For the 31,000 people living in Jamestown, New York, travel is going to be impeded by the passing of the Trump administration’s budget proposal. The small town has not yet debuted on the national radar, but for those who live and travel there, their two options are to drive a few hours from the major airports in Buffalo and Pittsburgh or to fly in through their regional airport. Along with 112 other regional airports, Jamestown Regional Airport is at risk of being shut down, hindering travel for thousands.
The Airline Deregulation Act was passed in 1978, giving airlines the freedom to choose the markets they service and the prices they charge. Fearing that smaller markets would be forgotten, Congress enacted the Essential Air Services program. As part of Federal Aviation Act, the EAS guaranteed small airlines a minimum level of scheduled air service.
Trump’s administration, however, released in proposal documents last week that these small airports are costing too much, although a congressional study found that money for the EAS comes from user fees instead of taxes. The administration also believes the communities in need of these small airlines could be served with different existing modes of transportation.
Grace Williamson is a travel intern with Paste and a freelance writer based out of Athens, Georgia.