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Airport Mileage and Bacon

April 25th, 2008 · No Comments · News

Flying PigWith the constant harping about how crappy our economy is and how profligate our fearless leader is, I’m surprised that the drive-by media let’s this kind of stuff get by. Well, maybe not that surprised.

So, according to a report this morning, Watertown and Ogdensburg may lose their “essential” funding under “Bush” budget. Last I heard, he wasn’t in charge of spending. I can’t wait to read the rest of the stories to come.

The Watertown and Ogdensburg airports would probably lose funding for Essential Air Service under President Bush’s 2009 budget proposal.

The Bush Budget would cut funding for the EAS program to $50 million.

Some locals probably don’t realize that they are paying for every flight out of these “essential” airports. Even the empty seats.

What about Massena, Plattsburgh, and Lake Clear?

The proposal would rank rural airports based on their remoteness. The highest ranking would get their EAS funding.
U.S. Department of Transportation calculations say the $50 million would fund about the top 73 most-remote airports.
Massena falls in the top 73, at number 66. However Watertown, at 100 and Ogdensburg, at 81 wouldn’t make the cut, according to D.O.T. calculations.

Ha ha, that’s funny. Massena is more “essential” than Watertown or Plattsburgh. It seems that Adirondack Regional in Saranac Lake fails to make the cut, but, Plattsburgh does – barely. I guess we have more lobbyists in Plattsburgh, cuz we are more “essential”. The nearest supposed airport to these “essential” airports is indicated as Manchester, NH. What crap that is. First of all, the transportation geniuses at the Department of Transportation were dumb enough to use Mapquest or something to calculate distances. Who drives up to Rouses Point to go to New Hampshire? I don’t know one single person who has ever spoken of, considered, or used New Hampshire as the “nearest” airport. Most people here actually use Burlington, VT, Montreal, or Albany. All within an acceptable North Country drive.

If any North Country resident regularly considers NH in their travel planning, I’d like to hear about it. I’ll publish your story and take you to lunch. Hope you don’t mind bacon sandwiches.

I’m not surprised our pork-addled representative McHugh is rooting around here. He likes pork so much that even our local libs like him. I know, “it’s the North Country!”, “we can’t live without these essential services”. Don’t worry yourselves:

President Bush has routinely tried to cut the expensive EAS program in his proposed budgets. Congress just as routinely has reinstated the funding.

Rep. John McHugh is one of two dozen house members signing a letter that protests the proposed cuts.
“Rural America is constantly shortchanged with regard to federal benefits and assistance,” the Congressmembers wrote.

They make is sound like it’s free money we are entitled to.

Airport remoteness rankings (43.0KB)

Note: I’m not labeling Newwatch50 as “drive-by”, yet. Will anyone report the “essential” angle? Or will they continue to tow the “essential’ party-line?

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