FARMINGTON — Locals looking for a weekend escape to Sin City will no longer be able to fly out of Four Corners Regional Airport.

Effective March 31, Great Lakes Airlines will end flights from Farmington to Las Vegas, Nev.

"I'm disappointed that we're going to lose that flight," said Mayor Tommy Roberts. "It's a lost opportunity for good access to a destination that's very popular."

Great Lakes Airlines representatives could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The Farmington-Las Vegas route was made possible through a government program.

Great Lakes Airlines operates a route between Las Vegas and Ely, Nev. through the federal "Essential Air Service" program.

The U.S. Department of Transportation set up the program by providing subsidies to airlines. Those subsidies help ensure service to rural communities that would not otherwise receive regular air service.

Farmington was able to "piggy back" on that route because it is a regional maintenance hub for the airline, said Todd Gressick, Four Corners Regional Airport manager. The Farmington-Las Vegas route is being cut because the Transportation Department will no longer subsidize service to Ely.

The Farmington-Las Vegas route is not subsidized, he said.

"It's a loss of one flight per day," Gressick said. "We haven't been told whether we'll get a replacement route."

Four Corners Regional Airport's future, in the mean time, appears to be secure, city officials say.


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"We've been very fortunate to have flights to three international hubs," said City Manager Rob Mayes.

This month marks the third anniversary for air service between Farmington and Las Vegas, he said.

Although the flight will decrease service, it is not essential for Four Corners Regional Airport's operations, Mayes said.

"Really, it was a bonus route," he said. "The foundation of our air service is Denver."

In addition, the city hasn't had to subsidize flights to attract airlines, Mayes said.

"Many communities have had to do that," he said.

The city will continue to work closely with Great Lakes Airlines representatives, Mayes said.