The Boone County Regional Airport Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting and received some interesting statistics about the $5 ticket promotion Southern Airways Express hosted after Southern’s chairman/CEO Stan Little lost a bet when the Razorbacks beat Ole’ Miss on Oct. 3.
Airport manager Judy McCutcheon said the $5 ticket promotion sold 124 round trip flights to Memphis, Tennessee, and 254 round trip flights to Dallas, Texas. She said the Airport’s Facebook page picked up 461 new followers and 29,000 people viewed the promotion. More than 9,000 people posted on the site during the promotion. “It was a fun little event,” she told the board.
Board chairman Lad Brooks asked if she thought this would get new customers. “Oh yes,” she answered. “We had a local lady and her son fly to Dallas on Friday and returned Monday. She had never even been in our airport. She said she absolutely loved it.”
The bet had to do with a long-standing rivalry between airport manager McCutcheon’s love of the Razorbacks and Little’s love of Ole Miss.
Keith Sisson, chief marketing officer for Southern, said in a statement, “I am certain this is the first time in the history of aviation that fares were determined by the outcome of a college football game.”
The board was grateful the friendly fun increased awareness of the airport and the service Southern provides.
McCutcheon said the airport has inherited a 10-foot snowplow from Boone County. “The lift is broken on the truck, so [maintenance manager] Steve is in Springfield, Missouri, today dropping it off to have a snowplow attached.”
The board was excited about having two snowplows available until McCutcheon reminded them they only had one operator. The men quickly volunteered to drive the second snowplow when needed. McCutcheon said she would remember their willingness.
In old business, McCutcheon said, “The college has worked hard and is doing well on their part of the dirt work project that will eventually allow new hangers to be built.”
It was discovered the grade needed to be completed up to the new electric gate. So, the college was scrambling to get things finished before the Thanksgiving break next week. In the next phase they will spread the chat and Eaton Construction will complete the grade and elevation. “Eaton will work with the electrician to finish the gate part of the project. There have been a ton of rocks to break on this project,” she said. “The electrician will need 40 feet of wire to bring power to the fence and it has to be buried 18 inches down. That is solid rock. The college kids have been great to work with and the county has loaned us their rock breaker. We really appreciate everyone’s help.”
Brooks asked if she had any updates on the Essential Air Service provider.
“The last word I received they said it could be early 2021 before we hear anything,” McCutcheon said.
“It is very difficult on Southern Airways, our current provider, because right now, they can’t sell any tickets past March 1,” she said.
Brooks announced the next meeting would be at noon Tuesday, Dec. 15.