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Air Service In Pierre Continues To Suffer

January 24, 2014, 6:49 AM

Air Service In Pierre Continues To Suffer
PIERRE, SD -

About one-fifth of all flights in and out of South Dakota's capital city are being canceled because of a pilot shortage, and city officials say they're trying to resolve the problem.

Federal regulations that took effect last August require co-pilots to log 1,500 flight hours, rather than the previous 250 hours, and pass the Air Transport Pilot exam before they can work for commercial airlines. That has hurt Great Lakes Airlines, which connects Pierre to Minneapolis and Denver.

Mayor Laurie Gill says unreliable air service is one of the biggest issues facing the city. She says Great Lakes is working with the Federal Aviation Administration to resolve the issue, and city officials have spoken with federal Transportation Department officials and members of the state's congressional delegation.

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