Passenger air service is returning to Fort Dodge after a long absence. The U.S. Department of Transportation is announcing the selection of St. Louis-based Air Choice One to service the north central Iowa city. Rhonda Chambers, director of the Fort Dodge Regional Airport, says she expects the service to take off within the next 60 to 90 days using a single-engine turbo-prop aircraft.

“It’s a small airplane that takes nine passengers but everyone gets a first class experience,” Chambers says. “They’ve decided that they’re going to provide exceptional, high quality air travel to each and every passenger which means every seat in there is like a first class seat.”

Great Lakes Airlines ended commuter flights to Fort Dodge and Mason City in January. Chambers says the new airline, Air Choice One, is not new to Iowa’s skies. “Mason City selected them, they’re having Air Choice One flying them to Chicago,” Chambers says. “Burlington uses Air Choice One down to St. Louis, so Air Choice One has gradually gotten more and more cities.”

The flights will be direct from Fort Dodge to St. Louis and Chambers is hopeful that flights from Fort Dodge to Chicago could be added in the future.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)