It what now seems a regular occurrence, another positive month was recorded at Alpena County Regional Airport in the number of customers who flew SkyWest Airlines.
February's numbers increased 41.2 percent from last year, 1,079 customers this February to 764 last year. This is a pattern local officials have seen pretty much every month since SkyWest took over service from Delta last summer.
While only two months into the year, with both January and February exceeding the 1,000 mark, it is a strong start to the airport exceeding that critical 10,000 emplanement number with the federal government. The 10,000 mark triggers extra fed funding for airport improvements and is a good barometer of the use and acceptance of air service in a community.
Airport Manager Billi McRoberts said in a story this week she believes SkyWest's "consistent and dependable" flight schedules has made all the difference for customers.
We would agree.
Unlike the past, where flights often overfilled and customers in Alpena were bumped off flights, that has not been the case with SkyWest. And, with Minneapolis as an extra destination now, customers have more options.
We're pleased that local residents have supported the air service. We hope, and expect, that will continue in the months ahead.