EAS request for Hagerstown airport receives no reply

April 29, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

No passenger airlines responded to a federal request for proposals to provide subsidized service to Hagerstown Regional Airport and two other airports before the deadline for responses passed Friday, a U.S. Department of Transportation official said Monday.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) solicited proposals April 8 for its Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which offers carriers money to fly to communities far from larger airports.

The request was for carriers interested in flying to Hagerstown; Brookings, S.D; and Lancaster, Pa.

An identical request for proposals was sent out Feb. 29. That request also received no responses.

Department of Transportation EAS Division Chief Dennis DeVany said Monday that the DOT likely will send out another request for proposals.

Hagerstown Regional Airport's last carrier, Air Midwest, took part in the EAS program and stopped flying to Hagerstown when its EAS contract expired Sept. 30, 2007.


Hagerstown has been without passenger service since that date.

Funding for EAS expired Sept. 30, 2007, but was extended to Sept. 30, 2008.

Hagerstown Regional Airport Business Development Manager Greg Larsen has said that the extension is not long enough to make the program attractive to potential carriers, who would only have a few months to fly before the program expired again.

A full, five-year EAS reauthorization is scheduled to be discussed by the U.S. Senate this year, Larsen has said.

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