Officials at Houghton County Memorial Airport (CMX) are assuring the public that they will not be closing in light of SkyWest’s decision to drop service. The regional carrier is looking to pull out of 29 terminals in the Essential Air Service network at the behest of partner United Airlines.
The United States Department of Transportation guarantees members of EAS that they will have access to the national system, in spite of being smaller communities. SkyWest is attempting to prioritize popular routes due to a pilot shortage. DOT is compelling them to continue running flights to CMX until a replacement is found through a 100-day bid process. It can force the carrier to remain in place even if there is little interest from other airlines. SkyWest must conduct at least 12 flights per week.
Airport Manager Dennis Hext says customers have been incredibly supportive of the facility and people are flying at rates higher than before the pandemic began.
Hext stresses the SkyWest decision is due to labor shortages and not market dynamics.