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What Do You Think About The EAS Program?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 3:56 am

I did a search for this and was surprised I didn't find any results.

In any event, the Bush Administration is proposing significant changes to the FAA's Essential Air Service (EAS) program. Under the current program, small airports that had service in 1978 (the year of deregulation) can get federal funding to keep a minimal level of service, provided that the airport is more than 100 miles from the nearest major airport.

Under the Bush Administration proposal, the limit would be expanded to something around 150. Small airports that are within 150 miles would lose a significant amount of their federal subsidy for air service. Airports within 100 miles of a major airport would lose all subsidies. Some airports would have the option of providing their own subsidies with some federal assistance, but these airports have said this proposal would effectively eliminate air service. In an article I saw, Brownwood, TX (BWD) was concerned about losing its three daily Mesa flights to DFW under the program. (the article is here:,1874,ABIL_7948_2647870,00.html)

Personally, I think the Bush Administration proposal is a good idea. If you're 150 miles from a major airport, there's no reason why your city should get taxpayer dollars to subsidize air service. Driving is not at all out of the question. Given the budget situation we have, I don't see how these subsidies can be justified. Any other thoughts?
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RE: What Do You Think About The EAS Program?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:02 am

I think they should be a time limit on the subsidy, so the airline and airport, has some incentive to work together and grow a market that we the tax payers are not paying for.....
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RE: What Do You Think About The EAS Program?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:27 am

If there are subsidies, they should only be provided by state, local or county governments or other entities (corporations, chambers of commerce, etc.). There should not be any federal money involved. Federal money is supposed to be spent on services and programs to benefit the greater good of ALL Americans, not just some podunk town.

Some may argue that cutting off these EAS subsidies will hurt job markets and economies of smaller towns. EAS is purely politically-motivated pork, wielded by members of Congress to appease voters. It should not be the duty of the federal government to artificially make these places profitable for corporations to operate. It is not our job to essentially force industries to places where they cannot naturally survive. Why should my federal tax dollars be spent to better one place in the middle of absolute nowhere which cannot sustain anything on its own at the expense of opportunities where I live? Why should we try to force industries to places which cannot support them and which would be better located in areas with more readily-available resources? Federal money needs to be spent to better everyone in America as equally as possible.

We live in a country where you can really choose to live where you want. If you CHOOSE to live somewhere in the middle of nowhere and there is no way for an airline to sustain service on its own, you chose to live there, nobody forced you there.
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RE: What Do You Think About The EAS Program?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:31 am

Acidradio, and we wouldn't have to load STC, INL, BJI, TVF, HIB, and all the other teenie weenie towns in northern MN.  Smile
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RE: What Do You Think About The EAS Program?

Mon Feb 23, 2004 4:34 am


TVF is the only EAS run in there. The rest actually sustain their own. XJ is the only carrier into all those towns, which excepting TVF are big enough to sustain profitable service and are far enough away from mainline service. TVF is in the middle of nowhere, has too small of a population in the immediate area to draw on, has an unreasonable driving distance to the nearest other airport (1.5 hr drive) and has a large employer (Arctic Cat snowmobiles) which of course the local politicos want to keep in town and will throw in EAS subsidies to help their people get around.

[Edited 2004-02-22 20:46:43]
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