Liberal makes recommendation for new airline at city's airport

LIBERAL, Kan. At least one of two southwest Kansas towns left without air service may soon have a new option.

The Liberal City Commission Tuesday evening recommended Sky West to replace PenAir, which earlier this month, pulled its service out of Liberal and Dodge City.

Tuesday, the Liberal City Commission gathered to agree on the recommendation for a new airline for Liberal Mid-America Regional Airport.

The commission chose Skywest after reviewing bids submitted by other carriers. City officials say they've submitted the request for Skywest to the Kansas Department of Transportation. The commission hopes the recommendation meets approval because it will be a big change the city says it has needed for a long time.

With Skywest, Liberal residents can expect one-way flights to Denver to range from $75 to $125. Residents who spoke with Eyewitness News Thursday say the price doesn't matter so much as having flight options near home.

"The only downside (to) flying out of Garden City is that you have to drive an hour and a half in one direction," Liberal area resident Peter Wiebe says. "You know, that means leaving two hours early here in the morning when you want to leave at 7 o'clock in the morning. Sam way driving when you get back. Well, if you live here in Liberal and have the same option, I would definitely pick the airline."

In Liberal, Skywest will have a 50-passenger aircraft. Dodge City Airport has not yet released the airline they're recommending to replace PenAir.