Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and
Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD), announced today that the Senate included funding for the Essential Air Service program (EAS) in the short-term funding that passed the Senate last night to keep the government operating until Nov. 15. The EAS funding would have to be extended after Nov. 15.
“The Hagerstown Regional Airport is a major economic hub for Washington County and the entire Western Maryland region,” said Senator Cardin.
“I am committed to ensuring that we preserve the EAS program so that residents and businesses in Western Maryland will continue to have access to scheduled air service.”
“Our regional airports play a key role in maintaining Maryland’s robust economy,” said Mikulski. “The Hagerstown Regional Airport is critical to keeping Western Maryland’s economy moving. I will continue to fight to keep Marylanders on the go and for a federal investment in our Western Maryland communities.”
In August, Senators Cardin and Mikulski sponsored legislation to that would require AirMidwest/MESA to maintain service to the Hagerstown Regional Airport until Jan. 1, 2008 or until an alternate carrier could be identified.
“Continued EAS funding is critical to finding a new carrier for Hagerstown.
Inclusion of the EAS program in this short-term funding measure is a very positive step and one that will allow time to work on a long-term solution,” said Senator Cardin.
When Congress deregulated domestic air service, it created the EAS program to ensure that a minimal level of scheduled air service in small communities.
Hagerstown, MD, Brookings, S.D., and Lancaster, PA, depend on the EAS program.