Barkley Regional Airport wants the public’s opinion on recent Essential Air Service bids.

The airport has until June 10 to decide on three airline bids received last month. A survey is at FlyBarkley.com until 5 p.m. Monday, June 6, to give input.

The 14-question survey asks about travel habits and preferences regarding four options Barkley is mulling, with three airlines offering destinations to Charlotte, Chicago and Nashville.

Executive Director Dennis Rouleau said answers regarding Nashville are crucial.

“We have a lot of leakage to Nashville,” Rouleau said. “People drive there, so if we offered an airline, would they consider taking that airline instead of driving?”

Rouleau said a multi-zip code study revealed the airport has a 5% market capture versus 95% who often drive to larger airports.

“We took a realistic approach in our study,” he said. “Would it be worthwhile to have a Nashville flight or not? It’s a long drive (there), and how many times has I-24 been shut down?

“If you’re flying out of your hometown airport, parking is cheaper and you’re closer to the terminal. And when you land, you’re home — that’s what we’re trying to market. We encourage everyone to take the survey.”

Boutique Air, Contour Airlines and Southern Airways Express have submitted bid proposals to Barkley.

“SkyWest Airlines has been here for a while under the United Airlines brand, so we want to make sure (fliers) are comfortable and familiarized,” Rouleau said.

City of Paducah Mayor George Bray, who’s been in frequent contact with the Airport Authority board, said dependable service to bustling hubs is a regional desire.

“It’s twofold — both the reliability of a (consistent) airline and that reliability for easy access to destinations,” Bray said. “We especially need input from the community to help guide us.”

Call for artists

The airport has opened two calls for artists with a July 11 deadline for the new terminal project next spring.

Visit FlyBarkley.com/Call-for-Artists and click the “Feature Wall” and “Gate Area” application links. Applicants may apply to both simultaneously.

Artists must live within 50 miles of Barkley airport at 2901 Fisher Road, West Paducah.

Applications require a statement of interest and previously completed artwork. Submitting original project artwork is not necessary at this time.

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