Passenger airline service in Rutland will be suspended this week. The break will allow work crews to install a long-awaited, million-dollar instrument landing system at the airport.
While airline passengers may be inconvenienced, Cape Air’s Andrew Bonney says the new precision landing system will improve safety and reliability at Rutland.
He says the 88 passengers who were booked on flights this week were offered a refund or given tickets on Cape Air flights out of Lebanon.
Tom Donahue, President of the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce, points out that all nearby commercial service airports, like: Glens Falls, Burlington and Lebanon have instrument landing systems. "So the fact that we didn’t have it was a negative for us and the fact that we’ll have it now, just makes us viable when competing for business, recreation and travel," says Donahue. "And our economy will benefit."
Officials at Cape Air say ridership in Rutland was up 8 percent in 2011 and is up 4 percent already this year. Because of that, the airline will add a fourth daily flight in and out of Rutland this summer.