First Tuesday meeting of the year 2018 “took off” with a presentation hosted by Richard Strickland, Kern County Airport Director. Mr. Strickland comes from a long experience in airport management and has been improving its service. The goal is to expand the runway to be able to allow larger aircraft to land and to increase the number of flights. Our guest, today, helped us understand how intricate his position is: it’s a combination of obtaining state grants, analyzing the demand to understand which routes to activate, while working with air companies to create better and more services for our city of Bakersfield. “Oil industry had a big effect!” Mr Strickland said. We can all imagine that once the price per barrel dropped, causing our local oil industry to shrink, flights to Texas and other states have become less in demand to the point that air companies terminated the service. However, now that the oil industry seems to be improving, the possibility of reopening this route is increasingly feasible.,
Such an interesting topic was followed by many questions: “why not a flight to Sacramento?” asked one rotarian, or “to LAX?” wondered another; “smaller aircraft to accommodate fewer passengers,” suggested someone; “why not International?” inquired another. Mr R. Strickland answered all the questions with knowledge about the topic. “Kern County Airport” was a great choice to open the new year. Thanks Mr. Strickland and best wishes on your endeavor.