Grand Island Flights

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Officials at Grand Island's Central Nebraska Regional Airport have been pursuing eastbound air service for some time.

Now, it appears, opportunity knocks.

Essential Air Service proposals from four airlines submitting flight routes out of Grand Island offer eastbound destinations.

Those include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Kansas City, St. Louis or Omaha. Some of those proposals also involve larger planes.

Airport Manager Bill Stovall says the airport board gets to select the proposal considered best for the community. The US Department of Transportation then will decide what air service Grand Island and other Nebraska towns receive under the federal subsidy program.

Stovall says the Grand Island airport has never had the EAS subsidies option before because its plane boardings produced enough revenue for air carriers.

But those boardings have dropped off some 70 percent in the past 15 years.