Economic Development

WRPA Considers Legal Options in Closed Session

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VIENNA TOWNSHIP, Ohio – The Western Reserve Port Authority has not initiated legal action against Aerodynamics Inc. nor is it the subject of action by the carrier, the port authority’s executive director said today.

Members of the port authority’s board of directors conferred behind closed doors for about two hours Friday morning.

Last week, the board ceased subsidizing the flights to Chicago by ADI’s Great Lakes JetExpress that launched July 1. On Wednesday, following the arrival of Great Lakes’ return flight to Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport that evening, ADI issued a news release announcing that it was suspending the service effective that night, citing the reluctance of the WRPA board to “come to a reasonable ceasing of operations and services.”

The board is “exploring all of its options” as it proceeds with conversations with Great Lakes, said John Moliterno, WRPA’s executive director, following the two-hour executive session.

“It’s preliminary for us to comment on anything else, other than the fact that we apologize to anybody in the Valley who was hurt by this situation or had to cancel a flight because of it,” he continued. “We will continue to do everything that we can to bring additional service to Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.”

The meeting, which was announced Wednesday morning, before ADI said it would cease service here, was the first opportunity the port authority board had to discuss the Great Lakes situation since last week’s meeting.

WRPA has been invoiced $361,714 by Great Lakes for flights through the end of July, Moliterno said. Additional invoices are anticipated.

In addition, the port authority will have spent in excess of $100,000 to market the service, said Dan Dickten, director of aviation at the Vienna Township Airport.

“The good news is the marketing & advertising is 65% reimbursable from the Small Community Air Service Development Grant and we will be processing a reimbursement request,” he added.

The airport was awarded a $1.2 million grant by the U.S. Department of Transportation to subsidize and market the service.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.