Consider travel on Cape Air

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Dear Editor:

As airport manager for the last four years, I have watched the number of people using our Essential Air Service to Billings slowly rise. This has been good as the greater the number of people that use the service, the more secure is our chances of keeping it. While I don’t count the exact number of people getting on and off the planes, I do daily keep track of the numbers of cars in the parking lot to determine whether the number is trending up or down. It appears that for the last few months, the numbers appear to be going down. I am sure that this has partly to do with nice weather and maybe as winter nears, the numbers will again go back up. Glendive is one of 5 essential air service locations here in eastern Montana. The other four are Sidney, Wolf Point, Glasgow and Havre. Currently, we have the lowest enplanement numbers of all of these airports. While we are above the minimum number to keep our service, I believe that we can do better in supporting Cape Air. For some, this service has become a critical means by which they can live here and yet get to medical care beyond what can be found in Glendive.

I am writing this to encourage those needing travel to Billings to consider Cape Air as another means to get there. At a price starting at $29 one-way, this trip can’t be made cheaper than any other means of transportation especially when all factors are considered such as time, gas, maintenance, etc. This is an especially good method of travel if you are transferring to another airline and continuing on from Billings. Transferring in Billings keeps you from having to leave a vehicle in Billings and paying for either long or short-term parking which can be consequential. If you are just going to Billings for a day or weekend, and you are considering how you will get around while there, several options are available. If you are going to Billings for doctoring, there are shuttle busses that will get you down to the hospitals. If you are going there to shop, you can call for a taxi or uber to get you directly to your destination. If you want a little lower cost of transportation, city busses are now regularly stopping at the airport as part of their routes.

While I understand that flying is not always the best way to travel, I know that many times it does have definite advantages. Don’t forget that sometime in the next year, Glendive will be getting Cape Air’s brand new Tecnam Traveller aircraft which will offer more comfort than the older Cessna 402’s that are being used currently. Please join me in support of our essential air service any time you plan a trip to Billings and elsewhere.

Craig L. Hostetler

Dawson Community Airport