Piedmont Airlines

SALISBURY, Md. - Salisbury-Wicomico Regional Airport's only commercial airline Piedmont Airlines, part of American Airlines has cut flights in and out of Salisbury in recent years.

The cutback has left many fearing Piedmont and American could decide to cancel operations out of Salisbury altogether.

"I think American Airlines has been looking for a hook to be sure they're going to be permanent residents at SBY Airport. This mechanic school I believe is the hook that keeps SBY as a commercial hub for the sure and keeps American Airlines in partnership with Piedmont," said Bill Chambers, President of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce.

Dave Ryan with Salisbury Wicomico Economic Development says 3.3 million dollars from Maryland's rural economic development fund will create an airplane mechanic training program.

"As a community how can we get those flights back, maybe add more flights in the future and train people for great jobs," he said.

Students will be trained at the airport, part of University of Maryland Eastern Shore's curriculum.

"We need trained employees. Not just here on Delmarva, this is a refrain you will hear across the country. So if we can churn out a cohort of trained technicians, some of whom will stay here and make this their home, but no matter if they make this their home or not, if we can continue to have that pipeline, we're creating jobs," said Mike Dunn of the Greater Salisbury Committee.

Ryan says this is the piece of the puzzle needed to ensure Piedmont sticks around in Salisbury.

"We've been working with Piedmont and American Airlines for two years on this program," he said.

Piedmont Airlines did not respond to our request for a comment.

The airplane mechanic training school is expected to be up and running by Fall of 2023.

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