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Published October 14, 2011, 09:19 PM

Devils Lake Airport Traffic Up at Same Time Delta Pulling Service

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Delta announced this summer that it would no longer serve 24 EAS lines in the United States, including Jamestown and Devils Lake, even though flight numbers at the Devils Lake airport are up this year.

DEVILS LAKE (WDAZ-TV) - Traffic is up at the Devils lake airport at the same time a major airline is pulling its service.

Friday Today was the deadline for bids for the Essential Air Service that Delta is no longer serving.

Delta announced this summer that it would no longer serve 24 EAS lines in the United States, including Jamestown and Devils Lake, even though flight numbers at the Devils Lake airport are up this year.

"If you go to search for a flight through Delta, more times than not Devils Lake is one of the cheapest flights in and out of North Dakota," Devils Lake tourism director Suzie Baisch said.

The Devils Lake airport has seen an increase in boardings over the last three years.

"Two years ago we grew at a rate of 16.4% and then last year we grew 30.6% and that's comparing year to year so as the numbers get bigger it's kind of hard to maintain those percentages but 16% for this year is year to date is a very nice number," airport manager John Nord said.

Nord suspects a portion of the increase is due to the construction in the area.

"A lot of our new passengers (are) some of the construction people that are working in the area," Nord said.

But with construction season winding down, Nord isn't worried about numbers dropping off.

"Last winter we had very strong numbers and we look for that to continue again," Nord said.

Some also suspect more people are flying in and out of Devils Lake because of flights being full in other areas.

"With the oil boom hitting the west side of the state, it gets pretty hard to find a flight in and out of Minot and I know their prices have became a little higher and so it's a nice location for us especially in the Rugby, Bottineau area," Baisch said.

Nord says a lot of things could change the number of passengers the airport has.

"We have a lot of things going on at the airport but out biggest thing is we're waiting until next week so we can hear who our potential new air carrier will be," Nord said.

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