GAO’s reports and testimonies give Congress, federal agencies, and the public timely, fact-based, non-partisan information that can improve government operations and save taxpayers billions of dollars.
What GAO Found Air service to small communities has declined since 2007 due, in part, to higher fuel costs and declining population, and for some communities, compounded by more attractive service (i.e., larger airports in larger cities) within driving distance.
What GAO FoundGAO found that airport operators, government officials, real estate developers, and other regional stakeholders are taking actions consistent with five factors when pursuing airport-centric development (development on the airport property to enhance the airport's nonaeronautical revenue...
Since 1978, the Essential Air Service (EAS) program has subsidized air service to eligible communities that would otherwise not have scheduled service. The cost of this program has risen as the number of communities being served and subsidies to air carriers have increased.
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.