Fort Dodge Tentatively Terminated from Essential Air Service program
The Federal Department of Transportation has issued an order to the city of Fort Dodge to show cause that the Fort Dodge Regional Airport should remain in the Essential Air Service program. Fort Dodge was one of 13 airports to have eligibility in the program tentatively terminated. The program provides subsidies for flights to service participating communities. According to the order, a community must maintain an average of 10 boardings per day in the last fiscal year if located within 175 miles from the nearest medium or large hub airport. The Federal Aviation Administration says Eppley Airfield in Omaha, NE as being within 175 miles. Federal DOT figures show Fort Dodge averaged 9.4 boardings per day between October 1, 2012 and September 30, 2013. Communities have 20 days to appeal the decision. In a statement, Fort Dodge Regional Airport Director of Aviation Rhonda Chambers says 59 canceled Great Lakes Airlines flights contributed to the passenger shortfall.