Officials say airport jobs will not be cut

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cape Girardeau officials say no airport jobs will be cut despite the loss of passenger service.

Big Sky Airlines announced Wednesday it would cease operations Jan. 7 at its eastern United States connections, as well as at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. The company, which is expected to fold in 60 days, had started providing commercial passenger service to Cincinnati, Ohio, on Nov. 18.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has taken emergency measures to find a new carrier.

Cape Girardeau city manager Doug Leslie said he would not minimize the importance of the airline's closure but said it was not a crisis.

Leslie expressed confidence that the airport would have passenger air service in 2008.

"No jobs are being lost," he said. "We continue to operate there and will have other services available. We have very visible fixed-base operations.

The airport has general aviation service, including private charters, and a flight training program.

Airport manager Bruce Loy said those services will continue to be marketed while the passenger air service is being replaced.

The two city police officers hired for airport security duty will be reassigned, according to police chief Carl Kinnison.

"We need to absorb those salaries," he said.

As openings occur within the department, the airport officers will be reassigned to those positions, he said.

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