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Lost Redmond Airport Flights Concern Travelers


Passenger counts at the Redmond Airport are down, flights are being cut, and while it’s expanded in size, some passengers are concerned about where things stand, and where they are going. So is the new airport manager, who will work to get more flights back on the runway.

A look at flight schedules at the airport shows a drop in flights and no surprise to some as gas prices ump, hikes in fares.

All this is causing frustration for some travelers who use Roberts Field.

Cab driver Edward Walworth says he feels the effects.

“We hope that it gets better, but so far it’s not getting any better,” Walworth said Wednesday. “They keep cutting flights, and they have added some, but not enough to make up for what they’ve taken away.”

Inside the airport Wednesday, travelers noticed the difference, too, like Ted George, who moved his business here from Los Angeles, and like many others, flies in and out of the High Desert for work.

“When you have to go with all the connecting flights, there’s always a greater chance that the flight is going to be canceled or weather problems,” said George. “And it can cause some inconveniences.”

“It’s a wonderful facility, and its been built to handle a lot of people,” said Jim Griffin of Sisters. “Hopefully, some of these air carriers can bring some of these rates down here, to get towns like Redmond back in the system.”

At least three flights to major cities have been cut, including a very busy one on Allegiant Air to Las Vegas.

The cancellation surprised even new Airport Manager Kim Dickie, who previously worked at the San Francisco International Airport.

“Usually, it’s all about economics,” said Dickie. “Passenger loads are important to them, and it’s about making a profit. If they can’t make a profit running those flights, then they’ll look for other options.”

Federal cuts could also eliminate the air traffic controllers at smaller airports like Redmond, and that is another concern raised by travelers.

Dickie says she and the city of Redmond have a plan to turn things around and hopefully get more flights to RDM.

“One of the things that we’ve had in the planning stages is to reach out and actually bring on board an air service consulting firm, to assist us in evaluating our market,” said Dickie.

Dickie says it’s a top priority to ensure good service to meet the needs of air travelers, and she says it starts with marketing the airport.

They plan on working with COVA, Economic Development for Central Oregon and the Redmond Chamber on ways of making Roberts Field more attractive to air carriers.

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