FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2012
CONTACT: Brian Sowa
Rural Air Service Alliance
House Appropriations Committee Passes FY 2013
Transportation Spending Bill with Essential Air Service Funding
Washington, DC – Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved their Fiscal Year (FY) 2013 Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Appropriations bill. The House measure includes $214 million for the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, matching the Senate funding level that was passed out of committee earlier this year. The funding level provided marks an increase of 11 percent from FY 2012 and is equal to the FY 2013 budget request.
“RASA is pleased that the House Appropriations Committee reported their Transportation bill with vital funding for the EAS program,” stated Brian Sowa, RASA’s Executive Director. “We must remain proactive to ensure this important program maintains the Congressional funding it needs to connect Rural America to the national transportation network.”
Since its creation, the EAS program has withstood various assaults, including lowered funding levels and attempts to limit the program. Last year, the House voted to eliminate the program in the lower 48 states by 2013, after which Congressional members from rural states like North and South Dakota stepped in and fought to save it. Current House Appropriations report language states they remain “concerned about the growing costs associated with the EAS program” and direct Congress to explore reforms to EAS that will create greater competition among carriers and control overall costs.
“Rural regions rely on (the Essential Air Service subsidies) for vital air transportation,” Representative Rick Berg (R-ND) said on the House floor in February. “In North Dakota, airports like Jamestown and Devil’s Lake would not be able to provide critical air service without this support.”
About the Rural Air Service Alliance
RASA is the only organization that is solely focused on promoting EAS as an economic drive and necessary in connecting Rural America to the national transportation network. RASA was formed to advocate for rural communities and protect the vital access to commercial air service that they rely on.
Visit us on our website: http://ruralairservice.org/.