St. Cloud Leaders still pushing for passenger air service

St. Cloud Leaders still pushing for passenger air service Click to Enlarge Photo:

Jun 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

ST. CLOUD, MN (KNSI) – The push to restore passenger air service at St. Cloud Regional Airport is progressing as a drive to hit $5 million in pledges to buy tickets on planned St. Cloud to Chicago flights is nearly complete. 

Mayor Dave Kleis says the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation is very close to hitting the $5 million goal they established earlier this year, he says nearly 200 local business and individuals are committing to those flights, and that's money that could make all the difference in talks to get an airline partner back in the airport.

"We've had very strong favorable meetings with airlines," Kleis said.  "Our commitment is to have scheduled air service from St. Cloud. That's the goal."

In fact, more meetings are set for this week as representatives from the airport as well as the Development Corporation are in Sacramento this week meeting with airlines. 

 "We've actually had some follow-up meetings so we've already gone through this process," Kleis said. "They'll be having a conversation with airlines and continuing that process."

Also available for the carrier who signs on, more than $1 million in funds raised through a federal grant and local government. 

Kleis says a finalized deal with anyone is probably still months away, but if all goes well, the hum of jet engines could once again fill the St. Cloud skies by early next year.

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