By Marlena Hartz : Freedom Newspapers
Clovis city commissioners said constituent wishes guided their Thursday endorsement of Great Lakes Aviation as the city’s air service provider.
Their recommendation the Wyoming-based airline provide flights to and from Clovis will be sent to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which will decide in March what airline gets a federal subsidy to serve Clovis.
Hawaiian-based Pacific Wings Airlines also wants the subsidy to provide Clovis air service.
Pacific Wings offers nine-seat flights, while Great Lakes offers 19-seat flights. Pacific Wings flies unpressurized, turboprop Cessna Caravans, and Great Lakes flies pressurized Beechcraft 1900Ds.
“The outcry that I heard from the community is, ‘Please don’t go to a smaller plane,’” City Commissioner Randy Crowder said during Thursday’s city commission meeting.
Federal statutes dictate that essential air service routes are served by pressurized aircraft with 15 or more passenger seats, unless communities waive their right to such service, or no such service is available.
“Not one person said, ‘I don’t want Great Lakes,’” City Commissioner Robert Sandoval said of his constituents.
Great Lakes has provided Clovis daily air service to Albuquerque for two years.