Essential Air Service funding battle continues in Washington
July 21--The future of a program that funds small, rural airports is still up in the air as federal lawmakers debate cutting some airports from the program.
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Since: Jun 08
#1 Jul 21, 2011
I hate too see these airports lose their funding. Government cutting back...
I could help them cut some FAT! In the right places too.
#2 Dec 17, 2011
EAS for certain locations is most likely needed. I would say that the following needs to occur. I am an advocate of reform, rather then just cutting it.
1) Regarding EAS and the respective airports, do we really need to have mainline carriers (or their affiliated commuter airlines) run the route. What happens if say American Eagle stops flying a route, and there is still a need? Another airline is formed, or some other airline steps in to provide a solution and fill the void. Why are we not encouraging more of this kind of entrepreneurial undertaking. We need more people ready to take the calculated risks as such. For all I care, it could be a simple "Mom & Pop" airline that runs the route
2) I understand what I wrote is maybe old fashioned and jaded. We need to closely examine the regulatory environment as such. What can we do to not only enhance effectivity of security in airports, but also make it more value added in this aspect in regard to Quality-Cost-Delivery? The smaller airports may not need the same layer of security. There is nothing saying that once the commuter aircraft lands in a larger airport for their passengers to connect that they can not be re-screened there if there is a perceived void. They do it all the time overseas for planes arriving from certain destinations (when I travel through Frankfurt or Narita en route back to the USA from some place in Asia, I have to be immediately re-screened before continuing onward to my connection).
I once landed in an airport in Asia, where it was nothing more then a "bus stand" on steroids. It had a dirt runway, and a ramshackle shed as a terminal. Yet it was still a functional airport. The staff was courteous. It was clean. They were efficient. They managed well. I am not saying we need to have airports as simple as what I describe, but we do not need them to be super-fancy like some place like Chicago O'Hare Airport. A simple runway and terminal is sufficient if it is done correctly.
3) Furthermore, does every flight need to be on a jet airplane? For smaller flights, with smaller numbers of people, wouldn't a turboprop do? I understand that everybody wants to fly a jet, but so do I want a Rolls Royce. Do I need a Rolls Royce? Do passengers need to be on a jet airplane? A good, clean, reliable Ford Focus is fine, much like a turboprop may be perfectly fine given the application. If the flight is only going a "short" distance, do we really need a jet airplane? Can we live with a turboprop?
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