YNGAir Partners Seeks $500K in Donations

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – YNGAir Partners, Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport’s community support group, has set a goal of raising $500,000 for its outreach to local businesses efforts.

The nonprofit group  has sent letters to businesses in the region and will follow up in the next few weeks with requests for contributions, according to a news release from the organization.

The $500,000 will complement the local match of a Small Community Air Service Development Program grant to support the launch of Aerodynamics Inc.’s service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The service, which will operate as Great Lakes Jet Express, starts Friday.

Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport received a $1.2 million grant to subsidize the initial service, including $420,000 in bed-tax money allocated by the Western Reserve Port Authority, which operates the airport.

So far, about 35 seats have been booked – more than half the 50 seats available — on Friday’s inaugural flight from the airport in  Vienna Township, reported Dan Dickten, the airport aviation director.

“It’s building,” he said.

The money YNGAir Partners is requesting would be used to help mitigate the business risk of the launch as well as to market the service and  secure additional service. It would also help with the organization’s administrative expenses.

The group has  raised $100,000 toward its $500,000 goal, its president, Dennis Gartland, said.

According to a survey the organization conducted, $8 million is spent on air travel by business and the general public. Getting about $2 million of that at Youngstown-Warren would “make us very successful,” Gartland said.

As part of its business outreach, YNGAir Partners  will inform companies  how much they can save by using the local service.

“We developed a way to show businesses cost savings on round-trip costs other than airfare,” said Michael Metzinger, YNGAir treasurer. These include savings from gas, tolls, parking and employee time spent driving to other airports. “Comparisons for companies we have run show an average cost savings of 50% or more if they choose [Youngstown-Warren] over other airports,” he said.

The success of the Great Lakes service will depend on people using it, Gartland said. “The public is what is needed to make this a successful program,” he remarked.

YNGAir partners, which has been around  five years, “finally has the opportunity to do” what the organization was engaged to do, Dickten said.

Contributions to the YNGAir Partners Airline Fund are tax deductible. Checks can be made payable to “YNGAir Partners” and mailed to 1453 Youngstown-Kingsville Rd N.E. Vienna, OH 44473 c/o Dennis Gartland. Contributions may also be made at the organization’s website.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.