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      Passenger numbers up at Quincy Regional Airport

      For several decades the Quincy Regional Airport has served the area with different airlines operating as the airline carrier for Baldwin Field.

      So the recent success of Cape Air has put the city in line to get another four years of federal funding through the Essential Air Service program.

      Cape Air has provided a reliable connection between Quincy Regional Airport and Lambert International in St. Louis. Several flights a day between the two cities has enabled the number of passengers to increase since Cape Air took over in late 2009. In fact, if you compare January of 20 10 (389) , to January of 2011 (639) to January of this year (736) , you can see an increase in the number of passengers each year.

      " What it does is to continue funding for Essential Air Service to communities like Quincy. It means that the federal dollars that are currently shared with Quincy which is currently $1.9 million on this four year contract with Cape Air will continue to flow to us and EAS will continue to be provided to communities like Quincy that are a distance from a large airport," said Quincy Mayor John Spring.

      So now, the city is waiting on President Obama's signature to continue funding for the Essential Air Service contract. EAS provides smaller airports and communities across the US federal subsidies to operate airlines from their communities to larger airports like St. Louis, Chicago and Kansas City. This year, Quincy is in line to get close to two million dollars in EAS funding.

      " This is great news for us, because it allows us the opportunity to keep our Cape Air service going great guns like it has been," said Spring.

      The mayor said with the increase in passenger numbers, the city is hoping to hit the 10,000 passenger mark and if that happens, even more federal funding will be headed to the airport to help with maintenance and upkeep.

      Under the bill that is still waiting the presidents signature, the EAS contract for Quincy would see funding for the service for the next four years.