Cape Air incorporates flights to JFK

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Assistant airport director Geoff Freeman said Cape Air will soon be offering flights from the Vineyard to JFK Airport." - Lucas Thors

Cape Air will add regular flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) starting Sept. 16. 

Assistant airport director Geoff Freeman said at Wednesday’s Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission meeting that Cape Air has never offered flights to JFK, but started flying out of Nantucket last season.

He said the airline is incorporating “one or two” flights each week, and flights from the Vineyard to JFK are direct. The flight takes a little over an hour, and provides a direct connection to the major transportation hub in Queens, NY.

In other business, airport wastewater facilities director Mike Eldridge reminded the room of ongoing problems with heating systems that have recently worsened. “As you know, we had some problems with the heating system last winter,” Eldridge said. “We did what we absolutely had to do to get the system up and running for the cold season.” 

As of now, Eldridge said the airport is looking at several projects involving heating. The first is gaskets that have dried out and cracked on the main boiler systems that need to be replaced. 

“When the boilers were down last year, the gaskets dried out.” It’s a pretty involved fix because you need to drain the boiler system and take the piping apart,” Eldridge said. Eldridge said one pipe is leaking on the newly-installed control panel and the other is jerry-rigged away from dripping on the boiler.

The most expensive project involves pumps that provide heat to the terminal building. 

One pump is burnt out, Eldridge said, and the other is leaking. “All these pumps are original parts, so they are well past their lifespan,” Eldridge said.

According to Eldridge, Rise Engineering was hired by the Cape Light Compact (CLC) to do an energy audit at the airport. Rise suggested new, more efficient pumps with variable frequency drives. The total estimated cost for the project is approximately $36,000, and Eldridge said the CLC would pay $11,900 of that overall cost. “I recommend we do this, it’s going to pay for itself with the energy cost savings over time,” Eldridge said.

Airport commissioners unanimously approved the project.