Thursday, February 17, 2011

Senator Blunt will vote “No” on Essential Air Amendment

Senator Roy Blunt announced on Wednesday that he will not vote for the Essential Air Service Amendment proposed by Senator John McCain.

The Essential Air Service program currently provides a guarantee to rural areas that at least a minimal level of scheduled air services will be provided, regardless of whether it is profitable or not.

If passed, the amendment will cut most of the $200 million program and effectively eliminate most small rural airports.

Senator Blunt voiced his concerns regarding the effect such cuts could have on local airports and jobs.

"It’s actually one of the few areas where some government money produces lots of private sector jobs," Blunt said. "It makes the difference in whether jobs at airports in Joplin, Kirksville, Cape Girardeau, and Columbia have air service or not."

The bill was approved by a House committee on Wednesday but has not been voted on by the Senate.

Katie Long, KRCU


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