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US Air Ops in Penn. at FKL?

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Well-known member
Nov 28, 2001
I was at FKL-Franklin County Venango Airport in Pennsylvania today and I saw US Air flies there. This airport is uncontrolled and their equipment was a Beechcraft, and the only flight was to PIT.

I asked a guy why they fly there, and he said the government subsidizes those flights so rural people can have airline access. I heard about this before, but I thought it only happened in Alaska. The ticket agent said they don't even cancel the flight if only 1 or 2 people get on. It's strange that US Air does all of this since PIT isn't a far drive.

Can someone tell me more about these flights? Where else does this happen in the USA?
The Deregulation Act of 1978 allows airlines freedom to introduce, increase, and reduce or eliminate service to existing markets. Under the Essential Air Service Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation ("DOT"), certain communities that received scheduled air service prior to the passage of the Deregulation Act are guaranteed specified levels of "essential air service." The DOT may authorize federal subsidies to compensate a carrier for providing essential air service in otherwise unprofitable or minimally profitable markets.

You can view some facts about the program at the link below.


The company I fly for serves EAS airports in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Back before 9/11 most of these routes were not covered as the airlines had equipment flying on more "profitable" routes. Now outfits like Mesaup, Colgan, and Commutair have snapped them up in the east, midwest, and southwest. It's a good way to get steady cash. I think measup is doing messena and watertown, ny to pit. I think dubois to pit is one also.

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