Commercial planes could be returning to Chico as soon as this summer or fall.
Local businesses believe that this will make it more convenient for their employees who must travel to and from work.
Philip Larios, the CEO of Hignell Companies in Chico, told Action News Now that his company has 185 employees, with some of them traveling out of town for business every other month.
They used to fly out of Chico, but now they have to travel to Sacramento or Redding in order to catch a flight out of Sacramento.
In Larios’ opinion, “other enterprises would choose not to come here since the efficiency of air travel is not there,” because of the lack of efficiency in air travel. “I believe that we are doing ourselves a disservice in terms of efficiencies and growth.””
A grant from the Department of Transportation is being used to get the airport up and running, according to Airport Manager Tom Bahr, and the city is also contributing some monies to the project. Nonetheless, they will require financial assistance from the community.
Larios spoke with Action News about his situation. Now, if there is a sunset clause in the agreement, his company would be happy to provide financial assistance at the outset.
It’s been a long time since William Caput has entertained the notion of stepping on a plane in Chico.
To get to and from work in Texas, he resides in Chico and travels there and back every other week.
He relocated to Chico in 2015 on the impression that flights would resume shortly, but eight years later he is fed up with the situation.
According to Caput, “I will most likely have to relocate permanently to Texas because the trip is taking a toll on my physical and mental health merely from having to do it on a regular basis.”
Caput feels that the absence of an airport has resulted in the exodus of enterprises from the area.
“I work in technology, and no one is going to recruit me in Chico since there is no way to do interviews here. “You fly to Sacramento and then drive for an hour and a half,” Caput said in detail. In order to avoid this, businesses are relocating out of the neighborhood. Redding is booming, and there are planes to and from everywhere, and there is a lot of development up in the mountains. “Ours is in a state of stagnation.”
According to Action News, Bahr Now that the airport is operational, it will produce new jobs and attract additional employees from outside the neighborhood.
“The airline would prefer to hire locals, which would result in a significant number of jobs being created,” Bahr explained. “The FBL here, which is in charge of the fueling, would see an increase in their operations, which would need the hiring of additional workers, as well as the hiring of additional staff for the airport.”
At 6 p.m. on Thursday, the airport will have a discussion with representatives from local companies and the community at the Chico City Council Chambers.