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Dickinson airport awarded Essential Air Service contract

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers announced today that the Department of Transportation has awarded an Essential Air Service contract for United Airlines to continue flights at the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport.

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Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport. (Press file photo)

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers announced today that the Department of Transportation has awarded an Essential Air Service contract for United Airlines to continue flights at the Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport.
"We are pleased that DOT has selected United Airlines to continue serving the Dickinson community," Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D. said. "Dependable air travel is necessary to ensure the vitality of the local economy and is important to maintaining the high quality of life people in this community expect."
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. reflected those sentiments on Tuesday.

"Essential Air Service is a critical support for communities like Dickinson, and flights between Dickinson and Denver will continue to strengthen our economies, support local jobs, and keep folks connected," she said.

The DOT currently subsidizes commuter and certified air carriers in 115 communities in the lower 48 states that would otherwise not receive any scheduled air services.

Under the new $4.1 million contract, United Airlines will provide 12 weekly flights to Denver on a 50 seat regional jet, ERJ-145, through Sept. 30, 2018.
Jon Frantsvog, chairman of the Dickinson Airport Authority, said that continuing a contract with United Airlines means a seamless contract transition.

"What was advertised was a continuation of the service that was already in place," he said. "The only changes we would see would be the changes that United would have made anyway."

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Over two months ago, Frantsvog, airport manager Kelly Braun, Dickinson City Administrator Shawn Kessel and Dickinson mayor Scott Decker sat down to look over the four bids that were received.

Frantsvog said United's proposal "was far and away the better proposal for us."

With delegates moving forward quickly on getting the contract signed and approved through DOT, Frantsvog said the transition will be unnoticeable.

"It never hurts to have a senator or two or a representative looking over their shoulders," he said. "We've appreciated that our delegation sees the importance of Dickinson. We are fortunate to have that support."

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John Hoeven

Related Topics: DICKINSONHEIDI HEITKAMP
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