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Jed Boal Reporting More than a century ago, the railroad made Ogden the transportation hub of Utah. Upgrades at the airport should allow air traffic to take off. The plan is for the city to land passenger planes within a year.
Ogden-Hinckley Airport handles more than 100,000 takeoffs and landings each year. But, it does not have a commercial carrier with scheduled flights to places like Las Vegas, San Francisco or Denver. Northern Utahns must go to Salt Lake International for those flights.
Airport Manager Ed Rich says that will change soon. "We have several conversations going on simultaneously with different air carriers, and some are expressing keen interest."
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the airport a $2.5 million grant to build an 8,000-foot-long taxiway next to the main runway. Rich says, "This brings our whole infrastructure up to match what we can handle on the runway."
They'll build the southern portion this summer and the northern piece next year. It will simplify taxiing to and from the runway, handle heavier planes, and help attract regional jet service. That will help the city grow as a destination for recreation and business.
Once the airport can fly 10,000 passengers a year, the FAA increases its funding, and the airport could build a new terminal.
As for passenger service, the city is talking with Allegiant Air about flights to Vegas. "They may or may not come, but if they don't, we have other airlines we're talking to," says Rich. "We may even have multiple service here to start with."
The airport manager points out regional service boomed for communities around Los Angeles more than a decade ago. He predicts the same will happen here, not only for Ogden but Provo and Logan as well.