After United departure, Tyler airport official discusses move forward

Published: Feb. 11, 2016 at 11:38 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 11, 2016 at 11:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn
(Source: KLTV News Staff)
(Source: KLTV News Staff)

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Fewer flights are coming for the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, and many factors are behind it including a drop in oil prices.

Tyler Pounds Regional Airport Director Davis Dickson says there are two reasons behind United's April 4th departure.

"Number one is a shortage of flight crews due to some of the increased requirements of federal regulations for their pilots, and secondly it was the energy sector, what's going on in the energy sector in the Houston area," says Dickson.

One of those affected by drop in the energy sector is Bruce Morris, a former independent landman who was recently laid off and is now selling his house.

"My former boss flew down there last week to Houston, whereas before they had Starbucks coffee and all this donut stuff in the break room, they got Folgers coffee; now they're broke."

Another possible reason for the departure of the airline is lower numbers on flights because of oil.

"What we saw was a trend of those lower enplanement numbers as the oil industry, we saw those changes going on there in the oil industry, it seemed to correspond to the lower enplanement numbers," says Dickson.

Orville Winover, who has been a part of Tyler's aviation industry, says Tyler isn't alone.

"A lot of the smaller communities are facing the same type of issues, it's not just Tyler per se," says Winover.

Now the airport is facing a challenge, to move away from these smaller community problems and address current issues.

"Maybe an incentive package, we've done that before, but it would be incentives for new service and it would be something that could be offered to a new airline that currently operates here, or to a possible new entry," says Dickson.

Dickson says United is making contact with customers who may have made reservations past that April 4 deadline.

Copyright 2016 KLTV. All rights reserved.