Since Delta announced the end of flights to Brainerd, the future of the north centralMinnesota airport has remained in a holding pattern. One thing, however, appears all but certain. Taxpayers will begin subsidizing flights there, even as an air service waiting in the wings claims it could provide passenger service at no cost to taxpayers.
St. Cloud Airport Gets One of First and Last Grants Under FAA Subsidy Program Set to End
The St. Cloud Regional Airport is banking on a recently announced $750,000 federal grant to land an airline at the airport that’s been virtually deserted since Delta terminated service in and out of St. Cloud in late 2009.
There may not be air traffic controllers in Mora, Minnesota but critics say the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and state transportation officials have fallen asleep on the job anyway by approving a controversial airport expansion project estimated to cost between $1.2 to $1.7 million.
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St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) touts lots of amenities on its website—a café, ATM, free wi-fi, free parking and a $5 million completely renovated terminal whose capacity went up dramatically from 30 to 200 travelers. There's also a new $750,000 passenger boarding bridge secured with federal stimulus funds to keep travelersout of the elements while catching a flight. One asset, however, the newly renovated airport notably lacks—commercial flights and passengers.
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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has notified the City of Blue Earth, Minnesota that it has rejected its plans for a $7 million runway extension. The controversial runway has been under consideration since 2005 and was denied further funding by the FAA because the projected flight numbers don’t justify the cost, according to FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro.
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