Expanded flights, waiting area for Rhinelander airport
By Eileen Persike
An expanded flight schedule and larger secure waiting area are the works for the Rhinelander Oneida County Airport (ROCA)
Delta Airlines confirmed with airport director Matthew Leitner Monday that the additional mid-day flight to and from the Minneapolis St. Paul (MSP) Airport will be on the schedule again this summer, June 8 through Aug. 31. That is about 10 more days than last year.
“At the beginning I was very optimistic and very confident, but you never know what’s to come with something like that,” Leitner said. “Not only did we get it again but they lengthened the season and added another flight so it was a resounding success.”
In 2019, summer flights were at more than 85% capacity; on Saturdays, Leitner said, flights were at least 96% full. New this year, Delta is adding a Saturday evening flight July 11-Aug. 15, the middle of ROCA’s busy season.,
“Last year when they agreed to allow the third flight and additional capacity over the summer, I implored everybody to use our service, use our airport, to use Delta because I said if we don’t use it we’ll lose it,” Leitner said. “I’m very grateful to our region and our community because they turned out in full force and proved that we could do it – if offered, we would take advantage of that opportunity.”
June 8-Aug. 31 flights will depart Rhinelander daily at 6:34 a.m., 11:35 a.m. and 3:49 p.m. Flights will arrive in Rhinelander from Minneapolis St. Paul at 11:02 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 11:19 p.m. The Saturday flight will depart Rhinelander at 7:07 p.m. and arrive at MSP at 8:12 p.m., and depart MSP at 5:40 p.m. for a Rhinelander arrival time of 8:12 p.m.
The secure waiting area at ROCA is also in the process of expansion. With a grant that will cover 95% of the cost, the area that was once a restaurant will be incorporated into the existing secure waiting area. There will be 94 seats compared to the current 25, bathrooms, vending machines, a private security room and a Delta Airlines desk and attendant. Work is expected to be complete in mid-March.