Dodge City commissioners on Monday approved a new Essential Air Service provider for Dodge City Airport.

According to Dodge City Airport manager Corey Keller, through the Airport Advisory Board and the Airline Selection Committee, it was recommended that the city approve the new EAS as SkyWest Airways.

"On June 13, 2019, the (Department Of Transportation) sent out proposals and at that time we got three proposals," Keller said.

The first proposal was from Boutique Air (current Dodge City EAS provider), that offered the same service they currently provide which is 18 weekly round-trip flights utilizing an eight-seat Pilatus PC12 and a total annual subsidy for $3,621,182.

The second proposal was from Denver Air Connection and offered 12 round-trip flights each week with an adjusted schedule to meet the services demand.

The DAC would be for a 30-seat passenger jet and a total annual subsidy for $4,414,466.

The third proposal came from SkyWest Airways with an offer of 12 round-trip flights each week and a morning flight shared with Liberal and the second flight not shared.

Dodge City would receive the direct flight to Denver with a 50-seat capacity jet.

The subsidy for SkyWest Airways would be for $3,774,652 annually to the federal DOT.

"Since 2014 we have seen a drastic decline in our enplanements at the airport," Keller said. "Boutique came in and they have done an excellent job of rebuilding that service.

"In visiting with them the enplanements continue to grow and they continue to move forward but what we're looking at here is a jet service that we haven't had at the airport for a long time and to continue on the growth and stability we need at our airport, SkyWest was felt to be the most reliable."

The service would allow the Dodge City Airport to have worldwide prices not just from Dodge City to Denver.

"We will see low prices all over the United States," Keller said. "And even into other countries."

According to Dodge City Commissioner Ken Smoll, the SkyWest jet would start in Liberal with passengers on board that would come to Dodge City then a direct flight from Dodge City to Denver. Making Dodge City always having a direct flight.

Average ticket fares would be $75 one-way.

Commissioners approved the recommendation of SkyWest Airways for the new EAS unanimously with a 5-0 vote.

The city commission also approved the demolition of several structures in Dodge City.

According to Dodge City director of administration Ryan Reid, some of the structures were set for demolition because of fire damage that occurred and was identified by city development services.

The other structure demolitions will be for the future CREW building going in on Park Street.

The structures approved for demolition are located at 1409 Park St.; 1411 Park St.; 1001 Avenue F; 911 Avenue D; 201 E. McArtor Lot 60; 925 May Drive; and the restroom building at the VFW Park.

The low bid for the demolition was from G&G Dozer for $58,320 and it will do the demolitions as one whole project as opposed to individually.

The projects are estimated to begin in the fall of this year.

Bids for the Park Street locations were $25,600, with the other properties totaling $32,720.

There is $43,000 budgeted for demolition projects this year from the development services.

City commissioners approved the demolition bid unanimously with a 5-0 vote.

 

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.