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Rural airports would lose federal funding under Trump budget proposal

City of Garden City, KS
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Garden City Regional Airport

Small towns like Garden City, Dodge City, Liberal, Hays, Great Bend and Salina, Kansas rely on a federal program that provides a subsidy to airlines that keeps air service from operating at a loss but under President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, that funding would be eliminated.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, Trump’s budget proposals includes $2.4 billion in cuts to federal transportation programs and eliminates the Essential Air Service, a program that serves those Kansas communities and 53 other communities across the nation, including the Colorado communities of Pueblo, Alamosa and Cortez, according to Colorado Public Radio.

According to the Telegram, American Airlines received over $968,000 in federal subsidies last year to continue serving Garden City with two daily round trip flights to Dallas/Fort Worth.  

EAS subsidies at other western Kansas airports include Hays, at $3.5 million, and $1.6 million each at Dodge City and Liberal.