Trump's proposed FY2018 budget means big changes for local airports
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore responds to President Trump's proposed budget that would eliminate the Essential Air Service program.
KHQA's Rajah Maples was live from Quincy Regional Airport to show you what this cut would mean for local airports in Quincy and Burlington.
The elimination of the Essential Air Service program would mean no commercial flights in and out of Tri-State airports.
According to the City of Quincy's website, Cape Air provides 10 flights a day between Quincy and Lambert International Airport in St. Louis.
The White House released a proposed budget on Wednesday that would eliminate these flights.
AV Web reports that EAS provides the only form of commercial air transportation to 115 communities in the lower 48 states and 60 communities in Alaska.
Senator Dick Durbin released the following statement:
“The Essential Air Service Program plays an essential role in ensuring that Illinois communities like Quincy have access to reliable air service, which is crucial to growing businesses that create jobs. President Trump’s budget guts this critical program and that would be terrible news for Quincy and cities across the country.”
Moore explains what these cuts would mean for our area.
"It's important for our industry. Our industries in Quincy want to have a global research, and they're able to do that because they can fly out of Quincy and get to their destinations around the world," said Moore.
Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack says the proposed budget would cut more than $1.9 million to Burlington's airport.
He says the budget fails to reflect the priorities of Iowans he meets when traveling around the state.
“It has long been said that a budget is a set of priorities, a vision of where one believes the country should be headed. The budget that the President unveiled today fails to reflect the priorities of Iowans I meet when traveling around the state. This budget cuts investments in programs that have a proven record of creating jobs and growing the economy, disinvests in education, cuts important funding for rebuilding our infrastructure, eliminates vital workforce training programs, does away with loans to ensure Iowans have access to clean water, and turns off assistance to low income families to help manage heating and energy costs. We need to pass a budget that grows our infrastructure, invests in Iowa’s small towns and rural communities, and ensures any child who wants to can afford to attend college. As a father and grandfather, I am very concerned about the future we will leave to our children. It is clear that there is fat that needs to be trimmed from the budget, but slashing everything from job creation programs to services for rural communities, isn’t the way to go about it. This budget makes it clear that the White House is out of touch with reality. We need a budget that works for all Americans, not just millionaires, billionaires and corporations," said Loebsack.
But why is the president proposing cutting the Essential Air Service program to rural airports across the country?
According to an article in USA Today, EAS flights are not full and have high costs per passenger.
The article states Trump's budget says several of these airports are close to major airports, and that rural communities could be served by other modes of transportation.