Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The New York Times ran a new story on the Department of Transportation's longstanding (and controversial) Essential Air Service (EAS) Program. See Joe Sharkey, Subsidies at Work in a Remote Airport, N.Y. Times, Aug. 17, 2009 (available here). The crux of the piece is the same story which has been told in support of the program for the last three decades: there's a small community; small community does not generate enough traffic to support a profitable airline route; ergo the Government should subsidize it.
Those looking for more information on the program can find a nice overview at the DOT's website here. An earlier post on the blog, see "The EAS Program," contains a brief reading list on the program's history and the disputes which continue to surround it. For a recent popular piece surveying the controversy, see Dean Foust, Do Small Cities Deserve Taxpayer Subsidies to Sustain Air Service?, Bus. Wk., Aug. 18, 2009 (available here).