Congress established two key programs to help support air service to small communities--the Essential Air Service (EAS) providing about $100 million in subsidies per year and the Small Community Air Service Development Program (SCASDP) that provides about $20 million per year in grants. As part of its reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Congress is examining the status and outcomes of these programs. This testimony discusses (1) the history and challenges of the EAS program, (2) the implementation and outcomes of the SCASDP and (3) options for reforming EAS and SCASDP. The testimony is based on previous GAO reports, interviews with Department of Transportation officials and industry representatives as well as program updates.
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