Fort Dodge and Mason City may go separate ways on air travel

Mason City Airport

FORT DODGE, Iowa – The Fort Dodge Regional Airport Commission has selected an air carrier but it is not clear what Mason City will do.

Great Lakes Aviation announced it was suspending service to both communities in January.  Great Lakes and Air Choice One then offered new terms to provide flights, which were rejected by both airports.  In the past, Fort Dodge and Mason City have used the same air carrier.

The U.S. Department of Transportation then ordered a second round of proposals and Great Lakes and Air Choice One submitted new offers.  The Fort Dodge commission voted this week for Air Choice One to take over service and offer flights to St. Louis for the next two years.  In a press release, the Fort Dodge Airport commission stated that it has worked with Mason City to “attract a mainline carrier to serve both communities; however, with the present airline environment this effort was not successful at this time”.  Fort Dodge Commission Chairman Rich Jacobson says each community will now decide individually on air service.

The Mason City Airport Commission is scheduled to take up the issue at its Monday meeting.  Commission Chairwoman Joni Dunn says Fort Dodge’s choice will have no impact on them because they are looking for someone to provide flights to Chicago.

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