Commission approves airline incentives

June 22, 2007

DAYTON - The City Commission approved an incentive program Wednesday to entice airlines to bring in new or expanded nonstop service to Dayton International Airport.

Iftikhar Ahmad, Dayton's director of aviation, said the incentives come in the form of up to two years in abatements for landing fees or reduced leases for terminal space.

"Our incentives are going to be on the aggressive side," Ahmad said. "Are they less than Cincinnati or Columbus? No, but they are competitive."

Ahmad was in Tucson, Ariz., Wednesday at the Airports Council International Marketing and Communications Conference trying to sell the Dayton market to seven airlines.

Dayton lies in the middle of an extremely competitive market with Port Columbus Airport 76 miles east of the city; the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport, which is a Delta Airlines hub, 77 miles to the south; and, the Indianapolis airport 117 miles to the west.

A May 2006 study by the city showed a heavy exchange of passengers in this region moving from one airport to the other following the lowest fares.

"Dayton is taking the necessary steps to position itself as the choice for airlines and passengers in the region," Ahmad said.

In other business, the City Commission heard from former employee Victor Pate, who was fired Tuesday because he moved to Jefferson Twp., violating Dayton's residency requirement.

Pate told the commission he has a large family and loss of overtime in recent years - to contractors who live outside Dayton - has caused them to have financial difficulties. That perceived unfairness is why Pate plans to challenged the residency requirement.

Seeking more nonstop flights

Recent nonstop flights added to departures available from Dayton International Airport:

AirTran Airways

will begin nonstop service to Las Vegas on Aug. 15. The airline also began nonstop service to Tampa on Dec. 5.

Midwest Connect

added a third daily nonstop roundtrip flight to Milwaukee on May 1.

United Airlines began nonstop service to Denver on April 24.

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