The Essential Air Service (EAS) program could see a significant boost next year once FAA reauthorization makes its way through conference committee. So far, the House of Representatives has passed a bill that includes an increase in EAS funding to $200 million from $136 million. Meanwhile, the Senate Appropriations Committee has voted to raise the amount to $175 million and the Administration’s budget calls for the same increase.
Essential Air Service
The DOT has awarded Portland, Ore.-based SeaPort Airlines Essential Air Service subsidies for routes from Memphis to four Arkansas communities starting October 1. Harrison, Hot Springs, El Dorado and Jonesboro, Ark., have gone without scheduled service since June 1 of last year, when Mesa Air Group dissolved Air Midwest, ending its Beech 1900 service to the four cities from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
New members of the Phillips 66 aviation fuel dealer network include Butterfly Aviation at Renner Field in Goodland, Kan.; Otis Air Service, the sole FBO at Kearney Regional Airport in Nebraska; Sioux Air at Martin Field in South Sioux City, Neb.; Tate Aviation at Southern Illinois Airport, Murphysboro, Ill.; and TBD Aviation at Olney-Noble Airport in Noble, Ill.
The trend of airports adding solar power systems is growing in the southwest U.S., which sees more sunny days each year than other parts of the country. Sacred Power of Albuquerque, N.M., installed a 10-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array at White Sands Regional Airport in Alamogordo last November.
Now that the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed their respective FAA funding bills for FY2004, it’s anyone’s guess when the conference committee charged with hammering out a compromise reaches a consensus.
Hawaiian de Havilland Dash 8 operator IslandAir withdrew from a newly awarded Essential Air Service (EAS) contract to serve four mainland communities from Kansas City last month after deeming its plans to start operations in September “unrealistic” due to rising fuel costs and a shortage of trained personnel.
The $63 million appropriated for the Essential Air Service program in this year’s transportation bill appeared likely to increase to a level closer to the full $120 million authorized by the Transportation Safety and Stabilization Act, as conferees last month weighed a Senate defense appropriations bill that would add another $57 million in EAS funding.
The Regional Airline Association’s first formal get-together since the events of September 11 assumed an understandably reflective mood, as some of the industry’s most influential figures discussed the prospects for an industry recovery. For regional airlines, the speed at which such a recovery arrives may
London City Airport will hold the official opening of its new business aviation center on May 31. The facility includes a dedicated 38,000-sq-ft ramp for business aircraft, which have previously found it hard to park at the airport, located six miles east of the UK capital’s financial district and just two miles from the Docklands business district. Until last December, business aircraft handling was contracted to Signature Flight Support.
Big Sky Airlines will operate as a subsidiary of Mesaba Holdings by year-end if the Billings, Mont.-based Fairchild Metro III operator meets “certain labor conditions” set by its would-be parent company from Minneapolis. The proposed merger would create a new division within Mesaba Holdings, flying under an operating certificate and labor contracts separate from Mesaba Aviation.