WILLIAMSTOWN - The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority is gearing up for the commercial air service bidding process later this year.
The current two-year contract with Silver Airways, which provides four daily flights to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, will be up as of Oct. 1.
"The Essential Air Service bid should be posted by the United States Department of Transportation in May for a change of service for airlines to make bids," said airport manager Terry Moore.
Moore said once the request for bids is open, his office should start receiving phone calls from interested airlines asking the prices of rent, fuel and other amenities.
"I already told Mickey Bowman, vice president of Silver Airways, the price changes for landing and rental space," Moore said.
He added Bowman told him Silver plans to bid to continue service.
"As far as I know they plan to list the bid for service to Cleveland," Moore said.
It is unknown if there will be other airlines bidding.
"Our actions will be phone calls and conversations, but, unless there is more than one bid, which will still have to be approved, suspect the board do their action in July," said Moore.
If there are more than one bid, the board will need to get back together and look through the proposals in early summer.
The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority, the marketing arm of the facility, makes the final approval of bid to the DOT with input from members of the airport's managing board.
The DOT will make the ultimate choice for air service as the airline is federally subsidized through the Essential Air Service program.
Silver Airways recently bid to provide service to airports in Bridgeport, Morgantown and Beckley to Washington Dulles International Airport, near Washington, D.C., after current carrier Colgan Air announced in March it intends to abandon service as of July 31. Colgan has since filed for bankruptcy.
If Silver is selected to provide service as United Airlines Express to the three airports, the airline would be the only EAS airline in West Virginia. Silver currently provides service to airports in Lewisburg and Parkersburg, while operating a maintenance facility in DuBois, Pa.
"I think it would be good for us if West Virginia has one airline," Moore added. "It would give a synergy of maintenance and strategy."