Pierre mayor expects better air service soon - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Pierre mayor expects better air service soon

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) - The mayor of South Dakota's capital city says she has been assured that Great Lakes Airlines is working to improve service to Pierre.

Great Lakes is pulling out of five cities in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa because of problems in retaining pilots under new federal rules on pilot qualifications that took effect last August. They require co-pilots to log 1,500 flight hours, rather than the previous 250 hours, before they can work for commercial airlines.

Great Lakes connects Pierre to Denver and Minneapolis, and about one-fifth of recent flights have been canceled.

But Mayor Laurie Gill says Great Lakes President Doug Voss has told her the changes the airline is making will better position is pilot pool. She says she hopes to see service improvements within six months.

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