DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) - The Decatur Park Board has voted to bring in a new air service for the Decatur Airport.
The Decatur Park District Board voted Wednesday to recommend SkyWest Airlines to the Department of Transportation as the air service of choice for the Decatur Airport. SkyWest is a United Airline provider.
WAND-TV spoke with Park Board President Chris Harrison. He says the Department of Transportation will look at the community recommendation that’s been made to see what the community wants and needs.
Harrison says they expect to hear back from the DOT sometime this fall. He’s estimating within the next 30-60 days for the final decision.
Harrison says the current contract with Cape Air ends at the end of January 2020. The new service would be in place around February. Currently Cape air offers a nine passenger plane, with flights to St. Louis and Chicago.
Within the SkyWest plan, the service would offer a 50 passenger jet.
In 2017, the park board voted to bring in Cape Air to service the airport. However, after a push from business groups the reversed their decision and chose SkyWest.
DOT decided to pick Cape Aire for the airport service. A petition was then opened by SkyWest to repeal that decision. Just days before Cape Air was set to take over, SkyWest withdrew their petition.
A Skywest spokesperson said they submitted their petition because of repeated requests by the community.
ADM had pledged $100,000 for airport improvements, contingent on the choice of SkyWest.
ADM released a statement after the park boards vote on Wednesday.
"We are pleased that passenger jet service will now be coming to Decatur. We have long believed that this could be a catalyst for local Decatur businesses and has the potential to help drive economic growth and job creation in the region."