How important is a dependable, local air carrier to the region?
Obviously it is very important, as evidence by the fact that in October, local residents went over the all-important 10,000 emplanement number at Alpena County Regional Airport.
By reaching that number, it releases $1 million from the federal government next year to the local airport in subsidies to be used to airport improvements and projects. Otherwise, the feds award $150,000 annually.
It marks back-to-back years that number will be reached locally, a significant achievement.
Attaining the 10,000 mark in October also is impressive, especially since going into the month the numbers compared to last year actually were lagging a little. A lot of people made use of the airport last month, and that made a significant difference.
That is why the search, and fight for a strong, dependable, air carrier was so important. Thankfully in SkyWest, that is what we eventually secured after months and months of lobbying efforts.
The airport numbers are encouraging and exciting. It makes that hard work all the sweeter, and demonstrates clearly what a difference solid air service makes for a community.