MASON CITY — The Mason City Airport Commission this afternoon approved recommending to the US Department of Transportation that they reject two bids from air carriers under the Essential Air Service program as the airport continues to work with current provider SkyWest on keeping their United Express service to the community.

Airport Manager David Sims says the proposals came from Southern Airways, a Palm Beach Florida airline that recently purchased the airport’s previous air provider Air Choice One, and San Francisco-based Boutique Air.

Sims and his staff have been reviewing the proposals after the last six weeks, there were concerns that led to a recommendation to reject them.   “I would recommend that we ask the DOT to reject both of the proposals that we have on the basis of the subsidy rates are not competitive enough and would jeopardize air service here, and allow us to continue working with SkyWest to continue their service as United Express to Mason City.”

The Mason City airport agreed to work with SkyWest in the short term to reduce the number of flights serving Mason City as they are experiencing a pilot shortage which the company believes can be remedied by later this year. 

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