Commuter Air Service Could Begin in October

Commuter Air Service Could Begin in October
By: Ryan Tate

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - According Cape Girardeau Regional Airport Manager Bruce Loy, commuter air service could return to southeast Missouri in October.

It has been more than four months since the airport lost RegionsAir American Connection, and its flights to and from St. Louis.  RegionsAir began cancelling flights because of problems with the Federal Aviation Administration.  Shortly after, the Cape Girardeau city council approved plans to replace RegionsAir with Big Sky Airlines. 

Blue Sky Airlines agreed to continue operations, with round trip flights to Cincinnati.  That was supposed to begin in June.

"The real issue has been essentially the difficulty in getting pilots. The larger airlines are having pilot shortages and they recruit from the smaller airlines," Loy said.
According to Loy, he spoke with Big Sky Airlines President Fred DeLeeuw Monday, and said Big Sky will bring Delta Connection to the airport in October.  Loy expects Big Sky to arrive in a few weeks to begin work on the ticket counter, and Delta signs.
"I think we will give people some sign that we might not have bodies around here, but we'll have some sign the airline is coming," Loy said.
Loy suspects the C.G.R.A. began commuter service in the 1950's.  It could be as much as six months between flights for commuters if Big Sky begins service in October.
"Big Sky is definitely coming to town. I know there was some fear, but they are coming to Cape Girardeau," Loy said.
Loy said under the essential air service agreement, RegionsAir should have continued service until Big Sky could take over, but that didn't happen.