FAA Impasse Is Omen For Rural America

Four thousand FAA workers furloughed and 70,000 contractors were laid off as a result of a congressional disagreement on subsidies to rural airports and a labor provision.

The editorial believes that the "budget-cutting fervor in Washington", shown in part by the disagreement over rural airport subsidies, illustrates that "the recipients with the most to lose are the ones in rural America, who are almost twice as reliant on federal largesse as city dwellers and suburbanites."

The LA Times editors speculate that the rural subsidy, known as the Essential Air Service program (pdf) "is a good example of the battles likely to come." Considering that rural Americans drive far more than their urban and suburban counterparts, it would seem likely that a possible legislative battle awaiting the reauthorization of the transportation bill would disproportionately affect those living in rural America.

The Times editorial notes that "paying airlines millions of federal tax dollars to fly small, half-empty planes into rural airports isn't the only way to connect rural communities with city transportation hubs"...noting that "there's also been a resurgence in intercity bus service".

Thanks to Tanya Snyder

Full Story: EDITORIAL: A lot at stake for small-town America

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