Relatively few communities the size of Fort Dodge can boast of air service that matches what currently exists here. This is not simply a matter of convenience for the infrequent traveler. It is vital to the plans to keep major employers here and attract new ones.
Businesses tend to locate in spots that afford executives and sales representatives, as well as clients and customers, easy access to air travel. It is not an accident that major companies tend to be located close to airports.
Consequently, it's good news for our community and region that Great Lakes Airlines is increasing the number of flights into and out of Fort Dodge.
Starting Wednesday, an additional daily roundtrip between Fort Dodge and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport will be added to the schedule. Henceforth, there will be four roundtrips on weekdays and three on Saturdays and Sundays.
Scheduled air service - as well as the airport's excellent facilities for corporate and charter flights - give Fort Dodge and other area communities an edge in the increasingly tough competition to keep and attract the companies that can make our economy grow.
The inescapable truth is that even those Fort Dodgers who never personally board a plane here have an enormous stake in the success of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport and the airline that serves it. The economic prospects of our town and the prosperity of neighboring communities are enhanced by the presence of commercial air service and a well-run, up-to-date airport.
As the economy continues to improve in the months ahead, the importance of our local airport will grow. Keeping the airport strong is a key element in the game plan to build a robust local economy as the 21st century unfolds.
The Messenger applauds the decision by Great Lakes to increase its investment in the future of our town and region. This enhanced air service is superb news indeed.