BOWLING GREEN — An airport official says Bowling Green is closing in on bringing commercial air service to the area with a route to Atlanta a possibility.
Bowling Green Regional Airport manager Rob Barnett told The Daily News that five airlines at a recent conference expressed interest in flying from the southern Kentucky city to a hub in Atlanta.
Previous air surveys of businesses focused on a Bowling Green-to-Chicago flight, but because the interest from the airlines is for a Bowling Green-to-Atlanta route, a new survey is needed to see how much potential traffic there would be for that route.
"With an unproven market, there is a lot of risk," Barnett said. "So we have to prove our travel patterns (with the survey). If everything comes to fruition, we could see service start with a low-risk, one flight, once a day and return leg back to Bowling Green."
Barnett said the airlines would be looking at a 30-passenger plane, either a regional jet or twin-engine turbo prop. He expects a decision from the airlines within three months.
Landing passenger service in Bowling Green would require some remodeling, perhaps a small addition to the airport terminal building. There would need to be room for the TSA screening equipment and ground operations that take place.
A projected cost of the flights has not been determined, Barnett said.
"In the next two-and-a-half to three months, I expect we will have a decision with one or the other (airlines) that we are in negotiations with," Barnett said.
Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon is excited about the prospect.
"I think there is a really good possibility that we are going to have some passenger service," Buchanon said. "If we can get one flight, I think we will see justification for a second and then possibly a vacation destination route as well."