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Report: Small Airports Losing More Air Service [AUDIO]

St. Cloud Regional Airport

ST. CLOUD – Airlines are focusing more attention on big airports, leaving smaller regional airports behind.  That’s the results of a new study released by the think tank organization Minnesota 2020.

They released their findings today (Monday) while standing in the now empty St. Cloud Regional Airport terminal.  Not encouraging news for an airport trying to convince an airline to invest in them.  St. Cloud was recently awarded a $750,000 federal grant to help try to attract a new airline, with regular service to Chicago and other destinations.

Spokesman Conrad deFiebre says 98 percent of Minnesotans now fly out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

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deFiebre says their group is recommending the state reduce aircraft registration fees, and raise the aviation fuel tax.

deFiebre made the announcement while flanked by about a dozen aviation students from St. Cloud State University.  That’s another blow facing the St. Cloud Regional Airport.  The instructional program provides about 49% of the flights at the airport, but it has been marked for elimination by SCSU.  deFiebre says he’s hoping MnSCU Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will reconsider the decision to close the program.

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