Created: Thu, 26 Jun 2014 06:15:00 CST
Updated: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 10:35:25 CST
Despite attempts, the Kearney Regional Airport has not been able to land a new carrier, and it could keep their flights grounded in the future.
For the last few years the city of Kearney has been trying to get a contract with a new airline. Kearney's current air service provider, Great Lakes Airlines was the only airline to make a bid. But over the past year they have been struggling to find enough pilots due to new regulations by the Federal Aviation Administration that increase the number of hours pilots must have to fly certain planes.
Assistant City Manager Suzanne Brodine says Great Lakes has proposed to reduce the number of seats from 19 to 9. Even with the reduction in seats, Kearney could still struggle to make 10,000 boardings, the required amount to qualify for the essential air service subsidy. Brodine says without the subsidy, the airport would no longer be able to support commercial flights.
The city has to submit a proposal to the Department of Transportation by July 14th. The department will consider it for 30 days before they make their decision.