MORGANTOWN,W.Va. – Passenger traffic increased almost 20 percent from 2018 to 2019 at the Morgantown Municipal Airport (MGW)according to data provided by the city. In 2018, 5,416 passengers flew from MGW compared to 6,491 in 2019.
Airport director Jon Vrabel says the community has become more familiar with Southern Airways and their reliability has improved. Vrabel says when the airline began service in 2017 it did so in the midst of a pilot shortage .
“Folks don’t want to book a flight on a service that’s not reliable,”Vrabel said,”As long as the reliability is strong, the growth of passengers happens at the same time.”
In recent years the airport has had to seek waivers to keep FAA Essential Air Service grants.
The Essential Air Service program guarantees small communities served by certificated air carriers before airline deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service.
Vrabel says statistics show most passenger traffic is business-related.
“We’re hoping 2020 is even a better year,”Vrabel said,”As long as Southern can keep their operations the way they have this past year, minimal amount of cancellations and good completion rates on the flights, they should do well.”