November 16, 2020
WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown’s contract for commercial air service with SkyWest Airlines expires in 2021.
Tonight, the city council will consider whether to extend that contract for three additional years.
SkyWest has applied to continue serving Watertown. Two other airlines, Boutique Air and Key Lime Airlines also are bidding for the service.
In a recommendation in support of SkyWest Airlines, Public Works Manager Heath VonEye says SkyWest’s ability to serve both Chicago and Denver with non-stop jet service, “maximized economic development opportunities.”
If the three year extension with SkyWest is approved tonight, it calls for a federal subsidy of more than $4.3 million per year under the terms of a federal Essential Air Service (EAS) contract.
The EAS program provides federal subsidies to cities with smaller airports to subsidize the costs of providing commercial air service.