Well I am someone who would NOT like to see the EAS funding end...However, the Commuter Airlines that come in and just plunk down flights without any thought to connectivity to other flights at their Hub destination are just wasting tax payers money....When that happens, the community has to send officals to the airline and get the flights that they need....Not sit on their thumbs and just let the airline collect money for carrying nobody. There has to be some accountablilty.
A community like Coloumbia or any other smaller city receiving EAS finding needs at the very least, 3 well timed flights into a Hub Airport, once early in the morning one mid-day and one evening.....If the prospective carrier cannot provide at least that, in an EAS market they shouldnt even be considered. Three well timed flights into and out of a Hub city is an absolute must. Its not right for some commuter to just fly the required number of seats just to collect money to pump up the rest of their NON-EAS routes....and to hell with whether anyone can make any realistic conenctions at the Hub to other carriers.
Small cities need to tell the commuter airlines what they need and they need to stand behind the carrier that is willing to provide that service. However the carrier then should have the obligation to serve the city with flights that are suitbable to the travelling trends of passengers. They must be able to negotiate thru or joint fares and baggage agreements with other carriers. Simply dumping a passenger off at a Hub and making the passenger re-check-in is not int he best interest of the traveller.
What the current airline in Columbia is doing to that city, and I would imagine that they are probably doing in to other small EAS cites, does nothing to garner support for the people of Columbia. It just put the people back into their cars and the Airport and the city itself suffers......
I guess as the saying goes, Money Trumps Everything......maybe if the EAS program selected airlines that took the time to develope their markets to eventually reduce the amount of Subsidy they need by providing reliable service instead of just going with the lowest bidder, these smaller communites might benefit. The airline makes money and the community grows in its commerce and accessability....
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!