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Great Lakes Airlines adds a third flight out of Dickinson on Sunday

DICKINSON - Due in part to a record number of passengers over the last couple of months, Great Lakes Airlines has added an additional flight to its Sunday schedule.

The flight, which started July 13, is a round-trip flight starting in Denver, landing in Dickinson, continuing on to Williston and back to Denver.

"They just added it for extra capacity to help out Williston and Dickinson both with the capacity with the oil industry up here," Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport Manager Matthew Remynse said.

Currently the airport has three flights Monday through Friday and one on Saturday. Previously, there had been two Sunday flights. Now there will be three.

"We always had two flights and to add the third one really adds a lot more capacity and a lot more opportunities for passengers to get out on time," Remynse said.

Remynse said the additional Sunday flight will help because it tends to be a busy day at the airport.

"It's a good day because a lot of people are trying to go out a day earlier to get where they need to go," Remynse said. "Or you know they're done with the weekend and they're trying to fly home now. Sundays are always very busy."

The majority of the airport's traffic comes from the oil industry. Remynse said oil company employees are constantly coming in and out of the Dickinson area, or flying from Dickinson to Williston.

In fact, Remynse said they were trying to get Great Lakes to add a fourth flight to the schedule for Monday through Friday in order to accommodate the increase in business.

The additional Sunday flight was a surprise.

"That's what we'd like to see, is a fourth round trip during the week to help out with capacity and provide more opportunities for passengers to get out," Remynse said. "This one actually they just kind of surprised us and put it into the rotation. ... We've been trying to get a fourth flight and then all of a sudden ... the airline manager came and said we've got a third roundtrip on Sundays now."

Remynse said the people of Dickinson have been increasingly responsive to the improvements in the services provided at the airport and the numbers reflect that.

In May and June of this year, 758 and 752 passengers flew out of the Dickinson airport, which surpassed the record of 738 set in July 2007. Remynse said they have seen about a 7 percent increase in passengers from last year.

"We're very competitive with Bismarck as far as price," Remynse said. "Bismarck may be a little less expensive, but when you factor in your gas and stuff we're very competitive."

Remynse said if business continues to increase he doesn't see a problem with more flights possibly being added in the future.

"If we have a greater demand we have to express that to Great Lakes," Remynse said. "And they've been pretty responsive to that."