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St. Cloud, still looking for airline to use its airport, steps up efforts

Since Delta stopped flying in and out of St.

Since Delta stopped flying in and out of St. Cloud a year ago, the city has been searching for another air carrier to fill its air travel needs and use its airport.

Now the city has hired a consultant, Forecast Inc., to try to get things off the ground. The St. Cloud Times says Forecast helped get air service to airports in Wyoming, Washington and Colorado.

There is some urgency: The paper said the city gets $1 million a year from the Federal Aviation Administration for capital improvements at the airport and could lose that federal funding at the end of the year if it fails to get a new carrier.

The city has approved a one-year contract with Forecast, calling for payments of $1,750 a month to cover studies, data analysis and air carrier presentation materials. If air service is secured within nine months, the fee will increase to $4,000 a month, for ongoing analysis that will include watching fares, airline performance, marketing and communication.

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Plus the firm will get a $30,000 bonus for securing air service, paid for from the airport’s increased revenue, which includes car rentals, the Transportation Security Administration, fuel flowage fees and other items.