Before planes can begin landing and taking off from the Chico airport, according to the City of Chico, a minimal amount of additional monies must be raised by the city.
The absence of Brianna Jimenez, a Chico State student who is originally from Orange County, from her family since last September has been attributed to employment commitments, according to the university.
A commercial airline, according to Jimenez, would be “honestly really beneficial and amazing.”
The ability to fly out of Chico rather than having to drive or fly out of Sacramento would be a huge benefit for her, she noted.
Because driving to Sacramento takes an hour and a half and gasoline is relatively expensive right now, Jimenez says, “I can visit my family more regularly.” He also points out that “the drive from Chico to the airport and back to Chico is really inconvenient.”
Others have claimed that it is about recruiting business to the city and then venturing outside of the city in order to fulfill that goal.
The Chico resident Talia Renpel explained that her father has been having difficulty getting people to apply for positions where he works. “You know, it would be easier for people to come up here and interview for jobs here because we have an airport,” she added. “My father has been having a difficult time getting individuals to apply for the positions at his place of employment,” she continued.
It was last month that the city convened the first of several meetings in an attempt to obtain income guarantee money, which will be followed by others.
“We are particularly interested in hearing from businesses in the community that will be using this commercial air service for the purposes of flying for business and who can also contribute to this revenue guarantee fund and making the funding available for the air service to use to sell tickets,” said Lynda Gizzi, public information officer for the Chico Public Works Department. “We are particularly interested in hearing from businesses in the community that will be using this commercial air service for the purposes of flying for business and who can also contribute to this revenue guarantee fund and making the funding available for
More than $800,000 in funding has already been secured by the city, and the city hopes to raise an additional $1.2 million in order to successfully bring commercial flights back to Chico in the near future.
“We recognize how much this is treasured by our community, and we recognize how much it is valued by us as a city to return this to our various sectors, such as business, education, and personal use,” Gizzi says.
It is anticipated that flights will be operating by the end of next year, according to city officials.
Chico hired an aviation marketing consultant to look for an airline that could be interested in establishing a base in the city, which was successful.
Next month, the city will have another discussion with representatives from other firms.