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Essential Air Service proposals received

The Town of Silver City and the County of Grant have received two proposals for essential airline service to the Grant County Airport, serving Silver City/Hurley/Deming.

Great Lakes Aviation, which is the current provider of service, has proposed service to Denver or Phoenix.

The twice-daily flights to Denver would include a stop in Albuquerque or Santa Fe or a stop in Pueblo, Colo., on the way to Denver. The other option is non-stop service to Phoenix.

The airfare would be an average $137.85. Aircraft utilized would be the 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D airliner equipment.

The second proposal comes from SeaPort Airlines and would provide service to Clovis and to Silver City/Hurley/Deming. The proposal requires that the two airports choose the same routes and service, utilizing a choice of single-engine aircraft—the Cessna Caravan or the Piper Chieftain.

According to the proposal, "If selected to provide EAS at Clovis and Silver City, the company intends to establish an additional operational base at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) with three aircraft – two assigned to scheduled lines and the third being an operational spare. This will allow us to offer both Clovis and Silver City morning originating flights, and the operational flexibility to rotate aircraft into ABQ for scheduled maintenance and/or facilitate quicker service recovery in the event of unscheduled maintenance events."

The airline suggests an average fare of $102.37.

The proposals vary in length of proposal, with the Great Lakes one being brief, with little detail.

The SeaPort one gives more detail, and explains that modern single-engine aircraft failure is very rare. Explanation of the difference in aircraft is also expanded, with the Caravan having more cargo space.

Grant County and the municipalities, as well as airport management, will discuss the proposals, will seek public input, and will make the decision on which service would best benefit the passengers of the area.

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