27 Small US Cities Have Air Service on the Chopping Block

As I scrolled the list of cities that would no longer qualify for Essential Air Service earlier this month, I felt that same helpless frustration that always hits me when the topic of small city air service comes up. Air service to small cities has gotten worse nearly across the board for the last couple decades, and nobody seems to have any solutions. Looking at these 27 cities, however, can help explain a lot about why this is happening.

To remain in the Essential Air Service program, airports that aren’t completely remote (so, not in Alaska) have to enplane at least 10 passengers per day and require a subsidy of less than $200 per passenger (still quite a tidy sum). These 27 airports failed the test using 2016 numbers:

Alamosa (CO) Hagerstown (MD) Macon (GA) Pueblo (CO)
Altoona (PA) Imperial (CA) Mason City (IA) Salina (KS)
Bradford (PA) Jackson (TN) Muscle Shoals (AL) Scottsbluff (NE)
Clarksburg (WV) Jamestown (NY) Owensboro (KY) Tupelo (MS)
DuBois (PA) Johnstown (PA) Parkersburg (WV) Vernal (UT)
Ft Dodge (IA) Kearney (NE) Pendleton (OR) Victoria (TX)
Franklin/Oil City (PA) Lancaster (PA) Prescott (AZ)

Not all of them are on here for the same reason, nor will all actually lose service. Here’s why.

The (Un)Lucky 8
The towns of Pueblo and Macon failed to enplane 10 passengers a day while Muscle Shoals, Imperial, Pueblo, Salina, Tupelo, Pendleton, and Vernal required subsidies of more than $200 per passenger. For that reason, they should be out of the program, but they get a stay of execution. Why? Because they had lost their previous service and were in a period of transition while a new operator was found.

This is an increasingly common problem in these small cities. It’s rare that even a traditional regional airline is willing to fly to these cities, because they’re all too busy scrambling to find pilots to fly jets on bigger routes for partner airlines. SkyWest, for example, removed itself from many routes when it stopped flying its Brasilia turboprops. That has left really tiny operators to fill the void.

In some cases, these airlines do have relationships with larger airlines to bridge the gap to the rest of the world. Great Lakes, for example, is one of those. But Great Lakes has become unreliable at best and has shrunk dramatically because it simply doesn’t have enough pilots. It is not alone. Other airlines, like now-bankrupt SeaPort, haven’t been able to put together a viable business thanks to the many hurdles that are out there. And some like Boutique Air may be able to provide service but they are isolated from the rest of the global travel network and can’t interline bags and people. The state of affairs has left some cities, like Macon, with no service at all in 2016 despite the subsidy being available. It now has flights from Contour Airlines to Baltimore, so apparently DOT will wait and see how that goes.

This means service shifts a lot, and carriers go in and out providing no consistency. For these 8 cities, DOT has decided to give them another chance.

The Empty 6
Altoona, Bradford, DuBois, Franklin/Oil City, Jamestown, and Victoria all failed to enplane 10 passengers a day. For most, it wasn’t even close, though Bradford and DuBois almost cracked the 9 passenger mark.

With the exception of Victoria, these are all Rust Belt towns that have seen their industrial economies dry up. They’re also very close to other options. Jamestown and Bradford are only 75 miles from Buffalo. Franklin is 85 miles from Pittsburgh while Altoona and DuBois are 110 miles away. That doesn’t sound very far, but it’s actually far worse than that.

Take Altoona (please, *rimshot*). The city of Altoona is 20 miles north of its own airport, but it’s also only 40 miles south of State College. State College is an airport that has commercial service from several airlines, but it too has struggled. Why should the government be funding flights in Altoona that only hurt the chances of State College succeeding? There aren’t many people flying from Altoona, but that’s because Southern Airways Express can only fly travelers to Baltimore or Pittsburgh and can’t connect them beyond. Most people are probably already driving to State College since they can get nearly anywhere important with a single stop from there. It’s no wonder that there hasn’t been a lot of demand for this service.

Most of these other cities in the Rust Belt face the same predicament. They step on top of each other and prevent any one airport from being successful.

The Expensive 13
The remaining airports all require a subsidy that’s just too rich for the US government at more than $200 per passenger. I should note that most of The Empty 6 also require too much subsidy, but that’s no surprise when you can’t even muster 10 passengers a day. In fact, they’re the worst offenders with Altoona, the absolute worst, requiring an incredible $734 per passenger.

The worst of the rest is Prescott, Arizona with a $411 per passenger subsidy. (Fun fact: pronounced “press-kit.”) Prescott is actually one of the lucky ones in that it has two daily flights (one on weekend days) to a major hub at LAX. The service is flown by Great Lakes, an airline which has interline agreements with the big 3 airlines and even a codeshare with United. On the surface, this seems like the kind of service that would work, if any would.

But clearly it doesn’t. The city lies only 100 miles north of Phoenix Sky Harbor, and the drive takes less than 2 hours. There’s also a frequent shuttle that’s $37 each way. Once in Phoenix, people can fly nonstop to most of the destinations they care about. And they can do it for cheap. I picked a random day in December and the lowest fare from Prescott to San Francisco via LA was about $300 one way. From Phoenix, it was $100 to go nonstop. Meanwhile, Great Lakes uses an Embraer Brasilia, a fairly large airplane that requires a lot more subsidy than, say, a Cessna Grand Caravan. But at 350 miles, that would be quite the haul for a smaller airplane like the Caravan. If there was a ton of demand, this route might work on less subsidy. But there’s just not enough to spread those costs out.


These are just the worst of the worst. If you look through the EAS program, you’ll see other routes that are failing as well, just not as badly. But these EAS routes may be their own worst enemy, hurting potentially viable service as other nearby airports. With the pilot pool shrinking and options dwindling, something needs to change. It’s just hard to know exactly what and how. In the near future I’ll look at a report that tries to tackle this issue.

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73 Comments on "27 Small US Cities Have Air Service on the Chopping Block"

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Davey
Guest
If the country truly wants to start the process of scaling back government — and government waste — this is one place to start. Macon, GA, for example, is only about an hour from Hartsfield Atlanta, a fact not mentioned anywhere. Likewise, on a busy day, there are parts of Chicago that are further time-wise from ORD than Prescott is from Sky Harbor. EAS has the same variables that Amtrak does with many small towns. People in small communities want both EAS and Amtrak. People in small communities scream and holler for EAS and Amtrak. But they don’t want to… Read more »
Andy
Member

“Likewise, on a busy day, there are parts of Chicago that are further time-wise from ORD than Prescott is from Sky Harbor.”
But those parts are closer to MDW, so your comparison kinda falls flat.

stogieguy7
Guest

Not necessarily – you’re forgetting the western suburbs like Aurora/Plainfield/Naperville. Those places can easily be 1-2 hours from either airport when traffic is bad. And that represents a lot of people.

Davey
Guest

Exactly. There is about 900,000 people in DuPage County; 800,000 in Will and only God knows how many in Southern Cook County. Midway is halfway-up the Stevie (Interstate 55 for you out-of-towners) and the reverse flow commute is just about as bad as the conventional commute.

And we won’t even touch the Tri-State.

Gary Leff
Guest
“nobody seems to have any solutions.” On the contrary, airports with fewer than 10 passengers per day *even with subsidies* and that have alternate airports within driving distance probably shouldn’t have air service — ESPECIALLY when a pilot shortage means that air service trades off with other flights that could be offered and serve more people. In other words, while lamentable on one level, losing air service is the best of all possible worlds considering the tradeoffs. Moreover these subsidies redistribute income from median taxpayers to comparably wealthy air passengers and airline investors. That’s hard to defend morally as a… Read more »
Eric Morris
Guest

I wish Congressional staffers would kindly point their bosses to the dictionary definitions of the word “essential”. That should be an essential aspect of this discussion.

RNB
Guest
Macon, Georgia (my home town, by the way) isn’t “unlucky.” There’s no market there. MCN is ten miles south of the city of Macon. Since Hartsfield-Jackson International is only about seventy miles north of Macon, driving or taking a shuttle (31 trips/day @ $41) is both cheaper and more convenient for just about everybody. Truthfully, most of the passengers in the old days were Air Force employees traveling on business for Robins Air Force Base at Warner Robins (9 miles south of the airport). My father used to take a plane out of MCN at least once a month back… Read more »
davidp627
Member

The flights are Macon – BWI. Any idea how they are doing?

A
Guest
This program needs to be scrapped for the lower 48. It just does not make any sense and the proof is in the fact that people aren’t using it. Two example closest to me is Mason City. It’s a little over an hours drive to Waterloo Regional Airport which can take you into MSP or ORD. Otherwise it’s a 2 hour drive just to go straight to MSP or about the same to head down to DSM. Ft. Dodge, IA is in a similar position. Why on earth should the taxpayers subsidize air service for these people. In a major… Read more »
Bjorn
Member

Agreed with a small nitpick: Waterloo is also an EAS-subsided airport.

Adam
Guest

I wouldn’t go so far to say that. If they scrap EAS, the upper peninsula of Michigan would lose all but one of their airports. The only airport in the UP that doesn’t qualify for EAS is Marquette. These are also areas that do not have shuttles to the airport like some of these other airports.

Some may argue that this is the price you pay for living in the woods….. and I agree for the most part, however, some cities do need it and would dry up even further without air service. Possibly tighter qualifications?

Kilroy
Guest
Not sure why/how Lancaster ever qualified for EAS. It’s <80 miles away from both BWI and PHL; many smaller towns would kill to be that close to major airports. Jackson, TN is < 90 miles from MEM. Hagerstown, MD is < 90 miles from BWI. The list goes on… If a town is within 90 (or even 120) miles of a mid-sized or larger airport, I just don't see EAS working out, and if I had the time, I'd do the analysis and probably find that most of the airports on the list above are within a 2 hour drive… Read more »
Neil S.
Guest

And 40 minutes from Harrisburg. Takes me longer to get to JFK from Manhattan most of the time.

A
Guest
Even in the “frontier” of the west I don’t think there are many places in the lower 48 that are more than 2-3 hours drive time from an airport with regular service. Remember those places have no people so it’s not like you really need to account for traffic – weather yes but that would also affect flights so I don’t think it should apply. Mind you I’ve driven across parts of eastern Montana where I put on 100 miles without seeing another car. It’s VAST, but the roads are decent and I could without much trouble get into places… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest
I agree. I’m opposed to any government subsidies for air service, personally. If you’re living in an area far from the nearest airport with passenger service, well, that’s just a cost of your choice to live or work in that area, as much as dealing with traffic, public transportation, etc is a cost of choosing to live/work in a major city’s metro area. There are carriers offering regularly scheduled flights on smaller planes (30 seats or fewer) out of both private and regular commercial airports, and if the demand is truly there I’m confident that the free market will step… Read more »
Scott
Member

I’ll offer up Oroville (& Omak) WA which are 2.5 (1.5hr) from the nearest air service in Wenatchee, and 3.5(2.5hr) from Spokane as perhaps a town(s) that needs this sort of thing; but you’re right in saying most of the stuff that’s an hour drive is crazy.

Pilotaaron1
Guest

I think Imperial CA is interesting. Considering Yuma AZ is an hour away with airline service and they are trying really hard to land a second airline or bring back United to LA. It may be different, but I look at that the same way as Altoona/St College.

haolenate
Guest

Mokulele’s averages actually are within the limits of the EAS program: the SeaPort shortcomings into FY 16 are the reason its on the list. Mokulele has done quite the good job, including marketing to Mexicali & the rest of Baja California.

Robertspd
Member
The EAS program was formed more than 30 years ago and has basically never been changed. While a number of other problems could be cited, two are paramount. First, there is no airplane available to economically serve small cities, and no existing manufacturer interested in building one. Second, two round trips a day does not build a market nor does it provide an operator the ability to fully utilize it’s aircraft. To give market spread enough to reliably attract passengers and achieve good aircraft utilization, there must be a minimum of four daily round trips. Existing aircraft with reasonable economics… Read more »
Kilroy
Guest

Good point about aircraft size and economics. I know that the general public usually isn’t too fond of turboprops, but personally I’ll take a Dash 80 over a RJ any day.

Still, as you mentioned, you need at least 2 (ideally 4) RTs per weekday to justify a route and utilize a plane, and ideally several routes using the same larger hub airport… That’s ~120-200 seats to fill daily in each direction, even on the smallest planes, and that’s a tall order for most towns that are within a 2 hour drive of a midsize or larger airport.

jonathan reed
Guest

Shuttle services seem a lot more practical than expensive short air flights. This is very unwise government spending.

Spirit FF
Member
The EAS is a poorly managed program, forcing carriers to meet certain requirements instead of the market determining. Generally, there is a minimum number of flights per day/per week. Also, a number of the carriers are poorly managed – they have very little sales staff, no analyst, and are just there to make money off the government. I’m currently working on a report regarding Visalia. Visalia itself is a city of 130,000, a decent size city. But Fresno Airport is within 45 minutes. If you look further within a 10 mile radius of Visalia, is Tulare (62,000), and Hanford (55,000,… Read more »
Jim
Guest

The purpose of EAS is to connect small communities to the national and international air transport networks, not to provide local commuter service. VIS-FUL can easily be done by car or on the bus. There is no reason for the feds to subsidize it, and if they did want to subsidize it, an Amtrak line would be much better. EAS is meant to get people from VIS to NYC or Chicago by giving them a connection into the network, and that can only be done through a major hub like LAX.

Ron
Guest

There is Amtrak service VIS-FUL, subsidized not by the Feds but by Caltrans. It requires three connections (four segments): first an Amtrak bus from Visalia to Hanford (where the train station is located), and then train-bus-train to Fullerton, using a bus bridge between Bakersfield and L.A. because passenger trains are not allowed through the Tehachapi pass. The latter will change if the California high-speed rail ever gets completed to L.A.

Of course, since the Amtrak service passes through L.A., there’s no specific need to go through Fullerton to reach points in the L.A. basin.

Spirit FF
Member

Fullerton has a history of airline service from the 1960s-1980s. My point, if one want to build an air taxi type operation hand picking vacated EAS routes to fly, FUL is in a great location to serve all points of the LA/OC Area.

My original message is I believe some of these EAS cities can be profitable Again, operating a 9 passenger aircraft requires only 1 pilot and no TSA, therefore significantly reducing costs. Using an airport like FUL would have lower costs than BUR or LGB (if your goal is to pick up local traffic).

Jim
Guest

“My original message is I believe some of these EAS cities can be profitable”

If that were the case, some airline would have figured it out by now. After so many attempts, if no one has made it work, even with subsidies, then there is probably no market.

Jim
Guest

Yeah, it’s a pretty ridiculous system on Amtrak. It might be less connections on Greyhound.

Spirit FF
Member
I agree with you, there is no need to subsidies, however, the EAS carriers found more people were just wanting to go to LA as opposed to connecting into the network. SeaPort proved this by opting for BUR instead of LAX. BUR being a “small hub” qualified under EAS. And Mokulele recently moved their SMX service to BUR. My point is, LAX is not the answer. In fact, VIS opted out of the EAS and went with the Community Pilot Program – it essentially gives them the money to spend on who they want to. They have the ability to… Read more »
Jim
Guest

“My original point was, some EAS cities could be served profitably without subsidies”

LOL. If you’re so sure of that, then start an airline yourself.

haolenate
Guest
Part of the reason Moku moved ops for Santa Maria to Burbank is also because LAX ops for a west/north departure are a nightmare for them since they go out of partner Alaska’s concourse on the south side; some flights spent more time driving around LAX than they did flight time, which screwed up the schedule for the rest of the day. But now Mokulele can market to people who want to go to the LA Basin for the day/weekend, etc instead of driving in. But SMX’s traffic was always connecting to other cities out of LAX on United; And… Read more »
Matt D
Guest
Hey neighbor. Here in Tulare myself. Fascinating perspective. But look at the broader, regional picture: Fresno. That’s an existing much larger market that’s badly underserved. Look as far north as Merced and as far south as Delano and you have a huge chunk of real estate and a lot of people. And very few air travel options. I’d be curious to know-if it were even possible to chronicle-how many travelers there are in that area. And how many of them head straight to LAX/SFO for their needs. And how many would stay local-if only a reasonable low cost option existed.… Read more »
Spirit FF
Member
As someone who lived in Turlock for several years, MOD was the best option. In its heyday, there was AA Eagle and United Express. If I couldn’t find a decent fare out of MOD, OAK and SMF were my next option (90 minutes), then SFO and SJC (2 hours). I even flew out of FAT – several options. FAT is a beautiful airport, and at some point, service will grow. Regarding VIS, I think service could be viable (despite what some say in previous comments). However, one must understand the market. Service to the LA Area may not be viable… Read more »
jim
Member

As a member of the Airport Authority in one of the cities I would love to talk to you about EAS. There are some things that can be done.

Kilroy
Guest

Cranky, this is a good point. An interview post or podcast with someone from an EAS airport (or a smaller airport struggling to attract/retain commercial pax service) would be very interesting.

haolenate
Guest

The problem is, there is NO incentive by the DOT to the airlines to get these markets off the program. You will never make a market self-sustaining when you are flying around a plane that costs $900/hour and yet only charging $20 – $50 each way. Some markets will forever be “welfare” markets, others have just been on the wrong side of the economic changes in our country. But it would be great if airlines were rewarded for reducing subsidy amounts or increasing passenger counts.

Bob Schilling
Member
This seems to me to argue for a coordinated multi-modal transportation system.  Access to air service seems to me a key element in economic development, which surely is important in at least some of these small cities.  At the same time, they’re not generating enough traffic right now to justify commercial air service.  I wonder, though, how the subsidy numbers would work for a dedicated bus service for small cities up to 100 miles from their nearest regional airport.  Good route planning might allow a single 54-passenger bus to serve two or three such destinations, and the buses could be… Read more »
MRY-SMF
Guest
It would be an interesting concept if you could check in at a local “terminal”, maybe even check bags and go through security. Then, you board a bus and your bags are loaded into the cargo hold. The bus drives to the airport to a special gate in the secure zone and your tickets and bags are interlined with the airline you’re flying with. If having security at these “terminals” would be cost prohibitive, how about a special checkpoint at the airport for bus passengers. I could see 2 good applications of this: 1. Big Hub Airports These busses would… Read more »
MRY-SMF
Guest

The San Joaquin Valley case described by Spirit FF above is a good example of the regional hub application. FAT is struggling to get more flights and is mostly served by regional jets. Instead of trying to have limited service in Visalia and other cities in the area, bring everyone to Fresno, which will now have the bargaining power and numbers to attract more destinations and bigger aircraft.

Spirit FF
Member
I believe “inter-modal” can be the future of airline travel and the answer to EAS communities. Arizona has done a great job of providing frequent and reliable service from communities to PHX Airport. My son live in PRC, we send him on the Arizona Shuttle to catch his AA flight out of PHX. In fact, years ago, America West Airlines had a motorcoach that boarded at the gate and went to Scottsdale. Today, UA offers motorcoach service from ABE to EWR and BPT to IAH. Currently, sports charters can clear security at the time they board the bus before leaving… Read more »
Bob Schilling
Member
This is an excellent idea.  It requires careful work with TSA to ensure the integrity of the inspected baggage once it’s checked.  An interim step might be to check bags at a remote terminal, seal them, and put them through a second X-ray inspection at the airport.  It’s a laudable goal – you check in in at a terminal in your own small town and then get a pretty much seamless experience beyond that.  It’s a product people might even like, especially if we can get in reasonable headways.  As for feeding hubs, I think I’d favor feeders to smaller… Read more »
Bjorn
Member

United Airlines runs bus shuttle service from Allentown, PA to EWR. I haven’t used it, but from what I understand passengers from Allentown check their luggage there but do not pass through security until EWR (the bags ride in a secured compartment), while passengers from EWR board the bus behind security like a plane.

Brian
Member
Hong Kong has some airline check-in counters at a few of the stops along the Airport Express. It’s extremely easy and convenient to check in and get rid of checked bags before you board the train. However, it requires a great deal of manpower to keep it running smoothly and all of the airlines that participate in this service must staff it like a normal check-in counter at the airport. I don’t think this country could handle that type “dream.” Besides, do you think our LCC or ULCC would participate? What about the big 3 carriers for Basic Economy tickets?… Read more »
Ron
Guest
A bus (or multi-modal) network can work in many places, but let’s not add the complications of remote check-in. Remote baggage check-in rarely ever works, because the logistics of redistributing the bags among several airlines are just too complicated. Even with a single airline it’s a challenge and often not worth the effort (think British Airways at Paddington). I can think of rare cases — Tel Aviv used to have a network of off-airport places you could check bags, but that was just because there wasn’t enough physical space in the airport; once the new terminal opened in 2004, the… Read more »
David M
Guest

Taipei does city check in for the Taoyuan Airport MRT, but it’s only available for China Airlines and EVA Air passengers. Checked bags are carried in a separate compartment on the train.

Oslo has check-in kiosks at the main train station adjacent to the platform for the Airport Express Train; the kiosks print boarding passes and luggage tags, but passengers still carry the bags on the train and drop them off with the airline once they reach the airport.

Bob Schilling
Member
Remote baggage check isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s a nice amenity where it works.  Distribution among airlines is easily handled with dedicated skycaps.  The harder issue is check-in staff in remote terminals.  That requires staff who have been trained in several airlines’ processes, and it requires corresponding baggage tags.  Again, not insurmountable if you’re determined to do it, and you’re willing to spend, say, $100 per passenger.  With respect, I disagree with your characterization of this service as a poor use of public transport dollars.  It doesn’t affect public transport dollars.  We’re using airports money here, or airport subsidies to… Read more »
Ron
Guest

Yes, we’re trying to serve small towns and cities that may lose air service, and I’d say that they’re better served by a bus that carries both airport and local traffic, rather than a bus that carries airport traffic only.

jaybru
Member
I’ve used the EAS for many, many flights. It was on Cape Air, an airline that knows a thing or two. Of course, it’s a dying program, kept alive by a few politicians, and few woeful, bottom-feeder airlines, you and no one else under the current program would ever think of using. There’s no one to market the program, or to understand to whom you should be marketing. In most small communitites it’s not the people there the program is for, it’s those who will work and play there. But, service will never pay for itself. Funding, reliable funding, like… Read more »
Jim
Guest

If the government can’t find airlines willing to provide this service even with massive subsidies, then at some point they need to accept that there is no demand. These small communities need to swallow their pride and accept that they are not big enough for commercial service.

Perhaps the government can subsidize alternatives, like a shuttle bus to the nearest commercial airport.

David SF eastbay
Member

I’ve always wondered if Airline-A was flying to a EAS city, and Airline-B on there own started service to that ESA city, would the Fed’s still pay Airline-A or would they say sorry we don’t need you now since Airline-B is in that city?

Jim
Guest

I doubt that would ever happen, because it’s almost impossible to compete against a subsidized service. The airline with the subsidy could just lower prices and force the new airline to leave.

Spirit FF
Member

That did happen a few years ago when Modesto was an EAS city. Wings West received the original subsidy, but WestAir saw enough potential they started. WW became AA Eagle, and WA became United Express. The subsidy actually lasted for several years, before MOD was axed from the program.

Jim
Guest

Interesting, I never knew that!

Main(e) Man
Guest

Funny about Pueblo. When I lived there it had at least twice a day service to DEN (then Stapleton) by Rocky Mountain Air, part of Continental Express. They flew Dash-6s and Dash-7s. There was also once a day service to COS (only 50 highway miles north) by America West on a 737. America West made a stop in PUB on there way from PHX. This was in the mid 1980’s and Pueblo was a dead steel town then. Things have improved there since then and I’m surprised they are having service difficulty.

jmanly
Member

Obviously, some routes are not worth keeping. Would make more sense to reallocate those subsidies, perhaps to use when air transport may make a real difference, such as medical transport.

Dale M
Guest
Although I think EAS is woefully in need of a major makeover which (among other things) blends non-federal money into the subsidy on a sliding scale, there are a few counterpoints to make. 1. Skywest has been on a tear bidding on (and almost always winning) EAS market as of late and they are nearing 40 cities. In the past handful of months they have been awarded Qunicy, Moab, Clarksburg, North Platte, Pueblo, Vernal, Cape Girardeau, and Scottsbluff, plus about a half-dozen more pending. In markets where branded 50-seat regional service has come traffic has grown significantly and per-passenger subsidy… Read more »
Mallthus
Member
Seems to me that no airport within a 2 hour drive of another, unsubsidized airport, ought to be getting EAS subsidies. Airports like Altoona and Pueblo just serve to ruin EAS for airports that really need the support. Look at Alomosa, CO. It’s 3 hours from COS if there’s no snow. That it has EAS subsidies makes sense. Pueblo, on the other hand, is 45 minutes from COS. That’s closer to COS than I am, in Longmont, to DEN, but we don’t have an EAS subsidy and neither does nearby FNL (Loveland/Fort Collins), which has struggled to attract and maintain… Read more »
Bjorn
Member

For the interested, there’s this study funded by the bus lobby, Reason, and an environmentalist organization that advocates for replacing very-short haul EAS service with bus service.

http://reason.org/files/essential_air_service_coach_bus_service_full.pdf

Mr. Drucker
Guest
One thing that gets overlooked during these discussions and decisions is the effect air service (or its lack) has on a smaller community’s ability to grow. When a smaller city or county tries to attract new business or industry, scheduled air service is a big selling point, and often a requirement for a company that is looking for a place to build a new factory or regional headquarters. True, smaller regional airports might not generate a lot of passenger movement. But if Mega Industries needs a place to build a new flux capacitor factory, they’re not going to be interested… Read more »
txjim
Guest

Would minimal service to a single destination really be a make or break factor for any significant industry?

Besides, Hooterville has adequate train service, the Cannonball runs 4X daily to Pixley

Davey
Guest

And I believe Steve and Uncle Joe would fly you to Gotham City, or at least to Crabwell Corners, on Steve’s crop duster! All without federal subsidy!

Gary Bisbee
Member

It was worth reading these comments to get to this point. Yea for Hooterville and Gotham City.

davidp627
Member

BWI’s wiki page lists it as a small regional hub for Southern Airways Express with flights to 6 small cities / towns (Hagerstown, Lancaster, Morgantown WV, Altoona, Dubois PA, Johnstown PA). I assume they are averaging less than 9 people for flight. However, the past few times I’ve been to BWI there were at least that many at the Southern ticket counter.

boltzr
Guest

I flew Salt Lake – Vernal – Denver this year RT, it was a fun little ride, but I only did it for the novelty, not out of necessity.

DaninMCI
Guest

What a waste of tax payer money. Victoria Texas is only about 2 hours from two airports in Houston and San Antonio among others. Garden City Kansas, maybe. Victoria Texas, no.

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