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Critics want these subsidized flights to this eastern Oregon town canceled

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

– Steve Dunn,, July 10, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – A daily flight from Portland International Airport to an eastern Oregon town has critics calling for its immediate landing.

That flight is aboard SeaPort Airlines. It uses a nine passenger single engine Cessna to fly passengers from Portland to Pendleton and back again…

…the federal government thinks that the flight is vital. In fact, it’s part of a federal subsidy called Essential Air Service. Every time the plane lands or takes off from Pendleton, SeaPort Airlines gets $849 from the feds. The plane will make 2,162 flights for a total subsidy of more than $1.8 million…

SeaPort is a small airliner serving rural communities all over the country. Many of its routes are paid for by the Essential Air Service program…

The federal government spends over $200 million a year on Essential Air Service. You pay for it through taxes when you buy a seat on a commercial airliner…

Our Response & Your Comments

We always thought that ”Vital” and  “Essential” meant “can’t do without it.” Sort of like food and shelter.

So if Oregonians can’t do without this puddle jumper flight to Pendleton wouldn’t they find a way to pay for it (sort of like they do for food and shelter)? And if they figured it was “essential” enough to pay what it actually cost, wouldn’t some airline jump at it as a way to make money?

Maybe the next question should be “Is it ‘essential’ enough to taxpayers that they think it’s worth $1.8 million?”


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