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We might want to rethink this one.
President Trump proposes saving $175 million by eliminating Essential Air Service funds that pay for air transportation into rural communities.
In Alaska's case, this would affect Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Gustavus, Cordova and Yakutat. Southeast residents fondly refer to this daily service by Alaska Airlines as the "milk run."
Alaska Airlines receives $7.93 million to provide the run. It's subsidized because the communities north of Ketchikan wouldn't receive airline service without it.
The alternative for the milk run's island communities is various small air charter operators or the Alaska Marine Highway System. No roads connect the communities, unlike in rural Lower 48, where residents can drive to the next town, even if it is 200 or 300 miles off.
Alaska's congressional delegation has lined up against eliminating EAS funds. Congressman Don Young took it casually: This "isn't going anywhere."
Indeed. This item needs to be reconsidered for its effect on Alaskans.