MCKINLEYVILLE- Larger planes are now arriving and departing from Arcata-Eureka Airport.
The second 50-seat regional jet to land at Arcata-Eureka Airport touched down at about 12-15 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Passengers say traveling on the United Express jet is a better experience than flying in a Brasilia plane, which as of now is no longer in use at the airport.
"First thing was there was enough head room for me and I loved that. The second is the seats were wider and more comfortable. Once we got onto the runway, you could tell that it was going to be a lot quieter,” said Peter Jermyn, who flew on the 50 seat regional jet.
Jermyn also says the ride is smoother.
"We hit a pocket of turbulence and the plane just kind of rolled with it. And on the prop planes, you kind of have to roll with it inside the planes, it's a lot more of a difficult flight," Jermyn said.
The 50-seat CRJ planes are the largest commercial airplanes to land at Arcata-Eureka Airport since 2011.
"There's been a trend in the industry to move away from the smaller, less efficient aircraft and to larger aircraft. They fit more people, are more fuel efficient, faster and more comfortable," said Emily Jacobs, the Program Coordinator for the Humboldt County Aviation Division.
The different aircraft will not change the number of people coming in and out of the airport to start out.
“We have three a day and in April, we'll be moving to four a day. And then in the summer, if we have good ridership, we'll be increasing that frequency as well," Jacobs said.
Officials say the only way to get even bigger planes to come to the North Coast is for local residents to continue to use Arcata-Eureka Airport.
"The more ridership, the more demand that we demonstrate, the more frequency and capacity that they will provide," said Jacobs.
If you would like to donate to Fly Humboldt, an organization dedicated to increasing flights in and out of Arcata-Eureka Airport, visit flyhumboldt.org