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Published June 13, 2012, 06:13 PM

Devils Lake Officials Say Washington Meeting With Great Lakes Airlines Went Well

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Representatives from the Devils Lake airport are back from Washington D.C. They say talks with Great Lakes Airlines went well after addressing concerns with its air service to the city.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Representatives from the Devils Lake airport are back from Washington D.C. They say talks with Great Lakes Airlines went well after addressing concerns with its air service to the city.

Reps from the airport met with the president and CEO of Great Lakes Airlines. They say they should know how the company plans to improve flight service to Devils Lake by the end of the week.

Mayor Dick Johnson says six months is more than enough time to iron out the kinks in air service.

"We were having inconsistent flights, 16-17 percent cancellations. Not weather-related, but mechanical is another issue," Johnson said.

Johnson and Airport Director John Nord addressed their concerns to Great Lakes in person, with a little help from lawmakers.

"I've got to believe if I was part of the Great Lakes or the Delta that was there and I was meeting with two senators, a representative and the Lt. Governor, I would feel somewhat, a little bit nervous," Nord said.

They say the talks went well. The congressional delegation gave Great Lakes until this Friday to present a plan to fix problems with air service.

"In defense of Great Lakes Airlines, after the meeting they were very positive. They understood the issues and I guess they made a commitment to take care of them," Johnson said.

Devils Lake is the first of eleven airports in which the airline plans to provide flights to Minneapolis. The rapid expansion means its resources are stretched thin, but local reps were assured the company is working to fix the problem.

Devils Lake has offered to discontinue one of its three flights to free up resources, a flight that stops in Thief River Falls before hitting the Twin Cities.

"It's one of the options we are discussing. What we would prefer is non-stop service to Minneapolis," Nord said.

Devils Lake reps were joined by a delegation from the Jamestown airport, who are experiencing similar problems with Great Lakes Airlines.

Boardings are down about 50 percent from last year, but Nord is confident numbers will return to normal once flights become dependable again.

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