Monday, March 23, 2009

Obama wants a look at rural air service subsidies

President Barack Obama's budget recommends a re-examination of the subsidy for flights to rural airports. Essential Air Service pays airlines to fly to communities where the low number of passengers are not enough to cover the cost, but Obama's budget "says the program is 'inefficiently designed' and could be sustained while 'improving cost-effectiveness'," writes Ledyard King for the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls, S.D.

King does a good job localizing the story, noting its effects on South Dakota communities. He also notes its effect on business and other aspects of rural life: "Planes also carry mail, agricultural suplies and medical samples for testing at hospitals in larger cities. The program is also touted as an important marketing tool." How does the Essential Air Service affect your community? (Read more)

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