FAYETTEVILLE — Many people, including those who live in Fayetteville, often choose to travel from
. The bigger airport offers more flights, and in many cases, cheaper fares.
With the passenger count down at Fayetteville Regional, one airline is reducing its commuter service to the airport.
Despite recent improvements --including new approach lighting, a new safety extension and a new taxiway -- one thing has not improved at Fayetteville Regional. The number of people who are choosing to fly in and out of the airport continues to dwindle.
"It always seems more effective in cost, time and connections to go out of an international airport," says Fayetteville resident Bobby Beau.
In the past ten years, the number of passengers using Fayetteville Regional has dropped by more than 117,000.
As a result, US Airways announced it will stop two daily flights to Charlotte on its jets. It will still operate with a US Airways Express carrier out of Fayetteville, but the amount of seats available daily will drop by 28 percent.
"That's very disappointing," says airport director Brad Whited. "We just hope the transition will be smooth."
It is also disappointing to the airport's loyal travelers.
Fayetteville Regional is Karen Morgan's first choice when she comes to visit her family.
"It would have been harder on our family to pick us up in Raleigh," she says.
Morgan's sister, Anne Crane, lives in Fayetteville. She says there is a need for quality local service. She says even if it costs more, the convenience pays off.
"When you come home after being gone, there's nothing like getting home as quickly as you can. When you fly into Fayetteville, you are a lot closer to home," she says.
The airport director continues to encourage travelers to check flights and fares. He says by the time you take into account drive time, parking fees and gas, in many cases, flights from regional airports are more reasonable.