- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

SCOTTSBLUFF, Neb. (AP) - An airport authority board in western Nebraska is seeking an early end to its contract with airline PenAir, which hasn’t been able to provide reliable service to the airport.

The Western Nebraska Regional Airport Authority board in Scottsbluff approved a measure to request permission from the Department of Transportation to seek new airline bids earlier than the length of its contract with PenAir, the Star-Herald (http://bit.ly/2tMeOIP ) reported.

If the department agrees with the board on the matter, Scottsbluff will be allowed to solicit bids of other airlines to service the area.

PenAir officials met with the board and the public last month. Board Chairman Don Overman said he listened to problems the airline has with accidents as well as pilot and plane shortages, among other issues.

Overman cited high cancellation and delay rates as the reason for the proposed contract termination.

PenAir has lost credibility with the flying public,” he said. “We are inundated with calls and visits no matter where we go about how we need to improve service.”

PenAir officials said immediate improvements or changes in schedules are unlikely.

“We’ve obviously fallen short of your expectations, and we’re aware of that,” said Dave Hall, president of PenAir. “We’re still scratching our heads to find any solutions to you in particular.”

The airline has set a Friday deadline to present solutions to its CEO, said Murphy Forney, senior vice president ground operations and business development at PenAir.

“We are aggressively trying to meet our challenges, but there is no magic pill to fix the situation,” he said. “We have looked at ways to meet your needs, and we’re confident in the future we will be able to.”

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Information from: Star-Herald, http://www.starherald.com

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