Perhaps it takes something like a two year Bay Bridge repair project to force people, mostly for the first time, to consider the Eastern Shore’s only commercial airport in Salisbury, Maryland. That was the motivation for the Spy to start thinking about SBY when given an unexpected opportunity to ponder such things while waiting in a traffic jam to across the bridge last week.
As a result, the Spy started an official inquiry into the matter, and our findings were surprising.
In our analysis of time and cost on what airport to use for a trip from the Shore to Los Angeles, the differences in the results were striking. In the comparison between a BWI-LAX nonstop flight on Southwest versus an SBY-LAX American with a connection, there was only a 40-minute difference in final time spent to arrive in Los Angeles. And there was only a $31.35 price gap without factoring in possible check-in luggage fees on American.
And what does the traveler get in exchange for that forty minutes and thirty bucks? The peace of mind of experiencing an almost forgotten time in air travel. Starting with a simple and uncongested hour trip from downtown Easton to the terminal parking ($9 a day) and the surreal moment of getting out of one’s parked car and walk less than 50 feet to the airline counter in under two minutes. The security hurdle is more reminiscent of checking out a book at a public library. And then on to a regional jet for either Charlotte or Philadelphia.
That is only one of many reasons the Shore should take an interest in SBY. Long overlooked, despite its legendary history with Henson Aviation. Henson, under contract with Allegheny Airlines and owned by Richard A. Henson, began scheduled commuter service in 1968 and operated with the idea of using “frequency” flights using small aircraft which would shuttle passengers to many airports along the east coast. The Salisbury-Ocean City regional airport now has a new sense of itself with a new airport manager and an initial $5 million investment in the airport’s future. If things go according to plan, your next trip to London could start on the Lower Shore.
The Spy sat down recently with Dawn Veatch, SBY airport manager, to understand more clearly Salisbury’s desire to be more competitive with Western Shore airports, but also the extraordinary economic development power of a regional airport operating at peak efficiency.
This video is approximately minutes in length. For more information about SBY please go here.
Comparison (October 31 to November 5, 2019
|Easton to LAX|
|Dep||Time to Parking||Bridge Delay||Park Shuttle||Ticket/Gate||Total to Gate||Flight time||Total Time||TOTAL||Arrival|
|Southwest – BWI||3:50 PM||100||20||25||40||185||540||725||910||6:30 PM|
|American – SBY||11:43 AM||60||0||5||5||70||810||880||950||4:49 PM|