Pangborn Airport is still trying to get new airline service, despite the fact that it's been stuck with a single carrier offering limited flights to Seattle for years. 

The airport recently joined a coalition which is working through Congress to try to improve service to rural airports, such as Pangborn. 

Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority Director of Airports Trent Moyers says it's been difficult to get airlines interested in Wenatchee. 

"That's always been the challenge," said Moyers. "What does it take for us to become one of the markets that they want to serve. And what's the timing for them. How does our airport fit into their model." 

Pangborn is being joined by the Yakima airport in seeking help from Congress to boost rural air service. The airports have signed on with the coalition RESTORE. 

The Port Authority, which owns and operates Pangborn, has agreed to pay RESTORE a monthly fee of $1,500 for one year. 

The Port Authority will continue its relationship with air service development consultant Volaire. The arrangement is changing however as the Port will pay Volaire only for services with certain efforts to market the airport to airlines. The Port was paying Volaire $4,000/month for consultation. It had paid Volaire more than $322,000 since signing a contract with the consultant in 2017. To date, no additional air service has been established to Wenatchee.  

Efforts will still be made to get direct service to markets that are a final destination for a large portion of travelers from Pangborn, including the Bay Area and southern California. There's also a hope service could be established to hub airports in Salt Lake City and Denver. 

Pangborn also has its eye on low cost carriers including Spirit Airlines and Allegiant Airlines, which generally fly certain days of the week to tourist destinations such as Las Vegas.

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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

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