WEYERS CAVE, Va. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s spending plan would eliminate funding that supports commercial air service at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.
The president’s proposal recommends eliminating the Essential Air Service (EAS) program, which subsidizes commercial service to rural airports that otherwise wouldn’t receive it. The EAS was created in 1978 to increase the frequency of flights from small rural airports to medium and large hubs in more metropolitan areas.
WVIR-TV, based in Charlottesville, reports that a nearly $3.8 million subsidy supports a jet service initiated by Via Air that sends flights from Charlotte, North Carolina and Orlando to the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.
The EAS has long been a target of conservatives who say the subsidies are too expensive for the relatively small number of passengers served.
Airport officials told the station that severe cuts or elimination of the program have been proposed before, so they’re waiting to see how the budget shapes up in Congress.