San Angelo air passengers who fly local are getting a better seat.
Because they are no longer cost-effective to operate, American Airlines is retiring 50-seat planes in favor of a new fleet of 65-seat CRJ-700 planes. The aircraft take flight from San Angelo Regional Airport on Friday, May 5.
The new planes offer more room to sit, more space to stand, larger overhead compartments plus wi-fi capabilities. There’s also a first-class option, with nine such seats available.
The number of seats is growing by one per day to 195. American, which provides service to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, will offer three departure times daily: 6:36 a.m., 10:36 a.m. and 4:40 p.m. Flights will arrive from DFW at 10:06 a.m., 4:10 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. Each flight lasts slightly more than an hour.
“This marks a real improvement in San Angelo’s air travel experience,” Chamber of Commerce President Dan Koenig said. “We are keeping, essentially, the same number of seats, but passengers will fly in roomier, more comfortable planes, with the option of upgrading to first class.”
San Angelo Regional Airport has for years pursued a second carrier that would provide service to another market. In 2016, the airport averaged 182 passengers per day.
“The key to landing a second airline is increasing the number of travelers,” Airport Director Luis Elguezabal said. “If passenger loads can ensure a carrier’s profitability, a second airline will come. San Angelo travelers should fly local. It costs less and is far more convenient.”
A round trip to Orlando, Florida, from May 23-31 costs $352.40 flying from San Angelo Regional Airport, which does not charge for parking. Plus, Elguezabal noted, the traveler flies directly home. The same trip flying Southwest Airlines from Midland costs $81.76 more -- $378.16 for airfare and $56 for parking. The traveler would then have to drive 2½ hours home, incurring additional fuel costs.
The same trip to Los Angeles costs $30.04 less flying from Midland – until fuel costs for five hours of round trip driving are factored in.
If Las Vegas is the destination, flying from Midland costs $13.05 less. But those savings would be devoured by the costs of driving five hours there and back.
“We’re rapidly approaching summer vacation season,” Elguezabal said. “Fly local. I can assure you and your pocketbook will be glad you did.”
San Angelo Regional Airport
San Angelo Regional Airport - Mathis Field is the only commercial airport serving the Concho Valley.
The airport is owned by the City of San Angelo and is classified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a commercial primary, non-hub airport.
The airport is certified by the FAA for Part 139 operations. The FAA contract tower is staffed from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. and logs more than 100,000 operations per year. More than 150 aircraft are based at Mathis Field.
In addition to the tower, the airport offers three intersecting runways and a full range of instrument approach options. The runways are open for operations 24 hours per day and service commercial, private and military aviation.
ParkingMathis Field parking is fast, convenient and free. San Angelo Regional Airport has ample short- and long-term parking. Local taxis run continuously from in front of the terminal.
All parking is set in a beautiful, West Texas landscape. The parking is well-lighted, and monitored and patrolled by airport and City police. Disabled parking is available immediately adjacent to the terminal.
HoursThe terminal opens daily at 3:30 a.m. and remains open until 30 minutes after the last arriving flight of the day. Airline ticket counters open at least 1 1/2 hours before the time of the first scheduled departures. Contact your airline to confirm ticket counter opening and departure times. Local taxis can be found in the taxi queue in front of the terminal. The airport administrative office is located within the terminal building. Airport officials assist with such issues as business opportunities, building availability, airport fees, airport regulations, tenant services and other airport and facility management issues.
Traveling with disabilities
If you or someone you know has a disability, the following information may be useful in making a trip through the airport an easy one:
Parking for disabled passengers is located next to the terminal at the east end of the short term lot.
Wheelchair service is available from curb to aircraft by calling ahead to your airline service provider.
Escorts are available for those needing assistance getting through the airport (for example, persons with visual or mobility impairments). Escorts may be requested from airline representatives at the airport.
The security screening process checks wheelchair users and other travelers with special equipment such as hand-held metal detectors. This screening is performed on the side of the security checkpoint to provide enough room for wider, special equipment.
Pedestrian walkways are designed with contrasting floor surfaces to assist travelers with visual impairments.
Aircraft are accessible through passenger jet bridges when required.
Seating on aircraft can accommodate special needs. To access this service, inform your airline when booking tickets. Passengers with disabilities are afforded travel accommodations by the airlines under the Air Carriers Access Act
Name: San Angelo Regional Airport - Mathis Field; named for Jack Mathis, a San Angelo native who became the first aviator of WWII awarded the Medal of Honor.
Location: Southwest of San Angelo on Texas Highway 584, Knickerbocker Road, eight miles from downtown.
Finances: The airport is owned by the City of San Angelo and generates about $1.2 million annually from rental property and other activities on the aerodrome.
Runways:Three crossing runways, 18/36, 3/21, and 9/27 are 8,049 feet, 5,939 feet and 4,402 feet, respectively.
John Schwab Terminal: Named for the legendary airport manager who oversaw the airport until his retirement in 1996. There are three passenger gates in 20,000 square feet of terminal space.
Parking and transportation: 352 public parking places and taxi services.
ARFF: Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting services provided by the City of San Angelo.
Employment: 14 employees on airport staff. More than 250 employees at the airport, including airlines, FAA, U.S. government, FBO's, car rentals and concessions.
Airport statistics: More than 66,000 passengers annually, five commercial passenger flights per day and almost 100,000 air operations annually.
Population: More than 100,000 people in the San Angelo metropolitan area.