Air Transport World

GAO offers EAS guidelines. (Regional News).(General Accounting Office; Essential Air Service)(Brief Article)

A report by the US General Accounting Office offers Congress a blueprint for revising Essential Air Service funding, which was earmarked at a record $113 million for 2002.

The EAS program was starred in 1978 as part of the Airline Deregulation Act and grew to include subsidies to carriers that serve 114 small communities. While costs have risen, the number of passengers flying on EAS routes has dropped, with many choosing to drive to the nearest larger airport to rake advantage of lower fares and more service options, according to GAO.

Part of the increased cost is attributed to fleet reconfiguration, with turboprops being replaced by more expensive to operate regional jets, the report says. …

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