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Flight demand brings larger aircraft to Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport

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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WAOW) -- Larger aircraft are coming to the Northwoods because of high flight demand.

The high demand will bring larger Delta aircraft to the Rhinelander-Oneida County Airport. Delta is also adding another daily flight.

Many airports throughout the United States have seen a significant drop in travel and travel interest because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that trend is not applying to the Northwoods.

Airport Director Matt Leitner says, "the state did a study on our airport about a year ago and we determined that our airport is responsible for $35 million of economic impact to the region."

This summer, the demand is really high.

"It was something the FAA and the Bureau of Aeronautics at the state level recognized so they put forth the grant funding," Leitner says.

The move, bringing in larger planes and more daily flights.

"Originally we were going to have four flights a day on the weekends in the summer for round trips and then three every day, but right now we're at two round trips a day, so we were anticipating more flights this summer and then it got scaled back and then got moved forward because of the demand," said Matt.

Starting July 1st the airline that serves the airport, Delta, will add back a second daily flight to the Twin Cities.

"Next summer we're looking to build upon all the success we've had over the last couple of years and hopefully more flights with more destinations," Leitner says.

The reason for bringing in larger aircraft is not only to meet flight demand but also allows for more social distancing.

Amanda Lojewski

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