By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

Anyone who's seen the interior of the passenger waiting area of Del Norte Airport has probably formed an opinion of its appearance.

Letters to the editor written by local readers reflect the view that it's less than flattering to in-coming passengers.

Now members of the Aviation Advisory Committee have rallied behind an effort to do something about airport's appearance.

andquot;One of the continuing areas of concern, complaints and criticism is the current look and condition of the existing terminal,andquot; committee Chairman Dan Brattain wrote in a memo to county Board of Supervisors Oct. 30.

The committee has since begun to raise $10,000 from local business community members.

Plans include painting the interior and exterior of the airport building, installing two donated television sets, replacing seats in the main lobby, decorating the walls with pictures and images of areas of local interest, cleaning and replacing the carpet, repairing or replacing restroom facilities and posting a rendering of the proposed new terminal and airport improvement projects.

Also listed as goals by Brattain are a suggestion/survey box to collect travelers' comments, minor landscaping improvements and the possible installation of wireless Internet for passengers.

In the memo, Brattain also asks county supervisors to work with the committee members by authorizing Airport Manager Jim Bernard to work with him in authorizing the improvements.

andquot;Our plan is to try and have this completed before the busy holiday season so that many visiting passengers can enjoy the upgrades.

Other airport plans

Committee members plan to ask the board at its next meeting Nov. 14 for a go-ahead on their marketing plan.

Besides the terminal building facelift, the plan includes talking with SkyWest reps to ascertain where passengers that enplane at Crescent City are flying and what their travel plans and habits are.

At issue is finding out how many passengers Del Norte Airport's limited flight schedule may be costing it.

The committee wants to ask SkyWest for 1 percent of the grant money it receives from serving Del Norte Airport to use in a local marketing effort.

It also wants the airline to offer promotional discount fares and to look into the possibility of providing a northbound route.

Other ideas include developing a one-year marketing plan to increase passenger enplanements, boosting marketing efforts by enlisting the help of travel agencies and promoting a andquot;use it or lose itandquot; effort toward local communities.