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Commercial flights could soon be coming back to St. Augustine

St. Johns County Airport Authority board member, Dennis Clarke, said the board is negotiating with Avelo Airlines to bring nine flights a week to NFRA.
Credit: FCN

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Commercial flights to New Haven, Connecticut, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, and Wilmington, Delaware could soon be coming to the Northeast Florida Regional Airport in St. Augustine. 

St. Johns County Airport Authority board member, Dennis Clarke, said the board is negotiating with Avelo Airlines for nine flights a week to those three destinations. 

"They're very much interested, as we are," Clarke said. 

While the interest remains high, Clarke did not say when or if a deal may happen. 

This comes after longtime airport executive director, Ed Wuellner, was recently unanimously ousted by the board. 

Clarke and fellow board member, Jennifer Liotta, told First Coast News among other concerns, they were frustrated with the late delivery of information about a contract to bring new commercial flights to the airport. They say Wuellner didn’t give them the contract until days before they had to make a decision with the airline.

And Clarke said he was not entirely happy with the contract itself. 

Wuellner told First Coast News the vote was "to get me out of the way." 

"They didn't have enough time to react to us to address our concerns that we had with respect to the proposal there were some elements in the proposal that just weren't quite acceptable to the authority members," Clarke said.

"We're hopeful it may not happen immediately, but we would like to get this process established so in the event that other air carriers come in the event they decide not come here then we'll have a good process in place, and we'll be able to give them an answer relatively quickly," he added. 

Northeast Florida Regional Airport employee, Matthew O'Toole, said commercial flights would be much needed at the airport. 

"Just with the amount of people that are moving here form other places these people aren't moving from Key West from Miami from Tallahassee. They're moving from New York. New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio places out of the state so I think an alternative to Jacksonville or Daytona and close and convenient and cheaper," O'Toole said. 

Liotta said the board hopes to extend an offer letter to executive director candidate Jerry Brienza on Tuesday. 

Liotta said Brienza has past experience as an executive director at other airports. 

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