Air travelers will have a voice

Scott Wardwell, Special to The County
8 years ago

     As part of a new marketing initiative at the Northern Maine Regional Airport (PQI), the air traveler will be given an opportunity to provide input on their satisfaction with the service they currently receive at PQI.  In addition, the public will be asked how often and why they choose alternative airports.  It is an opportunity that comes around infrequently and should be taken full advantage of.  We need your help to ensure we are meeting the needs of air travelers in Aroostook County and Northern New Brunswick.

     Today, I hear many reasons for local air travelers using alternative airports.  These reasons are as varied as the incomes, ages, and occupations of the private individuals in our area.  The reasons for business travelers using alternative airports vary with the products and sizes of the businesses that make up Aroostook County and northern New Brunswick.

     In order to improve air service, we must first determine how many additional passengers PQI could gain or current passengers it could retain for each potential air service improvement.  It is this potential stabilization or increase in passenger loads which will drive improvements in air service.

     The size of the additional revenues which result from larger passenger loads must be large enough to justify the cost of improving the service.  For example, adding an additional flight to provide greater frequency of arrivals and departures requires shifting an aircraft from another route or adding additional aircraft.  The revenue generated by the additional passengers traveling through Presque Isle must be more than the revenue generated from the route now serviced by the aircraft or the cost of adding additional aircraft.  Therefore, any decision on improved air service is based on knowing the potential market for that improvement.

     The air traveler will have opportunities to weigh in on the reasons why they use alternative airports by participation in a focus group.  Members of these groups will be drawn from a wide cross section of Aroostook County and New Brunswick.  If you are a member of a local civic group who is asking for volunteers or you are asked directly, I would encourage you to participate. We are all busy, but don’t rely on someone else to let us know what determines your choice of airport.

     In addition, it is important that participants, who will be chosen at random, carefully consider how they make their choices on the airport they will use for their trip.  Careful consideration by the participants will insure accurate results.  Accurate results will lead to air service improvements which will be sustainable over the long term.

     With your participation, air travelers will have a voice in the direction of PQI.

     Scott Wardwell is airport director for the city of Presque Isle’s Northern Maine Regional Airport. He can be reached at 764-2550 or via email at