Bennet Continuously Fought to Ensure Airport Could Continue Service
Alamosa, CO - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has granted the San Luis Valley Regional Airport's waiver to be exempted from Essential Air Service (EAS) program requirements, allowing the airport to continue to receive a subsidy that allows for regional air service. The San Luis Valley Reginal Airport lost eligibility for the EAS program in September due to a low passenger numbers caused by inconsistent performance by the airport's main carrier. Bennet led along with Senator Cory Gardner and Congressman Scott Tipton to support the airport's petition for a waiver from EAS requirements.
"This is great news for Alamosa County and residents of the San Luis Valley who have been fighting to ensure that their airport continues to be in service," Bennet said. "The San Luis Valley is the gateway to national treasures like the Great Sand Dunes, and this airport is critical for regional economic growth and for community access to areas up and down the Front Range. Today's Department of Transportation order will allow the airport to continue offering regional airline service and supporting the local economy."
Bennet has worked to ensure continued service into Alamosa since DOT notified the community that its EAS program status was in jeopardy.
The San Luis Valley Regional Airport serves six counties in southern Colorado, spanning an area larger than Connecticut. In October, Great Lakes' contract with the airport expired, and was replaced by Boutique Air.
EAS is a U.S. Department of Transportation program that subsidizes airline service for small rural airports. EAS helps to ensure that small communities have access to commercial flights by reimbursing airlines for empty seats on flights to major hub airport.