FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A candidate for a state senate seat in Florence County said he believed Florence Regional Airport is closing down. He points to American Airlines pulling out, which is currently the airport's only carrier.
An American Airlines spokesperson said the airline is proud to serve the Florence airport and plans to continue in the future. The Florence Regional Interim Executive Director, Connie Anderson, said she will do whatever she can to keep the airline happy and move in a positive direction.
"We love the airport, we want to see the airport grow and I think as a team we can make that happen," Anderson said.
She has been with the airport the past 12 years, taking over as director at the end of January when her predecessor left.
Just recently, the airport signed another contract with American Airlines for at least another year. Currently, the airline services five direct flights a day to Charlotte.
"We are always looking to branch out and seek more. We have been in discussion with Delta and just right now that's where it is. You've always got to look for positive growth. You have to think about who is responsible for that and, to me, that begins with the employees," said Anderson.
Laura Mitchell, a business traveler who lives in Florence, flies in and out of the airport at least twice a month.
"I like it being American, but it would be nice to have a variety for the many travelers that come out of Florence," Mitchell said. "Florence is growing in terms of the business industry, so it would be nice to give the community a variety of choices to fly out of. It'd be nice to see a red eye to some larger cities like Orlando or Dallas, that sort of thing."
As of March 1, Precision Air had taken over their fixed base operator. Anderson said since it's a private company, she hopes they will expand and offer more to the passengers, pilots and airport as a whole.
Part of that means more food and drink services compared to the two vending options they have now. Anderson is happy with the recent terminal renovations, including the brand new American kiosks, and plans to expand her team of employees.
"If they are on board a 110 percent, then you will get a lot out of them and create a positive experience on the inside, which will overflow to the outside. I think people will see that," Anderson said.
She hopes to know in the next couple months if her position as director will be permanent.