Ogdensburg Officials Defend Allegiant Air

Ogdensburg Officials Defend Allegiant Air

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What 60 Minutes has dug up is alarming. Allegiant Air reports filed with regulators show more than 100 serious incidents in less than two years.

A dramatic video taken by an Allegiant passenger showed fumes and smoke filling the cabin as the plane landed in Fresno, California in September.  Passengers were told to “breathe through their shirts” when oxygen masks did not deploy. The 60 Minutes report claims the incident was left unreported.

Officials at the Ogdensburg airport are aware of the 60 Minutes report, but they are saying it doesn't apply here. Mainly, that's because most all the incidents reported by 60 Minutes happened on old McDonald-Douglas aircraft the airline bought used.

The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority issued this statement:

"Ogdensburg International Airport (OGS) is accomplishing great things for the local economy and safety in aviation is number one.  OGS commends the professionalism of Allegiant to make the right calls to keep the traveling public safe.  Thanks to these professionals, flights out of OGS are operated safely and efficiently using the newer Airbus A320 aircraft."

Still, problems are not unknown at Ogdensburg. On Christmas Eve 2016, a plane departing Ogdensburg for Florida had to land in Syracuse due to mechanical issues.

The 60 Minutes report also reveals a pattern of troubling responses from Allegiant. The union alleges the airline once fired a pilot for ordering passengers to evacuate due to a smoking engine.

Allegiant issued a response to the 60 Minutes report which read in part:

“This story follows an unoriginal narrative based entirely off of outdated statistics, incidents that are years-old, and so-called 'industry experts' - many of whom have not seen the inside of an airline's operations in years.”

Allegiant has proven popular at Ogdensburg. Officials there stressed the Airbus A320 is the exclusive plane used there by Allegiant, but they did not want to go on camera.

It remains to be seen if the 60 Minutes Report affects the popularity of Allegiant flights in Ogdensburg.

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