By: Karan Bhatia



Order 2005-03-13
OST-2005-20454 - EAS at Victoria, TX

Issued March 8, 2005 | Served March 11, 2005

Order Prohibiting Suspension of Service and Requesting Replacement Proposals

By this order, the Department is (a) prohibiting SkyWest Airlines, Inc., d/b/a Continental Connection, from suspending its scheduled service at Victoria, Texas, beyond the end of its 90-day notice period, and (b) requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing replacement service at Victoria, with or without subsidy.

While we acknowledge Colgan's readiness to replace Sky West at Victoria for the remainder of the current rate term, we will not select Colgan to do so. Instead, we will follow our normal practice of requesting proposals from all carriers interested in providing service at Victoria, with or without subsidy, for a new two‑year rate period. Carriers should file their proposals within 30 days of the date of service of this order. At the end of that period, our staff will docket the proposals, thereby making them public, and direct each carrier to serve a copy of its proposal on the civic parties and other applicants. Shortly afterwards, we will provide a summary of the proposals to the community and ask it to submit its final comments. We will give full consideration to all proposals that are timely filed.

During calendar year 2004, the most recent 12‑month period for which data are available, Victoria averaged 33.2 enplanernents per service day, a decline of 12.8 percent from the previous calendar year

By: Karan Bhatia



April 8, 2005

Proposal of Colgan Air to Provide Essential Air Service

Colgan proposes to following options:

  • Option #1 offers eighteen (18) non‑stop trips each week between Victoria and Houston and requires a subsidy of $758,285
  • Option #2 offers twelve (12) non‑stop trips each week between the Community and Houston and requires a subsidy of $510,185.

Although we have provided option #2, we are uncertain if this would be adequate to support the needs of the market.

Colgan is a regional airline operating Saab 340 aircraft as Continental Connection under agreement with Continental Airlines. The services currently offered by Colgan allow seamless connection to Continental's route system via Houston's George Bush Intercontinental hub.

By: Colgan, Michael Colgan


April 11, 2005

Proposal of Mesa Air Group d/b/a Air Midwest to Provide Essential Air Service

All operations proposed would utilize our modem fleet of Raytheon/Beechcrafl B‑1900D airliners. These aircraft offer a very comfortable 19‑seat, pressurized cabin with two turboprop engines. Mesa has a long history of offering Essential Air Service throughout the country, from Arizona to New York.

Option #

Hub(s)

Service

Annual Subsidy

1

DFW

3 RT: Victoria to DFW

$1,347,117

2

DFW

4 RT: Victoria to DFW

$1,844,812

By: Mesa, Mickey Bowman


April 12, 2005

Re: Request for Comments from The City of Victoria, TX

We have received two proposals in response to our request: from Colgan Air, Inc., and from Mesa Air Group, Inc., on behalf of its subsidiary, Air Midwest, Inc. When reviewing the carriers' subsidy computations, it is important to bear in mind that projected passenger revenue is not simply based on the average local fare that passengers would actually pay. Rather, it is based on each carrier's expected revenue per passenger, and therefore largely reflects the prorated shares of ticket prices that the carrier expects to receive for providing the local segments of through trips -- for example, the VictoriaHouston segment of a Victoria-Houston-New York trip.

By: Office of Aviation Analysis, Dennis DeVany



April 22, 2005

Community Response to Air Service Proposals

The Victoria County Airport Commission has evaluated the proposals for air service to the Victoria Regional Airport. The Commission unanimously embraced the Colgan Air, Inc. option #1 that would replace the current service provided by SkyWest Airlines. While acknowledging that the difference in the subsidy between option #1 and #2, it is our position that the limitations on the number of flights does not provide an opportunity for growth in utilization of air service at this airport. This market has deteriorated significantly over the last several years. We believe that there are factors that can be corrected including schedules and fare structures. We have historical data that proves the VCT‑LAH route can be very successful. We remain dedicated to working to increase the utilization to raise the enpianements to levels of the early 2000's when a subsidy was not required.

By: Victoria County Airport Commission, John Roberts


April 22, 2005

Re: County of Victoria Comments

We concur with the recommendations of the Victoria County Airport Commission in supporting the Colgan Air, Inc.‑‑option #1. This option will provide some service stability in that they will fly as the Continental Connection. Additionally, this option will provide a number of weekly flights that will provide an opportunity for the utilization of the service to grow back to enplanement levels that will allow reduction or elimination of the need for the essential air service subsidies.

By: Donald Pozzi, County Judge



Order 2005-5-2
OST-2005-20454

Issued May 9, 2005 | Served May 12, 2005

Order Selecting Carrier and Establishing Final Subsidy Rate

After careful consideration of the carriers' proposals and the community's comments, we have decided to select Colgan's Option 2, which offers 12 nonstop round trips to Houston each week with 34‑seat Saabs at a subsidy of $510,185 annually. The proposed subsidy rate is reasonable for the service to be provided, and Colgan's performance continues to be satisfactory. 

By: Karan Bhatia



Order 2005-6-10
OST-2005-20454

Issued June 13, 2005 | Served June 13, 2005

Order Extending Service Obligation

By Order 2005‑5‑2, the Department selected Colgan Air, d/b/a Continental Connection, to provide essential air service at Victoria for a two‑year period. However, the carrier transition is currently scheduled for July 1, after the end of the current hold‑in period. Therefore, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 41734(c), we will extend SkyWest's service obligation at Victoria for an additional 30 days, or until Colgan's service actually begins, whichever occurs first.

By: Randall Bennett



Order 2007-2-3
OST-2005-20454

Issued February 1, 2007 | Served February 6, 2007

Order Requesting Proposals

By this order, the Department is requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing essential air service at Victoria, Texas, for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2007, with or without subsidy.

With specific respect to Victoria, we expect proposals consisting of two round trips per service day (12 round trips a week) using aircraft with at least 30 seats, or three round trips per service day (18 round trips a week) using aircraft with 19 seats. Service should be provided to Houston or another nearby hub with two-pilot, twin-engine, pressurized aircraft. We encourage proposals that meet those requirements in an efficient manner.

By: Todd Homan



March 8, 2007

Proposal of Colgan Air

Colgan Air, Inc. respectfully submits a proposal to continue providing subsidized service between the community of Victoria, Texas and Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport. Our proposal continues to utilize a Saab-340B aircraft flying under the Continental Connection brand and would require an annual subsidy of $610,049.

The proposed service pattern for the community would be 12 non-stop flights each week to Houston Intercontinental operated as Continental Connection with Saab-340B aircraft.

By: Colgan Air, Michael Colgan, 703-331-3101


March 12, 2007

Request for Community Comments of:



March 30, 2007

Comments of Victoria Regional Airport and County of Victoria

Colgan Air, operating as Continental Connection, provides current Victoria air service. Colgan proposes to continue, in its response to Order 2007-2-3, the same air service it currently provides, although at a higher subsidy level.

The Victoria parties find this situation completely unacceptable and detrimental to the Victoria region’s economic growth and well being. The Victoria parties feel as if Continental is holding them hostage. The community has a bare minimum allocation of air service, paid for and made profitable by a hefty federal subsidy, while enplanements continue a steady decline.

It is the contention of Victoria that Continental and Colgan intend to 'milk' Victoria for subsidy supported profits until the current traffic decline accelerates to a deep spiral and then decline to re-bid in a future EAS cycle. This would in effect leave the market for dead.

By: Airport Manager, Larry Blackwell



Order 2007-4-8
OST-2005-20454

Issued April 6, 2007 | Served April 11, 2007

Order Selecting Carrier and Establishing Subsidy Rate | Word

By this order, the Department is selecting Colgan Air, Inc., d/b/a Continental Connection to continue providing essential air service at Victoria consisting of 12 weekly nonstop round trips to Houston with 34-seat Saab 340B turboprop aircraft for an annual subsidy of $610,049.

By: Michael Reynolds



April 12, 2007

Comments of County of Victoria

The Victoria Regional Airport has received Order 2007-4-8, which selects Colgan Air to provide essential air service of Victoria for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2007.

We are disappointed that the DOT has decided to allow Colgan and Continental to continue the schedule pattern that has, for the past year, caused such a significant decline in Victoria enplanements.

However, we do note on page two of the order the comment “Nonetheless, we encourage Colgan and Continental to reexamine the schedule in concert with the community to see if any further improvements can be made.” The Victoria parties need guidance from the DOT on how to proceed with this suggested reexamination.

We are not sure how to proceed to fulfill the DOT’s suggestion to “encourage Continental and Colgan Air to reexamine the schedule in concert with the community...” Any guidance from the DOT on how to proceed in this matter, given the rather emphatic “no” recently received from Continental, would be appreciated

By: County Judge, Donald Pozzi



Order 2009-3-2
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served March 3, 2009

Order Requesting Proposals

By this order, the Department is requesting proposals from carriers interested in providing essential air service at Victoria for the new two-year period beginning July 1, 2009, with or without subsidy.

By Order 2007-4-8, April 6, 2007, the Department selected Colgan Air, Inc. d/b/a Continental Connection to provide EAS at Victoria for the two-year period through June 30, 2009. Service consists of 12 nonstop round trips per week to Houston with 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft, at the annual subsidy rate of $610,049.

Specifically for Victoria, we are requesting proposals for service consisting of two nonstop round trips a day (12 per week) using aircraft with at least 30 seats, or three round trips a day (18 per week) with 19-seat aircraft. Service should be to Houston or any other nearby hub that offers connections to the national air transportation system. We encourage proposals that meet these requirements in an efficient manner. However, carriers are welcome to propose more than one option, if they choose; they need not limit themselves to these requirements if they envision other, potentially more attractive service possibilities – different hubs, for example – with subsidy requirements that remain competitive.

Victoria generated a total of 16,880 O&D passengers, averaging 27.0 enplanements a day. This represents a slight decrease from 2007, when the community generated 18,170 total passengers, an average of 29.0 daily enplanements.

By: Todd Homan



March 30, 2009

Re: Proposal of Colgan Air

By Order 2009-3-2, the Department requested proposals from carriers interested in providing Essential Air Service for a future two-year period beginning July 1, 2009. Colgan Air, Inc. respectfully submits a proposal to continue providing subsidized service between the community of Victoria, Texas and Houston-Bush Intercontinental Airport. This proposal uses a 34 passenger Saab 340 aircraft and would require an annual subsidy of $2,269,088.

The proposed service options for the Victoria community is as follows: 13 round-trips per week operated as non-stop service to Houston-Bush Intercontinental Airport. Colgan intends to operate 13 round trips round trips per week, not the minimum 12 round trips requested by the Department of Transportation, as reducing weekend frequencies would adversely impact the marketplace and reduce aircraft utilization. Past experience suggests that a reduced schedule would not satisfy the needs of point to point business traffic or provide adequate connectivity through Continental Airlines' hub operation in Houston.

By: Colgan, George Casey, 703-331-3101



May 11, 2009

Amendment to Proposal of Colgan Air

Pursuant to DOT Order 2009-3-2, Colgan Air Inc. submitted a proposal on April 30, 2009 to continue to provide subsidized air service at Victoria, Texas for a two year period beginning July 1, 2009. Colgan Air filed the only proposal to provide air service at Victoria.

As a result of discussions with the Department of Transportation staff, Colgan Air hereby submits this amended proposal to continue providing subsidized service between the community of Victoria, Texas and Houston-Bush Intercontinental Airport for a two year period beginning July 1, 2009 with an annual subsidy of $1,593,922. The details of the amended proposal are set forth in the following attachment hereto.

By: Colgan Air, George Casey



May 8, 2009

Re: DOT Request for Community Comments of:

Mayor of Victoria
Victoria Regional Airport Director

As you know, by Order 2009-3-2, issued March 3, 2009, the Department solicited proposals from air carriers interested in providing essential air service at Victoria in anticipation of the end of the current contract on June 30, 2009. At this stage, we would normally ask for your preferences for various carriers and service options. However, in response to that order, Colgan Air, Inc. d/b/a Continental Connection was the only carrier to submit a proposal. We want to give you an opportunity to submit any final comments for the record that you may have before we make a carrier-selection recommendation.

By: Dennis DeVany



May 29, 2009

Re: Victoria Regional Airport Support for Colgan Air

We are pleased to see Colgan Air d/b/a Continental Connection propose to continue its Victoria air service. The carrier has provided reliable service for many years now at Victoria.

Given Victoria's location in the extended periphery of the Houston metro area the most important and essential component of the Colgan Air / Continental Connection service is the need for an originator flight in the morning and return flight in the evening.

Without an originator and terminator flight pairing Victoria flight schedules are largely ineffective for business travel and Victoria air service suffers significantly.

We urge the Department to require Colgan Air to operate an originator and terminator flight pairing during this two year contract. Without this component of the subsidized air service traffic will drop dramatically and future subsidy costs will increase dramatically.

By: Larry Blackwell, 361-578-2704



Order 2009-6-10
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served June 11, 2009

Order Selecting Carrier and Establishing Subsidy Rates

By this order, the Department is re-selecting Colgan Air, Inc. d/b/a Continental Connection to continue providing subsidized essential air service at Victoria, TX, for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2009, at the annual subsidy rate of $1,593,922.

By: Christa Fornarotto



Order 2011-1-11
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served January 14, 2011

Order Requesting Proposals

By this order, the Department is requesting proposals from airlines interested in providing essential air service at Victoria, Texas, for the two-year period beginning July 1, 2011, with or without subsidy. Proposals are due by February 23, 2011.

With specific respect to Victoria, for proposals with 30 to 34-seat aircraft, the Department expects proposals for two round trips each weekday and three each weekend (13 a week). For proposals with 19-seat aircraft, we would expect proposals for three round trips a day (18 a week). We would also entertain proposals with 8/9-seat aircraft and additional frequencies. Should the community agree to aircraft with fewer than 15 passenger seats, in effect waiving their right to 15-seat or larger aircraft, we would consider the waiver to apply only to the two-year carrier-selection at hand, i.e. we would not assume that the community would waive their rights for all time.

By: Todd Homan



February 23, 2011

Proposal of SeaPort Airlines

SeaPort proposes for Victoria, three direct round trips per day between Victoria and Dallas (Love), seven days a week. This service level will offer more than enough inventory to provide for the historical traffic of the last several years. This allows us to keep the schedule flexible to be responsive to requests for schedule or destination changes in the future.

The $99 fare in our proposal is an average fare. Travel will be as low as $49 one way. This fare is
far less than the current operator. Continental Connection (Colgan) is the current air service provider with flights from Victoria, Texas to Houston, Texas. Non-refundable fares, depending on time of day, are $214.00 per segment based on availability and time of booking.

By: SeaPort



February 23, 2011

Proposal of Colgan Air

Colgan Air, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. respectfully submits a proposal to provide subsidized service between the community of Victoria, Texas and Houston-Bush Intercontinental Airport. This proposal would require an annual subsidy of $1,856,692.

The proposed service option for the community is as follows: 13 round-trips per week operated as non-stop service to/from Victoria, TX and Houston-Bush Intercontinental. The service will utilize a Saab 340, a thirty-four passenger, cabin class aircraft operated by a crew of two pilots and a flight attendant.

By: Phil Trenary, 901-348-4100



April 4, 2011

Victoria Regional Airport Commission in Support of Pinnacle Airlines

The Victoria Regional Airport Commission unanimously voted today to recommend that the DOT consider Pinnacle (Continental/United) to remain the commercial air carrier for Victoria Regional Airport. We have had four public meetings regarding the proposals and our community had the opportunity to hear live presentations from both bidders. After weeks of discussion, meetings, and a strong solicitation for public input through various media outlets, we feel that the Pinnacle proposal better meets our community's needs.

By: Jason Milewski, 361-578-2704



April 5, 2011

Answer of the City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership

The City of Houston and the Greater Houston Partnership respectfully submit this answer in strong support of the proposal of Colgan Air, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp. and regional partner of Continental, to continue to provide essential air service pursuant to 49 USC § 41731, et seq. between Victoria Regional Airport in Victoria, Texas and Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

Counsel: Zuckert Scoutt, Rachel Triner, 202-973-7927



Order 2011-5-7
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served May 5, 2011

Order Re-Selecting Carrier

By this order, the Department is re-selecting Colgan Air, Inc., operating as Continental Connection to provide essential air service at Victoria, Texas, using 34-seat Saab 340 aircraft for a two-year period beginning July 1, 2011, through June 30, 2013 for an annual subsidy of $1,856,692.

By: Susan Kurland


 

March 8, 2012

Ninety-Day Notice of Colgan Air of Termination of Service

Colgan Airlines, Inc. hereby gives notice of its intent to discontinue the service it provides at Staunton,
VA, effective June 8, 2012.

Colgan Airlines, Inc. can no longer continue service to the community. The discontinuation of service will cause service to drop below the EAS guarantee levels established by the Department. Colgan Airlines, Inc. operates as United Airlines Express, 13 weekly non-stop roundtrips between Victoria, TX and George Bush Intercontinental with 34 seat Saab Turbo-Prop aircraft.

By: Pinnacle Airlines, Philip Reed, 901-348-425


 

Order 2012-3-14
OST-2005-20736
- Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV
OST-2005-20735 - Morgantown, WV
OST-1997-2761 - Beckley, WV
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona, PA
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown, PA
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, TX
OST-2002-11378 - Staunton, VA

Issued and Served March 23, 2012

Order Prohibiting Suspension of Service and Requesting Proposals

By this Order, the Department prohibits Colgan Airlines, Inc. d/b/a United Airlines Express, from terminating service at Altoona and Johnstown, PA; Victoria, TX; Staunton, VA; and Beckley, Clarksburg/Fairmont and Morgantown, WV, for 30 days beyond the end of the 90-day notice period, i.e. July 8, 2012. We are also requesting proposals by April 25, 2012, from air carriers interested in providing replacement Essential Air Service at Victoria, TX; and Staunton, VA, for a new term, with or without subsidy.

Specifically, two round trips a day (12 a week) with 30-seat or larger aircraft; or three round trips a day (18 a week) with 19-seat aircraft and additional frequencies with 8/9 seat aircraft. Should the communities agree to single-engine aircraft, in effect waiving their right to twin-engine aircraft, we would consider the waiver to apply only for the length of the term of the air carrier-selection at hand, i.e. we would not assume that the communities would waive their rights for all time.

By: Susan Kurland


 

April 24, 2012

Request of Victoria Regional Airport for Extension

Victoria Regional Airport would like to request a fourteen day extension to the Essential Air Service proposal deadline. We have been diligently contacting prospective carriers and have recently had a meeting with a desired carrier. We respectfully request the deadline to be moved from April 25 to May 9, 2012. Having this added time will go a long way in allowing these prospective carriers the time to fully research our market and confirm that providing service to Victoria Regional Airport will be mutually beneficial to both themselves and our community.

By: Donald Pozzi


 

OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, TX
OST-2002-11378 - Staunton, VA

April 25, 2012

DOT Memorandum - Extension of Deadline

By Order 2012-3-14, issued on March 23, 2012, the Department requested proposals from interested air carriers to serve Staunton, Virginia, and Victoria, Texas, under the Essential Air Service program, to be submitted no later than April 25, 2012. On April 22, Silver Airways requested an extension to submit proposals to serve Staunton to on or about May 9, 2012. Additionally, on April 24, 2012, Victoria Regional Airport requested an extension of fourteen days, from April 25 to May 9, in order to allow prospective air carriers additional time to perform market analysis.

In an e-mail dated April 22, 2012, the airport manager at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport expressed that the airport has no objections to the requested extension. We are hereby granting the extension requests. The proposals for Staunton, VA, and Victoria, TX, are now due no later than May 9, 2012.

By: Dennis DeVany


 

May 9, 2012

Proposal of SeaPort Airlines

The proposal consists of 24 frequencies a week to Dallas (Love Field) and Houston, which is compliant with the Departments directive in Order 2012-3-14 requesting: “two round trips a day (12 a week) with 30-seat or larger aircraft; or three round trips a day (18 a week) with 19-seat aircraft and additional frequencies with 8/9 seat aircraft."

SeaPort Airlines proposes to serve Victoria with Pilatus PC-12 aircraft configured for 9-passengers and two pilots.

By: SeaPort, Timothy Sieber, 971-340-1716


 

Order 2012-5-16
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served May 17, 2012

Order Requesting Proposals

By this Order, the Department is requesting a second round of proposals from airlines interested in providing Essential Air Service at Victoria, TX, with or without subsidy, for a new rate term. Proposals are due by June 6, 2012.

We expect service levels that are consistent with what the community currently receives, with service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, or any medium- or large-hub airport that offers access to the national air transportation system utilizing twin-engine aircraft. Specifically, two round trips a day (12 a week) with 30-seat or larger aircraft; or three round trips a day (18 a week) with 19-seat aircraft. We will also consider proposals with 8/9-seat aircraft with additional frequencies.

By: Todd Homan


 

May 14, 2012

County of Victoria Rejecting Proposal of SeaPort Airlines

At this time, Victoria Regional Airport would like to reject the Essential Air Service Proposal from Seaport Airlines based upon the fact that the single engine aircraft does not meet the requirements of the program. Although we are well aware of the risks associated with rebidding, we feel that we must request to run another cycle. However, due to those risks, we. are requesting that the bidding be open for only fifteen days as opposed to the typical thirty.

By: Donald Pozzi


 

June 6, 2012

Proposal of SeaPort Airlines

SeaPort’s previous proposal to provide EAS at Victoria included 12 weekly roundtrips to Dallas (Love Field) and 12 weekly roundtrips to Houston. In this proposal, we are continuing to offer the option of service to Houston but have replaced Dallas with additional frequencies to Houston for a total of 24 weekly roundtrips. This addresses the concerns about frequency that the community has voiced in the past.

Both of the aircraft in SeaPort’s proposals contemplate aircraft smaller than the 34-passenger Saab 340’s presently operated by Colgan Airways. The smaller number of seats per departure, however, are offset by higher frequencies than economically possible with larger aircraft. We believe this will contribute to positive enplanement growth at Victoria Regional Airport.

By: SeaPort, Timothy Sieber, 971-340-1716


June 6, 2012

Proposal of Sun Air Express

Sun Air's proposed operations will be operated with nine-passenger twin-engine Piper Chieftain aircraft. Sun Air will provide four daily round-trips per weekday to Victoria, with two daily round-trips to each on Saturday and two daily round-trips to each on Sunday. All flights will operate on a non-stop basis to Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Victoria is currently provided with two weekday flights, one early in the morning and one in the evening. Sun Air would offer four weekday round-trips providing twice as many options for making connections.

By: Sun Air Express, Thomas Cooper


 

June 20, 2012

City of Houston Aviation Department in Support of Sun Air Int'l

On behalf of the Houston Airport System I want to express our support for the proposal of Sun Air Express, LLC d/b/a Sun Air International to provide Essential Air Service between Victoria Regional Airport in Victoria, Texas and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas.

By: Mario Diaz


 

Order 2012-7-17
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served July 13, 2012

Order Selecting Carrier

By this Order, the Department is selecting Sun Air Express, LLC d/b/a Sun Air International to provide Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas for an annual subsidy of $2,294,036. Service to be provided will be four weekday and four weekend nonstop round trips (24 a week) to George Bush Intercontinental Airport using 9-passenger, twin-engine Piper Chieftain aircraft for the two-year period beginning when the carrier commences full EAS.

By: Susan Kurland


 

Order 2014-3-6
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served March 11, 2014

Order Requesting Proposals

As the end of the current contract approaches, the Department is requesting proposals from air carriers interested in providing EAS at Victoria with subsidy support if necessary, for a new contract period beginning October 1, 2014. Carriers should file their proposals no later than April 16, 2014. Staff will then docket the proposals, thereby making them public. Shortly afterwards, we will provide a summary of the proposals to the community and ask them to submit their final comments. We will give full consideration to all proposals that are timely filed.

By: Todd Homan


 

April 14, 2014

Request of Boutique Air for an Extension

Boutique Air would like to request a one week extension on the due date for proposals at Victoria, TX.

By: Boutique Air, Daniel Helland, 415-449-0505





Issued and Served April 14, 2014

Notice Extending the Deadline for Proposals

By Order 2014-3-6, issued on March 11, 2014, the Department requested proposals for Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas, with proposals due no later than April 16, 2014. On April 14, 2014, Boutique Air requested an extension to the deadline until April 23, 2014.

We will grant the extension request. Proposals for Victoria, Texas, are now due April 23, 2014.

By: Kevin Schlemmer


 

April 23, 2014

Proposal of Boutique Air

Option 1:
12 nonstop RT weekly to Dallas/Ft. Worth and 12 nonstop RT weekly to Houston

Option 2:
24 nonstop RT weekly to Houston

Option 3:
18 nonstop RT weekly to Dallas/Ft. Worth

Our proposal would be flown in nine-seat, modern, pressurized Pilatus PC12 aircraft. The term for each option is two years.

We are projecting fares ranging from $49 to $99 for IAH. For DFW we are projecting fares from $59 to $109.

By: Shawn Simpson




April 23, 2014

Proposal of Sun Air

Sun Air proposes to operate four daily round peak round trips, with reduced frequencies on weekends, a level of service that it believes adequately meets the capacity requirements for the community in light of historical and expected demand levels. Flights will be operated with Sun Air's 8 passenger Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain twin-engine aircraft.

As the company has been operating in Victoria since late 2012, productivity and efficiency gains have been achieved, which in conjunction with additional planned cost reduction initiatives, will allow Sun Air to reduce its' proposed annual subsidy by almost $300,000 annually from current levels. This improvement, along with marketing efforts discussed below, should allow Victoria to regain compliance with the $200 per passenger subsidy cap.

By: David Hackett





April 24, 2014

DOT Request for Community Comments

In response to our request, Sun Air (the incumbent) and Boutique Air submitted proposals.

I request that you review the proposals and submit any comments you may have as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, May 5.

By: Michael Martin, 202-366-6494


 

May 5, 2014

Comments of Victoria Regional Airport Board and County Commissioners

We are rejecting Boutique Air's proposal for service primarily due to the fact that much of our traffic is industrial/plant traffic and their corporate policies do not allow them utilize anything less than a twin-turbine, two-pilot aircraft. Without this necessary business traffic, we find that it would be difficult to meet EAS requirements to remain eligible for funding. At this time, our community is unwilling to waive the twin engine requirement.

We are rejecting the proposal from Sun Air due to similar reasons. Our corporate traffic requirements do not allow them to operate on Sun Air's aircraft either. Sun Air is the incumbent carrier and since Oct of 20 12, we've experienced a greater than 60% decline in passenger enplanements from prior years. If this trend continues (or doesn't drastically reverse), our eligibility for future EAS funding remains in dire jeopardy. Numerous maintenance cancellations (over 350 in 18 months) and aircraft baggage limitations are the number one cited example from passengers for not supporting the current carrier. Our community is not willing to risk our future eligibility by operating with this same carrier.

Based upon these factors, we are requesting entrance into the Alternate Essential Air Service program whereby we can directly partner with a carrier that has the most suitable equipment, schedule, and destination(s) to most closely match our communities travel demands.

By: Jason Milewski




May 7, 2014

Comments of Victoria County Commissioners Court

This is to confirm that Victoria County Commissioners Court agrees with the statements as set out in the May 5th email by our Airport Manager. It truly reflects the views of the majority of the community and is in the best interest of those we serve.

By: Judge Don Pozzi


 

May 9, 2014

Proposal of Public Charters, Inc.

PC has elected to propose service to two hub airports. The Program will consist of one round trip per day (excluding Sundays) between the Victoria Regional Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport with an intermediate stop on both the outbound and return legs at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. In addition, on the busier travel days of Monday, Wednesday and Friday, PC proposes to operate a second round trip between VCT and AUS. Under PC’s proposed program, VCT would receive a total of 30 flight segments per week: 24 with the VCT-AUS-DFW-AUS-VCT routing and 6 with the VCT-AUS-VCT routing.

The service will be operated during every week of the year on the following days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each week, VCT will receive the equivalent of 9 round-trips to AUS and 6 round-trips to DFW.

PC contracts with Corporate Flight Management to provide aircraft, crews, flight operations, and aircraft maintenance. PC and CFM have the flexibility to add non-subsidized flights on relatively short notice to AUS, DFW, and other destinations and to bring in additional 19-passenger Jetstream aircraft in order to accommodate VCT’s varying air transportation needs.

By: Public Charters, Jim Gallagher, 570-457-1950




Order 2014-9-18
OST-2005-20454

OST-2004-18715 - Establishment of Alternate Essential Air Service Pilot Program

Issued and Served September 25, 2014

Order Setting Annual Service Level and Total Costs Under the Alternate Essential Air Service Program

By this Order, we approve Victoria County’s application under the Alternate Essential Air Service Program. The Department will enter into a Grant Agreement with the community to provide funding for regularly scheduled charter service consisting of at least 1032 annual nonstop flights between Victoria Regional Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, for a two-year period from November, 1, 2014, when the Part 135 and/or Part 121 direct air carrier inaugurates service at Victoria through October 31, 2016. By the terms of the Grant Agreement, service will be provided utilizing 19-passenger two-pilot, twin-engine aircraft at an annual rate of not more than $2,288,152.

By: Susan Kurland


 

October 23, 2014

Alternate EAS Grant Agreement

DOT presents this Grant Award and Agreement to the Grantee for $4,576,304 for Altemate Essential Air Service at the community for a two-year term, of which amount shall be payable in the amount of $2,288,152 per year, subject to the availability of funds.

The Grantee will contract with a Part 380 indirect air carrier to provide scheduled charter air transportation to Austin-Bergstrom Intemational Airport with continuing service to Dallas/Fort Worth Intemational Airport. Initial frequencies are planned for 9 round trips per week from Victoria to AUS, with 6 of those round trips operating one-stop to DFW (VCT-AUS-DFW).The maximum obligation of the United States reimbursable under this Grant Agreement shall be $4,576,304, of which amount shall be payable in the amount of $2,288,152 per year, subject to the availability of funds.

By: Susan Kurland


 

Order 2015-5-14
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown, New York
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge, Iowa
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, Texas
OST-1998-4409 - Show Low, Arizona

Issued and Served May 19, 2015

Tentative Findings of Average Daily Enplanements and Establishment of Waiver Procedures

By this Order, the Department makes a tentative determination that the four communities captioned above averaged fewer than 10 enplanements per day in Fiscal Year 2014 and are fewer than 175 miles from a large or medium hub airport. Objections to this tentative determination or requests for waivers from the requirement that Essential Air Service communities average 10 or more enplanements per day in each fiscal year, 49 USC § 41731(a)(1)(B), are due within 30 days of the service date of this Order. Unless the Department receives a petition from the above-captioned communities contesting the Department’s calculations or for waiver, the Department will issue a subsequent Final Order terminating that community’s EAS eligibility.

By: Brandon Belford


 

May 26, 2015

Comments of Victoria Regional Airport

Victoria Regional Airport has received USDOT Order 2015-5-14, Tentative Findings of Average Daily Enplanements and Establishment of Waiver Procedures for Victoria, Texas and three other communities. The Order states that the Department finds that Victoria, Texas is within 175 miles of the nearest medium hub and that throughout Federal fiscal year 2014 has averaged 7.8 enplanements per day. We are aware that this is below the required 10 enplanements per day for Essential Air Service communities who are within 175 miles of the nearest medium hub airport.

Victoria Regional Airport does not contest this data nor the Department's calculations or findings. Victoria Regional Airport does hovvever, contest the potential termination of eligibility in the EAS program and is seeking a Waiver under 49 USC § 41731(e).

In November of 2014, Victoria Regional Airport entered into the Alternate Essential Air Service program and selected Public Charters, Inc. as an indirect air carrier to provide passenger service. The aircraft supplied by Public Charters through Corporate Flight Management meet and exceed the requirements of our business community and their performance to date has been superb. We've not had a single, maintenance-related cancellation to date. Through aggressive marketing and reliable service, we're finally starting to get positive feedback from our flying public and based upon current passenger data, we project that our enplanements will increase to levels that will allow us to increase capacity and ullimately exceed our previous levels of passenger traffic.

In summary, we are confident that the recent, temporary decline in enplanements over the past two years was a direct result of the poor service offered by Sun Air Express. With our new, reliable service matched with the flexibility that Alternate Essential Air Service provides, our market is slowing returning to where it was before.

By: Jason Milweski


 

Order 2015-11-19
OST-2001-10684 - Mason City
OST-1998-4409 - Show Low
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria

Issued and Served November 25, 2015

Final Order Establishing Average Daily Enplanements and Granting Waivers

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation finalizing its tentative findings of Fiscal Year 2014 average daily enplanements and granting the waiver petitions of Mason City, Iowa; Show Low, Arizona; and Victoria, Texas.

After careful consideration of the three petitions, the Department has decided to grant the waiver petitions of all three communities.

For all three of these communities, a simple comparison of their enplanement data in recent years demonstrates that the Fiscal Year 2014 decline in enplanements experienced by these communities was temporary. All three communities enplaned more than 10 passengers a day in Fiscal Year 2013, and their Fiscal Year 2014 enplanements experienced a sharp decrease from previous years.

Upon review of these communities’ enplanement data over the past several years, in combination with the arguments these communities presented in support of their waiver petitions, the Department is satisfied that the decline in enplanements at these communities is temporary. Mason City experienced a service hiatus of almost a full eight months of the Fiscal Year 2014 and service by the carrier before the suspension of service was very unreliable. At Show Low and Victoria, the decrease in enplanements occurred also in conjunction with service issues related to their prior EAS carrier or other external factors that could be resolved with the selection of a new EAS provider. In light of these circumstances, these communities have demonstrated to the Department’s satisfaction that the decline in enplanements is temporary.

The Department wishes to make clear that the statute requires that communities exceed 10 enplanements per day during each fiscal year. The Department expects that these communities will work with their EAS carriers to address any issues that contributed to their Fiscal Year 2014 decline in enplanements.

The Department expects the communities and their respective EAS carriers to work together to ensure compliance with the 10-enplanement statute and all other eligibility criteria, including the $200 per passenger subsidy cap, which is currently being measured for FY2015 (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015). See docket “OST-2014-0061” at www.regulations.gov for a full discussion for the EAS Enforcement Policy on the $200 cap. The waiver from the 10-enplanement requirement does not immunize these three communities from current compliance standards regarding the $200 cap and, as stated in the docket on the EAS Enforcement Policy, the Department intends to issue a show-cause Order concerning compliance with the $200 subsidy cap in 2016.

By: Susan Kurland


 

Order 2016-5-17
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa, CO
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona, PA
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford, PA
OST-2005-20736 - Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois, PA
OST-2008-0299 - El Centro, CA
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City, IA
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City, PA
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown, MD
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson, TN
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown, NY
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown, PA
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney, NE
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster, PA
OST-2007-28671 - Macon, GA
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge, IA
OST-1998-3521 - Merced, CA
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals, AL
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro, KY
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg, WV/Marietta, OH
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton, OR
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott, AZ
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo, CO
OST-2002-11376 - Salina, KS
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff, NE
OST-1998-4409 - Show Low, AZ
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo, MS
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, TX
OST-2004-19916 - Visalia, CA
OST-2001-10644 - Watertown, SD

Issued and Served May 20, 2016

Order Tentatively Terminating EAS Eligibility and Tentatively Granting a Waiver for Communities That Experienced a Service Hiatus

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation is directing interested persons to show cause why the Department should not terminate the eligibility under the Essential Air Service program of the communities listed on the caption of this Order. The Department has tentatively determined that these communities did not enplane an average of 10 or more passengers per day during Fiscal Year 2015, as required by 49 USC § 41731(a)(1)(B), and/or required a rate of subsidy per passenger in excess of $200. Objections to the Department’s tentative decision are due within 20 days of the service date of this Order. Additionally, communities that required a subsidy per passenger in excess of the Subsidy Cap during Fiscal Year 2015 may work with an air carrier to submit a proposal to the Department that complies with the Subsidy Cap.

Also by this Order, the Department tentatively grants a waiver to the eight communities that suffered a service hiatus for the reasons described herein.

Communities may object to the Department’s tentative findings. If the Department terminates a community’s eligibility for EAS, the community will be provided an opportunity to petition the Department for a waiver. The process for submitting a petition for waiver will be addressed in a separate Order.

By: Susan McDermott

OST-2016-0084 - EAS Community Flexibility Pilot Program


 

June 8, 2016

Comments of Victoria Regional Airport

Victoria Regional Airport does not dispute the data used to determine our enplanements for consideration of potentially being terminated from the EAS program. We will, however be seeking a waiver for both the ten enplanements per day as well as the $200 subsidy cap as soon as the procedure is received.

By: Jason Milewski, 361-655-0958


Order 2016-6-9
OST-2005-20454

OST-2004-18715 - Establishment of Alternate EAS Pilot Program

Issued and Served June 17, 2016

Order Requesting Proposals

By this Order, the United States Department of Transportation is requesting proposals from airlines interested in providing Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas, for a new contract term beginning November 1, 2016, with or without subsidy. Airlines should file their proposals no later than July 18, 2016.

In order to assist airlines in developing traffic and revenue projections for their proposals, the Department has provided a summary of historical passengers. The number of frequencies the Department expects is outlined below:

Aircraft Type Expected Frequency
19 to 50-passenger aircraft 12 RT per week
8/9-passenger aircraft 18 to 24 RT per week

By: Todd Homan




OST-2005-20454
OST-2004-18715 - Alternate EAS Program


July 18, 2016

Proposal of Boutique Air

24 nonstop RT weekly Victoria-Houston and Dallas/Ft. Worth
Aircraft: Pilatus PC-12
Subsidy requirement: $2,668,930

By: Shawn Simpson


July 18, 2016

Proposal of SeaPort Airlines

SeaPort Airlines proposes to operate 24 weekly roundtrips between Victoria and Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport using 9-passenger Cessna Caravans. We are requesting subsidy of $1,888,731 per year.

By: Timothy Sieber, 971-340-1716


 

OST-2005-20454
OST-2004-18715 - Alternate EAS Program

July 19, 2016

DOT Request for Community Comments

The Department issued Order 2016-6-9 on June 17, 2016, requesting proposals from airlines interested in providing EAS at Victoria for a new contract term. In response to the Order, Boutique Air and SeaPort Airlines submitted a proposals. I request that your community review the proposals carefully and submit its comments no later than Friday, August 19.

By: Michael Martin, 202-366-6494


 

OST-2005-20454
OST-2004-18715 - Establishment of Alternate Essential Air Service Pilot Program

August 1, 2016

Alternate Essential Air Service Proposal of Public Charters

The Program will consist of one round trip per day (excluding Saturdays) between the Victoria Regional Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.and one round trip per day (excluding Saturdays to Houston Intercontinental International Airport. Under PC’s proposed program, VCT would receive a total of 24 flight segments per week: 12 for each Hub city including AUS and IAH.

PC proposes operations using CFM’s Jetstream 31/32 19-passenger aircraft.

Our proposed service will require an annual subsidy of $2,660,000.

By: Jim Gallagher, 570-457-1950


 

August 19, 2016

Victoria Airport Commission in Support of Public Charters d/b/a Texas Sky

After careful and diligent consideration of the submitted proposals for Essential Air Service at Victoria Regional Airport, the Airport Commission unanimously decided to remain in the Alternate Essential Air Service Program and continue service with Public Charters, Inc. dba Texas Sky.

We sincerely appreciate the time spent as well as the interest in Victoria by the two carriers that submitted, but it is the feeling of our community that we do not want to change service at this time as we are very pleased with Texas Sky.

By: Jason Milewski, 361-655-0958


 

Order 2016-8-21
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa, CO
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona, PA
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford, PA
OST-2005-20736 - Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois, PA
OST-2008-0299 - El Centro, CA
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City, IA
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City, PA
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown, MD
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson, TN
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown, NY
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown, PA
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney, NE
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster, PA
OST-2007-28671 - Macon, GA
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge, IA
OST-1998-3521 - Merced, CA
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals, AL
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro, KY
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg, WV/Marietta, OH
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton, OR
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott, AZ
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo, CO
OST-2002-11376 - Salina, KS
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff, NE
OST-1998-4409 - Show Low, AZ
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo, MS
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, TX
OST-2004-19916 - Visalia, CA
OST-2001-10644 - Watertown, SD

Issued and Served August 29, 2016

Final Order Terminating Eligibility, Granting Waivers for Certain Communities and Establishing Waiver Procedures

Having received no objections to the Department’s tentative findings regarding Altoona, Clarksburg/Fairmont, DuBois, El Centro, Hagerstown, Jackson, Jamestown, Johnstown, Kearney, Lancaster, Owensboro, Parkersburg/Marietta, Salina, Scottsbluff, Show Low, Tupelo, Victoria, and Visalia, the Department will finalize its tentative findings for these communities’ distance to the closest medium or large hub, and average daily enplanements and/or subsidy per passenger, as listed in Appendices B and C.

The Department received objections from Alamosa, Pendleton, and Watertown. These communities argue that the Department should use a location other than the “city center” to measure the distances to the nearest large- or medium-hub airport. The Department rejects these objections and will finalize its tentative finding for these communities’ distance to the closest medium or large hub, and average daily enplanements and/or subsidy per passenger.

In the case of Alamosa, the FHWA reports that the total mileage from Alamosa City Hall to Albuquerque International Sunport is 205 miles (via Hunt Ave - Main Street - West Avenue - US 285 - Sunport Blvd).

In the case of Pendleton, the FHWA reports that the total mileage from Pendleton City Hall to Portland International Airport is 205 miles (via Dorian Avenue - 4th Street - Emigrant Avenue - I-84 - I-205 (War Veterans Memorial Highway) - Airport Way.

In the case of Watertown, the FHWA reports that the total mileage from the courthouse in Watertown, SD is 207 miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (via S. Broadway Street – US 212 – I 494/SD 5).

The Department grants waivers to eight communities for Fiscal Year 2015: Bradford and Franklin/Oil City, Pennsylvania; Fort Dodge and Mason City, Iowa; Macon, Georgia; Merced, California; Muscle Shoals, Alabama; and Pueblo, Colorado.

The Department finalizes its tentative decisions in Order 2016-5-17 that the 22 communities that had continuous service during Fiscal Year 2015, listed in Appendix C of this Order are no longer eligible Essential Air Service communities.

By: Jenny Rosenberg


 

August 19, 2016

Victoria Regional Airport in Support of Texas Sky

After careful and diligent consideration of the submitted proposals for Essential Air Service at Victoria Regional Airport, the Airport Commission unanimously decided to remain in the Alternate Essential Air Service Program and continue service with Public Charters, Inc. dba Texas Sky.

We sincerely appreciate the time spent as well as the interest in Victoria by the two carriers that submitted, but it is the feeling of our community that we do not want to change service at this time as we are very pleased with Texas Sky.

By: Jason Milewski, 361-655-0958


 

Order 2016-11-8
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa, CO
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona, PA
OST-2005-20736 - Clarskburg/Fairmont, WV
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois, PA
OST-2008-0299 - El Centro, CA
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown, MD
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson, TN
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown, NY
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown, PA
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney, NE
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster, PA
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro, KY
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg, WV/Marietta, OH
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton, OR
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott, AZ
OST-2002-11736 - Salina, KS
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff, NE
OST-1998-4409 - Show Low, AZ
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo, MS
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria, TX
OST-2004-19916 - Visalia, CA
OST-2001-10644 - Watertown, SD

Issued and Served November 10, 2016

Order Granting Waivers

After careful consideration of this matter, the Department has decided to grant the waiver petitions of all 22 communities.

For the eight communities that seek a waiver from the 10-enplanement requirement, a review of those communities’ enplanement data over the past few years, in combination with the arguments put forth in their waiver petitions, demonstrates to the Department’s satisfaction that the decline in enplanements at these eight communities is temporary.

For the 22 communities that seek a waiver from the Subsidy Cap, the Department acknowledges that there were challenges arising from the air service provided at these communities that caused the increase in the per passenger subsidy paid to the EAS carriers. As noted in the waiver petitions, many communities currently have a new air carrier and passenger levels are increasing. In addition, these communities have indicated that they are working with their carrier to improve service and attract passengers, and expect their subsidy per passenger to decline.

The waivers granted by this Order apply to Fiscal Year 2015. Communities are expected to have been compliant for Fiscal Year 2016, which ended September 30, 2016. Compliance based on Fiscal Year 2016 will be assessed at a later date.

By: Jenny Rosenberg


 

Order 2016-11-13
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served November 15, 2016

Order Setting Annual Service Levels and Total Costs Under the Alternate Essential Air Service Program

By this Order, the United States Department of Transportation approves the application submitted by the Victoria Regional Airport Commission under the Alternate Essential Air Service program. The Department will enter into a grant agreement with Victoria County to provide a maximum of $2,660,000 in financial assistance per year for regularly-scheduled charter air service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport and/or Austin-Bergstrom International Airport for the two-year contract term from November 1, 2016, through October 31, 2018. Service will be provided utilizing 19-passenger two-pilot, twin-engine Jetstream 31/32 aircraft.

By: Jenny Rosenberg


 

January 5, 2017

Alternate Essential Air Service Grant Agreement

DOT presents this Grant Award and Agreement to the Grantee for $5,320,000 for Altemate Essential Air Service at the community for a two-year term, payable in an amount not to exceed $2,660,000 per year, subject to the availability of funds.

By: Jenny Rosenberg


 

April 5, 2017

Amendment No. 1

The DOT and the Sponsor hereby agree to amend the Grant Agreement as follows:

  1. Designated Hub Airport. Section A.3 of the Grant Agreement is hereby amended to read as follows: The Grantee will contact with a Part 380 air carrier to provide charter air transportation to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
  2. Subsidy Per Flight. Section B.3(c) of the Grant Agreement is hereby amended to read as follows: Subsidy is to be calculated at $4287 per flight.
  3. No Other Modifications. Except for the amendments to Section A.3 and B.3(c) made in this Amendment No. 1, all terms and conditions of the Grant Agreement will continue in full force and effect. As a reminder, the maximum obligation of the United States reimbursable under the Grant Agreement shall be $5,320,000, payable in an amount not to exceed $2,660,000 per year, subject to the availability of funds.

By: Susan McDermott




Order 2017-9-23
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford
OST-2005-20736 - Clarksburg/Fairmont
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals
OST-2008-0299 - Imperial
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo
OST-2007-28671 - Macon
OST-2002-11376 - Salina
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-1997-2706 - Vernal

Issued and Seved September 29, 2017

Order Tentatively Terminating EAS Eligibility and Tentatively Granting a Waiver for Communities that Experienced a Service Hiatus

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation has tentatively determined that all 27 communities listed on the first page of this Order did not meet one or two statutory eligibility criteria required to remain in the Essential Air Service program. The Department has tentatively determined that these 27 communities did not enplane an average of 10 or more passengers per day during Fiscal Year 2016, as required by 49 USC § 41731(a)(1)(B), and/or required a rate of subsidy per passenger of more than $200. The Department is directing interested persons to show cause why the Department should not terminate the eligibility of the 19 communities listed in the first group of communities identified in the caption of this Order.

All 27 communities may file objections and/or petition for waivers, and the Department will not terminate subsidized service until objections and petitions for waivers are reviewed and a final Order is issued granting or denying petitions for waivers.

Also by this Order, the Department tentatively grants a waiver to the eight communities listed in the second group identified in the caption of this Order due to their extended service hiatus during Fiscal Year 2016, as further discussed below. The Department directs interested parties to show cause why the Department should not grant these communities a waiver on its own initiative.

Objections to the Department’s tentative decision and petitions for waivers from these requirements are due within 20 days of the service date of this Order. Additionally, communities that required a subsidy per passenger in excess of the Subsidy Cap during Fiscal Year 2016 may work with an air carrier to submit a proposal to the Department that complies with the Subsidy Cap,

By: Susan McDermott


 

October 18, 2017

Petition of Victoria, Texas for Waiver of 10-Enplanement Statute and $200 per Passenger Limit

The preliminary numbers for FY 2017 show an increase in enplanements over FY 2016 to almost 10 per day and a reduction in the per passenger subsidy. While this is encouraging, the County and VCT are committed to working tirelessly to ensure that Victoria's EAS meets all of the DOT's benchmarks and has long-term stability and success. The County's recent efforts, for example, include a new, focused marketing campaign to promote the daily roundtrip flight to Dallas/Ft. Worth, using newspaper ads, TV announcements, and local events. The County is working with the incumbent carrier to determine how service can be improved and the County is prepared, if necessary, to work with a replacement carrier. The County is also prepared to return to the regular EAS Program, if necessary. Most importantly, the County is committed to working closely with the community and with EAS Program officials and to do all that it can to preserve and improve this important air travel link. However, the County is now implementing comprehensive changes at the Airport that are already bringing positive results, but more time will be needed for additional results to be seen. Similarly, the County is now moving forward with renewed efforts on its Essential Air Service, but more time will be needed to get the service back to where it was.

We respectfully request that the DOT grant this Petition for a Waiver, allow Victoria County to continue to participate in the EAS Program, and give us a renewed opportunity to make this service successful.

By: Vinicio Llerena


 

Order 2017-12-2
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford
OST-2005-20736 - Clarksburg/Fairmont
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson
OST-2003-14950 - Jamestown
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals
OST-2008-0299 - Imperial
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo
OST-2007-28671 - Macon
OST-2002-11376 - Salina
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-1997-2706 - Vernal

Issued and Served December 29, 2017

Final Order Granting Essential Air Service Waivers for 26 Communities and Terminating Eligibility for One Community

After careful consideration of this matter, the Department has decided to grant the waiver petitions of 18 of the 19 communities seeking waivers. The Department acknowledges that there were challenges arising from the air service provided at these communities, including a nationwide commercial pilot shortage, that caused reliability issues and resulted in increases in the per passenger subsidy. As noted in the waiver petitions, many communities currently have a new air carrier and passenger levels are increasing. All of these 18 communities, both those that have and have not experienced a carrier change, have indicated that they are working with their carrier to improve service and attract passengers, and expect their subsidy per passenger to decline. For these reasons, the Department has decided to grant the following communities a waiver from the Subsidy Cap: Alamosa, CO, Altoona, PA, Bradford, PA, Clarksburg/Fairmont, WV, DuBois, PA, Fort Dodge, IA, Franklin/Oil City, PA, Hagerstown, MD, Jackson, TN, Johnstown, PA, Kearney, NE, Lancaster, PA, Mason City, IA, Owensboro, KY, Parkersburg, WV/Marietta, OH, Prescott, AZ, Scottsbluff, NE, and Victoria, TX.

In addition, four of the communities that had service during the entire fiscal year also sought a waiver from the 10-enplanement requirement (Altoona, PA, DuBois, PA, Franklin/Oil City, PA, and Victoria, TX). A review of those communities’ enplanement data over the past few years, in combination with the arguments put forth in their waiver petitions, demonstrates to the Department’s satisfaction that the decline in enplanements at these four communities is temporary.

The Department denies Jamestown’s petition for waiver. Jamestown was one of only five communities that had service the entire fiscal year and did not comply with either eligibility requirement. Of these five communities, Jamestown had the second highest per passenger subsidy and was among the lowest average daily enplanements. While Jamestown’s non-compliance with either metric was not the worst, the Department’s decision is based on Jamestown’s combined significant non-compliance with both requirements and its extremely close proximity to a medium hub airport. Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a mere 76 driving miles away. Jamestown is the closest of any of the affected communities to a large- or medium-hub airport.

By: Susan McDermott


 

Order 2018-4-20
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served April 24, 2018

Order Requesting Proposals

By this Order, the United States Department of Transportation is requesting proposals from airlines interested in providing Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas, for a new contract term beginning November 1, 2018, with or without subsidy. Airlines should file their proposals no later than June 5, 2018.

The Department expects proposals for 12 round trips per week. If small aircraft (8 to 9 seats) are proposed, the Department will consider 18 to 21 round trips per week.

By: Todd Homan


 

Order 2018-5-14
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-1997-2706 - Vernal
OST-1997-2515 - Kirksville
OST-2005-20735 - Morgantown
OST-2002-11378 - Staunton
OST-2007-28761 - Macon
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney
OST-2007-28671 - Macon
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff

Issued and Served May 11, 2018

Order Tentatively Terminating EAS Eligibility and Tentatively Granting a Waiver for Communities that Experienced a Service Hiatus

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation has tentatively determined that all 25 communities listed on the first page of this Order did not meet one or two statutory eligibility criteria required to remain in the Essential Air Service program. The Department has tentatively determined that these 25 communities did not enplane an average of 10 or more passengers per day during Fiscal Year 2017, as required by 49 USC §41731(a)(1)(B), and/or required a rate of subsidy per passenger of more than $200. The Department is directing interested persons to show cause why the Department should not terminate the eligibility of the 21 communities listed in the first group of communities identified in the caption of this Order. The Department is also tentatively granting waivers for the four communities in the second group because each one suffered a service hiatus during Fiscal Year 2017.

All 25 communities may file objections and/or petitions for waivers, and the Department will not terminate subsidized service until objections and petitions for waivers are reviewed and a final Order is issued granting or denying petitions for waivers. The Department also directs interested parties to show cause why the Department should not grant Macon, Georgia; Kearney, Nebraska; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; and Pendleton, Oregon, a waiver on its own initiative.

Objections to the Department’s tentative decision and petitions for waivers from these requirements are due within 20 days after the service date of this Order. Additionally, communities that required a subsidy per passenger in excess of the Subsidy Cap during Fiscal Year 2017 may work with an air carrier to submit a proposal to the Department that complies with the Subsidy Cap.

By: Joel Szabat


 

May 22, 2018

Petition of Victoria Regional Airport for Waiver from 10-Enplanement Requirement and $200 per Passenger Cap

Our efforts have included working closely with the carrier and a marketing campaign that includes radio and television advertisement able to reach a much larger catchment area. There has been some progress, as evidenced by the increase in daily enplanements from 6.8 in FY 2016 to almost 10 per day in FY 2017 and a substantial reduction in the per passenger subsidy. While this progress is encouraging, Victoria is committed to taking the additional, necessary steps to ensure that VCT's EAS meets all of the DOT's benchmarks and has longterm stability.

Victoria has made significant progress during the past twelve months in implementing comprehensive changes at the Airport and, most importantly, seeking to improve its EAS. However, some more time will be needed to select a carrier in accordance with Order 2018-4-20 and have the carrier implement its new service. Accordingly, we respectfully request that the DOT grant this Petition for a Waiver, allow Victoria County to continue to participate in the EAS Program, and give us a renewed opportunity to make this service successful once again.

By: Vinicio Llerena


 

June 5, 2018

Proposal of Boutique Air

Option 1:

18 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: $2,783,154 (PC-12 Year 1); $2,852-732 (PC-12 Year 2) / $3,600,505 (King Air Year 1); $3,690,517 (King Air Year 2)

Option 2:

21 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: $3,076,927 (PC-12 Year 1); $3,153,850 (PC-12 Year 2) / $3,879,296 (King Air Year 1); $3,976,278 (King Air Year 2)

Option 3:

24 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: 3,578,092 (PC-12 Year 1); $3,667,544 (PC-12 Year 2) / $4,370,768 (King Air Year 1); $4,480,037 (King Air Year 2)

Option 4:

11 weekly Victoria-Houston / 7 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: $2,529,911 (PC-12 Year 1); $2,593,158 (PC-12 Year 2) / $3,111,331 (King Air Year 1); $3,189,114 (King Air Year 2)

Option 5:

14 weekly Victoria-Houston / 7 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: $2,711,880(PC-12 Year 1); $2,779,677 (PC-12 Year 2) / $3,328,207 (King Air Year 1); $3,411,412 (King Air Year 2)

Option 6:

17 weekly Victoria-Houston / 7 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: PC-12 / King Air 350
Subsidy required: $2,988,656 (PC-12 Year 1); $3,063,372 (PC-12 Year 2) / $3,679,326 (King Air Year 1); $3,771,309 (King Air Year 2)

By: Shawn Simpson




June 5, 2018

Proposal of Multi-Aero d/b/a Air Choice One

Option 1:

18 weekly Victoria-Houston
Aircraft: Cessna Grand Caravan
Subsidy required: $2,092,422

Option 2:

21 weekly Victoria-Houston
Aircraft: Cessna Grand Caravan
Subsidy required: $2,271,868

Option 3:

14 weekly Victoria-Houston / 7 weekly Victoria-Austin
Aircraft: Cessna Grand Caravan
Subsidy required: $2,137,578

Option 4:

12 weekly Victoria-Houston / 12 weekly Victoria-Austin
Aircraft: Cessna Grand Caravan
Subsidy required: $2,426,488

Option 5:

12 weekly Victoria-Houston / 12 weekly Victoria-Austin
Aircraft: Beechcraft 1900
Subsidy required: $2,628,438

Option 6:

18 weekly Victoria-Houston
Aircraft: Beechcraft 1900
Subsidy required: $2,323,851

Option 7:

12 weekly Victoria-Houston / 9 weekly Victoria-Austin
Aircraft: Beechcraft 1900
Subsidy required: $2,558,053

Option 8:

12 weekly Victoria-Houston / 7 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: Beechcraft 1900
Subsidy required: $2,309,958

By: Darnea Wood, 314-843-8501




June 5, 2018

Proposal of Silver Airways

Victoria-Houston
Aircraft: ATR-42-600
Subsidy required: $4,948,422

By: Steven Rossum




June 5, 2018

Proposal of Southern Airways Express

Option A:

18 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: Cessna Caravan
Subsidy required $2,459,928

Option B:

21 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: Cessna Caravan
Subsidy required $2,678,951

Option C:

24 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: Cessna Caravan
Subsidy required $2,897,973

By: Stan Little, 907-672-7820




June 4, 2018

Proposal of Via Air

Option 1:

12 weekly Victoria-Dallas
Aircraft: EMB-120
Subsidy required: $3,876,746

Option 2:

12 weekly Victoria-Dallas/Austin
Aircraft: EMB-120
Subsidy required: $4,145,201

Option 3:

16 weekly Victoria-Dallas/Austin
Aircraft: EMB-120
Subsidy required: $4,517,248

By: Irit Vizer


 

June 6, 2018

DOT Request for Community Comments

the Department issued Order 2018-4-20 on April 24, 2018, requesting proposals from airlines interested in providing EAS at Victoria for a new contract term. In response to that Order, five airlines submitted proposals:

  • Air Choice One
  • Boutique Air
  • Southern Airways
  • Silver Airways
  • ViaAir

To be clear, ViaAir's proposal is for service under the Alternate EAS program. The Department made clear in its RFP that it was soliciting proposals for traditional EAS and not Alternate EAS. However, I have included their proposal for your review. Nevertheless, you should know that it is not a valid proposal for EAS. Your community must first evaluate those proposals that will provide traditional EAS. I request that the community submit its final comments directly to me no later than Friday July 13.

By: Michael Martin


 

July 9, 2018

Victoria Regional Airport in Support of Silver Airways

The Victoria Regional Airport Commission unanimously supports Silver Airways' excellent proposal and we respectfully request that the Department of Transportation allow Silver Airways to provide this critically-needed air service to the Victoria community.

By: Vinicio Llerena




July 11, 2018

City of Houston in Support of Silver Airways

The applicable statutory authority gives special weight to considerations of community support, and approval of Victoria's strong preference for the proposal of Silver Airways would fully satisfy this important decisional factor. It also would satisfy other relevant criteria, including the existence of contractual and other arrangements made with larger carriers to ensure service beyond Houston, and the carrier's commitment to a marketing plan, as evidenced in Silver's proposal.

The statutory selection criteria applicable to the Department's decision in this matter also give "substantial weight" to the preferences of the actual and potential users of the service in Victoria, and in particular the views of their elected officials. After due deliberation those officials have expressed a firm preference for Silver, but in addition, the selection of Silver would bring substantial benefits to users of the service in the Houston community. The City and Victoria were previously connected by nonstop service, and the loss of that service several years ago has removed a key air service link that was very valuable not just to Houston residents but also to our own community's businesses. Houston and Victoria share many common business interests, including in the energy, petrochemical, manufacturing and medical fields; the proposed service would bring new opportunities to these entities, and in turn their use of the new services will help support the long-term viability of the service, as will Silver's planned use of 46-passenger aircraft.

By: Mario Diaz

 

June 8, 2018

Support Letter of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

For many years, the enplanements at VRT exceeded the EAS program requirements. Although VRT did not meet the requirements last year, I understand that there has been progress in increased enplanements from the prior fiscal year and that the per-passenger subsidy also has decreased during this period. Victoria continues to implement significant changes to the overall operation of VRT in keeping with its renewed commitment to ensuring that the airport, including its EAS, is successful and meets the air service needs of the region. Allowing Victoria to continue in the EAS will provide the opportunity to achieve this important goal and allow VRT to continue to be a critical hub for commercial service in the South Texas region.

By: Senator John Cornyn

 

July 24, 2018

Victoria County Judge in Support of Silver Airways

Having Silver Airways providing this necessary air service will have substantial benefits, including two daily roundtrips to Houston Intercontinental Airport, a larger aircraft to meet demand at peak travel times, a backup aircraft, numerous interline and codeshare agreements, higher traffic levels, and a commitment to marketing Silver Airways' new service within the community.

It is for these many reasons that we strongly support Silver Airways' proposal and respectfully request that the Department of Transportation allow Silver Airways to provide this critically-needed air service to the Victoria Community.

By: Ben Zeller, 361-582-5871

 

July 25, 2018

Victoria Economic Development Corporation in Support of Silver Airways

I would like to take this opportunity to strongly encourage the Department of Transportation's approval of Victoria Regional Airport's essential air service and Silver Airways carrier request. As you review the application from VRA, please know that the Victoria Economic Development Corporation continues to work on recruiting new investment and primary jobs to our community and we have received specific requests from prospects of the availability of reliable local commercial air service. This is a critical factor in their site location decision-making process that could ultimately result in millions of dollars of new industrial investment in our community and hundreds of new jobs. We are currently in the process of responding to a prospect's request for the flight schedule of VRA's commercial service. It is our hope that we will be able to provide them with the flight schedule that Silver Airways has proposed to Victoria Regional Airport.

By: Dale Fowler


 

Order 2018-8-2
OST-1997-2960 - Alamosa
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois
OST-2001-10682 - Mason City
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City
OST-2000-7857 - Jackson
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro
OST-1996-1899 - Prescott
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals
OST-1999-6589 - Pueblo
OST-2009-0305 - Tupelo
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-1997-2706 - Vernal
OST-1997-2515 - Kirksville
OST-2005-20735 - Morgantown
OST-2002-11378 - Staunton
OST-2007-28671 - Macon
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown
OST-1996-1715 - Kearney
OST-2007-28671 - Macon
OST-2004-19934 - Pendleton
OST-2003-14535 - Scottsbluff

Issued and Served August 6, 2018

Final Order Granting Essential Air Service Waivers

By this Order, the United States Department of Transportation makes final its tentative determinations in Order 2018-5-14, that all 25 communities listed in the caption of this Order did not meet one or two statutory eligibility criteria required to remain in the Essential Air Service program. This Order also grants the petitions for waivers for 21 communities listed in the first group in the caption of this Order, and finalizes the tentative grant of waivers for the four communities in the second group because each one experienced a service hiatus during Fiscal Year 2017.

The Department recognized that four of the 25 communities at issue experienced an extended service hiatus in FY 2017 during which time there was no scheduled EAS at the community. Because of the service hiatus, these communities endured a particular hardship during FY 2017 that materially and substantially impaired their ability to comply with the 10-enplanement and Subsidy Cap requirements, and the Department proposed a tentative waiver from the requirements for FY 2017.

After careful consideration of this matter, the Department has decided to grant the waiver petitions of all 21 communities that petitioned the Department for a waiver from one or both eligibility requirements. The Department acknowledges that there were challenges arising from the air service provided at these communities, including a nationwide commercial pilot shortage, that caused reliability issues and resulted in increases in the per passenger subsidy. As noted in the waiver petitions, many communities currently have a new air carrier and passenger levels are increasing. All 21 communities, both those that have and have not experienced a carrier change, have indicated that they are working with their carrier to improve service and attract passengers, and expect their subsidy per passenger to decline. For these reasons, the Department has decided to grant these 21 communities a waiver from the Subsidy Cap.

In addition, four of the communities that had service during the entire fiscal year also sought a waiver from the 10-enplanement requirement (Franklin/Oil City, PA, Hagerstown, MD, Pueblo, CO and Victoria, TX). The reasons identified above for the Department’s decision to grant these communities’ waivers from the Subsidy Cap requirement, a review of those communities’ past enplanement data, and the arguments put forth in their waiver petitions, demonstrates to the Department’s satisfaction that the decline in enplanements at these four communities is temporary.

All communities are expected to be compliant for Fiscal Year 2018, which ends September 30, 2018.

By: Joel Szabat


 

Order 2018-9-18
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served September 18, 2018

Order Selecting Air Carrier

By this Order, the United States Department of Transportation is selecting Boutique Air, Inc. to provide Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas, using 8/9-passenger twin-engine King Air 350 aircraft for the two-year contract term from November 1, 2018, through October 31, 2020, for a first-year annual subsidy rate of $3,328,207, and a second-year annual subsidy rate of $3,411,412. Boutique Air will provide 14 nonstop round trips per week to George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston and 7 nonstop round trips per week to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, for a total of 21 round trips per week.

ViaAir submitted a proposal for service under the AEAS program. The Department made clear in Order 2018-4-20 that it was soliciting proposals for traditional EAS and not AEAS. Since the community did not apply for AEAS, ViaAir’s proposal was not considered further.

By: Joel Szabat





September 21, 2018

Petition of Silver Airways for Reconsideration of Order 2018-9-18

The Department's Order is based only on one factor - cost - which is not even required to be considered. It ignores the five mandatory considerations under which Silver's proposal is superior, including unanimous community support. The selection of a 9-passenger service may foreclose any development of the Victoria air service market, possibly dooming the community to losing EAS-eligibility in the future. The Department should reopen the proceeding to a further round of bids, at which time Silver can submit a bid using 34-seat Saab 340B+ aircraft, which will provide three and a half times the per-flight capacity offered by Boutique, but at a subsidy cost lower than Silver's ATR-42 bid.

Counsel: Cozen O'Connor, Mark Atwood, 202-463-2513




September 26, 2018

Update to Petition of Silver Airways

We have heard that the carrier awarded the EAS contract for Victoria is presently unable to staff its planned service, due to a shortage of fully trained pilots. It is our understanding that Boutique does not believe it will be able to commence Victoria service until December, at the earliest. The service under the awarded contract was set to commence November 1.

This creates a very significant problem for Victoria, as the incumbent carrier, Texas Sky, has advised the community that it will not be able to provide service after October 31. It has been reported that Texas Sky was attempting to sell the aircraft being used there, and it has laid off employees as of that date . The usual Department response to this situation - to hold the incumbent in for the interim - does not appear to be available.

We urge the Department to investigate this situation promptly. If these reports are in fact correct, they support the solution we proposed in our petition, i.e. to reopen the process to new bids, as soon as possible. Silver is prepared to submit a new bid at that time using two 34-seat Saab 3408+ aircraft that would be approximately $900,000 less costly than the original bid based on the larger ATR aircraft. Silver is also prepared to commence interim service, beginning November 1, using the Saabs. This will prevent the community from losing service due to Boutique's lack of pilots and Texas Sky's abandonment.

By: Kurt Brulisauer


 

Order 2019-1-6
OST-2005-20454

Issued and Served January 25, 2019

Order on Petitions for Reconsideration

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation accepts the Petition for Reconsideration of Order 2018-9-18 filed by Silver Airways LLC, and, upon review, affirms the selection of Boutique Air, Inc. to provide Essential Air Service at Victoria, Texas.

In Order 2018-4-20, requesting proposals from air carriers to provide EAS at Victoria, the Department makes very clear to prospective bidders that “[i]nterested airlines should prepare their proposals with every expectation that their initial proposals will represent their final and only proposals.” Silver appears to be using the petition for reconsideration not for the purpose of demonstrating that the Department failed to consider relevant statutory criteria, but rather, to allow Silver to resubmit a more competitive proposal in the hopes that it will be selected. To have a never-ending cycle of bids after one bidder saw the other bidders’ subsidy amounts would not be administratively fair to those carriers that originally submitted bids. And even if the Department did reopen the bid process, there is no guarantee that Silver would be selected.

By: Joel Szabat


 

Order 2019-3-15
OST-1996-1167 - Fort Leonard Wood
OST-1997-2523 - Franklin/Oil City
OST-2006-25228 - Hagerstown
OST-2005-20735 - Morgantown
OST-2005-20454 - Victoria
OST-2002-11446 - Altoona
OST-2003-14528 - Bradford
OST-2004-17617 - DuBois
OST-2001-10684 - Fort Dodge
OST-2002-11451 - Johnstown
OST-2002-11450 - Lancaster
OST-1998-3521 - Merced
OST-2000-7856 - Muscle Shoals
OST-2000-7855 - Owensboro
OST-2005-20734 - Parkersburg/Marietta
OST-1997-2706 - Vernal

Issued and Served March 29, 2019

Order Tentatively Terminating EAS Eligibility at Certain Communities and Tentatively Granting Waivers for Other Communities

By this Order, the US Department of Transportation has tentatively determined that the 16 communities listed above did not meet one or two statutory eligibility criteria required to remain in the Essential Air Service program.

The Department has tentatively determined that three of these communities (Franklin/Oil City, PA, Hagerstown, MD, and Victoria, TX) did not enplane an average of 10 or more passengers per day during Fiscal Year 2018, as required by 49 USC § 41731(a)(1)(B). In addition, two other communities (Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and Morgantown, WV) tentatively required a rate of subsidy per passenger of more than $200, with each of the community’s subsidy per passenger during FY2018 not lower than the subsidy per passenger for any of the three previous fiscal years. The Department is directing interested persons to show cause why the Department should not terminate the eligibility of these five communities.

The Department is also tentatively granting waivers for the 11 remaining communities because each of these communities required a subsidy-per-passenger for FY 2018 that is lower than the subsidy-per-passenger for any of the three previous fiscal years, as discussed further below and as displayed in Appendix D. Additionally, even if the Department ultimately determines that Vernal, UT’s subsidy-per-passenger was not lower than it was in any of the three previous fiscal years, the Department tentatively grants Vernal a waiver because it experienced a service hiatus during Fiscal Year 2018 that impacted its compliance.

All 16 communities may file objections and/or petitions for waivers, and the Department will not terminate subsidized service until objections and petitions for waivers are reviewed and an Order is issued finalizing the Department’s findings about compliance with the 10-enplanement and Subsidy Cap requirements, and granting or denying petitions for waivers.

Objections to the Department’s tentative decision and petitions for waivers from these requirements are due within 20 days after the service date of this Order. In addition, communities that required a subsidy per passenger in excess of the Subsidy Cap during FY 2018 may work with an air carrier to submit a proposal to the Department that complies with the Subsidy Cap, as further described in this Order.

By: Joel Szabat


 

April 15, 2019

Petition of Victoria Regional Airport for a Waiver from 10-Enplanement Per Day Requirement and $200 Per Passenger Subsidy Cap

The DOT has replaced the previous EAS airline, which had only one daily roundtrip to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, with Boutique Air, a highly experienced airline that is providing one daily roundtrip to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and two daily roundtrip to Houston Intercontinental Airport. Boutique also has a codesharing agreement with United Airlines, which has a major hub at Houston Intercontinental. The result has been a significant improvement in air service and a substantial increase in passengers using the service. For example, for the four-month period from December 2018 to March 2019, Boutique averaged almost 14 enplanements per day. Moreover, Boutique Air recently secured an interline agreement with American Airlines. This agreement will significantly improve our passenger's experience when flying through the DFW Airport and we believe that this will increase the enplanement numbers of an already popular flight.

Victoria believes that VCT's EAS can be restored to levels in compliance with EAS requirements and requests the DOT's support in granting this Petition for a Waiver.

By: Vinicio Llerena

 

April 2019

Comments of Victoria Chamber of Commerce

I am writing to express my support for the Victoria Regional Airport remaining in the Alternate Essential Air Service Program and the approval of the contract of service. I understand that this program enables the Victoria Regional Airport to continue to offer commercial air service to our community.

The Victoria community is enjoying this new, significantly better air service, as evidenced by the increase in daily enplanements from only 7.9 in FY 2018 under the previous carrier to approximately 14 enplanements per day for the four-month period December 2018 to March 2019 under Boutique. This increased traffic should also result in a reduction in the per passenger subsidy.

By: Randy Vivian

 

April 25, 2019

Comments of Houston Airport System

This letter is submitted by the Houston Airport System on behalf of the City of Houston, Texas and its Department of Aviation to express our strong support for the Petition submitted on April 15, 2019 by Victoria Regional Airport seeking a waiver in connection with Essential Air Service provided at Victoria, Texas, which includes service to Houston. Granting the Petition - which was filed in response to DOT Order 2019-3-15 and specifically seeks a waiver of the 10 (average)-enplanements per day requirement of the EAS program and the $200 per passenger subsidy cap - would enable the continuation of EAS service between Victoria and Houston, and would be in the public interest.

By: Ian Wadsworth

 

June 4, 2019

Support Letter of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX)

Although Victoria did not meet the EAS Program's 10-enplanement per day requirement during Fiscal Year 2018, I understand that your department and VRT have been working together diligently on the issue and that significant progress has been made in increasing enplanements. In particular, I appreciate that your department gave permission for Victoria to pivot from the Alternate EAS Program to the traditional EAS Program last year and then selected an experienced carrier to provide improved air service for the community, with daily flights to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Houston Intercontinental Airport. After these changes were implemented, Victoria saw a number of positive trends, including an increase in enplanements, exceeding the 10-per-day requirement for the four-month period from December 2018 to April 2019. Allowing Victoria to continue in the EAS Program for another year will provide it the opportunity to build on this success and will ensure that the community can continue to have the important benefits of commercial air service.

By: John Cornyn

 

June 12, 2019

Support Letter of Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27)

The DOT has replaced the previous EAS airline, which had only one daily roundtrip to Dallas/Fort Worth international Airport, with Boutique Air, a highly experienced airline that is providing one daily roundtrip to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and two daily roundtrips to Houston Intercontinental Airport. Boutique also has a code sharing agreement with United Airlines, which has a major hub at Houston Intercontinental. In the four-month period from December 2018 to March 2019, Boutique averaged almost 14 enplanements per day. Moreover, Boutique Air recently secured an interline agreement with American Airlines. This agreement will improve passenger's experience when flying through the DFW Airport and will increase the enplanement numbers of an already popular flight.

Victoria has made significant progress in implementing comprehensive changes at the Airport and, most importantly, in working with the DOT to improve the EAS by having Boutique as VCT's carrier. With this in mind, I trust you will give Victoria's request for a waiver from the 10-Enplanement Per Day Requirement and the $200 Per Passenger Subsidy Cap, Order 2019-3-15, Docket OST-2005-20454 all due consideration.

By: Michael Cloud




July 3, 2019

Support Letter of Victoria Economic Development Corporation

On behalf of the Victoria Economic Development Corporation's Board of Directors, please accept this letter in support of the Victoria Regional Airport remaining in the Essential Air Service Program. The Victoria Regional Airport has made significant improvements in enplanements following improved service with a new EAS airline, Boutique Air, and with the transition from Alternate EAS Program to the traditional EAS Program.

Victoria County Airport Commission and the Victoria Regional Airport have made significant progress in implementing comprehensive changes at the Airport and, most importantly, in working with the DOT to improve our EAS by having Boutique as VCT's carrier. In light of this substantial progress, Victoria respectfully requests that the DOT grant this Petition for a Waiver from the 10-Enplanement Per Day Requirement of 49 USC § 41731(a)(1)(B), particularly given the recent improvement to approximately 14 enplanements per day with Boutique's new service for the four-month period December 2018 to March 2019.

By: Dale Fowler


 

July 31, 2019

Request of Boutique Air for Dual Aircraft Utilization

I am writing to inform you to formally request that with the support of the Victoria community Boutique Air be permitted to fly twin King Air aircraft as well as single engine PC12 aircraft at rates per our bid.

The reason for this request is that our King Air aircraft have proven less reliable than anticipated and we want to continue to support the community with reliable air service by supplementing our King Air planes with PC12 aircraft as necessary.

By: Shawn Simpson


 

July 1, 2019

Victoria Airport Commission in Support of Boutique Air

Given the fact that Victoria will not lose its right to twin, the Airport Commission Decided the following:

  • Airport Commission decided to work with Boutique providing a mixture of King Air and PC-12 service
  • The Airport Commission understands that Boutique will eventually get rid of the King Air 350 platform, and that at some point Victoria will be served exclusively with PC-12 for the reminder of the Contact
  • The Airport Commission makes this decision due to the fact that Boutique has increased our enplanements, and the Community does not need to suffer if Boutique finds itself at a loss with the King Airs

By: Lenny Llerena


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