Friday, September 23, 2011

Metropolitan Airports Commission director: Regionalization could help regain air service. St Cloud Regional Airport (KSTC), Minnesota.

Forming a regional authority to oversee St. Cloud Regional Airport could elevate the area’s efforts to regain air service, the director of the Metropolitan Airports Commission said this morning in St. Cloud.

The MAC oversees Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and small airports in the Twin Cities. Its director, Jeffrey Hamiel, spoke at St. Cloud Library this morning to a meeting of the Central Minnesota Transportation Alliance.

The regional authority concept that Hamiel endorsed is being explored by St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, who says he’s talking to leaders in Stearns, Benton and Sherburne counties about creating such an entity.

Some have suggested bringing St. Cloud Regional Airport under MAC oversight. That would require an act of the Legislature to expand the commission’s geographic jurisdiction beyond the Twin Cities.

Hamiel said it’s unlikely the commission would want to acquire St. Cloud’s airport when it’s not generating revenue from scheduled commercial air service.

Hamiel also recommended that St. Cloud-area leaders focus on landing airline service to Chicago and Denver, instead of to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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