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January 17, 2018

Presque Isle airport evaluating six airline options

Northern Maine's airline connection to the rest of the United States could shift to a new vendor and connecting airport under some of the bid proposals being reviewed by Presque Isle's Northern Maine Regional Airport.

Pen Air, the airport's current contractor, provides passenger air service to Boston's Logan Airport from the Presque Isle airport and is proposing to continue that service.

But the Aroostook Republican reported it faces competition from five other airline bidders, with three other airlines also proposing service to Boston, one to Washington, D.C., and one to Newark, N.J.

The newspaper reported that the Northern Maine Regional Airport Advisory Committee is recommending a bid from United Airlines that offers service to and from Newark, N.J., as the offer that has the best range of benefits, including a larger plane and the ability to book a larger trip through one ticket.

The Presque Isle City Council has scheduled a Jan. 22 public hearing on the competing bids for a two-year federally subsidized Essential Air Service contract providing airline service to Northern Maine Regional Airport. The current contract with Pen Air expires in June, the newspaper reported.

Northern Maine Regional Airport, one of 35 public use airports in Maine, is considered a critical component in keeping northern Maine connected to the rest of the United States and the world via Boston's Logan Airport via its current vendor Pen Air.

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