BRIEF: Small airports aided by new aviation bill

Sep. 27--House lawmakers this week approved the Federal Aviation Administration's programs for next year, including keeping air service coming to small communities through the federal Essential Air Service program.

For Pueblo, the federal air service program means about $750,000 a year in subsidies that are paid to airlines that provide service to Pueblo Memorial Airport. The current airline serving Pueblo is Great Lakes Air.

The legislation means $1.1 million in federal help for the Alamosa airport and $796,000 in assistance for air service to Cortez.

Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., said the legislation maintains federal support to small airports around the nation and also requires the Transportation Department to give any small community at least 45 days notice before canceling any subsidy to a local air carrier.

The House passed the FAA reauthorization bill on a vote of 267-151. The measure now goes to the Senate.

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