Noncommercial operations, not passengers, power East Texas Regional Airport
Longview, TX — Siblings Henry and Mavie Smith watched their mother board an American Eagle flight one morning this past week at East Texas Regional Airport.
The pair chatted with Transportation Security Administration agents on duty in the terminal while waiting for their mother’s flight, the first of two daily passenger flights, to take off. And Mary Smith was soon on her way along with 48 other passengers who boarded at the Henry Atkinson Terminal.
“If we didn’t have a regional airport, we’d be in trouble,” Henry Smith said, noting his mother’s occasional flights. “It means the world to us. It’s cheaper to leave from here than to drive to (Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) and go through all that hell up there.”
That’s because the ticket price to a major city is the same whether the passenger is leaving Longview or Dallas, they said. The scene the Smiths joined Tuesday was typical for the regional airport south of Longview, but it barely qualified as the tip of the iceberg of daily doings there.
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