TRENTON, N.J.—Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes said today the County has received a “letter of intent” from Streamline LLC, a subsidiary of Charter Air Transport Inc., indicating the airline is prepared to provide passenger service at Trenton-Mercer Airport pending necessary approvals.
“I am proud to announce an exciting new partner at the Trenton-Mercer Airport,” Hughes said Wednesday at a press conference at the County’s McDade Administration Building, flanked by Mark Cestari, Charter Air’s vice president of marketing, and Gordon Spelich, CEO.
“I’ve always been a strong advocate for a healthy mix of commercial, corporate, and private aviation. The addition of Streamline would be a very positive development for the Mercer County economy. This new airline would offer the public convenient air travel options close to home.”
Outlined in the airline’s letter of intent, Streamline would provide service from the Trenton-Mercer Airport to destinations that have not yet been determined. The airline said it is considering destination cities in the Northeast, Midwest and Southern United States. The airline has provided similar passenger service from Long Island, N.Y. to Atlantic City and from Miami, Fla. to Cuba.
“We know there is an untapped niche market here in the Trenton-Mercer area, with nearly 2 million people in a 25-mile radius, and we are excited about this venture,” Spelich said.
If an agreement is reached, in April 2011 the company would begin offering weekday, non-stop, round-trip flights twice per day at peak business hours. Any agreement would be subject to the approval of the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to Streamline, these flights will be provided on 30-seat EMB-120 aircraft operated by Charter Air Transport, Inc. These turbo-prop aircraft employ state-of-the-art avionics, will be flown by experienced professional flight crews, and will feature a high level of passenger comfort on board.
“We are an established operation with an experienced crew – this is not a startup,” Cestari said, adding that the airline will scale its operation at Trenton-Mercer based on its success.
The airline also plans to create a station within the Trenton-Mercer Airport terminal where its own employees will provide customer service, maintenance, and support of in-flight operations.
Charter Air Transport, Inc. is a Cleveland-based air service provider
and is part of the larger Business Aircraft Group organization based at Burke Lakefront Airport in Ohio. Currently, Charter Air Transport provides on-demand air services to a variety of collegiate teams, corporate clients, universities and gaming operators, among others.
The new agreement would restore service to the public from Trenton-Mercer Airport for the first time since early 2008, when both commercial providers, Boston-Maine Airways and Big Sky Airlines, ended service from TTN due to financial hardships created by the recession.
As with past carriers, the potential addition of Streamline LLC is being weighed carefully against the airport’s criteria. Those criteria are: aircraft noise; environmental factors such as engine emissions; financing; capital expenditures; aircraft operation; jobs; economic impact to Mercer County; and tourism.