Pierre Airport taking flight to and from Minneapolis

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- After several years of unreliable service from a few different companies at the Pierre Regional Airport, things are looking up as the town begins being a two-hub airport started Thursday.

The years of unreliability were followed by a year or so of steady service from SkyWest, flying as United Express. When it came time to re-bid Pierre’s Essential Air Service contract, the US Department of Transportation opted to switch to a regional air carrier, Denver Air Connection, rather than the national airline. The switch prompted letters from local and state officials as well as South Dakota’s Congressional delegation asking USDOT to reconsider their choice. The request was denied and for a short time, SkyWest continued flying from Pierre at it’s own expense while Denver Air began flying the federal EAS supported routes. It didn’t take long before SkyWest discontinued it’s service to Pierre.

Now, Denver Air Connection is providing 10 round trip flights each week between Pierre and the Denver International Airport and two round trip flights from Pierre to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Denver Air Connection Business Development Director Jon Coleman says the company is excited to begin the twice weekly service to Minneapolis. He says they hope to see expanded connections in the coming months, which would mean Denver Air “will be providing the people of the Pierre area quite possibly the largest amount of travel choices available from a regional carrier.”

Pierre City Commissioner Jamie Huizenga (high-zin-ga) says it’s nice to give travelers another option.

Denver Air Connection has served as Pierre’s Essential Air Service carrier since July 2021.

Denver Air also holds the EAS contract for the Watertown Regional Airport. From there, people can fly to either Denver or Chicago.