Posted by Stephen Hoesel on Jan 07, 2019
Rotary was honored to have as its guest speaker on Monday Rhonda Chambers, Manager of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport.  Rhonda is very energetic and is an excellent presenter for the cause of a valuable asset to Fort Dpdge, one valued economically at over $32 million in economic impact back to its region.  The current facility was dedicated in 1952 with a Braniff DC3 as its first customer.  Within the last 7 years over $12 million in improvements have been added, with only 10% of that amount coming from local tax funds. 
 
The Airport Commission works with an approximate budget of $600,000 dollars, of which a current 40% is derived from the tax funds of Fort Dodge.  The goal is to always push to reduce the amount of local tax asking while improving quality and access for the community.  Commercial air service is provided by Air Choice One, with daily flights to Chicago (through Mason City) and direct links to Minneapolis and Saint Louis.  Where originally most trips were one link to the three cities, an increasing number of users are now (25%) are using those initial links for further transfers to other parts of the world. 
 
Thank you Rhonda for a quality program.
 
Rhonda provided an excellent discussion of:
  • The size of the B-747, which is capable of landing in Fort Dodge and its operating requirements and costs.  Nobody knew that the paint on the B-747 weighs a ton.
  • 2,000 veterans have been transported to DC on the Honor Flight, with two more flights scheduled for 2019.
  • TSA Pre-check is now available at ICCC for those wishing to avoid lines prior to boarding.
  • By October 1, 2020 your drivers license must have the star in the upper right hand corner if you use to use it as photo identification to travel.  Otherwise expect long delays in processing and possible rejection at entry.  A passport is still valid for travel.
  • This spring a charter to Nashville will be coordinated (airfare/hotel/shuttles/etc.).  Northland Travel is coordinating the booking for the trip.  Once in Nashville tickets are available for a host of entertainment opportunities.
  • Last month Commercial Service enplanements topped 8,000 for the year, which could well yield much more management money from the Federal program for the airport,  Air Choice One has been well received and provides a quality service.  They are looking to adding larger planes in the near future.