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Houghton Board Discusses Airport Flight Problems

Growing dissatisfaction with airline service in and out of Houghton County Memorial Airport dominated discussion at last night’s Houghton County Board meeting.

The problem isn’t on our end – it’s in Chicago, which serves as the destination hub for SkyWest flights. Jeff Radcliffe from the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance said frequent delays and cancellations at O’Hare Airport are causing local flyers to bypass our airport…

Airport manager Dennis Hext said he’s well aware of the problems, but admitted that neither local officials nor the federal government have any control over what hub SkyWest uses. The Department of Transportation has no authority to force them to change to Detroit or Minneapolis.

SkyWest has been the only airline that has bid on providing federally subsidized flights out of the Copper Country for the past six years or more.

The deadline for airlines to submit bids for the next two-year cycle is next month. The board endorsed a letter that will be sent to the Department of Transportation for submission during the public comment period that will follow the deadline, expressing its support for a hub change.

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