Monday, April 14, 2014

Mason City Municipal (KMCW), Iowa: Future airport flights still on hold

MASON CITY | The Mason City Airport Commission is still awaiting Federal Aviation Administration approval to seek requests from airlines to serve the Mason City Municipal Airport.

The airport has been without commercial service since February when Great Lakes Airlines suspended operations because of a pilot shortage.

At that time, the commission, working through the FAA, solicited requests for service and received two — one from Great Lakes, headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyo., and the other from Air Choice One, home-based in St. Louis.

Both were offering service on 9-passenger planes.

Commissioners rejected both bids because they felt neither would serve Mason City's needs adequately. They then requested permission to seek new bids and are still awaiting the go-ahead, according to Airport Manager Pam Osgood.

In other airport business, at their meeting Monday, commissioners said they are looking for a new tenant to run the airport restaurant.

Bumbleberry Bakery operated it for the past year. "The lease expired and they moved out," said Osgood. The lease was for 1 year at $100 a month.

Commission Chairwoman Joni Dunn said, "They couldn't make it work because they weren't open half the time."

She said airport officials received numerous complaints about Bumbleberry's irregular hours.