The Airport Authority in Jackson, Tenn., supports Portland-based SeaPort Airlines in its bid to provide commercial passenger flights at McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport.
Seaport is competing against Air Choice One for a federal subsidy worth up to $1.8 million to reduce the cost of flying passengers from Jackson to St. Louis, Memphis or Nashville.
SeaPort Airlines and St. Louis-based Air Choice One each hope to win the subsidy now provided to Pacific Wings. That airline flies from Jackson's McKellar-Sipes Regional Airport to Nashville under the name of TennesseeSkies. The company did not submit a bid to renew the federal contract.
Board members' decision to support SeaPort on Monday does not mean Air Choice One will not win the government subsidy. While local lawmakers can make recommendations to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the final decision on which airline is awarded the contract rests with the federal government. The government has awarded the subsidy to airlines that were not recommended by local officials in the past.