The City of Dawson Creek and Hawkair have entered into exploratory talks on adding a daily flight to Calgary from the Dawson Creek Airport.
High-level meetings with industry officials in Calgary, who have displayed significant interest in having the flight, are in the works and are likely to happen in a month to six weeks.
“We’re in early stages right now,” Hawkair president Jay Dilley said in an interview with the Alaska Highway News. “We’re reviewing the viability of doing a Calgary to Dawson flight. What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to build support for that route. If we can gather enough support for it in the way of presales than we’ll go to launch.”
Dilley says that interest for a flight to Calgary from Dawson Creek exists among oil and gas companies operating in the area. The company will target them first for presales.
Mayor Dale Bumstead said talk of a flight to Calgary first arose during a mayor’s roundtable meeting last fall.
“It was really evident from the discussions in that event from the industry folks that they would really like to have a flight from Calgary to Dawson Creek because of the difficulties they find in transporting their employees when they fly into Grande Prairie or Fort St. John,” Mayor Bumstead said.
Bumstead acknowledged that he and councillor Terry McFadyen have been in ongoing discussions with Dilley about the possibility of the flight.
“It’s certainly something we’re focusing on and trying to build for the community,” he said. “We see it as an opportunity to create increased business traffic into our community as well as for those people that are trying to get to Calgary to connect for holidays - it’d be a great flight to have.”
Bumstead notes it’s encouraging for the city to see a growing interest in the airport.
Once enough firm support has been gathered from the big players in industry, Hawkair would then move towards gauging interest from the public for the flight through presales.
Dilley estimates that presales could open in as little as three months.
“It could move very quickly if industry gets on board and it might be a bit slower if it takes longer. Possibly sometime in the spring we would look at [opening presales],” Dilley said. “The alternative is nothing happens because there is no interest. But, from what we understand there is significant interest in going to Calgary especially for the industry guys.”