Skelton: Fewer seats may mean more departing flights

FAA approval for Great Lakes Airlines to fly planes with fewer passengers may produce more departed flights for the airline at Western Nebraska Regional Airport.

Airport Manager Darwin Skelton says Great Lakes is now being allowed to fly planes with only nine seats instead of 19. Skelton says that obviously means fewer passengers on a flight but it also lifts pilot hour and training restrictions on those flights that have caused so many cancellations at the airport.

Skelton expects nine passenger planes to be used on some of the Scottsbluff to Denver flights as early as this month. He says it will be good for the airport because unused pilots can gain hours for certification plus more flights will be able to depart the airport.

Skelton says only 80 flights departed the airport in January and February, with a disappointing total boarding figure of 734. Skelton says January has averaged 800 boardings by itself over the last few years.

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