Port Authority meets to discuss end of daily flights from Youngstown

The Western Reserve Port Authority met for several hours behind closed doors Friday

VIENNA, Ohio (WYTV) – The Western Reserve Port Authority met Friday for the first time since Aerodynamics, Inc. announced it would ground all daily flights from the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

After meeting a nearly two-hour executive session, board members sure aren’t sure what their next moves will be.

“This was simply exploring the options, and there will be additional actions taken in the future, but you know, there’s a lot of steps that have to be taken prior to that,” said Western Reserve Port Authority Director John Moliterno.

Aerodynamics (ADI) announcement that its flights from Youngstown to the Chicago O’Hare Airport came after the board voted to stop subsidizing the service. The board hasn’t yet made any decisions on whether any further payments to ADI may be owed or whether there is potential for future legal action.

Moliterno said the board plans to continue its conversations.

“They will be part of our conversations with legal counsel and ADI as we move into the future,” he said.

Airport directors admit through six weeks of service with ADI, the airline’s planes rarely had more than 20 passengers at a time and even fewer than that making connections to other cities. Still, they insist the problem was ADI’s doing and not a lack of interest in daily flights.

“We’re still comfortable with a Chicago flight as a valuable one for the Valley in this Valley, and we think our airport is very sellable,” Moliterno said.

He has said ADI had promised services — like seamless connections to other flights — but never delivered on those promises. He said the experience has been a learning one for the board and for Port Authority staff.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that we did anything wrong, from our standpoint, but you learn,” he said.

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