US Department of Transportation approve two year EAS Service for Pierre Airport

PIERRE, S.D.(DRGNews)- The US Department of Transportation has approved a new, two year Essential Air Service contract allowing Denver Air Connection (DAC) to provide flights from Pierre to Minneapolis and from Pierre to Denver International Airport.

Pierre Mayor Steve Harding says they need to work through the logistics for travelers to Minneapolis.

Pierre had requested a split of four weekly round trip flights to Minneapolis and eight weekly round trip flights to Denver. But, Harding says, they don’t yet know how the breakdown will go. He says although the new two-year contract begins June 1, 2023, they don’t expect flights to Minneapolis to begin that day.

Harding says city officials have made contact with Denver Air to start sorting through the options and the logistics, but it will take some time to determine the schedule.

In 2022, the Pierre Regional Airport had more than 16,000 commercial enplanements.

USDOT EAS contracts subsidize air carriers to ensure rural communities, like Pierre, have access to commercial air service. The USDOT leads the contracting process by calling for proposals from airlines interested in the contracts and ultimately selecting the winning proposal.