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Senate approves measure to reauthorize funding at Hagerstown Regional Airport

November 01, 2007|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

A recently expired federal program that funded Hagerstown Regional Airport's passenger service would be reauthorized for another year under a bill passed Tuesday night by the U.S. Senate.

Essential Air Service (EAS), a subsidy program that helps communities far from larger hub airports, would be extended until Sept. 30, 2008. The program expired Sept. 30, 2007.

Hagerstown Regional Airport has been without carrier service since Air Midwest stopped its US Airways Express flights between Washington County and Pittsburgh the day the subsidy expired.

The bill is a temporary funding measure intended to extend the program until Congress passes legislation to keep the Federal Aviation Administration running for another four years, said Susan Sullam, spokeswoman for Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, who cosponsored the bill.

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Congress recently approved a temporary measure to fund the EAS program until Nov. 15. But that measure did not include a mileage exemption that Hagerstown needs to receive funding under the program.

The bill passed Tuesday would reauthorize the mileage provision.

The legislation now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives.

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