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St. Cloud Airport Bucking Trend of Reduced Air Service at Regional Airports

St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, Airport Director Bill Towle, and Chair of the Greater St.Cloud Development Corporation Al Kremers. Photo by’s Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD — As St. Cloud Airport prepares to start daily flights to and from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport Tuesday, they are bucking a recent trend that shows smaller airports are losing air service.

The difference may be a federal grant worth $750,000 to help subsidize the service in the first year. Only government-subsidized air service to rural communities has been increasing according to the Government Accountability Office.

Marketing Consultant Jamie Bestgen has been part of the core group who have worked to secure the Chicago flights. She says the grant was important to prevent any losses in that first year.  Bestgen says while sustainability is important, their challenge now is to get the word out on the new air service.

The federal grant comes with a $250,000 local match and Bestgen says they are getting closer to reaching that fundraising goal.

United Express will begin offering the flights following tomorrow’s ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 p.m.

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