Having direct daily flights from Havre to Denver would be a boost for business travelers and vacationers.
It would make it easier for people to get in to and out of the Hi-Line.
Great Lakes Airways is considering a plan to initiate flights from Havre to Denver. We hope they move forward with the proposal.
If Great Lakes feels it can continue daily flights to Billings, all the better,
But having flights to Denver would mean people, in one stop, can be at a major international airport with direct connections to virtually every corner of the world.
Some people may be inconvenienced if Billings flights were discontinued, but according to figures provided by
Great Lakes, not too many.
The average is about 60 to 80 people use the Billings flights every month. And anecdotal evidence indicates that many of these people move on from Billings to Denver. Usually that means long — sometimes overnight — delays.
Flights to Denver would be more convenient, less costly and faster. Many people who now drive to Great Falls to take planes to Denver and Salt Lake City would be far more likely to use the Havre airport.
Federal programs now subsidize the airlines that serve remote areas such as Havre. These programs are highly valuable, and we would fight any effort to see them discontinued. But having a healthy customer base would enable Great Lakes to remain in Havre, even if the budget ax falls.
The arguments for the Denver flights are many, and we hope the Havre-Hill County Airport Board votes in favor of the flights.
In any event, we hope that many people show up and express their opinions, no matter what they might be, at a meeting about the possible change at 7 p.m. at the airport tonight.