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Aviation board endorses new La Crosse-Detroit flight, approves employing city firefighters

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A new daily flight service between La Crosse and Detroit seems to be a sure thing.

The La Crosse Regional Airport, however, will still have to go through government formalities to make it official.

Monday, the aviation board has voted to go ahead with the Detroit flight service it publicly announced last week.

Now formal approval of the new daily nonstop connection is needed by the La Crosse city council before it becomes official.

La Crosse will add one Skywest airlines flight to and from Detroit every day beginning in March.

That service takes the place of one daily Minneapolis flight but airport director Clint Torp told the board that if the Detroit service is successful, it could lead to a second daily Detroit flight or the restoration of the previous Minneapolis flight.

Also at Monday’s meeting, La Crosse firefighters could soon get airport duty, under a proposal the board approved.

The plan calls for 20-30 firefighters now employed by the city to be trained for aircraft rescue and firefighting services.

The airport would provide $10,000 a year for training.

The La Crosse police and fire commission and the city council still have to approve the arrangement.

A few years ago, the airport was criticized for hiring a Green Bay company to provide fire protection service, instead of using city firemen.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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