More Boardings Needed to Maintain TRF Delta ServiceUse it or lose it. That's the message from Thief River falls city leaders on the city's commercial air service. The airport will have to increase it's boarding numbers if it wants to keep the two Delta flights to Minneapolis.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
Use it or lose it. That's the message from Thief River falls city leaders on the city's commercial air service.
The airport will have to increase it's boarding numbers if it wants to keep the two Delta flights to Minneapolis.
Currently, the Delta service out of Thief River Falls averages just under 10 riders per day. That might not be enough to keep commercial air service there in the near feature.
The airport terminal just received a $500,000 makeover. From floor to ceiling, most everything has been redone, even the roof.
"They are more inclined to fly out of here if they are comfortable and impressed with the facilities that we have here," airport manager Joe Hedrick said.
Hedrick and city leaders are hoping the remodel will increase boardings. The Delta air service is subsidized by a program called "Essential Air Service." It's federal money from user fees used to maintain service to smaller hubs like Thief River Falls.
The government may soon require boardings to be at least 10 people a day to keep the program going. Hedrick says the normal boardings for the Delta flights are between 8 and 10 people.
City leaders fear it they don't increase that average, they would lose their commercial service.
Mayor Steve Nordhagen says the city is trying to get the word out to residents that their air service could soon be a use or lose.
"There is a lot of stuff in the works, not only did we remodel the terminal, we are also going to revamp our entire runway and bring it up to state of the art facilities," Nordhagen said.