Could Watertown lose federal Essential Air Service subsidies?


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – The mayor of South Dakota’s capital city says President Donald Trump’s call to eliminate subsidized air service to rural communities would be a mistake.

Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill told The Associated Press that she appreciates efficient government, but that the Essential Air Service program isn’t a place to cut. She says the program is “vital for rural America.”

The EAS program subsidizes airline flights to 171 communities in the continental U.S., including Pierre, Aberdeen and Watertown. They would otherwise have no air service.

Gill says that if Pierre had no service, residents would have to drive more than three hours to the nearest airport. She says the local hunting industry that draws people from around the country also would suffer.

Trump’s proposal is expected to run into opposition in the Senate.

  • Michael Owen

    How the Communists in South Dakota even got a a hold of the national checkbook to establish this program in the first place is a mystery to me.

    Thank God the people of South Dakota voted overwhelming for Trump and his promise to drain the Washington swamp and make America great again.

    It’s imperative that all South Dakotans call their representative today and demand they support the president in his actions to finally bring small government, solid business principles to Washington.

    For years, the people of this state have sent politicians to Congress who promised to cut wasteful government spending and stop supporting Communist programs like Essential Air Service. Now that we finally have a man in the White House with the vision and the guts to make those promises good, he must be supported 100%.