Good numbers from M.C. Airport (Globe Gazette editorial)

2013-08-26T23:56:00Z Good numbers from M.C. Airport (Globe Gazette editorial) Mason City Globe Gazette
August 26, 2013 11:56 pm

We’ve always maintained that a thriving airport is crucial to North Iowa’s transportation system and thus important to the region’s economy.

It’s one of the links in that transportation system along with the major highways and rail service that serve our area.

So while we’re disappointed that more people aren’t using the Mason City Municipal Airport for passenger service, it’s good to see numbers rebounding.

A major dropoff occurred after Great Lakes Airlines, based in Wyoming, replaced giant Delta Airlines as Mason City’s carrier in April 2012.

In January 2013, it was reported the number of passengers boarding planes here dropped from 11,424 in 2011 to 5,879 in 2012 — nearly a 50 percent decrease.

It’s hard to determine for sure what caused the huge dropoff.

Airport Manager Pam Osgood attributed it to the lack of pilots because of a federal regulation; the airline recently reported it still was 15 pilots short.

Or perhaps it was fare increases, or the lack of frequent flier miles that Delta offered but Great Lakes doesn’t.

Still, Great Lakes gets the job done, providing flights to Minneapolis that allow connections to the rest of the country and the world.

And numbers are coming back, not rapidly but coming back.

In May, there were 253 passengers boarding in Mason City; in June, 310; in July, 332.

Hopefully that increase will continue as the airport remains viable for even more air travelers.

In the meantime, the airport has garnered good marks in a federal inspection, going discrepancy-free for the seventh year in a row, and has received federal funding for a variety of projects. And, said Osgood, Bumbleberrry restaurant has proven successful where other operators have failed.

So we’re pleased with what’s happening at the airport, and we encourage its use by businesses and the public.

We don’t relish the idea of driving to Minneapolis and parking our car there when it’s so easy to fly locally.

We agree with Osgood: At least look into flying out of Mason City first.

— Send your letters to news @globegazette.com or Box 271, Mason City, IA 50402-0271.

Copyright 2015 Mason City Globe Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(13) Comments

  1. Jake7777
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    Jake7777 - August 29, 2013 1:22 pm
    @scotty: Your bank makes its money in America but is outsourcing jobs to India. So the next time you and your banker buddies get yourselves in trouble, are you going to ask the American government or the Indian government for the bail-out money?
  2. Jake7777
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    Jake7777 - August 29, 2013 10:51 am
    @scotty: A true American banker. You make your money in North Iowa and go to Chicago to spend it. Like your bank makes its money in America and sends the jobs to India. Your bank's charter ought to be revoked and all your money-grubbing hind-ends sent to Mumbai. Make your money there, spend it there, stay there.
  3. Scotsman
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    Scotsman - August 27, 2013 9:44 pm
    "waste a hour park, checkin. . . . another hour to work your way thru airport."

    I agree that while the actual time in the air can be efficient, the time invested before and after the flight can be absurd. This, on top of getting strapped into a confining seat and hoping for no traffic flow delays or weather delays. This is why I'm a big proponent of inter-city passenger rail between medium-to-large city pairs - aside from the fact that rail is the most civilized way to travel.
  4. Scotsman
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    Scotsman - August 27, 2013 9:24 pm
    JB: the flights I referenced above took place BEFORE I owned a car. I moved here in the last week of July 2012, but it took a couple of weeks to get licensed, obtain insurance, and (grudgingly) buy a car. In the city, I prefer public transit - trains and buses. It's far easier to take trains around than to drive the expressways and streets - additionally, parking was a royal pain. As Red State mentioned above: "climate change and global warming"

  5. JB Johnson of Britt
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    JB Johnson of Britt - August 27, 2013 8:03 pm
    why did you fly? You can drive to Elmhurst in about 5.75 hours. Takes 1.75 to get to Rochester, waste a hour park, checkin. 1.25 flight and another hour to work your way thru airport. You are within 1 to 1.5 hours of drive time and you set your own time table. You can have all the BS of dealing with airports. Looks to much like how hogs and cattle are moved on way to kill house.
    Download a good audiobook and the miles melt away
  6. Scotsman
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    Scotsman - August 27, 2013 4:41 pm
    Correct. In May and June of 2012, I got stranded in Minneapolis TWICE and had to spring for a hotel room, food, etc.
  7. jhood
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    jhood - August 27, 2013 2:18 pm
    The price for two people to fly to and from MSP is over $300, closer to $400. You can park a long time and buy a lot of gas for that. You will also never get stuck sitting up over night because you flight home was cancelled. Sorry, I drive and park now.
  8. JB Johnson of Britt
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    JB Johnson of Britt - August 27, 2013 12:42 pm
    How many TSA agents are on staff there for 10 people a day? Waterloo is 75 miles away, Rochester is 80/90 miles, Fort Dodge is in the mix and anyone north of state line is going to Mlps. South of hwy 3 goes to DSM. Sure it is nice but we are 17 trillion in the hole. Be different if ticket reflected true cost
  9. Scotsman
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    Scotsman - August 27, 2013 11:18 am
    You can't imagine the vast number of meetings that ARE handled by phone, but this trip is not just for meetings. Aside from an office visit, I'm attending a farewell get-together for a handful of bank colleagues whom I began working with several years ago. Their jobs are being relocated to Mumbai, India. Additionally, I can't let a visit to a large amped-up city go to waste. I'm staying for a few days to go, do, see, eat, drink like I used to while living there. Have fun here.
  10. RED STATE
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    RED STATE - August 27, 2013 10:54 am
    Scots- climate change and global warming -- Skype it instead.
  11. Scotsman
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    Scotsman - August 27, 2013 9:44 am
    It's a mixed bag. While the flying crew has always been professional and friendly, the type of plane utilized is noisy and it's not always easy to maintain a comfortable internal temperature. It was hard to let go of Delta jet service. I think driving to Minneapolis or Des Moines is a good option if you prefer not to have a layover to wait for a second flight. Tomorrow, I'm driving to Rochester to catch a flight to Chicago. Well worth the drive there to get to O'Hare.
  12. Angelclaire54
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    Angelclaire54 - August 27, 2013 8:40 am
    I am writing about the Mason City Airport I encourage people in our communities to use it. In the last couple of years I have flown out of MC several times to Minneapolis and have had a most wonderful experience. First to have the convenience of a local airport is amazing and a time and stress saver. The people there are helpful and professional and the cost added to my ticket was much cheaper than driving and parking cost to either Des Moines or Minneapolis. Check out MC you won't disappointed!
  13. JB Johnson of Britt
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    JB Johnson of Britt - August 27, 2013 8:23 am
    to put 332 in context, that's 10 a day
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