ST. CLOUD -- Last week Governor Tim Walz reappointed Patti Gartland to the Metropolitan Airports Commission. She has been on the commission since 2014 and is currently the Vice-Chair.

Gartland says over the course of the next year or two the MAC's main focus will be to regain the air service that it lost over the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At this time, our passenger level is still down 15 to 20 percent compared to being down 65 percent at the peak of the pandemic.  So, we've made good progress, but there is still a significant gap there.

However, Gartland says there are some silver linings. She says Delta, one of the main airlines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International has weathered the pandemic quite well.

That bodes well for MSP being one of Delta's hubs. We also know that the ultra low cost carriers are seeing some significant growth.  Sun Country and Allegiant Airlines are two of those low cost carriers that are seeing significant growth.

Gartland says concession operations at Minneapolis-St. Paul International is at about 83 percent open, so getting that back up to 100 percent is another priority.

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Her new term on the commission runs until January of 2026.

Gartland is also the President of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.

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