It would cost state taxpayers an estimated $3 million to establish commuter flights between Baltimore-Washington International Airport and the state's four regional airports, including Hagerstown.
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Maryland House Speaker Casper R. Taylor said it's only fair that commuter airplanes are subsidized, just as are other forms of mass transportation.
"Commuter air service is, indeed, mass transit," said the Allegany County Democrat.
Taylor has taken the idea to Gov. Parris Glendening and plans to introduce legislation in January to help establish regularly scheduled flights to BWI from Hagerstown, Cumberland, Salisbury and St. Mary's County.
"I feel pretty confident. I'm hopeful the legislature will buy into the concept," he said.
A recent marketing study showed little need for the service in Hagerstown.
The study estimated that an average of 7.3 passengers a day would use the service, said Bruce F. Mundie, director of the Maryland Aviation Administration's office of regional aviation assistance.