Montana Standard: Feds choose SkyWest

SkyWest Airlines was chosen Thursday to serve Butte’s Bert Mooney Airport under the federal Essential Air Service program.

It is welcome, though long-coming news for airport director Pat Shea.

“It puts not only us but the community at ease,” he said. “Now people can relax and we can go forward in a normal fashion. We’ve just been in limbo for too long.”

Shea said the SkyWest employees who work in Butte are also relieved that they will remain employed locally.

Both of Montana’s U.S. senators, Max Baucus and Jon Tester, had asked the DOT to quit dragging its feet and decide the matter. It had been nearly six months since Delta Air Lines apprised Butte and the DOT that it wished to pull out of the market.

Tester echoed those sentiments.

“Keeping Butte businesses and families connected is important for jobs and businesses,” he said in a release. “Accessible, efficient air service means small businesses can expand and more visitors will enjoy Montana.”

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