New Bedford Regional Airport earns new federal certification

FAA allows New Bedford to join 22 airports across New England that support flights to nationwide destinations


New Bedford, Massachusetts- New Bedford Regional Airport passed Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspection and received certification to support service to a greater range of potential destinations.

The certification, known as a “139 certification,” would enable carriers to fly certain aircraft with more than the nine seats currently allowed, which makes new routes commercially viable for the first time.

The new designation will allow New Bedford Regional Airport to support flights to various destinations across the United States. Of the more than 200 airports in New England, New Bedford joins just 22 others to hold 139 certification, effective July 1, 2017. New Bedford Regional Airport previously held 139 certification but it lapsed in the 1990s.

New Bedford’s airport has increased its economic impact and job growth with sizable gains in the past several years, according to a 2015 study on the airport completed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Aeronautics Division. In 2015, it generated $32.4 million in local economic activity, up from $26.3 million in 2011 – a 23% increase in four years, according to a standard economic modeling process approved by the FAA. The study also found that New Bedford Regional Airport supports 297 public and private jobs with an annual payroll of $10.6 million. In 2011 the corresponding figures were 234 jobs, with an annual payroll of $8.3 million, an increase of more than 60 new jobs in four years.

“This is a major step forward for New Bedford Regional Airport, adding serious potential to our airport’s capability to support flights,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “It’s an exciting opportunity and means our airport will soon connect to major airports around the nation that will make travel extremely accessible from New Bedford.”

“The airport received support and cooperation from the Mayor’s office, City Council, airport commissioners and city departments to meet the FAA requirements,” said Airport Director Scot Servis. He added that Airport Solutions Group provided support to make the certification possible.

Servis said the next step in the airport’s process to expand flight service is Transportation Security Administration certification, adding TSA screening equipment to the airport to provide service for anticipated flights.