What kind of potential really exists in Northeast Michigan for air travel?
How effective can lobbyists be in promoting the region's qualities to air carriers?
Come Monday, how many of those air carriers might actually file a request with the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide essential air service to Alpena?
And, if submissions are filed, who will they represent and what kind of service might we expect from that carrier? Will the bids meet DOT regulations?
Inquiring minds of the region wait anxiously in the balance to learn the answers to those questions next week. Monday is the deadline for the newest DOT bids for Alpena.
We're hoping the consulting firm Alpena County commissioners secured to promote the airport is quite effective in convincing carriers of Alpena's potential, which then in turn will result in some new bids to provide air service to the area.
The economic future of the region hangs in the balance as we watch to see the interest Monday from carriers.
Certainly it is our hope, as we're sure it is yours, to see a reliable company emerge from the process who will handle our needs well for the next several years.
Hopefully that blip on the radar screen Monday is from Santa and his sleigh, delivering an early Christmas package to the residents of the region.
If so, that could very well be the best Christmas gift many of us might receive this year.