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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Essential Air Service (EAS) program, focusing on: (1) how DOT applied criteria to establish which communities would receive subsidized air service; (2) changes in the level of subsidies provided to EAS-eligible communities in fiscal year 1999 relative to that provided in 1995; (3) why the level of subsidies changed between 1995 and 1999; and (4) whether DOT applied any of the increase in program funding to rural air safety projects.

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