Essential Air Service Funding Expected to Run Out By January

By KBJR News 1

November 15, 2011 Updated Nov 15, 2011 at 6:37 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter)--The U.S. Congress has given short-term approval to a Federal program that provides funding to support air service to small rural airports, but the money is expected to run out by January.

Northland airport subsidies cost taxpayers nearly 5.5 million dollars a year but without it most commercial airlines say can't afford to provide the short hops to smaller airports.

If those flights stop it could put three rural Northland airports in danger of closing.

In April, the House passed a bill, co-sponsored by Minnesota
Congressman Chip Cravaack, that eliminates the subsidy program.

But Cravaack says that won't cause Minnesota airports to close.

He says he's working to address the problem.