Letter: Irregular air service

Farm Forum

Regarding the article about our airline service Feb. 8.

Back in the 1950s, Aberdeen had Northwest Airlines going through here. By 1959, we got North Central airlines. They began with four DC3 flights daily; then when traffic got better, upped it to eight flights daily. Two flights went to Watertown and Minneapolis, two to Bismarck and Minot, two to Sioux Falls-Omaha, and two to Pierre-Rapid City.

There was no shortage of seats or passengers. Starting with DC3 planes, they upgraded to Convair 440-upgraded to the 580 with propjet engines, then they got into the jet age with the first DC9s.

And this was done with a government subsidy since it was providing air service to smaller communities. It ensured enough seats so you could get where you needed or wanted to go.

Now we’re seeing what the free market can do. Less air service which can be irregular.

And keep in mind that, at one time, Aberdeen could have had the interstate come through. Too many people were afraid it would bring in, of all things, higher wages, industries we didn’t want, along with people we didn’t want here. Now look at what Watertown, Brookings and Sioux Falls have done. We could have had that.

I’m also wondering why we can’t attract a computer printer manufacturing and repair site. Seems like the old location of the Starlite drive-in would be an excellent location. Why is nobody looking into this?

Al Engel