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LAXintl
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Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 3:10 pm

The DOT somehow realized that’s its authorized funding for Great Lakes EAS service at both Merced and Visalia was outside federal statutes.

The department is barred from subsiding air service at communities in excess of $200 per passengers if they are located within 210 highway miles of other medium or large airports.
It’s since been noted that Merced is 107 miles from SJC, and Visalia is 168 miles from Burbank.

The per passenger subsidy the department had been offering for each airports route was approximately $345 as of late 2011.  Wow!

Rather than immediately terminate service eligibility for either community, the DOT proposes to solicit alternative proposals from air carriers that conform to the EAS guidelines.

It’s also noted that the authorized period for the existing Great Lakes service to LAX was to end in October 2012 anyhow.


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ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 8:35 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Rather than immediately terminate service eligibility for either community, the DOT proposes to solicit alternative proposals from air carriers that conform to the EAS guidelines.

What types of proposals?
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 8:45 pm

What a useless program. Except in Alaska, the EAS program is wasting money and fuel on empty planes. It needs to go or at least get replaced by an Essential Bus Service (EBS) program.
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ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 10:00 pm

Most people that criticize the program have little understanding of the program, its benefits and actual costs.
 
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1337Delta764
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 10:20 pm

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 3):
Most people that criticize the program have little understanding of the program, its benefits and actual costs.

What benefits? These flights go out empty most of the time. Replacing EAS with motorcoaches would save lots of money and would likely cost less for the passenger.

[Edited 2012-05-11 15:21:39]
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kc135topboom
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 10:55 pm

So, is ZK out of MCE now? Why isn't MER used as the commerical airport for the Merced and Atwater, CA area?
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Fri May 11, 2012 11:57 pm

Interesting since Great Lakes just added a non-stop flight on LAX-MCE.

As of June 4 LAX-MCE will have 1X daily nonstop and 2X daily LAX-VIS-MCE.

That also does not include the MCE-LAS leg.

Since Great Lakes switched the flights from ONT to LAX both cities claim to have seen large jumps in passenger counts.

Merced says it finished 2011 up 54% over 2010 and also says 1Q12 was up 61% over 1Q11.
http://www.centralvalleybusinesstimes.com/stories/001/?ID=20980
Visalia sources tell me it has seen a doubling in traffic since the move.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 5):
So, is ZK out of MCE now? Why isn't MER used as the commerical airport for the Merced and Atwater, CA area?

MCE has long been the passenger airport, going back to the United jet days in the 60s and 70s. Its also closer to the city of Merced compared to MER, you don't necessarily need that long ex-Air Force runway at MER for turboprops.

MCE is run by the city, MER basically run by the county.
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BMI727
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 12:55 am

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 3):
its benefits

Free money for small airlines.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 3):
actual costs.

Too much.

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
What a useless program.

  

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
Except in Alaska,

   I don't want to pay for anyone to live in the boonies.
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 1:21 am

EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need. It's services like this that separate us from a third world county and keep up a strong and independent. The EAS haters just can't see the big picture of why it's important but it is to our country and it's citizens. Many of these same people probably don't realize these two airports service the most important agricultural area in the country we all get food from the central Valley they need air service distances are far and we want these companies to be competitive and people to have access in emergencies we need people to live in the "boonies" these subsidies are chicken feed but very important. Nothing like a good eas opinion session   its our a. Net version of the u. Word debate
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 1:34 am

EAS doesn't need to go away, it needs a right sizing. If a B1900 can't be filled up, bring in a 208 or 402 to run the route. Much cheaper to operate, fewer seats to fill and a chance to eventually go to a regular operation with a smaller airplane.

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LAXintl
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 1:39 am

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 1):
What types of proposals?

One with a subsidy amount compliant with what the DOT can offer.

Quoting fatflyer (Reply 6):
Merced says it finished 2011 up 54% over 2010 and also says 1Q12 was up 61% over 1Q11.
Visalia sources tell me it has seen a doubling in traffic since the move.

Yes total boardings are up, however when its only under 10 folks at each airport daily to begin with, we are still talking about a small market.


Ultimately someone will need to bid the flying at a lower per passenger cost as uncle sam cannot continue pitching out and average of $345 per enplanment on the flights.
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BMI727
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:02 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):

EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need.

If it's that important then they can pay for it themselves. The whole argument comes down to "we really, really want air service, but we really, really don't want to pay for it."

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):
Many of these same people probably don't realize these two airports service the most important agricultural area in the country we all get food from the central Valley they need air service distances are far and we want these companies to be competitive and people to have access in emergencies we need people to live in the "boonies" these subsidies are chicken feed but very important.

If it is so incredibly important then the people who desperately need to travel to these communities will have no problems paying sustainable fares for the route. God forbid their increase in travel costs causes a nickel spike in avocado prices.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
If it's that important then they can pay for it themselves. The whole argument comes down to "we really, really want air service, but we really, really don't want to pay for it."

Poor argument. I don't use the 405 in LA, so why should I pay for it? I don't use Amtrack in the NE Corridor, why should I pay for that?

Long and short, EAS needs right sized, not eliminated.

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StuckInCA
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:44 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):
EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need. It's services like this that separate us from a third world count

Are you suggesting that Visalia and Merced recieve their produce and needed quality goods through cargo on Great Lakes?

Or that they'll be akin to third world countries if the rest of us stop funding this service for them?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
I don't want to pay for anyone to live in the boonies

Seconded.
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:48 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 12):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):If it's that important then they can pay for it themselves. The whole argument comes down to "we really, really want air service, but we really, really don't want to pay for it."

Poor argument. I don't use the 405 in LA, so why should I pay for it? I don't use Amtrack in the NE Corridor, why should I pay for that?

I agree 100%.

Imagine the uproar if someone from Visalia said "my constituents will never use the 2nd Avenue Subway extension in New York City, so only people in New York City should pay for it", or "my constituents rarely use I-405, so only people in Los Angeles County should pay to widen it".

I feel it does not make sense to operate a 50 seat CRJ on an EAS route if only 5 people / day fly the route, but I also feel that as long as people in rural areas' tax dollars support mass transit projects in big cities, tax dollars from people in big cities should be used to support EAS in rural areas, if the flights are operated with the most cost efficient equipment for the EAS route.
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:55 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 12):
I don't use Amtrack in the NE Corridor, why should I pay for that?

You shouldn't.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 12):
I don't use the 405 in LA, so why should I pay for it?

You shouldn't. Frankly I'm in favor of more toll roads, as long as gas taxes are reduced proportionately. Build a road, pay it off via tolls, and then make it free or reduce tolls for maintenance. But even ignoring that, you do pay gas taxes which pay for all roads, and the more you drive the more you pay in gas taxes. It's about as fair a system as possible, except for the fact that car, and especially diesel car, owners pay more than their fair share considering that trucks do the most damage by far.

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 13):
Or that they'll be akin to third world countries if the rest of us stop funding this service for them?

Don't underestimate the effect a lemon shortage could have on the American economy. Government research into alternative flavoring, tax credits for drinking iced tea instead of lemonade, etc.
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BMI727
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:56 am

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 14):
Imagine the uproar if someone from Visalia said "my constituents will never use the 2nd Avenue Subway extension in New York City, so only people in New York City should pay for it", or "my constituents rarely use I-405, so only people in Los Angeles County should pay to widen it".

The fact that they don't say that is pure idiocy.

Granted, roads have to be federally funded at some level, because they are fundamentally a defense expenditure.
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 2:57 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
I don't want to pay for anyone to live in the boonies.

Too bad you don't! Most people do not realize that almost all of the EAS funding comes from airport and fuel taxes, from a GA level!

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 3):
Most people that criticize the program have little understanding of the program, its benefits and actual costs.

Precisely!

Do I think their are a lot of markets where EAS is a waste, of course! Yet at the same time, their are markets that actually benefit from this program! The government spends money on lots of stuff I do not use, does that make it worthless and a waste of money? Just because you think it's a waste, does not mean it really is and if you still think it's a waste, go run for congress and abolish it yourself!
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 3:18 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 10):
Yes total boardings are up, however when its only under 10 folks at each airport daily to begin with, we are still talking about a small market.

Of course, but the markets were larger about a decade or so ago but unfortunately actions like flights to ONT instead of LAX and shifting operators (Scenic, Great Lakes, etc) have probably dampened the development of the markets.

Pre-9/11 Skywest operated VIS-LAX nonstop and subsidy-free. But after 9/11 Skywest shifted to a VIS-FAT-LAX routing with 2X daily flights both midafternoon (I believe they departed VIS at 1PM and 3PM). That shift probably started a lot of the decline too.
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LAXintl
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 4:57 pm

I would totally support a Essential Bus Service concept.

That would make much more sense imo. Especially in a place like CA where these communities are not that isolated at all.

Matter of fact, I don't quite understand the need for a SF or LA area link, but these communities can instead be simply connect by bus to Fresno as they are both within 50 miles of the larger community that has its own airport.

Ultimately, economics must prevail imo. Its illogical to keep alive many of these routes at great expense when there is neither the business case for them, nor is there a true persuasive argument that these cities are isolated from the world.
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LV
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 5:27 pm

MCE is about 60 miles from FAT and VIS is about 50 miles from FAT. Those both seem to be well within the acceptable range of an airport with a reasonable amount of self supporting commercial service.
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 7:19 pm

Actually both Merced and Visalia even fall within what Fresno considers its catchment area which covers 6-counties and over 2-million people.

Don't think it would be the end of the world for the good citizens of either city to access air transportation via Fresno.

I'm sure Fresno would also appreciate every additional enplanement it can get, which helps make its own economic case ever more compelling.
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 7:46 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):
EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need. It's services like this that separate us from a third world county and keep up a strong and independent.
Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 13):
Are you suggesting that Visalia and Merced recieve their produce and needed quality goods through cargo on Great Lakes?

Or that they'll be akin to third world countries if the rest of us stop funding this service for them?

Wait a minute. Both Merced and Visalia are served both by a major rail line, the BNSF line and a major highway, California Route 99. They also both get AmTrac service. So why do they need EAS puddle jumper service?
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):
EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need.

None of that produce gets flown by EAS and none of the people who pick that produce can afford to fly on these EAS flights. So tell me again, why is EAS important? If EAS disappeared tomorrow, no one in MCE or VIS would even notice.

EAS in the lower 48 is purely about ego and making small towns feel important. It has nothing to do with economics as EAS service has virtually zero economic benefit. Things like the 405 freeway and the 2nd Ave subway have real economic value. If those went away, it would cause major economic damage. The same is not true of EAS.
 
ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 8:36 pm

Airports are used to stimulate the local economy. Having commercial air service can bring in business to your community and provide a link to the rest of the globe. In many cases rail and bus options are not feasible. If EAS disappears, so does affordable air service to your community sending travelers to other destinations. We're talking about a drop in the bucket as far as taxes are concerned (most EAS funding is provided by foreign airlines arrival taxes). The loss to the community would be devastating.

Some of the benefits of EAS:
- Vital link to the community to allow for business and commerce
- Provides jobs not just limited to airline employees
- Maintains the airport to a higher standard thus allowing it to be used as a diversion airport for larger aircraft
- Attracts non-airline flights to the airport since it is maintained to a higher standard
- Economic benefits to the communities and the surrounding areas. Not all EAS flights are for people that live in the small town, but rather some distance form the town
- Tax revenue for the city, county, state and federal gov.

Without the airport, the town looses out. If the town looses, jobs disappear and the economy suffers. If people can not get to your community, how can they engage in business? We're not just talking about scheduled air service. If the airline goes away, it is the equivalent of your town being bypassed (like how cities were bypassed during the interstate highway construction...see how well those towns faired).

One reason that many of these small towns still receive scheduled air service is a result of deregulation. When the airlines were deregulated in the 1970s, in an effort to maintain air service to these towns, the federal government passed a law as part of the EAS program which guarantees subsides for any city that had scheduled service on the date of deregulation. Towns like Merced, CA; Kingman, AZ and Great Bend, KS fall under that clause.

Merced and Visalia might be poor examples but if you cut EAS, you would have zero air service between Denver and Wichita. There is a lot of the nation that lies between those two cities and it needs to be connected. DEN and ICT are just examples. The point is that not everyone lives in a large city, and they should not be forced to. We need rural america. We need it for our nation to be strong and prosperous. We need a link to those communities so they can be just as connected as the rest of the country.
 
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 8:40 pm

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
In many cases rail and bus options are not feasible. If EAS disappears, so does affordable air service to your community sending travelers to other destinations.

Affordable? Fares on EAS routes are ridiculously overpriced that virtually nobody would even bother. Many people in these EAS communities are probably not even aware these flights even exist.
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BMI727
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
- Vital link to the community to allow for business and commerce

If the link were that vital it would be self sustaining. If any of this were nearly as important as EAS supporters make it out to be people would be willing to pay for it and EAS would be unnecessary.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
- Maintains the airport to a higher standard thus allowing it to be used as a diversion airport for larger aircraft

They should be maintaining the airport anyway. If people only keep the airport in decent shape so they can suck down everyone's tax dollars there is a problem.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
We're not just talking about scheduled air service. If the airline goes away, it is the equivalent of your town being bypassed

Cities that are bypassed are bypassed for a reason.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
There is a lot of the nation that lies between those two cities and it needs to be connected.

It obviously does not need to be connected, otherwise someone would have done it profitably.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 24):
The point is that not everyone lives in a large city, and they should not be forced to.

No one is forcing anyone to live anywhere. There are advantages and disadvantages to every place. If you want the small town feel and low cost of living you might just have to give up convenient air service.
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ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 9:46 pm

Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 25):
Affordable? Fares on EAS routes are ridiculously overpriced that virtually nobody would even bother. Many people in these EAS communities are probably not even aware these flights even exist.

That depends on your definition of affordable and overpriced.

I bet everyone in Hays, KS knows that they have an airport and service from Great Lakes.
 
ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sat May 12, 2012 11:04 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
If the link were that vital it would be self sustaining. If any of this were nearly as important as EAS supporters make it out to be people would be willing to pay for it and EAS would be unnecessary.

People are paying for it but you still lack the volume to maintain service without some subsidy. The subsidy guarantees the service will exist so that people and companies can pay for its use. If you look at the actual cost of the subsidy in most cases it's a small drop in the bucket. The federal government will spend more building a two mile stretch of highway than what an airline will receive for its EAS subsidy.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
They should be maintaining the airport anyway. If people only keep the airport in decent shape so they can suck down everyone's tax dollars there is a problem.

Airports are maintained to various standards depending on the type of use. Any airport that receives scheduled part 121 service is held to a higher standard than those which don't receive that service. Having an airport with 121 service increases the "safety-net" of that airport. Airports like Scottsbluff, NE, North Platte, NE, Joplin, MO, Pueblo, CO, Kingman, AZ, etc are in most airline's ops specs as allowable diversion/alternate airports. A few weeks ago a Delta flight diverted to North Platte, NE (KLBF) when a passenger went into labor. If that airport wasn't there, or was not maintained to a part 121 standard you've cut out a lot of places a 737 can land should it have an emergency. This in my opinion is one of the biggest benefits of the program. If you get rid of EAS, there is a lot of open country and space that couldn't be used between Kansas City and Denver. Food for thought.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
Cities that are bypassed are bypassed for a reason.

Cut out the airport/air service and you've cut out a part of the economic engine of the area. The federal government maintains airports and sets the standards as it is part of interstate commerce. Most cities/towns in America have an airport. Try looking at an aeronautical chart once.

To say that a town that you don't live in isn't worthy of air-service is short sighted and is the view of an uneducated individual. Many critics do not understand what these communities give back to the nation.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
It obviously does not need to be connected, otherwise someone would have done it profitably.

We need rural America. Our nation's food supply comes from rural America. Ever eaten a steak? Bet that comes from Dodge City. When was the last time you put gas in your car? Bet that oil came from North Dakota. New York produces fashion designers, artists and bankers...but not some of the most essential things for our nation to survive. Don't cut out rural america!

Some markets are more profitable than others. North Dakota is money in the bank and receives a very small federal subsidy while others have a larger subsidy because it is needed.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
No one is forcing anyone to live anywhere. There are advantages and disadvantages to every place. If you want the small town feel and low cost of living you might just have to give up convenient air service.

Not everyone is going to live in a large city either. Rural america isn't a bunch of lazy, city hating people. Some of the hardest workers live out there. We have farms, ranches, plants, factories, and various other industry in some of the most remote parts of the country. Having EAS makes those communities less remote.

EAS flights isn't always about getting someone just to Jamestown, ND but rather from JMS, they can then drive sometimes up to a hundred miles to their home. If you say that they have to go to Bismark or Fargo, you've cut out a good chunk of people who need to travel.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 2:33 am

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 14):
I feel it does not make sense to operate a 50 seat CRJ on an EAS route if only 5 people / day fly the route, but I also feel that as long as people in rural areas' tax dollars support mass transit projects in big cities, tax dollars from people in big cities should be used to support EAS in rural areas, if the flights are operated with the most cost efficient equipment for the EAS route.

Exactly, which is why I keep saying a right sizing is in order. If you only have 6 people a flight, put a Caravan or Cessna 402 operator on the route. Let them develop it, see if they can make it profitable. The biggest issue for the 9 seat carriers, is that without a codeshare with a big carrier, there is no way they can make the flights work well.

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BMI727
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 3:08 am

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
People are paying for it but you still lack the volume to maintain service without some subsidy.

...not full price.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
The subsidy guarantees the service will exist so that people and companies can pay for its use.

If it were that important they would pay how much it actually costs.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Cut out the airport/air service and you've cut out a part of the economic engine of the area.

In that case those municipalities had better find a way to get service without my money. Or get more business and the market grows and service sustains itself.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Scottsbluff, NE,

80 miles from Cheyenne, or 16 minutes flying time at 250 kts. An aircraft anywhere near cruise could cover that distance over the descent.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
North Platte, NE

Maybe a half hour's flying time from another destination. Again, poor reason to keep a crappy program.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Joplin, MO

54 NM of life and death between there and Springfield?

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Pueblo, CO

There would be virtually zero instances where that would be a better option that COS. And chances are a few potholes in the taxiways won't dissuade anyone who finds himself in such a situation.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Kingman, AZ,

A 7,500 ft. runway and casinos makes IFP a more attractive option 22 NM away.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
We need rural America.

I never said we don't. I said we don't need to pay to fly empty planes there.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
To say that a town that you don't live in isn't worthy of air-service is short sighted and is the view of an uneducated individual.

I'm not the one saying they aren't worthy of air service. It's all of the people not flying to those places saying it isn't worthy of air service.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Don't cut out rural america!

I'm not kicking them out of the country. I'm saying I'm not going to pay for an empty Beechcraft to land in their town every day.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Some markets are more profitable than others.

You mean less unprofitable.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 28):
Having EAS makes those communities less remote.

That's debatable, considering how few people actually use the service.

I'm not saying you shouldn't live there, but you have to understand the upsides and downsides. If you want to live in rural Kansas, fine. But driving a couple hundred miles to get on a flight is possibly part of the deal. Just like sky high rents in New York.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ILUV767
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 4:05 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
...not full price.

Depends what full price is.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
Maybe a half hour's flying time from another destination. Again, poor reason to keep a crappy program.

As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest side benefits of the program is that the airports can be used as an alternate if needed. In order to have an airport listed as an alternate, it needs to be approved as part of the carrier's ops specs. In order for it to meet that criteria it has to have certain programs. Crash/Fire rescue, TSA, and approved fueling are just some of the requirements. If you remove the program, you've cut the airports that could be used as alternates/emergency landing sites. There is a whole lot of country between Rapid City and Sioux Falls. In an emergency a Captain could use their emergency authority and land at an unapproved alternate, but they would most likely not have charts for those airports. Believe me, Delta has charts in their airplanes for North Platte, Scottsbluff, Liberal, Pierre, and so on.

Cutting EAS would eliminate the funding for those airports to be used as alternates and emergency sites. It's kinda nice knowing if you divert to North Platte in a United jet, that Great Lakes is there to park you and that they have security and other facilities available for your passengers.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
That's debatable, considering how few people actually use the service.

I don't think you understand just how many people use and depend on the service. It's easy to criticize from your computer screen in your dorm, however you've probably never been to the towns that request the service. EAS provides a link not only to the cities it serves but to hundreds of miles of surrounding areas. If you live in Perryton, TX or farm near there, your closest airport is Liberal, KS. If you get rid of service to Liberal, Amarillo, TX is significantly farther away. In both cases you're doing some driving. Cutting Liberal service not only cuts off western Kansas, it also removes access to hundreds of surrounding miles.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
You mean less unprofitable.

Depends on how you measure profits. I'm pretty sure Great Lakes makes money on those markets. When Garden City was taken over by American Eagle, the question of having Dodge City service cut came up several times. The subsidy is linked between the cities. The city leaders in Dodge City were able to work out a deal with Great Lakes and the federal gov. to maintain service to their community because a loss of service would cause an economic hardship for the area.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
I'm saying I'm not going to pay for an empty Beechcraft to land in their town every day.

You don't. EAS funding is from arrival taxes on foreign airlines. Also the passengers that fly out on an EAS flight are taxed so it is revenue producing for the United States government.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 30):
I'm not the one saying they aren't worthy of air service. It's all of the people not flying to those places saying it isn't worthy of air service.

Just because every flight isn't full doesn't mean it is worthy of service. How do you determine weather or not a city is worthy? Great Lakes breaks even with 6 people on a Beech. There are so many assumptions about the program its funny. Should we cut Amtrak service to Dodge City too? What about Glasgow, MT?
 
JayDub
Posts: 359
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 4:14 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 4:29 am

EAS serves a purpose. There are communities that truly need the subsidies. That said, however, it should not be used to support communities like Visalia and Merced. Both are within a two-hour drive to larger airports like FAT, MOD, OAK, and SJC.
"Travel is only glamorous in retrospect." - Paul Theroux
 
BMI727
Posts: 11176
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 4:44 am

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
In order for it to meet that criteria it has to have certain programs.

...which are not always cheap.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
In an emergency a Captain could use their emergency authority and land at an unapproved alternate, but they would most likely not have charts for those airports.

Electronic flight bag will probably take care of that. And if that is the real reason for these programs, then stop wasting money on EAS and put a fraction of the savings towards helping small communities afford fire trucks and keep their airports maintained.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
It's easy to criticize from your computer screen in your dorm, however you've probably never been to the towns that request the service.

I've lived in towns much smaller than those that get EAS. The nearest Walmart (and hospital) was a 20 mile drive. I've driven 200 miles plus because flights are more convenient and reasonably priced. And I've also filled my gas tank with fuel that's a dollar cheaper per gallon than Chicago and I've seen people buy nicely sized homes with sizable yards for under $150,000. There's pros and cons to living anywhere.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
EAS provides a link not only to the cities it serves but to hundreds of miles of surrounding areas.

...and yet they still cannot scrape together enough passengers to have a profitable flight.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
Just because every flight isn't full doesn't mean it is worthy of service.

The fact that an airline cannot serve the destination without a subsidy means it isn't worthy of service. Hell, I don't care if they serve routes at a loss, as long as the government doesn't subsidize it.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
Great Lakes breaks even with 6 people on a Beech.

Is that with the subsidy or without? But it makes no difference to me if they get one person to fly per year and that fare covers all of their operations for the entire year. The government shouldn't be subsidizing it.

There are plenty of spending cuts that are legitimately debatable. This one is not. EAS is just indefensible.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
Should we cut Amtrak service to Dodge City too?

We should cut Amtrak service entirely. It's like the world's most expensive Lionel train set.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1579
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 5:46 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 8):
EAS is very important to small communities many of whom get us our fresh produce and produce quality goods we all need.
Quoting 1337Delta764 (Reply 2):
What a useless program. Except in Alaska, the EAS program is wasting money and fuel on empty planes. It needs to go or at least get replaced by an Essential Bus Service (EBS) program.

Well, here we go again..My 2 Cents...While I live less than 2nm from the VIS threshold and enjoy seeing and hearing the Great lakes flights they are total waste of very scarce tax dollars. Yes, community leaders love to use "air service" when luring new businesses to a town. Understandable..but the whole thing is just one program that needs to be cut back to real "essential" service..Like Alaska and perhaps a handfull of spots in the lower 48.

Being in the produce business for a living I don't know of any small communities in the continental US relying on air service for your produce or any other major foodstuffs. It is all trucked from a distribution center or wholesale market to every town in America.

Yes, such very perishable items, such as berries, Cherries and such,are flown to Alaska, Hawaii, San Juan and other US island since trucks nor trains go on water. Even to Puerto Rico, over 90% goes by truck or rail to Houston or Jacksonville or Miami , then transferred to refrigerated containers for a vessel trip.

Back to VIS..and MCE...as close as these are to FAT/ BFL and FAT/SMF/ OAK there is no need for EAS. IF Great lakes or anyone else wants to do it on an "at risk" basis God Bless them. IF it works out great, if not..too bad. The closer regional airport actually gets stronger.
 
cbphoto
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:23 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 6:44 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 33):
We should cut Amtrak service entirely. It's like the world's most expensive Lionel train set.

And people wonder why the US lags so far behind the rest of the "modern" world in public transportation, because of stupid comments like this!

What BMI727 still has yet to address, is how he is actually paying for the EAS service? As I and others have mentioned, EAS is funded by aviation taxes and such! News flash, if we cut EAS service all together, you as a traveling passenger are still going to pay the taxes, no matter what!
ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
 
FlyPNS1
Posts: 5288
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RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 7:05 pm

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 27):
I bet everyone in Hays, KS knows that they have an airport and service from Great Lakes.

I bet you most people have no idea. I have friends who live in Staunton, VA which has EAS service (SHD is the airport code). Many of them were shocked when I asked them if they ever flew out of SHD because they didn't know SHD had air service. They all just drove to CHO or ROA (or even IAD) and never even thought about SHD.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
How do you determine weather or not a city is worthy?

If a city can support service without subsidy, then it is worthy of having service. Any city that needs subsidy isn't worthy.

Quoting ILUV767 (Reply 31):
There is a whole lot of country between Rapid City and Sioux Falls. In an emergency a Captain could use their emergency authority and land at an unapproved alternate, but they would most likely not have charts for those airports.

It's the 21st century, pilots can electronically get charts for pretty much anywhere.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 35):
News flash, if we cut EAS service all together, you as a traveling passenger are still going to pay the taxes, no matter what!

Maybe then we could lower the tax...making flying a little bit cheaper so that more people can fly. Or maybe we could use those tax dollars to do other things like modernize our antiquated ATC system, build runways, etc.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11176
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 7:30 pm

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 35):
And people wonder why the US lags so far behind the rest of the "modern" world in public transportation, because of stupid comments like this!

If it could be done profitably someone would have done it. The railroads died for a reason.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 35):
What BMI727 still has yet to address, is how he is actually paying for the EAS service?

Are airlines just scamming me with those taxes they tack onto airfares?

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 35):
News flash, if we cut EAS service all together, you as a traveling passenger are still going to pay the taxes, no matter what!

They could always put it toward more useful things....or the incredible national debt. A billion here a billion here and soon you're talking about real money. (Ironically coined by an Illinois politician)
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
cbphoto
Posts: 1120
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2003 6:23 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 7:44 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 37):
Are airlines just scamming me with those taxes they tack onto airfares?

Well it's simple really, if you do not want to support EAS service, then simply stop flying and that will solve your dilemma! You attitude is that "it's the peoples fault" for living in small communites, so stop flying, and you won't have to pay taxes that support the EAS services!

You know, I live in a big city, and I can't remember the last time I went on a public bus, yet my tax money is going towards those busses, maybe they should cut those to save on the budget. Also, we are doing a lot of road work right now, on roads I don't use, maybe we should cut that as well, because heck, I don't use them!

What about the people who do use them? Who rely on them to get in and out of their cities? I have used Amtrak for business purposes, but again it's just a big lionel train set!

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 36):
Maybe then we could lower the tax...making flying a little bit cheaper so that more people can fly. Or maybe we could use those tax dollars to do other things like modernize our antiquated ATC system, build runways, etc.

One, the tax will never go down, look at the FAA shutdown for info about that idea! Not only was the fly public not supposed to pay the tax during the shutdown, they were supposed to get a refund, but that never happened!

The amoung of money that is in the EAS system, is a tiny drop in the hat compared to everything else. Does the system need to be streamlines, of course! But cutting EAS is not going to solve our national debt. Just remember, an entire years worth of EAS payments, is the equivelent to an afternoon in Afghanistan for us, hopfully that puts it in perspective!
ETOPS: Engines Turning or Passengers Swimming
 
BMI727
Posts: 11176
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Sun May 13, 2012 7:49 pm

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 38):
You know, I live in a big city, and I can't remember the last time I went on a public bus, yet my tax money is going towards those busses, maybe they should cut those to save on the budget

Sure. People who ride the buses can pay a fare that covers the costs.

Quoting cbphoto (Reply 38):
What about the people who do use them? Who rely on them to get in and out of their cities?

If it is so important then they will have no problems ponying up the unsubsidized fare.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
DesertAir
Posts: 1277
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Mon May 14, 2012 1:45 am

Back in the day there were many small airlines that did milk-runs through many small towns in rural america. While living in Central America I took the COPA milk-run through Central America from Panama to Guatemala. It was unglamorus, landing, quickly deplaning and then quickly replaning, slamming shut the door and off to the next country. Would rethinking puddle jumping resolve some of this? Think "small is beautiful." In the creating of the maga carriers and their partners, there is no focus on rural, small town America. Those of you who better understand airline economics, please comment.
 
Skywatcher
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:19 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Mon May 14, 2012 2:14 am

I read through this whole string and only one poster mentionned the trillion dollar annual Federal government debt. The fact is that EAS (and many other unfunded boondoggles) is part of the growing debt. It is only by cutting pork barrel entitlements such as EAS that the U.S. will ever get out from under the weight of the unsustainable spending that is currently happening.
Virtually nobody in the U.S. is willing to make any sacrifices to change the scary path that their society is going down. If you can't cut something as obviously wasteful as EAS then good luck with the real meat of the problem (defense, medicaid, unfunded pension entitlements etc.).
I'm always amazed at the extent of the denial that is ocurring on such a massive scale in the U.S.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 2226
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Mon May 14, 2012 2:25 am

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 41):
If you can't cut something as obviously wasteful as EAS then good luck with the real meat of the problem (defense, medicaid, unfunded pension entitlements etc.).

It's not nearly as wasteful as stuff like the bridge to nowhere. I'd agree cuts need to be made, but there are places that should get them long, long before EAS gets significant cuts. Defense and HUD would be a great place to start.

EAS could be managed much, much better if they put planes that could be filled on the routes. Look at Cape Air, they seem to make many of their EAS routes work, often adding non-EAS supported flights on top of what they get subsidized for.


-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
TIA
Posts: 443
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 3:42 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Mon May 14, 2012 8:41 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 14):
Imagine the uproar if someone from Visalia said "my constituents will never use the 2nd Avenue Subway extension in New York City, so only people in New York City should pay for it".

Seeing as New Yorkers pay more in federal taxes than they receive, you are in fact not paying for them. It is just the opposite actually. They're paying for other people.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 12):
I don't use Amtrack in the NE Corridor, why should I pay for that?

You don't. The NE corridor is profitable.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 2226
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Mon May 14, 2012 11:19 pm

Quoting TIA (Reply 43):
You don't. The NE corridor is profitable.

So what, the whole system, as a unit, is a massive money pit. Fact of the matter is Amtrak costs way, way, way more money than EAS does. Yet people aren't calling for it's head nearly as much as they want EAS dead.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
BMI727
Posts: 11176
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Tue May 15, 2012 12:40 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 44):
Yet people aren't calling for it's head nearly as much as they want EAS dead.

I am. Gut all the parts that don't make money and sell it to the highest bidder.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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LAXintl
Topic Author
Posts: 20505
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Tue May 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Dug up boarding totals for Visalia and Merced for an idea of how small of a market we are talking about.

Merced
2011 - 5052 = 13.8/day
2010 - 4023
2009 - 2034
2008 - 2761

Visalia
2011 - 4615 = 12.6/day
2010 - 3670
2009 - 4768
2008 - 3463


Both airports had a hey-day back in the early 2000's when boardings reached 15,000+.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1579
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Tue May 29, 2012 4:53 pm

Quoting Skywatcher (Reply 41):
I read through this whole string and only one poster mentionned the trillion dollar annual Federal government debt. The fact is that EAS (and many other unfunded boondoggles) is part of the growing debt. It is only by cutting pork barrel entitlements such as EAS that the U.S. will ever get out from under the weight of the unsustainable spending that is currently happening.
Virtually nobody in the U.S. is willing to make any sacrifices to change the scary path that their society is going down. If you can't cut something as obviously wasteful as EAS then good luck with the real meat of the problem (defense, medicaid, unfunded pension entitlements etc.).
I'm always amazed at the extent of the denial that is ocurring on such a massive scale in the U.S.

Well Put...Thanks!

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 46):
Dug up boarding totals for Visalia and Merced for an idea of how small of a market we are talking about.

Merced
2011 - 5052 = 13.8/day
2010 - 4023
2009 - 2034
2008 - 2761

Visalia
2011 - 4615 = 12.6/day
2010 - 3670
2009 - 4768
2008 - 3463

I think those numbers help make the case..a waste particularly when Fresno is within an hour of either location.

And rega

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 44):
So what, the whole system, as a unit, is a massive money pit. Fact of the matter is Amtrak costs way, way, way more money than EAS does. Yet people aren't calling for it's head nearly as much as they want EAS dead.

And there is another example of where some hard choices WILL EVENTUALLY have to be made. Unless teh states want to pick up the tab. Some where there has to be exact figures of which trains make money and which don't. I would bet the only ones that break even or make a dime are in California/ west coast routes, Maybe around Chicago and teh NE...that would be it.
 
FATFlyer
Posts: 4446
Joined: Fri May 18, 2001 4:12 am

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Tue May 29, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 46):
Dug up boarding totals for Visalia and Merced for an idea of how small of a market we are talking about.

Merced
2011 - 5052 = 13.8/day
2010 - 4023
2009 - 2034
2008 - 2761

Visalia
2011 - 4615 = 12.6/day
2010 - 3670
2009 - 4768
2008 - 3463


Both airports had a hey-day back in the early 2000's when boardings reached 15,000+.

To be fair in the comparison I think it should be noted those 4 years of boardings consisted of service to ONT.

ONT is not exactly a big hub airport for connections. Flights were shifted from ONT to LAX in summer 2011 which started a climb in boardings.

The larger boarding numbers cited in the early 2000s were during years when flights were operating to airports such as SFO, LAX and LAS instead of ONT.

Personally I think the Feds agreeing to subsidize Great Lakes operating to ONT instead of LAX (or SFO) was a big mistake. Subsidizing flights to anything other than a true connecting hub is a waste of resources. The decline in passenger numbers shown seems to agree with that also.
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness." - Mark Twain
 
User avatar
LAXintl
Topic Author
Posts: 20505
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: Merced And Visalia CA Could Lose EAS Service

Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:01 am

DOT granted interested carriers 2 additional weeks to submit their proposals. Apparently Great Lakes requested additional time.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California

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