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Published December 17, 2011, 05:28 PM

Planes Take Off Again At Devils Lake Airport

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Flights have resumed at the Devils Lake Airport. Great Lakes Aviation is flying to and from the terminal, much earlier than expected.

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Flights have resumed at the Devils Lake Airport. Great Lakes Aviation is flying to and from the terminal, much earlier than expected.

Saturday's two round trip flights to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport came as a surprise to Devils Lake Airport Manager John Nord.

"We were looking at January 1st probably as our best date, and wow, all of a sudden things just fell into place really quick," Devils Lake Airport Manager John Nord said.

There has been just four flights in and out of the airport since December 1st. Delta retired the smaller planes it once used and started flying bigger jets. But the airport's runways just weren't long enough.

So the airline started bussing people to other airports.

"We were running basically taxis back and forth to Grand Forks primarily, but some to Jamestown also," Nord said.

Passengers flying in and out of the Devils Lake terminal Saturday say they're happy a deal was reached with Great Lakes Aviation in time for holiday travels.

"We're just glad to have it here," passenger Tim Senger said.

"It's much nicer to just fly directly from Minneapolis," passenger Stephanie Martinson said.

Once in Minneapolis, the flights connect to Delta. Delta's old planes had room for 30 passengers. Great Lakes Aviation planes hold 19.

"The big difference there was, we were sharing the 30 seat Saab (airplanes) with Jamestown, and now we've got out own direct flights back and forth, so essentially we've picked up more seats," Nord added.

"Yeah, I think it's a little bit faster too," Martinson said.

Great Lakes will soon be under a two year contract with the airport. The airline hopes to add a third round trip flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul by February 1st.

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