Chicago flights restored at FD airport

More roundtrips to be in place at end of November

-Messenger file photo
Randy Aponte, ramp agent for Sky West, signals the Sky West point for take off at the Fort Dodge Regional Airport in February.

Fort Dodge Regional Airport will once again have two flights to Chicago on most days, beginning at the end of this month.

United Express is reinstating a second roundtrip to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Rhonda Chambers, the local airport’s director of aviation, reported Friday.

That increase will be effective Nov. 30, she said.

United Express, operated by Skywest Airlines, had reduced its Fort Dodge to Chicago service on July 1.

The airline had also offered service to Denver, That service is not being restored at this time.

United Express is restoring some of its Fort Dodge service in time to accommodate the busy holiday travel season while still dealing with a nationwide pilot shortage.

According to Chambers, that shortage caused the reduction in the first place.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with Fort Dodge,’ she said. “It had to do with a national shortage of pilots.”

In March, the airline issued a notice stating that it would terminate service to Fort Dodge and 28 other communities it serves with financial assistance from the federal government’s Essential Air Service program. That program provides money to ensure that airlines continue to serve smaller cities. The federal government will require United Express to keep serving Fort Dodge until a replacement is found.

On Friday, Chambers said the airline plans to fulfill its contract by serving Fort Dodge through March 2024.

United Express began serving Fort Dodge in March 2021, initially with flights to Chicago. In October 2021, it began providing flights to Denver as well.

For the latest flight schedule information or to book tickets, visit united.com.

Taxiway job wins honor

A recently completed project at Fort Dodge Regional Airport has won a paving industry honor.

The reconstruction of one of the taxiways that link the runways to the apron in front of the terminal has been awarded the Smoothness Award from the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa.

The award will be presented Dec. 1.

The award recognizes exactly what its name suggests — the smoothness of the paving.

Rhonda Chambers,the airport’s director of aviation, said taxiways are held to higher standards than roads. She said there cannot be any ridges or imperfections in the surface.

The taxiway job was designed by McClure Engineering Co, of Fort Dodge. JB Holland Construction Inc., of Decorah, was the general contractor with Fort Dodge Asphalt Co. as a subcontractor.


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