Kearney Airport May Not Have Flights Come November - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Kearney Airport May Not Have Flights Come November

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 There is a possibility there will be no flights out of the Kearney Airport come November. Thursday morning the City Council decided to recommend to the Department of Transportation to reject a bid offer from Great Lakes Airlines.

Great Lakes Airlines is the only airline in Kearney. They fly to Denver three times a day. The airline is asking for a subsidy of $235 per passenger.

Mayor Stan Clouse thinks it is too expensive. The Department of Transportation puts the limit at $200 or less per passenger for the Kearney airport.

If they break this limit the airport risks losing Essential Air Service Funding. The current bid offers nine person flights three times a day. They usually fly planes with more than double the seats, but new pilot qualifications for Great Lakes has caused a pilot shortage.

The Kearney City Council wants to open up rebidding. 

The mayor is not sure if the city will have flights in November, when the current contract ends.

“We don’t know certainly the risk you run -- Will they rebid ? If they rebid will the outcome be different? -- There are so many different pieces to this,” said Clouse.

The mayor said they are working with the airline to come up with a new bid.

Clouse said, "Even more flights with a smaller planes or larger planes with the same type of frequency both of those are very challenging because of federal regulations."

He added that the city is constantly working with the airline and the Department of Transportation.

The council’s decision is just a recommendation; the Department of Transportation could just accept the bid anyway.

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