New era in Watertown’s commercial air service begins today (Audio)

Mike Tanner/KWAT Radio

July 1, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown has gone through many changes in commercial air service in recent years.

Airlines like Great Lakes Aviation, Aerodynamics Incorporated, and the short-lived California Pacific Airlines have come and gone, and now a new era starts today.

Passengers flying out of Watertown Regional Airport will have two destinations, and two airlines from which to choose.

Denver Air Connection, which was awarded a two-year contract to serve Watertown under the federal government’s Essential Air Service program, begins service to Denver and Chicago today.

The previous contract holder, SkyWest Airlines, lost the bid to retain the federally-subsidized service, but they’ll continue serving Watertown, at least for the short term.

Denver Air Connection co-founder Glen Rich tells KWAT News it’s unusual for two commercial airlines to be serving a market this size…

Both Denver Air Connection and SkyWest are flying non-stop jet routes to Denver International Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.