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Jamestown Airport expects to end 2015 with a bang

by Chris Olson

Posted on 11/19/2015

Jamestown Regional Airport had 842 passenger boardings recorded for October, the second highest monthly total for passenger boardings for 2015.

The Jamestown Regional Airport Authority reviewed the passenger boardings at its meeting Wednesday.

Airport Manager Sam Seafeldt said he didn''t have a projection for November but anticipates December passenger boardings to be the best of the year.

Seafeldt said in a conference call with SkyWest Airlines, the regional airline that provides commercial jet passenger service to Jamestown and Devils Lake regional airports, that SkyWest officials are anticipating December being the best month ever for SkyWest passenger boardings.

July has been the best month for passenger boardings for SkyWest so far this year with 872. SkyWest Airlines contracts with United Express to provide two flights daily between Jamestown and Devils Lake and Denver International Airport under the Federal Aviation Administration''s Essential Air Service program.

Authority member Brent Harris, JRA Authority Chairman Jim Boyd and Mayor Katie Andersen make up the Airport Authority''s commercial air service committee. Harris said the committee and Seafeldt had a telephone conference with SkyWest officials on Nov. 6 to discuss if SkyWest officials are happy with the passenger boardings they are seeing from Jamestown and Devils Lake.

"They said they are very pleased with the ridership numbers," Harris said.

The current EAS agreement between SkyWest and the FAA for service to Jamestown and Devils Lake expires in 2016. Seafeldt said Boyd asked SkyWest officials if they would be interested in bidding to continue the EAS agreement to Jamestown beyond 2016. Seafeldt said SkyWest officials said they are interested in bidding for the EAS contract beyond 2016. EAS contracts are two-year agreements.

In other business, the Airport Authority authorized Boyd and Seafeldt to sign a final farmland lease agreement with Reimers Land Legacy LLC to lease 835 acres of airport land for three years. Reimers will pay $105.73 an acre for the first year, $108.90 per acre the second year and $112.17 an acre for the third year. The lease doesn''t have a perpetual renewal agreement clause like previous leases.

The authority also heard from Steve Aldinger, engineer with Interstate Engineering, that the FAA would like the Airport Authority to have a wildlife-hazard assessment done. Aldinger provided a rough cost estimate of $90,000. The last wildlife-hazard assessment was done on airport property around 2007. The airport would only be responsible for $4,500 of that cost as most of the cost would be covered by a grant from the FAA.

The authority took no action on the request.