Oppose McCain Amendment to Repeal the Essential Air Service Program
On behalf of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), we urge you to oppose an amendment to the FAA Air Transportation and Modernization Safety Improvement Act (S. 223) offered by Senator McCain (R-AZ) that would repeal the Essential Air Service (EAS) Program. This misguided amendment would have a devastating economic impact upon hundreds of communities across the country and would jeopardize critically needed jobs for the transportation workers we represent.
The EAS program subsidizes air services offered by carriers and their employees who provide scheduled flights to rural communities across the country. The services these carriers provide are essential to the economic health of the communities they serve. Not only do they deliver relief in the form of food, medicine and other life saving goods, but they also provide essential transportation services to businesses and individuals that lack access to a mature and well developed transportation system. The modest funding embodied in the EAS program promotes the overall economic well-being of these communities and ensures continuation of air services that often represent the economic lifeline of these underserved areas of the country.
Repealing the EAS program will decimate these communities by eliminating much needed air transportation services and disrupting local economies. In Alaska, for example, the EAS program services 44 communities that will lose their only viable transportation option and face severe economic hardship. Furthermore, the proposed cuts will economically disadvantage many air carriers placing downward pressure on aviation jobs. As Americans grapple with historic long-term unemployment rates and struggle daily to support their families, they do not need Congress passing legislation that will make the economic outlook even worse.
Transportation labor urges you to reject the McCain EAS amendment when it is offered on the floor. Please contact me directly or TTD Legislative Representative Mia Clarkson at 202/628-9262 if you have any questions or need additional information.