ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud will not be getting a $500,000 federal grant to help attract an air carrier to the St. Cloud Regional Airport.

Airport Director Bill Towle says they're in a better position now than they were a year ago at this time.  He says the number of people flying has been increasing across the country, including an 8% increase at Minneapolis-St. Paul this year.  He says that means airlines are ready to start expanding again.

Local leaders started a pledge drive back in July hoping to collect $2.2 million in pledges in an effort to attract an air carrier here.  Towel says they've since shifted their focus and are now going after a more established regional carrier that wouldn't require the pledges.

Delta Airlines pulled out of St. Cloud about a year ago.  The airport has been without regular service since then.