American Eagle May Resume Regional Jet Service at Easterwood Airport

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Easterwood Airport is on its way to reaching its goal of offering regional jet service to both Houston and Dallas.

"We as a world class community should have a world class airport to support this community," said Roland Mower, President and C.E.O. Of the Research Valley Partnership.

He has hight hopes for Easterwood Airport.

"Transportation infrastructure is very important in terms of economic development. Having good highways and airports is essential if you want to see job creation and capital investment in your region," said Mower.

The Bryan City Council granted Mower and Easterwood Airport $50,000 to go towards equipment needed to offer customers regional jet flights out of Easterwood by both Continental and American Eagle. Continental currently offers one jet flight a day. But, airport administration said American Eagle won't unless the airport has a piece of equipment called an air start cart.

"It's basically a small jet engine on wheels that they use to start engines if they're power cart on the airplane actually fails," said Easterwood Aviation Director John Happ.

Happ said he is in negotiations with American Eagle.

Meanwhile, the airport is under transformation. Crews are constructing two jet ways or boarding bridges to accommodate passengers. Also, a new security checkpoint is under construction on the second floor of the terminal.

Happ said if a deal is reached with American Eagle, prop-engine plane flights out of Easterwood may be obsolete in the future.

"If this deems to be profitable for the airlines, they will swap out all of the regional props with regional jets," said Happ.

Happ believes that could mean more competitive fares with flights out of larger airports.

On Thursday, the Research Valley Partnership and Easterwood will also ask for $50,000 from the College Station City Council. If approved, Easterwood expects to purchase the needed equipment and have American Eagle regional jet service by February 1st.