Charter flights a no go for state |

Charter flights a no go for state

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

The State of Nevada will not set up charter flight service for its employees to take from Las Vegas to Carson City because it would add little to the service it already has, according to the state.

Representatives from the state purchasing division said in April that they were looking at the charter service connecting Las Vegas to Carson City, which has no commercial flights, or Minden because it might be easier than flying some employees into Reno, who have to take a car to get somewhere else in Northern Nevada.

But Nevada Deputy Purchasing Administrator Kimberlee Tarter said Tuesday a committee studied the proposal and found the 13 daily state flights from Las Vegas to Reno is a convenient and predicable service. Adding three flights a day to the state capital would do little to improve on what the state already has, she said.

Looking at the possibility of charter flights into the Carson City Airport was a good idea, said Keith Wells, administrator of the state’s motor pool division, but adding the flight service wouldn’t make sense.

Wells, who was on the committee that studied the issue, said some employees coming from Las Vegas drive to Carson City after they get to Reno, but that’s only one group. Others stay in Reno or go to Lake Tahoe and rural areas like Douglas County and Winnemucca.

“There’s going to be travel regardless of where the airplane landed,” he said.

The decision made in May against the charter flights was probably good for the city airport right now, said Steve Lewis, chairman of the Carson City Airport Authority.

The airport would have had to follow new federal rules if it got the charter service, he said, and would have had to make expensive new improvements like adding a new terminal building and upgrading the runway.

The airport authority also has told people neighboring the airport not to expect something like the charter service, he said, which would add more flights and noise.

The charter service might be something the airport authority should try to get in the future, however, he said, but it will need more information and probably federal funding.

But Neil Weaver, who resigned from the airport authority in August, said the improvements would have been good for the airport and made it easier to get federal grants for the airport.

The airport is owned by the city and managed by the airport authority. It is in the middle of a $30 million renovation that will make improvements including the demolition of a obstructive hill.