Chicago flights restored at FD Airport | News, Sports, Jobs


-Messenger file photo
Sky West Ramp Agent Randy Aponte signals the Sky West point for takeoff at Fort Dodge Regional Airport in February.

Fort Dodge Regional Airport will resume two flights to Chicago on most days beginning later this month.

United Express is reintroducing a second round-trip flight to Chicago-O’Hare International Airport on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, Rhonda Chambers, the local airport’s aviation director, reported on Friday.

That increase will take effect on November 30, she said.

United Express, operated by Skywest Airlines, had reduced its Fort Dodge to Chicago service on July 1.

The airline had also offered services to Denver. This service is currently not being restored.

United Express is restoring some of its Fort Dodge service in time to accommodate the busy holiday travel season while still coping with a nationwide pilot shortage.

According to Chambers, this shortage caused the decline in the first place.

“This has nothing to do with Fort Dodge,” she said. “It had to do with a nationwide shortage of pilots.”

In March, the airline issued a statement saying it would be ceasing service to Fort Dodge and 28 other communities it serves with funding from the federal government’s Essential Air Service program. This program provides money to ensure airlines continue to serve smaller cities. The federal government will require United Express to continue serving Fort Dodge until a replacement is found.

On Friday, Chambers said the airline plans to fulfill its contract by serving Fort Dodge through March 2024.

United Express began serving Fort Dodge in March 2021, initially with flights to Chicago. Flights to Denver were also offered in October 2021.

Visit for the latest schedule information or to book tickets.

Taxiway job gains honor

A recently completed project at Fort Dodge Regional Airport has received a paving industry award.

The reconstruction of one of the taxiways connecting the runways to the apron in front of the terminal won the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa’s Smoothness Award.

The award will be presented on December 1st.

The award recognizes exactly what its name implies – the smoothness of the pavement.

Rhonda Chambers, the airport’s aviation director, said taxiways are subject to higher standards than roads. She said there could be no burrs or imperfections in the surface.

The runway was designed by McClure Engineering Co of Fort Dodge. JB Holland Construction Inc. of Decorah was the general contractor with Fort Dodge Asphalt Co. as a subcontractor.

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