Posts Tagged ‘essential air service’

Trump Budget Would End Essential Air Service

March 20, 2017

It doesn’t get as much attention as Amtrak funding, but the federal government also underwrites airline service to rural regions of the United States.

No cites in Ohio receive funding for essential air service, but the program helps provide service in some neighboring states, including Pennsylvania.

The Trump administration budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 would end all federal funding for essential air service.

The budget proposal said ending the program would save about $175 million a year.

News reports indicate that The Essential Air Service program subsidizes airline flights to 111 communities that would otherwise have no scheduled service and which are at least 210 miles from the nearest hub airport.

About 60 communities in Alaska also receive subsidized air service.

Funding for air service to smaller communities has been around since the post-World War II era, but the current program was put into place in 1978 to preserve service at communities that were likely to lose air service in the wake of airline deregulation.

The program has drawn criticism because not all flights are full and the cost per passenger is high.

As is likely to be the case with the Trump administration plan to cut funding for Amtrak long-distance trains, opposition to the air service cuts are likely to arise in Congress, particularly the Senate, from lawmakers from rural states who have resisted past efforts to kill the air service program.



5 Carriers Want to Serve Mid-Ohio Valley Airport

May 30, 2016

Five airline companies are seeking to provide the federally-funded air service from Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport near Parkersburg, West Virginia, whose service region includes southern Ohio.

The U.S. Department of Transportation, which administers the nation’s essential airline service program, will review the bids of Aerodynamics Incorporated, Contour Air, Boutique Air, Southern Airways Express and Via Air.

One of them will be named to replace Silver Airways on Oct. 1, which currently provides service between Parkersburg and Washington Dulles International Airport.

“The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport Authority will be reviewing the bids with me,” said airport manager Jeff McDougle. “We will probably have some of these airlines making presentations here at the airport. We then have to submit our comments and recommendations to the Department of Transportation by June 20.”

Silver Airways began serving Parkersburg in October 2014 but its service has been plagued by flight delays and cancellations.

ADI plans to begin service this summer between Youngstown and Chicago.