Thanks to the perseverance of community officials, a unified front of local government and business leaders, the support of the community and the patience of federal and state officials, it appears Alpena residents will maintain dependable air service after Delta Airlines ceases service here.
Four bids were received by Department of Transportation officials this week to service the airport with air service, with a final decision coming sometime after May 31.
While it's taken a long time to get there, the wait has been worth it. Three of the bidders offer interesting options and different subsidy needs, which ultimately will be factored into a final decision. Little is known about the fourth bidder at press time.
If community leaders had been passive and not spoken up on this issue, Delta would have been out of here by now and as for air service, let's just say we doubt area residents would have been as satisfied as they now will be with any of the current bidders.
Thanks to an aggressive stance, however, and lobbying efforts that demonstrated the community's commitment to continued quality air service, the community now has viable proposals from which to choose.
Soon, and very soon, we will know who DOT officials sign a contract with.
And Northeast Michigan residents will again enjoy dependable air service in and out of Alpena.