By JIM ANDERSON
IRON MOUNTAIN - SkyWest Airlines is scheduled to take over as the passenger carrier at Dickinson County's Ford Airport on Dec. 15.
Kay Pascoe, county controller, reported the tentative starting date at Monday's meeting of the county board.
SkyWest, operating with a Delta Airlines code share and using 50-seat Canadair Regional Jet 200 aircraft, will provide a minimum of 13 round trips a week to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Seven of those Dickinson County flights will be nonstop and the others will have stops in Rhinelander, Wis.
Delta Connection will remain the Essential Air Service (EAS) carrier at Ford Airport until SkyWest begins full service, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
Because SkyWest will be operating as a Delta-designated carrier, passengers can continue to handle their flight reservations through Delta, Pascoe said. The only significant change will be a switch from Detroit to Minneapolis-St. Paul as the hub.
SkyWest was selected as the Essential Air Service carrier at Ford Airport in a DOT order issued in September. The St. George, Utah-based airline submitted an EAS proposal for Iron Mountain-Kingsford and Rhinelander as a package bid.
The combined annual subsidy for Iron Mountain-Kingsford and Rhinelander is $4.03 million - $2.51 million at Iron Mountain-Kingsford and $1.52 million at Rhinelander. The DOT's order will be in effect for two years after SkyWest begins service. Rhinelander will receive a minimum of 14 nonstop round trips a week.
With a fleet of 321 aircraft, SkyWest operates more than 1,700 flights each day to 161 destinations throughout North America.
Atlanta-based Delta Airlines (or a subsidiary) has been the EAS carrier at Ford Airport since June 2008. In July 2011, the airline gave notice that it intended to leave a number of EAS markets, including Iron Mountain-Kingsford.
EAS is a federal program that subsidizes airlines to serve rural communities that otherwise would not receive scheduled air service.
In other action Monday, the county board:
- Received the 2012 Apportionment Report from Larry Swartout, county equalization director. Property-based taxes paid to all units in the county (municipalities, schools agencies and others) will total $36.7 million, an increase of about $200,000, or 0.5 percent. Real estate values in the county are mostly flat, Swartout noted.
- Authorized U.P. Cleaning and Restoration of Iron Mountain to clean and remove surface mold and replace carpeting in the office of the Circuit Court Parole and Probation office in the correctional center at a cost of up to $500. The office has had problems with leaks from the upper level.
- Heard Chairman Henry Wender report that a public access artesian well near Lake Antoine Park is running dry because the water table is low. Water flows from the pump depending on the water table - the county neither turns the water off or on.
- Authorized County Clerk-Register of Deeds Dolly Cook to close the clerk's office on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.
- Reappointed Andrea S. Anderson of Norway to a five-year term on the Dickinson County Library Board. There were no other applicants.
- Appointed Barbara J. Oliver of East Kingsford to the balance of a term to expire Nov. 1., 2013, on the Dickinson County Human Services Board. There were no other applicants. Oliver currently serves on the board under a separate appointment that expires Oct. 31 and will be filled by a state appointee.
- Noted that vacancies remain on the Western U.P. Substance Abuse Board and the Dickinson County Planning Commission.
Jim Anderson's email address is email@example.com.