SkyWest Airlines to file for termination of contract with Devils Lake Airport
The airline is filing with the DOT to pull service from 29 airports. Dennis Olson, chairman of the Devils Lake Regional Airport Authority, confirmed that the Jamestown Regional Airport is also on this list.
DEVILS LAKE — SkyWest Airlines has notified officials in Devils Lake it will be filing a 90-day notice with the U.S. Department of Transportation to end service to the Devils Lake Regional Airport.
The airline is filing with the DOT to pull service from 29 airports. Dennis Olson, chairman of the Devils Lake Regional Airport Authority, confirmed that the Jamestown Regional Airport is on the list.
Olson said the airline has been facing an ongoing pilot shortage.
“It’s been steadily getting worse and worse and has finally come to a head for them,” he said. “Up to this point, SkyWest has been very good with us. They’re a great airline to work with.”
In 2020, the airline renewed its contract to provide service to the Devils Lake Regional Airport as part of the DOT Essential Air Service program, which ensures passengers from rural areas have access to the national air traffic system. The contract runs out in June 2023.
“The DOT will make the determination on what happens,” said Scott Cruse, airport manager.
Olson says the 90-day notice does not mean the airline will completely stop service to Devils Lake.
“We’ve got 90 days to come up with some solutions, and we may be able to eliminate one of our daily flights and still continue service,” he said. “Those are things we’ll be looking at in the next 90 days.”
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is working to ensure service continues in Devils Lake and Jamestown, his office confirmed late Thursday afternoon.
“We are working with the local communities and the Department of Transportation to ensure continued reliable air service to the communities of Jamestown and Devils Lake, and will be petitioning DOT to ensure there is continued air service to these airports without any disruptions,” a representative from Hoeven's office said in an email.
SkyWest is the only commercial provider in Devils Lake, and has been providing service to Denver since 2014. At present, SkyWest offers 12 round-trip flights per week to the Denver International Airport.
“Ridership has been steadily climbing again since the pandemic ended, so to speak, and it’s going to have a huge impact on the community,” said Olson.