ST. CLOUD -- Today in our series "Whatever happened with that?" we take a look at St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis' proposal for creating a Regional Airport Authority to operate the St. Cloud Regional Airport.


It's no secret there has been an ongoing effort to attract daily air service to the St. Cloud Airport. So far, no sustainable business model has been found.

Mayor Kleis has been proposing to Stearns, Benton and Sherburne Counties that they agree to a Regional Airport Authority to finance and operate the St. Cloud Airport. But so far, the counties have been reluctant to sign-on to any agreement.

The Greater St. Cloud Development Authority applied for a $250,000 state grant to conduct a market study. GSDC President Patti Gartland says they need facts to present to the counties...

We agreed as the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation to lead an effort to get a third party, independent, market-based study and strategic plan pulled together using airline, airport and economic development expertise to help look at what makes sense.

Kleis says they hope to have a consultant hired in the next month or so and then have something to present to the county boards by next fall...

At which time the consultant is hired, they will do the study and give it to the counties.  Once the counties have that information, I'll be back asking them again...'Now that you have the information about the airport and what that information tells you, are you willing to create an airport authority?'

Kleis believes a Regional Airport Authority better represents the region which is impacted by the airport and will also help attract more support at the state and federal levels for daily air service.