Watertown Regional Airport tops 2,100 passenger boardings in September

October 11, 2021
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–Watertown Regional Airport saw nearly 2,200 passenger boardings in September.

Airport Manager Todd Syhre says 1,473 passengers flew with SkyWest Airlines, doing business as United Express, and 703 booked with Denver Air Connection.

The two airlines have been in competition for passengers in Watertown since July 1st.

In the July thru September reporting period, SkyWest has booked 4,995 passengers out of Watertown, compared to 2,246 for Denver Air.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced they will not re-bid Watertown’s Essential Air Service (EAS) contract, which was awarded to Denver Air Connection in April.

SkyWest requested the re-bid, along with Governor Kristi Noem’s office and the city of Watertown.

SkyWest has continued to serve Watertown, even without the federal subsidy the EAS contract carries with it.

Denver Air is under contract to be Watertown’s EAS provider through May 31, 2023.

Both airlines provide non-stop jet service to Denver International Airport and Chicago O’Hare.

Passenger boardings since July 1st:

July: United Express  1,853   Denver Air  800

August: United Express  1,669   Denver Air  743

September: United Express 1,473  Denver Air  703