The Port of Astoria is inviting the public to celebrate SeaPort Airlines' inaugural flight at 10 a.m. Sunday at the terminal building at the Astoria Regional Airport in Warrenton.

SeaPort Airlines is launching passenger air service between the coast and Portland. The company will offer three round-trip flights per day between Astoria and Portland and two round-trip flights per day between Portland and Newport.

During Sunday's celebration, one member of the public will be selected to fly in a SeaPort airplane for a 20-minute flyover demonstration. There will be refreshments, speeches and a ribbon-cutting before the plane departs at 11:20 a.m. Visitors will be invited to look inside one of SeaPort's PC-12 turbo-prop airplanes and see the Port's newly renovated terminal.

Speakers will include state Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, state Reps. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, and Deborah Boone, D-Cannon Beach, Kent Craford, chief executive officer of SeaPort Airlines, Dan Clem of the Oregon Department of Aviation,

Port Commission President Larry Pfund will be master of ceremonies. Port Executive Director Jack Crider and Port of Astoria commissioners Bill Hunsinger, Kathy Sanders, Floyd Holcom and Dan Hess will also attend, along with Astoria Mayor Willis Van Dusen, Warrenton Mayor Gil Gramson and U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Peter Troedsson.

If it's raining, the event will move to the nearby Lektro hangar, according to the Port's event organizer Leslie Palmeri.

SeaPort Airlines launched commercial air service to Seattle in June 2008 and has since added a route to Pendleton.

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