Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's a market-driven economy, not a market-flown economy

I'm working on a late breaking story about the Macon airport and a problem getting a new airline to come on board without a significant (think six zeros) taxpayer subsidy.

Details in tomorrow's paper, but I'd like to point out something I find interesting.

The airline industry, as a whole, gets massive taxpayer subsidies, of course. You know that. But did you know that the federal government pays airlines to operate air service from small and mid-sized airports that otherwise wouldn't be profitable?

It's called the Essential Air Service, or EAS, program. In fact the federal government spent about $96.5 million at 104 airports in 2007, according to the '07 report on this U.S. Dot Web site.

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