Good news soars at Alpena airport
News from the Alpena County Regional Airport was nothing but positive this week.
While the airport was the recipient of a hefty federal grant, in our estimation the best news of the week was the fact that SkyWest will continue operating air service out of the airport for another two years.
The U.S. Department of Transportation approved an annual subsidy of $3.8 million under the Essential Air Service program to continue SkyWest and its 12 roundtrip flights each week to Detroit. That is a considerable increase from the $2.4 million subsidy the airline receives under its current contract.
In our estimation, the only thing that would have made the news sweeter would have been to include some flights to Minneapolis, as well.
However, we celebrate SkyWest remaining the airport’s carrier.
SkyWest has proven to be reliable and efficient, something travelers value when flying from here. The new contract runs through Sept. 30, 2022.
“The relationship the airline, airport, community, and county have has been tremendous,” said Airport Manager Steve Smigelski in a newspaper story Thursday. “They have helped us any way they could and helped us increase enplanements and reduce prices, and I’m just as pleased as I possibly could be.”
The other good news at the airport was the fact that the U.S. DOT also awarded $1.2 million to the Alpena airport for snow removal equipment, new perimeter fencing, and new runway and taxiway lighting.
The airport was one of 347 to receive funding as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.
News like that helps ensure the airport’s continued success.