Airline's address is a barMajor issues regarding a company bidding to provide Essential Air Service at the Dickinson Airport, only one of which is the airline being headquartered in a bar, were discussed at the Airport Authority Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday.
By: John Odermann The Dickinson Press, Worthington Daily Globe
DICKINSON - Major issues regarding a company bidding to provide Essential Air Service at the Dickinson Airport, only one of which is the airline being headquartered in a bar, were discussed at the Airport Authority Board’s monthly meeting Tuesday.
The Department of Transportation is considering bids from Dickinson’s current EAS service provider, Great Lakes Airlines, and a new airline, Sovereign Air. Sovereign Air’s bid came in at nearly $700,000 less than Great Lakes’ bid and has been the cause of concern to the board.
“It’s no great secret that Sovereign Air has got multiple problems with their proposal,” said Jon Frantsvog, board vice president.
Airport Authority Board President Tom Reichert said officials from the DOT have informed him that the Sovereign Air bid may not be legitimate bid, but added there is still reason for concern because that hasn’t been announced to anyone if it is the case.
Frantsvog said he can’t see how the DOT would award the EAS to an unproven entity, especially with issues as glaring as those in the Sovereign Air bid.
“I can’t for the life of me imagine how the DOT, in good conscious, could award to somebody who doesn’t even hold a part 121 certificate, who doesn’t own an aircraft, who is unable to produce a bankable financing plan,” Frantsvog said. A part 121 certificate verifies the airline is certified to provide regularly-scheduled air service.
Reichert said the fact that Sovereign Air doesn’t have any real background is disturbing.
“We don’t know that it’s anything more than a name and a dream,” Reichert said.
Adding to the difficulty in the board taking the bid seriously is airport manager Matthew Remynse informed them that according to their corporation certificate the airline is headquartered out of the Tomahawk Bar in Belcourt.
“The address is the Tomahawk Bar in Belcourt? The whole thing is ludicrous,” Reichert said.
Reichert informed the board the DOT hopes to announce its decision on Nov. 1.
Frantsvog said in order to ensure the DOT makes the right decision it may be necessary more comments are sent by local leaders expressing support for Great Lakes continuing as the EAS provider.
He said the DOT “needs to know and appreciate the depth and the breadth that both Williston and Dickinson, the depth of appreciation that we have in our partner and relationship with Great Lakes.”