The Grand County Council voted 6-0 to send a letter of support to the federal Department of Transportation on behalf of SkyWest’s proposal for a three-year contract as an Essential Air Services provider at Canyonlands Field Airport – but not before Vice Chair Jaylyn Hawks questioned if the airline was making any progress on resuming flights to Salt Lake City.
“I’m disappointed SkyWest hasn’t done anything,” she said before asking new Airport Director Andy Solsvig if there are any plans in the works. “It seems there is justification for it.”
Hawks noted that many people in the community “feel we have, by supporting this letter in the past, prioritized tourists over locals.”
“That’s a complicated question with a complicated answer,” said Solsvig. He said the Salt Lake airport is a hub for Delta Air Lines, while SkyWest is affiliated with United Airlines, which is a hub at the Denver airport, a top five airport in the nation.
“We’ll continue to push [for Salt Lake flights],” said Solsvig.
“We have really been pushing to get Salt Lake City flights,” said Council Member Rory Paxman, who serves as liaison to the Airport Board. “We’re still working it out.”
In other airport news, the council approved Chair Mary McGann signing a federal grant application for a runway upgrade that could take place in 2021, but there could be a glitch.
Grand County Administrator-in-training Chris Baird, speaking in his capacity as clerk-auditor, pointed out that the county did not budget for the required match for the grant.