Friday, June 8, 2018

Senator Blunt backs Kirksville Regional Airport (KIRK) to continue Essential Air Service Program

KIRKSVILLE, Mo. — A U.S. Senator from Missouri is offering support to the City of Kirksville and its airport.

It was announced last month, that a federal program aimed at keeping airfare low in Kirksville could be tentatively terminated.

Kirksville city staffers had received a letter from the Department of Transportation.

It stated that the city and Kirksville Regional Airport went over the subsidized amount tied to the Essential Air Service or EAS Program.

That program provides 173 rural communities with subsidies for air travel across the country, totaling nearly $300 million.

In Kirksville, Cape Air is part of the Essential Air Service.

Kirksville Regional Airport Director Glenn Balliew says in order to participate in the program, flights must average a certain amount of revenue to qualify.

He said in fiscal year 2017, substantial weather during the winter caused a number of canceled flights, which resulted in a drop in passenger numbers.

Balliew, who is confident Cape Air will continue service in Kirksville, has been in contact with Republican U.S. Senator Roy Blunt's Office.

Blunt recently sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The letter stated that Kirksville exceeded the subsidy cap by just over $3. Blunt went on to say that the airport is successful, and helps provide economic growth to the area.

This is the first time Kirksville has ever exceeded the EAS cap. 

Original article can be found here ➤

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