The Ole Seagull decided to share the information he provided as a response to an email he received this week because of the general interest in the Branson Airport. The portions in bold type are from the email and the non bold is the Ole Seagull’s Response.
Hi. We’re trying to find out some information about the success or failure of the new Branson Airport. With the caveat that the Ole Seagull’s answers are but his opinions he will try to answer your questions.
Should we use it? Sure, the Ole Seagull would fly to from the Branson Airport (BKG) in a heartbeat. Whether or not he would use BKG or the Springfield Branson Regional Airport (SGF) would depend on how various factors including price point, routing and scheduling fit in with his travel plans so, without hesitation, he can recommend the same to anyone else.
Is it safe? Yes. Both Frontier and AirTran are fully regulated FAA Carriers and have to meet applicable security and safety regulations. The airports 7140 foot long runway is more than adequate, the airport has crash and fire rescue equipment, trained personnel and mutual aide agreements with surrounding fire departments.
Is it still in operation? Absolutely. In fact Frontier Airlines, its newest carrier, just announced an increase in service and added Milwaukee service.
Didn’t they spend like more than $100 million of private money? On April 20, 2009, the New York Times website, in a “Venture Capital” piece entitled “In Missouri, Investors Seek a Profit in Branson Airport,” reported “that investors have placed a bet on Branson, spending $155 million to build the only privately financed commercial airport in America.”
Have they gotten most of that back, or will they? Branson Airport is a private entity and does not have to make their financial records public. The Ole Seagulls opinion would be, that although things are currently going well for the BKG that they are nowhere near getting most of the $155 million back this early in the venture, but had not planned to until sometime in the future. Don’t have the slightest idea whether or not they will in the future.
That seems like a lot to spend for a small city airport, when the one in Springfield is so close and busy. That’s the beauty of the American entrepreneurial spirit.
AirTran seems to fly there, but they don’t advertise it very well on the AirTran website. That would be expected on most air carrier websites because they fly into so many different destinations. The drop down menu on the AirTran home page however, provides quick access to Branson information.
We’re thinking of planning a big family reunion in Branson, but not sure if we should have our family members (who live on the coasts) buy plane tickets early. We heard a rumor that the Branson airport is really struggling badly and might go out of business. Is that true? Typically, tickets are bought through the airline not the airport and you would be dealing with the airline regarding any resulting problems. If the Ole Seagull were planning a flight using Branson Airport he would buy his tickets as far in advance as possible to get the best prices and seating. He has not heard the same rumor you have, but based on the information he is aware of, as of this date, would place no credence in it.
Will the City be taking over the airport? No, the airport is private and is located outside of the city limits of the city of Branson.
How come I can’t find anything on the web about their success levels? Although success is relative, it must be remembered that the Branson Airport is a private airport and only has to release the information it wants to.
I was trying to find out a daily passenger count… An Ole Seagull would recommend calling the airport administration directly for traffic counts or other information at 1-417- 334-7813.
…and if there would be enough room on the plane for everyone. Are they flying those propeller planes? Are they real crowded? Some of our relatives are pretty tall (6’5′ and above.) For the answers to these questions the Ole Seagull would suggest calling the airline you are interested in flying directly. The Ole Seagull believes that all the air carrier service into BKG on AirTran, Frontier and Branson AirExpress are jets.
Does the Mayor’s office run the [airport?] No, the city of Branson has no authority over the airport except that contained in the Agreement to pay up to $2 million a year to the airport apportioned on the number of passengers flying into the airport. That agreement gives the city the obligation to pay, but, to say the least, no authority to run the airport.
Thank you, we enjoy reading your columns. You are most certainly welcome and thank you.