Rockefeller Vows to Fight Any Proposal to End Essential Air Service Program

Proposal would eliminate aid to rural airports – could be devastating to local economies

February 3, 2011

Chairman Jay RockefellerWASHINGTON, D.C.—Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV today vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to protect the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, a program that provides critical funding to support commercial air service to underserved, rural communities across the country. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has introduced an amendment to end the job-supporting EAS program.

“This proposal is a non-starter. I have seen time and again how important the EAS program is to the economic development of small communities. It attracts businesses, supports jobs, and provides a vital connection to the global marketplace,” Chairman Rockefeller said. “It makes no sense to end a program that creates so much economic value. It makes no sense to choke off rural residents’ access to air travel — and their connection to jobs and family. I will fight tooth and nail against any proposal to eliminate or cut funding for this critical program.”

EAS supports air service to more than 100 communities nationwide.