Pierre City Commission approves airline recommendation

PIERRE, S.D. (KCCR) – The Essential Air Service contract SkyWest Airlines has to operate air service in Pierre expires next spring and the Pierre City Commission has approved a recommendation to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Pierre Regional Airport Manager Cameron Howard talked about the situation.

Howard says Boutique Air and Denver Air Connection also submitted contracts to service Pierre, both including a Minneapolis stop. Skywest Option One would offer a much-desired east flight to Chicago from Pierre, but splitting the 12 flights between Denver and Chicago brought concerns about flight times from Commissioner Jim Mehlhaff.

Commissioner and Airport Liaison Jamie Huizenga says Pierre has worked hard to court SkyWest and it’s paying off.

The City of Pierre will now submit its recommendation to the U.S. Department of Transportation and make a decision in approximately 30 days. The ultimate decision lies with US DOT, but Howard says they more often than not approve the contract recommended by the municipality.