Fort Dodge New Air Service to Chicago and St. Louis

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An Air Choice One flight lands at Fort Dodge Airport ( Roger Riley WHO-HD photo)

An Air Choice One flight lands at Fort Dodge Airport ( Roger Riley WHO-HD photo)

FORT DODGE, Iowa — New flight service began this week from Fort Dodge to Chicago and St. Louis.  The community has been without air service since Great Lakes Air left town due to a lack of pilots.This week Air Choice One began providing four flights to St. Louis daily, and one flight per day to Chicago, Monday through Friday. This is the first time in the past 20 years Fort Dodge has service to two air service hubs.

“There’s a lot of excitement about bringing Air Choice One to Ft Dodge,” said Rhonda Chambers, Airport Director for the city of Fort Dodge. “Air Choice One is allowing us to go to Chicago and St Louis, most of our flights are direct to St Louis.”

Chambers said such air service is important to Fort Dodge. “Air service is essential to economic development,” said Chambers. Our rural communities across the United States and Iowa need to have access to air service,” added Chambers. “It’s a major driver for businesses and economic development for our communities.”

Chambers said there was a silver lining to not having air service for a year.  It gave the airport a chance to complete a $1.3 million renovation of the terminal. The funding was done with 90% federal dollars, with a 10 % local match.

“It’s taken about 10 years to get the terminal renovation project completed, and we actually went toward the ramp side by 15 feet,” said Chambers. She added most of the work was done by Fort Dodge area contractors.  It included new doors to enter and leave the terminal from the ramp, and more space for the TSA to work with boarding passengers.

The city kicked off the first day of flying this past Monday with a big celebration with around 300 people in attendance.

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