Current airline service at the Airport is part of a national program called the Essential Air Service Program. The Airline Deregulation Act, passed in 1978, gave airlines almost total freedom to determine which markets to serve domestically and what fares to charge for that service. The Essential Air Service (EAS) program was put into place to guarantee that small communities that were served by certificated air carriers before deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service. The US Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Aviation Analysis Division was tasked with implementing and managing the EAS program.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT), Office of Aviation Analysis Division published a request for bid for the Essential Air Service contract at Prescott Airport (Docket # DOT-OST-1996-1899). Bids were due to the DOT by February 12, 2013. Once the bids were received by the DOT, the City was provided with copies of the bid for review and an opportunity to provide comment and feedback by the City Council. Additionally, citizens were able to submit comments directly to the DOT.
Three airlines submitted proposals to provide service to Prescott: Great Lakes Aviation (the incumbent airline), SeaPort Airlines, and Sovereign Air. Based upon the proposals received, the City of Prescott recommended that the U.S. DOT award the contract for Essential Air Service for the two-year period commencing on May 1, 2013, to Great Lakes Aviation. For more information, please feel free to contact the Airport Administration at 928-777-1114 or for a copy of the Essential Air Service docket, please visit the DOT website.