Over the last decade significant changes have occurred in the airline industry. Many legacy carriers are facing challenging financial conditions and low cost carriers are attracting passengers away from some small community airports. These changes, and others, have challenged small communities to attract adequate commercial air service. To help small communities improve air service, Congress established the Small Community Air Service Development Program in 2000. This study reports on (1) how the Department of Transportation (DOT) has implemented the program; and (2) what goals and strategies have been used and what results have been obtained by the grants provided under the program.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Transportation||To ensure the effectiveness of the Small Community Air Service Development Program, the Secretary of Transportation should conduct an evaluation of the Small Community Air Service Development Program in advance of the program's reauthorization in 2008. Such an evaluation should occur after additional grant projects are complete and include a determination of the extent to which the program is meeting its intended purpose of improving air service to small communities.|
|Department of Transportation||To ensure the effectiveness of the Small Community Air Service Development Program, the Secretary of Transportation should clarify what support and services it will provide to communities that are designated as Air Service Development Zones.|