Air Transport World

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Intrastate small-community air service has been neglected during the 13 years since deregulation arrived. Congressionally mandated subsidy via the Essential Air Service (EAS) program has been squeezed ever downward by DOT, which has done little to help states develop and support air services of the kind needed to generate economic growth within a state.

Such allegations were made in January by a 23-member Transportation Research Board workshop committee. The group charged DOT with turning the $26.6 million EAS program into a "ripoff of small-community intrastate air service in the large, less-populous western states." Said moderator Kathryn Creedy: "EAS was and is managed poorly and it simply does not work. …

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