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Commissioners want answers about flights from airport

Lycoming County commissioners voiced collective disgruntlement at their Tuesday meeting over news that flights to and from Williamsport Regional Airport will be reduced from two to one per day beginning next week.

Williamsport Regional Airport Executive Director Richard Howell confirmed with the Sun-Gazette this week that the one-a-day a flight schedule will remain in effect until May 6.

He said airline officials gave no reason for the flight reductions.

“That doesn’t fly with me,” Commissioner Scott Metzger said. “No pun intended.”

Metzger and fellow commissioners Rick Mirabito and Tony Mussare pondered what it all means for the county.

Metzger, for one, said he wants to see the county thrive.

Mussare said it’s among the most concerning issues of constituents.

Mirabito said perhaps it’s time for a real dialogue on the issue that includes top American Airlines officials.

Howell indicated the possibility of adding three flights per day from the airport by the summer.

“We can’t stay status quo,” Metzger said.

He pointed out that other regional airports of comparable size are busier.

“I think we need a public discourse of what kind of community we want to be,” Mirabito said.

Tourism, he said, can be a key attraction for Lycoming County at a time when it’s losing population and is near the bottom for all counties in the state in economic growth.

Lycoming County, he said, needs to promote itself as a place for people to come visit.

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