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Congressional Delegation Calls Out Trump Administration’s Termination of Essential Air Service at Hagerstown Regional Airport

October 17th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, Senator Chris Van Hollen, a member of the Environment and Public Works and Appropriations Committees, and Representative David Trone, member of the New Democrat Coalition’s Infrastructure Task Force (all D-Md.) and Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Commerce Transportation and Safety Subcommitttee, today expressed their concerns to the Acting Under Secretary for Transportation Policy, the Honorable Joel Szabat, regarding the expected termination of the Essential Air Service (EAS) program at Hagerstown Regional Airport (HGR).

 

On October 11, the Department of Transportation issued an order to terminate EAS at Hagerstown. The EAS Program, funded through the U.S Department of Transportation (DOT), provides critical air service that connects rural and remote areas to major hubs, helping to grow area businesses and support economic growth. Without this program, it is difficult for smaller communities to attract and maintain a commercial carrier.

 

“This decision appears to ignore the significant progress the airport has made in complying with the program’s requirements and the apparent, growing demand for the service,” wrote the lawmakers. “We request, therefore, that you work with us and with the airport to continue the service and to limit the economic disruption.”

 

They noted that the airport’s recent data confirms compliance with the requirements for the program, and that discontinuation at Hagerstown would have adverse impacts for airports in other states. For these reasons, they urged the administration to retain EAS support for Hagerstown. 

 

“A decision to follow through with the termination of the service contradicts the established policies for EAS while also doing a disservice to the federal government’s current $5.7 million investment in the airport’s terminal expansion to accommodate an increased number of passengers,” they continued.

 

Maryland’s federal delegation has continually advocated for this critical resource for the Hagerstown community and worked to help the airport comply with federal regulations for the program. Most recently, they wrote to Secretary Chao urging its extension in September of this year.

 

One Response to “Congressional Delegation Calls Out Trump Administration’s Termination of Essential Air Service at Hagerstown Regional Airport”

  1. October 18, 2019 at 3:44 am, Joe Wellberg said:

    Not everyone wants to pay for carry on baggage that Allegiant charges.

    Reply

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