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New regulations leave small market without flights

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) — New federal rules on pilot qualifications have left at least one small North Dakota airport hurting for service.

The Grand Forks Herald reports ( that Great Lakes Airlines cancelled 35 of its 90 scheduled flights to and from Devils Lakes in November — and the pilot shortage was likely a factor in some of those cases.

Great Lakes is the only commercial airline that serves the northeastern North Dakota city.

New federal regulations took effect in August require first officers — also referred to as co-pilots — to log 1,500 flight hours, rather than the previous 250 hours, and pass the Air Transport Pilot exam before they can work for commercial airlines.

Officials at Great Lakes Airlines, based in Cheyenne, Wyo., declined comment on the pilot training issue.