Garden City/Dodge City Talk About Teaming Up To Provide Air Service
KSCB News - July 7, 2011 8:22 am
Garden City has invited Dodge City to join forces to establish regional commercial air service in western Kansas.
Dodge City Manager Ken Strobel said Monday that officials in the two cities have discussed setting up a regional airport for a trial period, but they need to look at the pros and cons before making a decision.
"We’ve talked about it for quite some time," he told the Dodge City Commission. "I think the talks have become a little more intensive in light of what would appear to be a congressional attitude toward cutting virtually every program, and Essential Air Service will not be exempt from that effort, I’m sure."
Strobel suggested discussing the issue in more detail later this month, giving officials more time to do research.
Garden officials are asking Dodge City to give up part of its subsidy from the Essential Air Service, a federal program that supports commercial air service in small rural communities, according to the July 2 Garden City Telegram.
Under the program, Great Lakes Aviation provides air service to five western Kansas communities, including Dodge and Garden. But the federal contract with Great Lakes will expire sometime this year.
American Eagle has submitted a bid to provide flights between Garden City and Dallas, according to the Telegram. Three other airlines — Great Lakes, Air Choice One and SkyWest — are also competing for the right to provide air service in southwest Kansas.
Last month, Garden City said it would ask the U.S. Department of Transportation to accept American Eagle’s bid over the other airlines, according to the Telegram.