On Thursday, the City of Manhattan notified American Airlines that Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) would accept larger aircraft and make necessary airport security modifications to begin service with those larger planes on May 5.
The issue was discussed at Tuesday’s Manhattan City Commission meeting, with commissioners expressing concern about the quick timeline and costs associated with making the security changes. However, City Administration has identified a recommended funding plan to allow the changes to occur.
ExpressJet Airlines notified MHK of its intent to begin operating on behalf of American Airlines with CR7 (65-seat) planes on the airport’s three daily flights to Dallas-Fort Worth. According to federal regulations, an airport must have a complete Airport Security Program if the airline’s aircraft have 61 or more seats. The CR7 planes will have more overhead and cargo space, an additional flight attendant, and Wi-Fi capabilities. The larger planes also will have the ability to accommodate larger group travel and will experience 5-10 minute quicker in-air flight times.
“The community has long had a desire to have larger aircraft for more legroom and luggage capacity, especially for Fort Riley troops,” said Airport Director Jesse Romo. “We are excited to be able to accept the larger aircraft. There are challenges associated with the security improvements, but we’re taking steps to ensure the long-term viability of air service at MHK.”
Manhattan Regional Airport recently opened the second phase of a terminal expansion project that addressed projected growth in the region. In addition to its Dallas-Fort Worth flights, American Airlines also operates daily flights to Chicago from MHK.