The Williamsport Regional Airport is located in Montoursville. But 88 percent of the people who fly in this 13-county region use a different airport.
That's because there are only three flights coming to and from the airport from one airline daily. There's no competition and very little choice.
So the area's leaders are trying to foster economic development while doing so without a major component viable air traffic options.
Imagine being a major national business looking to locate a portion of your office/field operation in northcentral Pennsylvania. The lack of air travel options to get personnel back and forth between here and home headquarters could be the key in deciding not to locate here.
Imagine being an individual who needs to commute by air due to a lifestyle or business situation. The lack of competitive pricing and travel options out of the airport makes that need unnecessarily expensive or forces the individual to use another airport.
Seeking to change all that, the Lycoming County Commissioners recently approved a $3 million grant application in state funds for a new terminal building. The funding would be a key element for a $13 million project investment.
The terminal building plans have endured a number of false starts, but the project ultimately needs to happen for the good of the region's economic development. Here's hoping it does.
The area has progressed significantly in recent years, due mainly to the presence of the natural gas industry, but it desperately needs a modernized airport to reach the next level economically.