Representatives lobby D.C.

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Los Alamos > EAS funding designation on the wish list

By Arin McKenna

There was a new twist to the annual trip to Washington, D.C., when representatives meet with congressional delegates and federal officials to discuss the county’s priorities.
In addition to the usual concerns about funding for environmental cleanup and for Los Alamos National Laboratory, county delegates lobbied for an Essential Air Service designation for Los Alamos County Airport.
Council Chair Geoff Rodgers, Vice-Chair Kristin Henderson, Councilor Pete Sheehey and County Administrator Harry Burgess traveled to Washington the end of April, carrying a letter arguing for the EAS designation.
EAS was instituted when the airlines were deregulated in 1978, to insure that small, rural airports could continue to have commercial air service. The program provides subsidies to insure a minimal level of service to small communities.
At the time of deregulation, Los Alamos Airport met all but one criterion: the airport was already served by a commercial carrier that did not require support from the EAS. At that time, Ross Aviation was receiving federal money for air service through Los Alamos National Laboratory.
By the time that service was discontinued, the EAS program was no longer accepting new participants.

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