U.S. Essential Air Service
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The four largest airline participating in Essential Air Service contracts, TOP: Southern Airways Express C208, Cape Air C402 ; BOTTOM. Boutique PC12 , SkyWest CRJ200 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Joey Gerardi)

Essential Air Service: What It Is and Why It's Needed

Every year, people around the country pay their taxes and begin to complain about which government programs are necessary and which are not. And every year the same question comes up: why does the government shell out millions of dollars in federal aid to airlines in order to fly — in some cases empty aircraft — to cities nobody has ever heard of? Because it’s essential. History of EAS Essential Air Service has played an interesting role in this country…

EAS Round Up – Part 6

Essential Air Service (EAS) has been in the news frequently for the past couple of months, and large airports aren’t the only airports that have news to report on. This is a continuation of the series, titled ‘EAS Round up’, and will touch on any news regarding the contracts in…

SkyWest Adds Flights to Two New York EAS Airports

Plattsburgh and Ogdensburg, two airports in northern New York state, have been in aviation news a substantial amount in the past three months. Both are Essential Air Service cities, and in mid-January 2022, SkyWest announced it would be terminating service to these communities in 90 days, a proposal that was swiftly…

United Express Requests Termination of 29 EAS Routes

While the aviation industry is on the rise from the pandemic, pilot shortages are now facing carriers in full stride. But one area is being hit the most: small communities. Back at the beginning of January 2022, United exited 11 small cities all of which were served by small 50-seat…

Interview: Northern New York Communities Reject Replacement Carrier

Ogdensburg and Plattsburgh, two Essential Air Service communities located in northern New York State have been in aviation news a lot recently. It started back in January 2022 when SkyWest, the carrier that holds the current Essential Air Service Contract in the communities, requested to terminate the EAS contract in…

More Metroliner Flights Set to Begin in U.S.

Every AvGeek strives for unique and out-of-the-way experiences. In the United States, these AvGeek trips consist of flights such as Alaska's Milk Run along the Alaskan panhandle, United Airlines' Micronesian Island Hopper from Honolulu to Guam, and others. But perhaps the one most accessible to those on the mainland U.S.…

SkyWest Reduces Essential Air Service Flights

Essential Air Service (EAS) is a group of government-funded airports around the country that airlines bid for and then are respectively won. Contracts are by law required to be followed out until completion unless they want to face heavy fines under federal law. In mid-January 2022, SkyWest announced its intentions…

Unique Connection Series Trip Report: Watertown, South Dakota

If you have read my articles in the past, you know I love out-of-the-way airports, airlines, and aircraft. This will be the second trip report in my “Unique Connection Series”, the first of which can be found here. Overview For this Unique Connection, I will be starting in Chicago and…

Essential Air Service News — January 2022

Note from the writer: In the commercial aviation world, there is always news to report, and even the smallest airports have news to report on. This will be a different segment than the "EAS Round-Up" stories, which focus only on the Essential Air Service contracts that have been changed or…

SkyWest Requests More Route Terminations

United — through its regional carrier United Express — ended service to 11 small cities around the country, not more than two weeks ago. Unfortunately, in the next 90-days, they will be adding two more destinations to that list both of which are located in northern New York State. St.…