TOWN OF MAINE (WBNG) — The Greater Binghamton Airport has been a constant concern for travelers in the Southern Tier. Airlines have come and gone creating an uncertain future for travelers. With a private charter jet company coming soon to the airport,12 News took a look at the not-so-distant past of the airport.
It was home to American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta, offering thousands of flights to major connecting hubs, including Philadelphia, Newark, and Detroit.
According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2006, nearly a quarter million passengers made their way through the airport each year.
However, fast forward to 2016, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics shows about 140,000 passengers flew through Binghamton. In 2017, only 70,000 passengers traveled through the airport.
So why aren’t travelers booking return flights at the Binghamton airport? One reason is that they don’t have nearly as many options.
Within a span of a few months, two of its three major airlines decided to leave taking key connections with them.
In November 2016, United Airlines left, cutting off ties with connections in Newark. In February, American Airlines decided it would stop servicing flights to Philadelphia. That left Delta the only remaining airline, with Detroit as its only destination.
Commissioner of aviation David Hickling said its been tough dealing with the loss of two commercial airlines.
"It was a huge setback," he said.
Currently, the airport has either two or three departing flights a day which all head to Detroit.
Meanwhile, other airports in our area are thriving as many have received millions of dollars in state expansion projects and all regional airports have at least three different airline providers, including Syracuse which boasts17 domestic non-stop destinations.
Management in Binghamton said additional options are crucial.
"It’s our prime goal to get a flight hub to the south," said Hickling.
He said, in the meantime, travelers do not have to worry about the Detroit flight disappearing thanks to a new contract. He also said new options could be on the way.
"We meet with airlines regularly and we’re getting some positive feedback so we’re optimistic that we’ll make some changes here soon," he said.