Bragg changes could boost airport

Fort Bragg (Wikimedia)

February 26, 2010 3:37:31 PM PST
Fayetteville and Fort Bragg will soon be home to U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM). It's the largest command in the Army - responsible for some 800,000 soldiers.

The unit's command staff has to travel to Washington, D.C. frequently, and right now there are no direct flights from Fayetteville.

"We do think that it will be great to have a direct flight from Fayetteville to Washington, D.C. so that we can better do our operational business," said FORSCOM public affairs officer Jim Hinnant.

The only way to get from Fayetteville to Washington by commercial jet currently is to take a flight with a stop somewhere else - like Charlotte.

But that may be about to change. A consultant hired by the City of Fayetteville is trying to land an airline willing to provide direct service to Washington.

It's something Fayetteville's mayor says is very much on the minds of new generals who will soon call Fayetteville and Fort Bragg home.

"They're used to being able to have multiple flights, literally. I think he said a flight every hour between Atlanta and Washington and back. So, they're used to that," explained Mayor Tony Chavonne.

According to the consultant, when FORSCOM arrives, nearly 20,000 passengers could want to fly directly from Fayetteville to DC every year. Right now, about 50,000 use it to get to all destinations, but it was built to handle 225,000.

"The wonderful news here is we have capacity. It would appear that we've got demand. That's two of the three important parts. Now we need to find a willing partner," Said Chavonne.

The consultant also found that 60 percent of those who travel to DC from Fayetteville drive. The hope is a direct flight would encourage them to take a plane.

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