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Thief River Falls loses commercial flights

Thief River Falls loses commercial flights Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jan 29, 2014 at 10:13 am

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Great Lake Airlines will be ending Minneapolis flights from Fort Dodge, the only commercial airline service available at the north-central Iowa airport.

The company says it also is suspending service to Mason City in northern Iowa and in Devils Lake and Jamestown, N.D.; Ironwood, Mich.; and Thief River Falls, Minn. The airline is based in Cheyenne, Wyo.

Great Lakes Chief Executive Officer Charles Howell has blamed the moves on a federal requirement that pilots at small airlines have 1,500 hours of experience. That's up from a previous requirement of 500 hours.

The airline says it had 304 pilots a year ago and now has 98, leaving it unable to staff its routes.

Mike Tanner

Posted By Mike Tanner

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