Air Service Selection Process Expedited
Today, the Cities of Pierre and Watertown were informed by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (USDOT) that it’s expediting the process to find the two cities a new air carrier.
At the request of Pierre and Watertown, on Jan. 15, the USDOT began soliciting proposals to replace California Pacific Airlines (CP Air), the airline that holds the federal Essential Air Service (EAS) contract for the two communities. Originally, the USDOT asked that all airline proposals be submitted by Feb. 13. At the request of the cities, that deadline has been moved up to Jan. 30.
Pierre Mayor Steve Harding says that this change is really good news for Pierre.
“The sooner we can get this process moving, the sooner we can restore reliable air service to Central South Dakota,” said Mayor Harding.
Watertown Mayor Sarah Caron echoed those comments.
“We can’t control the airlines, but we can control how we react to poor service,” said Mayor Caron. “We are working together to do everything we can to remedy the situation as quickly as we can.”
Yesterday, Jan.17, 2019, CP Air cancelled all flights serving both Pierre and Watertown. There is no information indicating that service will resume.
People who are directly impacted by the cancellations should contact CP Air directly at 1.855.505.9394 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Impacted travelers can also visit transportation.gov/airconsumer for additional resources.
The USDOT leads the EAS contracting process by calling for proposals from airlines interested in serving the Pierre and Watertown markets and ultimately choosing the winning proposal. The USDOT gives EAS communities, like Pierre and Watertown, the opportunity to review the proposals and make a recommendation.