Ask Joe: Is Reno-to-Elko air service a possibility in the near future?

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From the Ask Joe file, we're looking into a question about air service here in Northern Nevada.

One of our viewers, Marie, wrote in to say she heard recently that the Reno-Tahoe Airport might be reinstating direct flights from Reno to Elko.

Marie wants to know if there's an update on this plan. She says there is definitely a need for this service.

Here's what I found out:

It's been more than a decade since we last had direct commercial air service between Reno and Elko. Sky West provided the service at one point, along with Scenic Airways, but that stopped back in 2006.

There was a bill that was introduced this past legislative session that would have set aside about $1.5 million a year in state funding to support air service between Reno and Elko.

I spoke with Brian Kulpin with the Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority. He says airport officials testified in support of the bill in Carson City, but it died in committee and that was that.

So for now, if you want to fly to Elko you'll have to make a stop in Salt Lake City, which is not exactly on the way.

Kulpin says they would like to have direct air service between Reno and Elko, but it's a matter of filling the seats and finding an airline that is willing make it happen.

After that bill failed in the Legislature there is nothing on the horizon right now, but Kulpin says they're always looking and you never know when it becomes feasible.

There is a demand for it, but again, it's a matter of finding a carrier willing to step up. At this point, the airport is still waiting for that to happen.

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